Launched in 2006, Twitter is a micro-blogging site that continues to go from strength to strength in the social media sphere. With just 140 characters, Twitter taps into our desire for free speech, sharing and engaging with live, mass communication. The majority of users access the site on their mobile and it is often the first place to find breaking news, expose public scandals and even predict the stock market with popular topics usefully categorised with the use of #hashtags. For example it is currently #NationalChocolateWeek, and coming up is #NationalBakingWeek – a chance for you to be seen by new audiences and get involved with conversations.
1. Perfect profile
A huge number of people and businesses don’t fill out the most basic information and if they do, they often don’t put much effort in. For businesses, it’s the quickest and easiest way to let people know what you do, where you are and direct them to your website – so take the opportunity!
After that you need to find people and businesses to follow and perhaps strike up a conversation with them. A great way to simplify your online life is then to manage those you follow by creating lists to sort your clients from your competitors, journalists from shareholders, and keep an eye of those who are most important to you. If you use a management service like Hootsuite or TweetDeck, you can integrate your lists into your dashboard.
2. A picture is worth a thousand words
Customise your background, header, profile picture and theme to convey your business identity. You might want to use a picture of your team, your company logo, design the background to match your website, provide more contact details or list the services you offer. Update these regularly and try to keep them seasonal.
You should also factor images into your content plans – after all, picture-led social media posts are 3x more likely to receive engagement than text based posts.
3. Don’t forget your Twitter manners
Engaging with conversations is a must. Create original content, share information that will appeal to your audience, ask questions, reply and talk to people directly using their Twitter handles.
Depending on the size of your corporation it may not be feasible to reply, retweet or follow everyone who engages with you, instead show your gratitude when you reach important Twitter milestones, like 1000 followers.
4. Stay on brand
Just like a traditional mission statement, you need to work out the online identity of your company, find the right tone and decide what type of content you will post. It’s a big social media no-no to constantly do the hard sell, so abide by the 9:1 rule – for every 9 pieces of genuinely interesting (and relevant) content you post, you can send out one sales tweet!
5. Be present, but don’t overdo it!
Maintain your profile and be consistent. If you’re just experimenting with Twitter, make sure you give it a fair trial period before you decide whether or not it could benefit your business. You don’t have to tweet constantly, in fact, studies have found that audience engagement starts to drop off after a company’s third tweet of the day.
One final piece of food for thought is that Twitter activity, like all social media, can really boost your website’s SEO and Google PageRank – FOR FREE!