Twitter Microblogging Platform as a Marketing Tool

Twitter is a huge marketplace, growing in users by leaps and bounds. Your business needs to be represented there. If you don't snap up your business' name, someone else will...

Besides, Twitter will likely continue to grow in users and be around for a long time to come, even if it morphs into something else. Therefore your twitter presence needs to be managed as a storefront would be - professionally, courteously, and with a definite business plan in mind.

twitter advice for business use

Things you Should be Doing With Your Twitter Account

1. First and foremost is TRANSPARENCY. Use your real name or real business name as your twitter username, and use a real photo of yourself. Do not shorten your website link. Make your bio accurate and helpful, with keywords in it. Act in accordance with the branding established elsewhere, and BE YOURSELF. You cannot be disingenuous on twitter if you want long term success.

2. Second is EXCHANGE. Whatever you call exchange: interaction, engaging, socializing, sharing. The golden rule applies on Twitter. Keep your outgoing tweets as useful as you want the incoming ones to be. Remember what you found to be fantastic and incorporate that kind of thinking into your own tweets. Don't make every single tweet or direct message a hard-sell buy-now pitch. Throw in useful links, advice, information, responses to queries, pick up on buzz, notice any disgruntled customers and respond with compassion, and in doing so make your tweets build relationships with others. Basically, imagine the most useful person possible in your industry, well go ahead and BE that person.

3. For any business account, every tweet should contain either a link or a #hashtag, unless it is an @reply.

4. Try to stay away from "What I am Doing" tweets unless very useful or interesting. This means "I hate washing my cat" is an inappropriate Tweet for a business account. Another form of Tweet to stay away from is the useless/boring Tweet such as "It's Tuesday again *sigh*" because they make it more likely you'll get ignored in the future.

5. Think with "What would I say while on the phone with a potential customer?"

6. Follow these guidelines for good tweet material:

Mention yourself whenever your business is the best resources to recommend to solve a particular problem for a twitter user you're talking to. This should happen pretty often if you're talking to people within your niche topic.

7. Share your own content in a way that is tasteful and without trickery.

8. Reply to anyone who talks about or to you and your brand or products. Reply to anyone who talks about your niche when you feel you have value to add to the conversation. If they are unhappy, respond as you would in a customer service call by phone.

9. Unless you're a DJ or a surf club owner, you shouldn't use lingo or inappropriate speech. Stick to the image you've already established in your branding.

10. Try to make your tweets retweetable. Unless it's a reply, it usually should be phrased in a way that encourages others to retweet. If it's too personalized, confusing, or long, it won't be retweeted. Phrase it as a general statement or question and include the word "you" for best results. Another tried and true retweet-friendly tag is "10 easy steps..." "7 surefire ways..." - any kind of numbered lists. People retweet those more often. And don't be shy about asking for a retweet on your most valuable or urgent tweets.

11. Add your tweetstream into your site or blog to encourage your customers and prospects to interact with you there. (Alternative methods of implementing Twitter into your site.)

12. Just as with any public conversation, avoid stepping too far into a controversial subject in a business account unless the controversy relates to your niche.

13. No flame wars, period. Much as you wouldn't start a screaming match with a walk-in customer on live TV, it's not good business practice to tweet your anger or become too polarized about religion/politics/sports from a business account (unless you are a stand-up comic). You will alienate your follower base and appear unprofessional. If you're prone to venting and you know it, create an alter-ego account - another unrelated Twitter username that you only use when you're steamed. And vent from THAT one.

Never tweet a link or photo without saying what it is.

WRONG: Hey look at this neat thing! http://bit.ly/twitvice

RIGHT: New #twitter advice page will make your life easier: http://bit.ly/twitvice

14. When you want to respond, do not hand-enter the reply's @someone address in order to do so. Instead press the "reply" button - otherwise you disable the ability for anyone to track the conversation backward. Aside from making it hard for a prolific tweeter to know which post you're responding to, there is the additional interaction factor to consider. Good replies often generate new followers, and if you don't make it easy for readers to engage then they won't.

15. Don't worry about following too many people. Your friend to follower ratio does not truly matter unless it's terribly drastically different. What matters is that the quality and quantity of those you follow and of those who follow you works for you. Do your relationships seem relevant to your niche? Are they useful? Are you interested in them and vice versa? If you find the number of people following you is not growing in proportion to those you follow, the WRONG solution is to unfollow until it's even. Don't contract - it does not work. Instead try engaging more, be SOCIAL! Find new ways to approach your topic, and reply helpfully to people talking about your niche or with questions you can answer. There are Twitter analysis tools that can help you on your way. Searching the twitterstream for conversations you can improve helps.

16. Whatever you do, don't join those paid-link twitter-click sites saying "tweet for money". Don't try to cheat the system in big bold ways -- that's called SPAM and gets your account shut off. If you wouldn't want someone else to do it to you, don't do it to them.

17. Do not share your twitter password with any service. Use 'open authorization' logins whenever you can, called "oAuth" or "openID". Any reputable service will redirect to Twitter to get you to sign in there with open authorization and then come back after signing in. This is safest.




twitter applications - clients and interfaces

While many of the more advanced management tools also include an interface for posting to Twitter from within their tools, these are simple clients - designed for consistent daily use and in constant use by many regular, active twitter users. They all make it easier to post pictures and shorten links, and most make it easier to categorize your friends.

Desktop Based:

Hosted online:

For those of you posting to Twitter by mobile phone or straight from the web, we don't recommend doing ONLY that while running a business account. Also use a more advanced service so you can take advantage of the many tools out there.

I list numerous tools below. Feel free to recommend another for this list.




twitter relationship management

These services help you manage followers or following. Relationship management is a very important part of Twitter usage only because if you do it badly, you can ruin the remainder of your efforts. Do it well and you can double or triple your dedicated following of fans.

friend or followFriend Or Follow

Friend or Follow shows you a grid of everyone you follow who doesn't follow you back or vice versa. Useful for careful review of people without having to wander through the "is following you on twitter" emails. Much like Twitter Karma except prettier, and without any bulk operations.

Mr TweetMr. Tweet is a neat little bot that helps you finds you relevant people to follow and helps you manage relationships. Plus it helps with topic discovery (aka what's my niche thinking about right now?).

Manages to be very useful in terms of results without soaking up too much of your time. That's always good.

twitter karmaTwitter Karma

Powerful bulk tool for blocking, following or unfollowing tweeple, as broken down into groups by whether they reciprocate friendship and vice versa. You can sort by useful metrics like whether they've tweeted recently, the age of the account, etc. Be warned that it would be very easy to unfollow or block everyone on all your lists with this powerful tool - use catiously.

TweeplerTweepler allows you to use a nifty interface to sort through new followers and choose who to follow back and who to ignore (not follow back). If you're not going to follow back, think about why. If they're obviously spammers, you may want to block them. This helps Twitter keep the user base free of fake accounts - improving the experience for all.

MyCleenrRefollow helps you find, manage and clean out your twitter followers. They can help you if you find that too many of your twitter contacts are not what you were hoping they'd be.

TwubbleTwubble Looks at your Twitter friends as your "bubble". So Twubble helps you expand your Twitter bubble by looking for people suited to it. It works for some, not so well for others from what I know. Probably depends on the people already linked to your account. If you know and trust your Tweeps, then you're good to go.

tweet adderTweetAdder is a program to help you automate finding and friending the people you want to target or network with. You can automate these processes for one account or several. It's a pretty useful, powerful tool and that's why it is one of the only tools listed here that is not free. There is a free demo, but for the real power, or any lasting benefit, you'll need to buy it.

TwolloTwollo

Twollo helps you find people to follow and who will hopefully follow you back based on common interests and keyword phrases. Plus, you can track brand mentions here, and it's a good way to ensure you're following anyone who talks about you. You can also manage multiple accounts from within Twollo. Instructions: Enter your keywords and choose to follow automatically anyone who uses them up to a certain amount every day. Choose wisely which keywords to choose. Get the daily digest sent to you if you want to review who you're now following.

QwitterQwitter

Qwitter is a way to dig into which tweets may be costing you followers. It lets you know who stopped following you and after which tweets. Useful if you want to hold onto followers.

Don't take qwits too seriously -- don't let it get you down if you lose followers after a tweet that was correct for your niche and wasn't offensive; it may be unrelated. As Kingsley Amis said, "If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."

Follow recommendation assistance: follow fridayFollowFriday is a program to help you automate the Follow Friday tradition. This started in late 2008, when people started giving their friends recommendations every friday for who to follow. The reason it's listed here is that #FF recommendations strengthen relationships that you find valuable.

FollowFriday will scan your friends to choose the most "active" of them to recommend. Review the available options and tweet from the resulting page or copy it down somewhere to tweet later on.





twitter power tools

Social Media Integrated Campaign Management:
ObjectiveMarketerObjective Marketer can run every aspect of a marketing campaign on Twitter, apparently. Guy Kawasaki (most successful Twitter marketer) is using it. Need we say more?

Tweet Scheduler and Social Media Broadcaster: Ping FMPing

Use this to broadcast across all social networks, Twitter, Facebook, and pretty much all the rest too. If you want to schedule out and automate your tweets, make sure you don't look at it as a way to skimp on providing new, relevant content to your followers. For your Twitter business account to work, you HAVE to be part of it. Don't "set it and forget it". There is no such thing.

Tweet Scheduler: HootSuiteHootSuite is a powerful Tweet scheduler that lets you manage several accounts, schedule for any future date and time, and contains a few other gems as well - we like it. There is nothing about it that seems underhanded, yet it makes the busy executive's life that much easier because you can consolidate your efforts on Twitter and cut out wasted time.

Instructions: Schedule out tweets that are opinion and fact about your niche. We recommend trying to schedule tweets for at least once per day. HootSuite has a built-in Twitter client.

AutoDMs:
TweetLaterSocialOomph is the ONLY service we could find offering AutoDMs (automation for Direct messaging) in the FREE version. DM management must be done very carefully. This is likely your very first contact with your new follower. Be warned, tweeple don't like aggressive auto-DMs.

In addition to Automating DMs, this service contains a bunch of tools, probably the most powerful set of tools available for the price, if you pay for the PRO version. It works great for pretty much all your functions - future scheduling, follower management, and more. It also has an online twitter-client built in.

(Aside: If you're offended by the idea of automating DMs, you can OPT OUT by following the instructions of this Twitter account: @optmeout.)

Reputation Management and Brand Mentions: TweetScanTweetScan says you can get emails for keyword mentions, but we recommend you use it to track your own brand and company mentions, in both tweets and profiles.

If you want to make sure that no one pretends to be you, this tool will help you find people using your keyword/brand in their profile as well as in their tweets. And it send emails.

That way, even when you're not actively on Twitter, you'll know you need to get right on it and respond to any reputation crises or join conversations you're relevant to.


Please note that there are MANY other power tools we're NOT listing on this page because they violate the basic premises and groundrules of Twitter. Getting banned is not a good way to go, especially since Twitter has NO reconsideration procedure. If you're out - you're GONE.





twitter business analysis

If something isn't going the way you want, use these tools to find out what's awry and work to correct it. Don't spend too much time worrying about having perfect scores or outranking the twitterati.

TwitAlyzerTwitalyzer helps you improve your presence on Twitter. Good scores are difficult to get. This tool is a great troubleshooter. Also you can do deep analysis of your value as a resource. While you may never rank perfectly on Twitalyzer, take heart in improvements. We found this one to be the most useful tool in shaping real change in Twitter effectiveness. It is also politely discreet - no tweeting stats into the public timeline for once.

Twitter GraderTwitter Grader is also a great analysis tool, especially for finding other influencial tweeple in your region, and by topic. Wander a bit to find some very useful friends. Apply any useful insight it offers into your performance.

Twitter CounterTwitter Counter counts your followers, friends and updates and provides predictions for the future. These predictions are rather extreme until you've had at least a few hundred days of statistics being gathered.

TwitterHolicTwitterHolic gives you stats as often as you remember to go fetch them how your friends, followers and number of tweets. Includes user-ratings, as well as tags. Twitterholic is useful for combining user ratings with statistical info.

TwitterFriendsTwitter Friends may not have the most valuable sounding name, but their "Tweetmetrics" tool should have been called "twitter network analysis" because it will show you a very detailed analysis with visuals of the way you interact with your various networks on Twitter. Fascinating and useful for those who want to fine tune the relationships they're working on.

Tweet StatsTweet Stats is exactly what it says it is. Gives you stats on how many tweets you've done over time and can make you a cloud of the contents of your tweets. The tweet cloud is useful for if you want to see how well you're staying on topic.





twitterer directories

Use Twitter Directories to make it easy to find you. But before you do so, review your bio. Are your primary keywords in it? If not, you might want to rethink the bio so you can be found in just plain Twitter search. Not all that many people use the Twitter directories unless they're pretty well immersed into Twitter.

JustTweetItJust Tweet it it is a Twitter directory organized by business-type, much like any other website directory. May help get you found by people searching for someone in your field. Drill down until you find your category, press the submit button, then scroll to the end of the page. You will be able to submit yourself and a brief description there. This is a great opportunity to include a longer blurb about yourself than Twitter generaelly allows, or a variation on the bio you're using on Twitter.

WeFollowWe Follow is a Twitter Directory. Sign in using your Twitter login (it's oauth, so secure) and choose 3 hashtags to describe yourself.

TwellowTwellow is a Yellow Pages style Twitter directory. Drill down until you find the correct category to be listed in, and then create an account and register it as yours. You can also use this to search for twellow listings for the people you follow/who follow you for more information on them.





twitter tools for the very competitive

These tools are for the VERY competitive. The ranking tools here rank you against the entire twitterverse - everyone on twitter, including twitter gurus, major celebrities, and those with all 24 hours a day to spend tweeting. Thus they are just not terribly useful for those of us content to market to our small niches. None of these tools can measure against only the size and loyalty of YOUR niche market on twitter. (Really, does it matter whether you have fewer followers than Demi Moore?)

Mr MilestoneMr. Milestone helps you track the milestones you reach in terms of followers by having Mr Milestone tweet you every time you reach another nice round number. Doing so requires following @MrMilestone.

ReTweetistReTweetist shows the most retweeted posts on twitter, offering you a chance to retweet them. This is a tactic taken by those who believe that "any follower is a good follower". When you tweet the most popular subjects (usually: celebrity gossip, political, inspirational, or tech news) some tweeple will follow you; with visibility always comes followers. But a million unqualified, non-targeted, off-topic followers does not make a million real prospects. If you are selling a niche product this is not for you.

ReTweetRankReTweet Rank is a tool for seeing how far from the top of the twitterverse you are in number of retweets (other people resending your tweets to all of their followers).





If you absolutely must stay ahead of the curve, Twitdom keeps track of applications you can use with Twitter for one purpose or another.

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Twitter Management

This page is all about how to use Twitter effectively in business.

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Use Twitter to promote your blog

Whenever you write a new blog post, you need to post a short URL link with a teaser to your twitter account. Use bit.ly to see how much traffic your blog gets from your tweets. Analyze the tweets that create the most buzz. Repeat successful actions in future tweets. Or you can use Twitter Feed to automate the process of feeding your blog posts to your twitter account. If you blog in WP, you can use the "Twitter Tools" and "Tweet This" plugins to automate this as well as encourage people to tweet your posts.

INTEGRATE! The tools Sociable, Add this, and Social Follow work to integrate social media into sites and blogs. You can also add a TwitterRemote to your site, which shows not only a nice blurb about you from your twitter profile, but encourages interaction. We highly recommend implementing some kind of twitter integration into any site or blog where you're encouraging interaction.


This page put together by @desimatlock

The short URL for this page is: http://bit.ly/twitvice

This page last updated 2017-08-23.

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