ANNACOLIBRI, how to use twitter for business, web presence, tech savvy marketing, internet publishing
Let’s Get Tweetin’

I know, I know.

Many of the tools and technologies our kids are using make us feel like, well, geeks because we don’t how to use them.

And I don’t mean that we feel like tech geeks. We feel kind of, like, Dude — losers!

This post will teach you how to use Twitter for business without feeling like a complete dolt.

That’s important because, guess what?

You are not a dolt! You are a bright and shiny beginner and you can get this, no prob!

I’ll give you a helping hand so let’s go.

First thing’s first.

What You Need to Know About Twitter

Twitter has a slant toward the young and the urban.

If that’s not you, don’t worry! people from every age, stage, ethnicity and level of social media know-how are using it. Plus, you can tailor your Twitter experience to fit your customer demographic by making conscious choices about who you follow (more about that later).

Here’s why people are using Twitter for business:

Twitter is great for building a brand and networking.

It’s also great for sending out tweets to all your friends telling them what you had for lunch.

But, since you are using this for business (at least until you start finding it fun), I won’t tell you how to do that.

Instead, I will teach you:

  • How Twitter benefits your business
  • How to brand yourself on Twitter
  • What a good tweet looks like and some
  • Twitter dos and don’ts

Ready to rock and, erm, tweet?

How Twitter Benefits Your Business

Here is a quick list of how Twitter can help your business:

  • Customer relationships. First and foremost, Twitter is about interacting — making contacts, sharing resources and asking questions. Twitter is a great way to make yourself available to prospects and customers alike.
  • Branding. You are what you tweet. Twitter allows you to create a brand story through your relationships and through your content. It’s all about who you follow, who follows you and what kind of content you share.
  • News. Your customers will appreciate you being a resource to them about current events related to your product, service and industry. Plus, used tastefully, showing you are on top of the latest news helps establish you as an authority and makes you look professional.
  • Announcements. Use Twitter to make announcements about your company. Good examples are coupons, contests and new offerings.
  • Research. Twitter is an excellent research tool. The search function allows you to pull together a ton of information very quickly.
  • Customer relationships. I mentioned customer relationships first thing on this list, and I’m mentioning it again to get your attention.

Building relationships through Twitter allows you to not only network, but be present and available for your prospects, customers and colleagues. Leverage this to make your company the best it can be.

Pro tip: Respond to customer feedback — positive and negative — ASAP.

How to Develop Your Brand Using Twitter

Choose your name wisely. It’s great if you can use your name (e.g., @annacolibri) as your Twitter handle. It’s also great to have a short Twitter handle, if possible. On Twitter, people like to talk to people, not brands.

Profile. Make sure your profile reflects your business. Definitely use your logo and images that support your brand. Make sure your bio includes what you do and who you do it for. If possible, add a dash of personal flair. Include your website URL!

Profile image. It’s best to use your face. An attractive, friendly picture of you is ideal — unless your brand is a punk band.

Followers and following. Since you are building a brand, you want to follow — and be followed by — like-minded and complementary people and brands. Make sure that your community is tightly aligned with your brand story.

Pro tip: If you have more than one company or message, you can always have more than one account.

Tweeting and retweeting. Send out a mix of tweets, including quotes, great content you find on the web and your own work. Retweeting is a great way to generate followers. People love it when you share their work.

Images. Use a service like Twitpic to help you automatically tweet your images. Using images adds to the vibrancy of your profile and adds to the fun.

Now that you know how to put together your Twitter profile and have an idea of what you’ll be doing, let’s see what a good tweet looks like.

What a Good Tweet Looks Like

Here’s what a good tweet looks like:

ANNACOLIBRI, how to use twitter for business, web presence, internet publishing, tech savvy marketing
Tweet Sample

You will notice there is a:

  • Short and simple headline
  • Link to (great (!) content)
  • “By” line (which helps you get followers and
  • Hashtag

Hashtags (#) help you build your brand because:

  • Whenever people search for that term, your tweet will come up
  • You will start to be known for that term and
  • By choosing the hashtags you use, you will be making conscious decisions about your brand

You can also use hashtags to research any topics in which you are interested.

Twitter Dos and Don’ts

Let’s knock the Dont’s out first, so we can end on a friendly note:

Don’t

  • Always tweet about yourself. A good rule of thumb is to tweet about yourself no more than 20% of the time.
  • Tweet anything you would want a potential client or employer to see.
  • Retweet without giving credit (by using their handle, for example @annacolibri)

Okay, now for a few Do’s:

Do

  • Create a Twitter schedule you can maintain.
  • Show some personality so you can stand out in the stream.
  • Thank people (and consider following) when they retweet you.

Now you know how to use Twitter for business. Use these beginner’s tips to get going. Twitter is a marketing tool I know you will begin to love!

Resources

Once you feel a little more pro, you can add these services to your Twitter game plan:

  • HootSuite. HootSuite lets you schedule multiple tweets and customize the display of your Twitter stream (for example, you can separate out sent tweets)
  • Twylah. This is a paid app that helps you organize your brand. Although I’m not a paid affiliate, I love this app and will be publishing an article about Twylah and its co-founder, Eric Kim, next week.

Your Turn

How are you feeling about Twitter? Let us know in the comments.

Citations

Lee, Aaron. 10 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Twitter. Ask Aaron Lee.

McNee, Lori. Brand Yourself as an Artist on Twitter. Fine Art Tips With Lori McNee.

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