Twitter Basics: 8 Best Practices to Benefit Your Business

Having a presence on Twitter is one of the best free methods you’ll ever have to market your business online and reach a far wider audience than you ever thought possible. Considering how simple and fast it is to get a Twitter account up and running, it’s surprising how many companies out there still don’t have one. What’s even more surprising is that those that do use Twitter don’t make the most of this powerful marketing tool — or just quit using it after a few weeks. The problem is that not everyone in business knows how to use Twitter to highlight the best aspects of their business and showcase themselves in the best light.

In effect, many business owners feel they don’t have the time or the knowledge to learn how to setup and maintain an effective Twitter account that fully utilizes the increased marketing and networking opportunities that Twitter brings.

So here’s a quick guide full of hints and tips to get Twitter working more effectively for you.

1: Your Twitter @username

Every user on Twitter has to have a unique identifier or name. It can be up to 15 characters long, and crucially should help others identify what you’re about and make it easy for them to find you. Think about this before you commit. For instance, if your name is Dave Smith and you make jewelry out of carved wood, then @thewoodjeweler would be a good choice, but @Davesmith may not be.

2: Make your profile page look professional

You probably wouldn’t hire someone who showed up to an interview in a pair of shorts and a ripped t-shirt, right? Take that approach when you create your Twitter profile — in other words, dress it up. For starters, get rid of that default picture on your profile, and replace it with either a good picture of you as a person, or one that somehow depicts your product and service. A grainy picture of you on the subway in poor light isn’t going to garner trust, or interest.

3: Write a good Twitter bio

You may only get 140 characters per tweet, but you also only get 160 characters to write your bio, and your bio or company synopsis is important. This tells people who you are, what you do, and why following you is a good idea. It’s also a really important SEO tool. Write in short sentences. Twitter is the poster child for brevity. Also throw in some keywords that relate specifically to what you do so people will be able to find you more easily.

4: People buy people

The jury is out on whether you should mix actual social tweets alongside your business ones, but they can really humanize your business. If you do choose to do this, make sure your tweets are company related or show you in a good light. For instance, pics of a teambuilding day out are good. But pictures of co-workers at a political rally are not so good. Essentially, avoid politics! Done right, putting a human face on your business will help you gain trust and build respect for you.

5: Tweet less about what you’re trying to promote

This may seem counterintuitive, but nobody likes the hard sell. Only about one in 10 posts should actually be about trying to sell your service or product. And not everything you post needs be directly related to your particular sector. Instead, retweet others, offer impartial advice, or set yourself up an as expert. But whatever you do, don’t just “Sell Sell Sell!”

6: Tweet at the right time.

When do most people read their tweets? Here’s a clue: It’s not when they’re in the office…No. In general, the majority of people do most of their tweet reading between 7-9 a.m., 12-2 p.m., and 4-7 p.m. Essentially these are the peak hours for people to check their Twitter feeds. So get your hands on an app called TweetDeck and use it.

7: Let existing customers know you’re on Twitter.

Just because you’re on Twitter doesn’t mean your current customers know about it. So add your @username to your office stationery and headed letters.

8: People love photos.

Yes they do. Statistically speaking, posts with pictures get more views and generate more interest than posts that don’t. You don’t need professional pictures, just good clean, sharp images. Don’t post every update with an image, but do it frequently.
And that’s it. Implementing these strategies will make your Twitter account more relevant to your daily business operations.

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