Here are six tips to help you use Twitter effectively.
1. Use the search function
Find out what people are saying about your product, company, competitors and industry by using Twitter’s search engine. Enter keywords and hashtags and see what comes up. You can gain valuable insights into how your company is perceived, its competitive position and ways you can improve your business strategy.
When someone says something positive about your company, retweet them. It will give you good exposure and create a connection with that customer.
Don’t worry if it’s not all positive. Constructive negative feedback can be extremely useful. If someone has a complaint about your business on Twitter, manage it like any other customer issue. Respond either publicly or by using the direct message function. That lets people know you’re listening and care about their concerns.
2. Monitor trending topics
Trending topics reflect what Twitter users are talking about the most. Check to see if any apply to you. For example, if a serious storm has affected the location of one of your suppliers, it may be early warning that you could have to adjust your production schedule.
3. Promote others
Social media isn’t all about you. Don’t hesitate to tweet kudos to your community, other businesses or your customers when you think they are deserved. Those tweets are likely to be retweeted, raising your company’s profile. And what goes around, comes around. Others will tweet kudos to you, too.
4. Keep the conversation going
If you have an event or promotion coming up, announce it in advance on Twitter, referring people to your website to learn more. While the event is going on, tweet live updates. It’s a great way to get people involved in the action and engaged with your company. And after the event or promotion is done, tweet a follow-up—for example, thanking everyone who took part—to maintain momentum.
5. Be authentic
You want your Twitter presence to be an accurate reflection of your brand—who you are, what you stand for, and how people will actually experience your company when they begin interacting with you directly. Avoid gimmicky tactics like repeating the same tweet over and over. While more people will see it, your online community may find it feels too much like marketing, rather than authentic dialogue.
6. Do some planning
While it’s great to be spontaneous on social media, when used for business, it’s good to have a plan. Take a look at your marketing and operational calendar to decide in advance what to tweet about and when, in combination with your other social media properties.
You can even write tweets ahead of time so all you have to do is post them when the right moments come. Have content ready for special days and holidays. For example, Earth Day is a perfect time to tweet about your green products.
That said, be flexible. Allow for the unexpected. If you get a great review on a local content hub or in the newspaper, jump on the opportunity to tweet about it.
With longer character limits and the ability to include photos and links, Twitter can be a vibrant way to involve people in the life of your business.
For more tips on how to use Twitter, check out their Twitter basics page.