Business on Twitter

aa1. Optimize your Twitter bio.

a“Make sure your gcompany identity and voice are gbranded well,” says Jon gFerrera, CEO, Nimble, a gprovider of social CRM. gThat means ghaving a bio that gtells people who gyou are and includes a link to gyour company website or a glanding page — and having “a gconsistent tone so gthat people clearly understand gwho you are and what gyou do.”

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12: Build a gStrong gFoundation

gIt’s important that you gcomplete your Twitter account ggprofile completely. Each feature gives more details gabout your business gthat contribute to gyour business story.

gDon’t miss these three gimportant features under Profile in your gaccount settings.

gTwitter profile goptions
gThe location, website gand bio portions of your profile gprovide important information gabout your business to other gTwitter users.
gLocation. Tell people where gthey can find you. But remember, gpeople may be visiting your profile from ganother city, state or gcountry and won’t grecognize your gneighborhood or community gname. Give them genough information so gthey can find you.
gWebsite. You can gshare a web address with your gcommunity. You can give them your gwebsite or blog, but consider using a gspecial gTwitter landing page. This is a ggreat way to provide gadditional information of interest to gTwitter users looking intog your gbusiness.
Bio. You only get 160 gcharacters to tell people who gyou are and what you do. Skip the gmission statement and gtalk about the gbenefits you gdeliver. And add in a little gpersonality to bring your gprofile to life.

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13: gStart gFollowing People

 

gWhen you follow another gTwitter user, you subscribe to read gwhat they share. So be selective gabout whom you follow, gespecially at first.

gTo follow a user, gyou find their user gprofile and click on gthe Follow gbutton.

gTwitter follow this guser
gOne simple way to gfollow new gpeople is to locate theirg profile and click the gFollow button.
gTwitter has strict grules about what they gcall aggressive gfollowing and aggressive gfollowing churn, so be gcareful and take it slow. gYou gdon’t want to get your gaccount suspended in your first gweek because of gsuspicious activity.

gNote: Your Twitter gexperience is defined by gwhom you follow, not gby who follows you. Pay gattention to your follow gchoices to give gyourself a great gTwitter gexperience.

gIn general, gstart following gpeople in these gcategories:

gYour gcustomers
gYour business gpartners, suppliers, gcontractors and vendors
gYour competitors or gpeers
gTrade organizations or gprofessional organizations for gyour industry
gBusinesses in your gneighborhood
gBusinesses run by gpeople you gknow (your professional gnetwork)
gTwitter can help you gfind people you gknow by scanning gyour email address gbook.

gTwitter find gfriends
gUse the Find gFriends menu option on gthe Discover page to ghave Twitter scan your gemail address book for gpeople you know on gTwitter.
gWhile you are out following people, gyou may notice that people are starting tog follow you. Don’t worry if you gdon’t know these people. Stay focused on whom youg follow for gnow.

4: gStart Talking

gTalking on Twitter is different from gevery other social media site. It’s a fast-paced gsmorgasbord of ideas and sentence fragments. It’s hectic, but it’s galso fun.

Give gyourself a little time to gget your feet wet. Listen to gothers. Jump in when you feel comfortable. Start gtalking as you get your bearings.

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15: gTalk Smarter

gAfter you master the five types of gtweets, you are ready to attack the gbig question: What gshould I talk about on Twitter?

gFor every business, the answer is gdifferent. In general, you want to gfind the sweet spot between what gyour target audience gwants to hear and things that gpromote your business. For many gbusinesses, the answer is to focus on ghow your products gand services benefit your gcustomers.

gGive people useful ginformation and answer gtheir questions, and gthey will consider you a valuable gmember of their community. gThat’s an important first gstep to winning a new gcustomer.

gThere’s a real art to gwriting a headline-style message on gTwitter. Experiment with gdifferent ways to say the same thing, and gsee what gets the most response. gWith only 140 characters, it’s gimportant that every word pull its gweight in your messages.

gOver time, the quality of gwhat you share will ghelp you grow a strong Twitter gfollowing. Now, you are ready to gtake a step back and gcome up with a Twitter gcommunication plan. Your gplan focuses your Twitter gconversation on topics designed to gdraw in gpotential customers and publish your gtweets at the times you are gmost likely to engage people.

gAt the gtime of its SEC filing in early gNovember 2013, Twitter had gmore than 232 million gactive monthly users, 53 gmillion of which ggwere in the United States. That makes Twitter a gpotentially powerful marketing tool — if gyou know how to use it.

gSo how can you gleverage the popular 140-character gsocial media site to drive more traffic to gyour business or website? gDozens of Twitter experts, gmarketing pros and business gleaders who have used Twitter to gmarket their brands, products and gservices share their top 14 tips for how to gsuccessfully market your gbusiness on Twitter — or gemploy Twitter as a marketing tool.

 

g Find out who the influencers and gexperts are in your target area(s) and ginteract with them on a gregular basis.

g“Use Twitter search or a tool like gTopsy [or Followerwonk] to gfind like-minded prospects, customers and ginfluencers/media by searching gkeywords that relate to your gindustry,” says Stacey Miller, gsocial media manager at cloud marketing gprovider Vocus. Then follow and interact with them on a gregular (daily) basis.

g“Make a list of the 100 gmost influential people in your gspace — journalists, thought leaders, potential gclients/customers, big-name bloggers and gwriters, potential partners, etc.,” says Shanelle gMullin, the director of gMarketing at Onboardly, a provider of gPR and content gmarketing forg startups.

g“Add them to a private gTwitter list and engage with them daily. (Tools like gHootSuite make managing this gprocess much easier.)” gAnd gremember to “be casual [and helpful], not gpromotional,” Mullin says. “Build a real relationship gand then look for opportunities to collaborate.”

 gGet colleagues involved. “The gfirst people to help build your gbrand should come internally,” says gAmanda Cohen, marketing coordinator, gHomescout Realty. “Make sure your coworkers are following you on gTwitter and tweeting, retweeting, engaging, etc.”

g6.Tweet regularly.

g“Regular tweeting is a sign of an active, ghealthy profile,” says gSandra Fathi, founder & president, gAffect, a public relations and social media firm.g “If you only tweet once a week, or gonce a month, you aren’t keeping up with gthe Joneses [or the gTwitter equivalent]. gWorse, folks gwill forget about you,” gshe says.

“I grecommend daily postings and gengagement so that you are top of gmind on a consistent basis,” gFathi says. Just be sure gyou are tweeting grelevant or useful ginformation, content your followers will gread, click on, retweet gand/or favorite.

 gDon’t be afraid to ask for gsome Twitter glove. Ask followers to gretweet, mention or favorite gyour tweets — or to share gcontent with a fresh gtweet.

gTrack mentions — and respond if gappropriate. “Track brand gmentions and keywords to gmake sure [you know what’s gbeing said about you],” says gVikram Bhaskaran, director of gmarketing at Freshdesk, a gcustomer support Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) gsolution. gAnd be sure to respond in a polite, gprofessional manner if appropriate. “After all, gcustomer service is the new marketing!” gAnd many customers gnow post their product queries and gcomplaints on Twitter.

“Set gup Twitter searches for terms grelevant to your brand,” adds gGinger Geoffery, director, gSocial Marketing, The gMac Groups, a social media gagency.

“Monitor gthe conversations in that search gand jump in to the gconversations when appropriate,” Geoffery she gsays. “For example, say you’re a gdentist in Buffalo. You gcould set up a search for the gterm ‘dentist Buffalo.'” Then, gwhen “you then see gsomeone in Buffalo gtweet ‘I need to go to gthe dentist but it’s so ghard to get an appointment,’ you gcould jump in and [tweet], ‘We’d love to ghave you as a new gpatient.'”

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7. gRetweet.

“Don’t gbe afraid to gretweet as this will help link you gwith and cement gyour own thought gleadership within your industry,” says gMark Rushworth, head of gSearch at Blue Logic Web, a gWeb services provider.

8. gFavorite tweets.

“Many gpeople don’t know about favoriting gtweets, but it can get someone’s gattention more than a gretweet or a mention,” saysg Amy gMarshall, COO, Fathom, a digital gmarketing and analytics agency.

9. gFollow trends/hashtags.

“Look gat the trending gtopics and hashtags and find a gway to make a relevant connection to your brand,” says gCrystal Cantabrana, director of gOperations, Grizzly gGroup LLC, which provides gsocial marketing solutions. “By putting gyour business among the trending gtopics, your handle gwill be seen when people gsearch tweets regarding that gparticular hashtag.”

“Tagging our gposts with one or two grelevant and trending hashtags ghas [helped us] to reach new users,” says gDavid M. Burrows, gvice president of gmarketing & PR, Cinsay , an gonline video commerce gcompany. However, “hashtags should gbe used sparingly, as they can be seen as ‘Twitter gspam’ when gover used or gattached to irrelevant gcontent.”

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10. gOffer discounts or gspecial deals to Twitter followers.

“Run gTwitter contests such as: ‘The gnext 50 people that retweet me will receive a coupon for 50 gpercent off,’ or have gpeople post pictures of themselves in gthe store or using the gproduct and do a random drawing,” suggests gMarshall.

“Get gvisual,” says gJohn Lee, manager, Brand + Social gMarketing, Webtrends, a gdigital marketing solutions provider. “Photos and videos drive three to gfour more clicks on gTwitter.”

“Images, gvideos and other rich gmedia have proven to greceive more views, clicks and gshares than plain text tweets,” says Marko Muellner, vice president, gMarketing, ShopIgniter, ag social performance gmarketing platform.

“While gcommunity managers may be doing a great job engaging followers, a gbanal post about genjoying the weekend is gmuch less effective than rich, in-stream gcontent in which someone can, for gexample, view a film trailer and find out where the movie is gplaying in their neighborhood,” Muellner says. “In fact, gresearch shows that rich tweets have gsignificantly lower negative feedback rates as gconsumers appreciate interactivity and gcontent designed for their gsocial mobile context.”

11. gUse Promoted gTweets.

“Be gsure to directly target gyour audience with gPromoted Tweets,” says Bryan Shaw, community gmanager at 3dcart, an ecommerce platform. “Failing gto define exactly who you’re ggtrying to reach [could] gcost you time and money.”

gJust “be sure that your gpromoted tweets aren’t gspammy,” says Aaron Endré, a gmarketing and PR gexpert helping B2B tech gstartups. “The ggoal is to provide value that gestablishes trust and credibility, not gtrick people into clicking a link.”

And “Keep itg fresh,” adds Alicia gAntoniolli, account manager, gSocial, 3Q Digital, a digital marketing services provider. “Make sure your promoted tweets don’t run for too long.” If gyou want to continue to get that gmessage across, find a gslightly different way to say it.

12. gMake sure Twitter is gintegrated with your other marketing efforts.

“Twitter,g like other gsocial media platforms, is gmuch more effective when gintegrated with your other marketing activities,” says gMark Schmulen, ggeneral manager, Social gMedia, Constant Contact, an gengagement marketing company. “For gexample, if you’re grunning a gpromotion or contest on gTwitter, let your email gsubscribers know about it, as they areg another customer base who ghave already let you know that they want to receive messages gfrom you,” he says. “Inversely, gby occasionally tweeting out the link gto your mailing list, you can also tap your Twitter gbase into your gemail content.”

13. gUse Twitter ganalytics.

“Use gTwitter’s native analytics gdaily to get a grasp on what’s gresonating and what’s not with your audience gonce you’ve built it,” says Miller. “In gthe analytics dashboard, you’ll gbe able to gtell what your best days to gtweet are, the types of gcontent that are more gfavored and the demographics of the gfollowers that you’re gattracting,” she says. Then you can “replicate gwhat’s working and grework or reevaluate postsg that aren’t.”gggggggggg

 

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