How to use Twitter for Business – 8 Tweeting Marvelous Tips!
There are hundreds of thousands of articles all over the internet on how to use Twitter for business. In addition, Twitter is ever evolving, as is its user base, so it is almost impossible to write a guide on how to use Twitter for business that will be current next week, let alone 6 months time! So I’m not hoping to list every possible way to use Twitter for Business, just some of the points that I think are most relevant to bear in mind.
Don’t spend too much time on Twitter!
This can be easier said than done if you are following a lot of interesting people and want to read what they have tweeted, so it’s important not to get distracted. If you find this applies to you then set yourself a time limit. Check out Is Small Business Social Media a Waste of Time?
If you follow more than a couple of hundred people your Home page on Twitter will fill up very quickly, meaning it’s easy to miss Tweets from the people you’re most interested in. By grouping people you follow into lists you can skim through tweets much more easily, for example you could have a list for Business contacts, another for News articles, one for Interesting people, and maybe one for Celebrity Gossip!
Automate your Tweets
While it’s never a good idea to automate every single Tweet and response, it’s really good to take advantage of some level of automation. There are numerous different free sites as well as paid sites that you could use (Buffer, Timely, Tweriod and Hootsuite are just some examples) so really it just comes down to personal preference. You can set up multiple Tweets to be sent at intervals throughout the day meaning you can get on with other tasks.
Understand the difference between a Reply and a Mention
This is a subtle but important difference and it comes down to where in your tweet you place someone else’s Twitter Handle. If you place it at the beginning of your Tweet, for example “@Big_Thinking I loved your article!” then that is a reply and will only appear on your profile page, the person you’ve replied to and the feeds of people who follow you both.
By placing the Twitter Handle elsewhere in the Tweet, you make it a Mention and it will be visible to everyone who follows you, whether they follow the other person or not, for example, “I really enjoyed the article by @Big_Thinking”. Click here to TWEET THIS!
If you’re just sending out a simple response to someone, a reply is usually fine, but if it’s an answer that would benefit a larger group of people then by turning it into a mention more people will be able to see it.
Let People DM you by Following them back.
Direct Messages on Twitter are not usually the preferred form of Tweeting. However, there are circumstances where only a DM will do, for example if someone wants to give you a personal phone number, ask a confidential question, or for whatever reason finds discretion important. Direct Messages are only possible if you follow the other user, so make sure that you follow any customers, important contacts or business partners so that they all have a means of getting in touch with you off the record.
Respond to Questions and Criticism
Twitter is public, so if someone has asked you a question or has criticised you publicly don’t assume you can ignore it and no-one will notice. You never know exactly who else is looking out for certain questions, keywords or phrases and it may be that a question asked by one person has an answer that’s looked for by many. Likewise with Criticism, make sure you set the record straight as you never know how many potential clients may be waiting to see what you have to say.
#Hashtag when Appropriate
Using the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase in a Tweet categorizes the Tweet to help it be found more easily in Twitter Search. If you Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet. It’s a good way to get your tweets noticed by more than just your existing Followers but don’t spam with hashtags or over-tag a single Tweet. Best practices recommend using no more than 2 hashtags per Tweet. It should go without saying to only use hashtags on Tweets relevant to the topic.
Twitter is the best authority on how to use Twitter for business
How to use Twitter for Business is not an exact science. As I said at the start of this article there are already countless articles, books and blogs on the subject, and there are many people who have made a full time job out of the subject. Don’t forget though that no-one knows Twitter better than Twitter itself, so where better to look for help on Twitter than Twitter Help!
If any of you have any other favourite tips on how to use Twitter for business to add into these then please get involved and leave a comment!