Twitter is a powerful way for companies and brands to attract new customers, keep current ones and drive sales. Using it professionally can be perplexing, but with the right combination of awareness of current trends, cunning and timing, however, the text-based social media platform can be an incredible professional tool in your social media toolkit. Below are five essential tips on how and why a company should use Twitter for professional gain.
1) Gain followers by following
This takes time. Twitter has strict rules about following others aggressively and a tactic it calls “follow churn” (repeatedly following and unfollowing large groups of people) in order to prevent spam, abuse and create a great Twitter experience for all its users. So be careful about following and unfollowing. If you’re new to the experience, start by following friends, other businesses (including competing ones), similar industries, trade and professional organizations related to the business and local companies.
2) Treat Twitter like a conversational tool
What separates Twitter from other forms of social media is its conversational nature. While Facebook lets a company provide detailed information and Instagram is a visual representation of a brand, tweets are punchy and hectic chat sessions that can span an industry, a country or the world. It’s chaotic and fun and don’t hesitate to jump into an ongoing conversation or start a new one. The goal is to attract attention and draw followers and there are five ways to do this: tweet, retweet, reply to a tweet, direct message (only to a follower) and a mention, when one Twitter user calls out to another by that person’s handle.
3) Pick great topics
You can tweet, or you can have a conversation. The goal is a conversation because it engages users; they can to talk to the business directly or retweet something they agree with or find interesting and want their followers to know about. So pick a topic that’s smart and relevant not only to the business you’re in but also ties into current trends or a popular or relevant topic and say something about it. Writing tweets is an art form because there are only 140 characters and each one must be chosen carefully. With time and practice, a company can create great conversations that open doors and drive sales.
4) Use variety
Twitter isn’t just a character-based social media platform: a profile can include photos and videos. Take advantage of this: conversations are great and supplementing the company’s Twitter presence with images and video is an engaging way for brands and customers to interact with each other – especially if there are hundreds of miles between them. If a follower is using the product, retweet it to followers with a shout-out to the original tweeter; the follower gets recognition, which in itself is like winning a contest and followers see genuine use of the product.
When you spy a noteworthy or interesting tweet, retweet it. Retweeting is special apart from the other actions because not only do followers see the business as an active member of the Twitterverse and not just a brand that’s jumped on the bandwagon, but it can help a company make friends with other influencers on Twitter.
6) Find influencers and follow them
If a company makes decisions based on the influential people in the industry, it makes sense to follow them online, too. Influencers tend to have a large audience – any percentage of which could be your potential audience – and if they like a company’s message, the potential to drive up sales, promote the brand’s mission or simply get a name out there is enormous. Finding these influencers, however, requires research and of course, there are online tools to facilitate this: Twtrland, FollowerWonk and Twitonomy are just a few of the resources available to companies looking to find and follow the top people in the industry.
Following Rules and Best Practices – Twitter
How to Use Twitter for Business and Marketing – Social Media Examiner
How to Use Twitter for Business – PC Mag
How to Find Influencers on Twitter – Razor Social