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Nicola Peaty

Top tips on how to use Twitter for your business.

By Nicola Peaty

twitter_social_media_marketingTwitter is an instant public messaging platform on a microblogging network. For marketers, it is another way to engage and interact with customers. It can be used for brand awareness, to involve your audience with your company and essentially for you to enter ‘conversation’ with your clientele. It takes time, care and attention and planning to serve as a productive marketing tool.

Here are our top tips on what to consider when using Twitter for your business:

Profile:
Even when setting up your profile, you should consider how to present your brand and company details. This should be consistent with your other social media tools. Choosing whether to use your logo and/or a head shot can give your company a different persona. (Remember if using a logo to have it resized for the square box available on Twitter.) All account details should of course be accurate, but think of this as another marketing opportunity to give a unique profile of you and your business. As soon as you are all set up, make sure your account is integrated with your website, blog etc to ensure optimum use of shared content, traffic and followers.

Who to follow:
We would advise the following stakeholders as useful people to follow, in order to know the full picture of who is saying what about all relevant areas regarding your business:
* Associations
* Customers
* Suppliers/vendors/partners
* Competitors
* Industry experts
* Local companies
Twitter now has an advanced search which allows you to find local businesses with which to connect and network. The Twitter List also enables you to create separate groups of followers so that you can follow different types of conversations and threads.

Join the conversation:
It’s probably wise to follow and listen first, before you dive into creating new content. Spend some time getting a feel for what is being discussed in general and topically regarding pertinent information for your business. Use the hash tag search to find out about particular subjects and connected people. Also, use the search engine to find out if and what people may be commenting about your business. Build up an idea of how you can respond if applicable or add to existing conversations and even where there are gaps of information which you can address.

Plan:
You are now ready to create a communications plan. This is a purposeful, thought-through idea of messages, topics and discussions which have the ultimate aim of attracting potential customers. Rather than ad-hoc, reactive tweets, your plan needs to have objectives which fit with your brand and your business goals and integrate with all other marketing activity. Think about the frequency, subject matter, using keywords and don’t forget to mix it up! That means tweeting a variety of product news, industry views, new promotions, fun stuff like competitions, using media such as photos and videos.

Adding the shortened URL links will enable you to drive traffic to the full content on your website/blog. Make sure you track the variation of tweets and identify which type of tweets get the best results. Optimise your tweets with the Twitter widget on your website and Tweet button on all content for followers to share.

Getting the right balance:
Like all other forms of social media marketing, you must strike a balance between promoting your business as well as providing your customers with useful content which they will value. By following and listening to what your customers and peers are tweeting, you’ll be able to participate by adding your comment and opinion, sharing your views and advice and even solutions if applicable. You will then catch the attention of the right people in the right way which will then bring you closer to your target audience.

You can still promote your company and products/services, just make sure you make the promotional tweets a bit more personal and conversational and less ‘marketing speak’. 140 characters is not a lot but can be used in so many different ways. The language, tone and style of your tweets should be true to your brand and give the required voice and personality.

Twitter has its own useful information on specific marketing tools.
https://business.twitter.com/marketing-twitter
Find out how to:
* Target with precision to connect with the right people
* Find out more about who’s on Twitter and how to reach them
* Understand your results with analytics
* Integrate your marketing efforts with Twitter buttons and embedded Tweets
* Scale your efforts to maximize your impact
* Get results with successful promotional tactics and strategies

We also found this link which gives you the basics on Twitter if you need to understand about the messaging network in a bit more detail.
http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Twitter-for-business-How-to-make-it-work-for-your-business


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