Getting started with Twitter for business

twitterDoes your business use Twitter? If not, you could be missing out on a valuable opportunity to publicize your brand and connect with current and potential customers.

Twitter hosts millions of business professionals and experts, from business magnate Elon Musk to doctor and senator Mark Green, and the global reach of this titan of social media makes it a potential goldmine for those businesses that can utilize its best features. So how can you make Twitter work for your business? Here is a short guide on how to get started.

What is Twitter?

First, the basics. Twitter is a communication tool that makes it possible to send out messages of up to 280 characters to people who follow you. Those messages are called tweets and can include photos, links to content or video. You also have the option to see tweets that the people you follow pass on, which is known as retweeting. In the social media world, Twitter is known as a micro-blogging tool.

Presenting your brand

When you set up your Twitter account, your profile will be the foundation – it’s here that you’ll have the opportunity to display your brand and tell your business story. It is vital to make sure your Twitter profile employs the same look and feel as the rest of your business marketing. Make sure that you choose a Twitter user name that is consistent with your online presence and your brand. Getting the choice of username right is vital, so try to choose one that is as close as possible to your business’s name.

The next stage is to choose a photo. Twitter uses two photos: one that appears as a profile photo next to every tweet you send, and one that works as a header for your Twitter account. You can also customize the background of your Twitter page, which offers you another opportunity to produce a visual impression that is consistent with your brand. You will also be able to include a link to your website and write a short bio, which should be focused on your business and what it can offer, though it should not be too formal.

Start following people

Your first actions on Twitter will be to follow people. It is important to be selective about who you follow for two reasons. Twitter has rules about ‘aggressive following’ and will suspend your account if they think you are engaging in excessive following, and it is also important to remember that the people you follow will be visible to others, and the tweets they share could in theory reflect upon your business.

So how do you decide whom you should follow? It is best to start with these categories, although Twitter also gives you the option to find people you know through your email address book:

  • Customers
  • Business partners
  • Competitors or peers
  • Trade or professional organizations
  • Local businesses

Get talking!

So now that you’ve set up your account, it’s time to get talking! Twitter is a hectic place, so it will take you a while to adjust, and you shouldn’t rush to start conversations until you have your bearings. When you’re ready to start talking, you should aim to balance your desire to promote your company with talking about things that customers and potential customers want to hear. Writing a good tweet is an art form and takes a lot of practice, so feel free to experiment until you feel confident in your Twitter style and you have started to gain traction.

Drive traffic to your website

One of the most useful aspects of Twitter is its ability to drive traffic to your site or to your blog. You can do this by writing a tweet on a relevant topic and include a link to the site or to the appropriate blog post. If the link is too long to fit into 280 characters, you can use a URL shortener to fit it in. At the same time, you should also make sure that your site or blog includes a Twitter follow tool, which can easily be incorporated and gives visitors the opportunity to follow you. By making it easy for people to follow you and find more detailed information about your company and what you offer, you will be boosting your exposure.

For businesses, Twitter offers an unparalleled tool for publicity, and if you follow these steps, you will be able to create a solid Twitter platform on which to build your future marketing efforts.

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