Optimising Twitter for business

In this age of 24/7 communication, your consumers are not only people who buy your product or services, but are vital to your online presence and valued members of your marketing team.

By engaging with customers and developing online relationships via Twitter, a successful inbound marketing strategy can be made.

As a business, Twitter is a relationship-building and maintenance tool – an ideal way to meet potential customers and to lead them to your site and products. However, social media users respond best to personalities rather than plugs, so merely tweeting a link to the business you provide will have little more effect than handing out a single flyer on the high street.

It is important to engage with your followers – ask them questions, or expand on why you’ve posted a link.

Spreading the word about you and your business without spamming followers can be a tricky business – sending links of your blog posts and offers will be your main priority, but linking your followers to useful sites and articles you’ve found will also give you credibility and help you gain followers. This will also give your business account a personal touch, as it will show you’re not just about promoting yourself. Try to keep links to articles and blog posts in your field, without promoting your competitors, though.

Make a habit of searching for mentions of your company and responding to any queries that aren’t directed straight @ you (get it?) – this will build relationships and potentially drive more traffic to your site, as well as create more customers and trust in your brand. It is also worth monitoring the conversation surrounding your brand – are people making complaints about customer service or are people complimenting or just mentioning your company? Research from Maritz and Evolve24 found that over 80% of customers who made a complaint about a company on Twitter were somewhat mollified if the business responded. But whether complaint or praise, this is a great excuse to create some dialogue with the public.

Twitter Mentions Software

There are lots of tools available to help you to track your mentions, from full deck social media management platforms to focused. Consider signing up to any of these services to help you monitor your brand mentions:

  • Twitter Notifications Enable this in your Twitter account. You can choose to receive notifications from the web, email or by phone if you install the Twitter app.
  • Sprout Social – A full deck social media management tool
  • Audiense – Twitter Marketing Platform
  • SnapBird – Good for delving into Twitter history
  • Hootsuite – probably the best known of the Social Media Management tools out there. There is a free version which is probably suitable for your needs if you are just starting out

NB – this is just a small selection. We encourage you to search for more solutions ideal for your needs or budget. Here’s a massive list of 93 free twitter tools from Buffer – another social media management tool.

Having good Twitter etiquette will also go far in the Twittersphere – poor spelling and grammar as well as constantly ignoring @ tweets will lower your reputation, and so will continuous spam. However, spotting mentions and thanking users will have the opposite effect. Avoid negative feedback by chatting to your followers, even when they’re not broadcasting your name to the world – manners will get you everywhere!

Use Hashtags. Used to track content on social media sites, they allow people to find content and start conversations. This page can teach you how: Conquering the small business hashtag: Twitter tips for SMEs

See also: Twitter marketing in less than 15 minutes a day – Charles Dearing explains how you can squeeze your Twitter marketing into a busy day.

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Social Media

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