In the past decade countless social media websites and apps have popped onto the scene, allowing people to share their lives with friends, family, and even strangers. First there was MySpace, followed by Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and many others. However, these tools aren’t just for personal use. In fact, this onslaught of social media has made it necessary for businesses to create a digital presence beyond their company website as customers now use this as a factor to determine whether a company is legitimate or not.

While creating and managing social media accounts may take some extra effort on the part of the business, doing so is worth it as it creates new opportunities. Social media afford businesses new ways to raise brand awareness, connect with customers, and market their products and services.

When it comes to Twitter specifically, businesses have the opportunity to extend their visibility, provide quick customer support, network, get customer feedback, announce company updates, gain leads, and grow their brand through posting valuable content. To help businesses utilize Twitter successfully, we rounded up the top 10 things companies should do on Twitter. Earlier we posted the first 5 techniques, which included branding your profile, setting goals, tweeting at peak times, considering your audience, and utilizing lists. After you’ve read those, be sure to check out the remaining 5 tips below.

1. Be Conversational
Part of the benefit of Twitter is that it allows you to converse with others in your industry, including thought leaders and customers. As people come to Twitter to express opinions and be a part of a discussion, it’s important to be conversational in order to engage others.

The format of your tweets will largely determine if they allow you to converse with others. As previously mentioned, hashtags allow you to join a discussion about a specific hot topic. However, your wording is key in making your tweet a part of a conversation. Rather than writing your tweet as if it’s a newspaper headline, write the tweet as if you’re speaking directly to another person. Have personality, whether that’s through passion or humor. This will make you memorable. Just remember to keep your company’s voice consistent. You can also give your opinion or ask a question. When tweeting a link, add a comment about the content. This will encourage a discussion about the article or content to which you linked. Along with this, consider using less than the 140 characters that Twitter allows you, to enable retweeters to add their own commentary. Many people say that 120 characters is the perfect length, as it allots 20 characters to others.

2. Tune In To Others’ Feedback
Countless numbers of consumers use Twitter as a way to voice their opinions about companies and their products. While this can be scary, it also affords companies the opportunity to acknowledge the feedback and control how they are seen. When a customer tweets a complaint, a company should publicly address the person saying that you’ll resolve the issue. This shows both the customer and any others who saw their tweet that your company cares. Then, follow up with a private message to the user to solve the problem. When a Twitter user posts about a positive experience with your company, be sure to respond to thank them for sharing or say how glad you are that they are satisfied. This will show that your company is actively engaged.

In addition, engaged and opinionated consumers are an incredible resource for soliciting feedback. For example, if your apparel company is deciding between two garment designs, you can post photos asking your customers which design they prefer.

Remember, not everyone who tweets about your company will use your Twitter handle or a hashtag with your company name. For this reason, it is important to search for your company name and any associated products on a regular basis to see what people are saying about your brand.

3. Tweet Valuable and Effective Content
Whether you choose to be helpful, educational, or entertaining, you need to give people a reason to follow and engage with you. Some examples of valuable content include tips related to your products or industry, helpful links, and entertaining content. By posting a variety of content you can keep your followers interested.

One of the most effective ways to engage and grow your following is to offer content that they cannot get anywhere else. For instance, you could offer a discount to people who tweet about you or hold a contest that requires following your account or retweeting you. Additionally, Twitter is a great place for food trucks to announce their current location and for restaurants to post their daily specials.

Furthermore, it’s important to tweet content that will be effective. While Twitter was originally known for text, photos and graphics now play a big role is grabbing users’ attention, as tweets with a visual element have proven to be more successful. Additionally, when posting a link be sure to sell the link. There are a lot of links on Twitter and people won’t click on every single one. Use the other characters in your tweet to entice the reader to want to click on your link, rather than pass it by.

4. Connect With People Who Need You
Use Twitter not only to respond to people who directly tweet at your company but also to seek out people who you can benefit. This is a particularly useful method for small businesses that people may not already know about. For example, if you’re a plumbing company and someone posts about a clogged toilet or dripping faucet, tweet them tips on how to fix it or offer your services.

5. Employ Third-Party Tools
Don’t go it alone! There are tons of third-party tools to help you tweet more effectively and efficiently. Below are some great websites and applications to use.
Buffer and Hootsuite – Both of these services let you schedule tweets ahead of time, automatically posts them, and provides analytics.
Tweriod – This service analyzes both your tweets and your followers’ tweets, showing when your followers are most active so that you can tweet at optimal times.
Bit.ly – This website shortens your links so that they take up fewer characters and allows you to customize them to add context and branding. It will also track the analytics of your link, such as how many people clicked on it.
Keyhole and Mention – These two websites allow you to monitor your brand by providing data about your account, any mentions, keywords of your choosing, URLs, and hashtags. You can also monitor your competitors so you can stay on top.
SocialOomph – This site also offers Tweet scheduling and brand monitoring. However, what sets it apart is its tools that allow you to find quality people to follow through keyword searches and filtering.

Just remember, to stay engaged and conversational, you’ll want to spend some time reading key influencers’ tweets, responding to others, and tweeting spontaneously in addition to publishing pre-planned tweets.

In today’s world, social media is an important part of any company’s marketing plan. Now that you have a better understanding of how to use Twitter, you can represent your business strategically and professionally. Make your efforts more effective by applying these techniques to your company account. Alternatively, if you’re a small business and you’d rather let a group of marketing professionals handle your social media while you focus on your specialty, contact Marketeering Group today.

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