As far as I’m concerned, Twitter is a must for business; Whether you’re using Twitter to promote your business or establish your expertise is a field, it’s a crucial piece of the puzzle to getting recognized and building relationships. But with all the clutter in the Twitterverse, it’s important not to ignore Twitter etiquette, otherwise you may not be getting the most out of this popular social media platform.
Top 10 Twitter Etiquette Tips for Businesses
1. Listen to your mother and watch your manners
This is just good common sense. As someone who is a marketer first, I always like to say, “New tools, old rules.” If someone mentions or retweets you, if possible, thank them. People not only like to be recognized for their efforts, but this is a valuable action, so it would be rude not to thank them. This is also a great way to start building a relationship on twitter. This small gesture can open the lines of communication between you and a potential client or business partner. Show your appreciation and people will be more likely to retweet your offers over and over again. Even better, return the favor and retweet one of their posts.
2. Use #Hashtags appropriately
I personally love hashtags, they are a great way to encourage participation, not to mention help others track and find information. That said, it’s important not to overuse them. While I like the long hashtag as much as the next person, using it too often or putting a hashtag in front of every word in your post will only annoy your followers.
3. Resist the urge to tweet too much
Time and time again, research has shown that there is a fine line between sharing enough and sharing too much. Many times businesses that are new to Twitter, I still don’t understand this principle. Don’t fill your followers’ feeds with spam Tweets. The best way to engage your audience is to post relevant, interesting, useful, and original content. Before you post, ask yourself: “Would I care about this if I were a follower?”
Advice: If you have a lot of ideas, use a program like Hootsuite to schedule your tweets so they can be spaced out.
4. Warn followers if you’re going to be tweeting a lot
If you want to live tweet an event at your business or charity, you’re going to have to tweet a lot! While this is a good idea, you may lose more followers who feel attacked by a barrage of tweets. A little fair warning will be greatly appreciated, and chances are your followers will give you a pass for the day.
Advice: Tell them to check out Twalala or Twittblocker
5. Watch what you tweet
There have been some famous and embarrassing mistakes on social media that have gotten both individuals and entire companies into a lot of trouble. Never use your brand Twitter account to discuss controversial topics, send inappropriate photos, or use explicit language. If you have a personal account, the sky’s the limit and you can discuss whatever you want. However, in a business environment, unless it relates directly to your product or service, it may be best to leave inflammatory topics like religion and politics alone, as it can get you more trouble than it’s worth.
6. Don’t get too personal
Customer relationship development It’s one of Twitter’s main goals, but you should try to keep your posts about relevant business information. Your followers do not need to know about your personal business. I recognize that there is a benefit to adding a personal touch from time to time, especially in a small business. If you’re getting married or one of your favorite employees just had a baby, you might want to share the news with your brand loyalists so they can celebrate with you. Just be careful when considering what is appropriate to share.
7. Write professionally
Your presence on social networks it is an extension of your business persona. Always use correct grammar and spelling which will help you maintain a professional image. (No one wants to see a tweet from a law firm or accounting office “OMG! It’s not 2:4 PM to file your taxes!”)
Advice: Be sure to use the proper forms of commonly misused words like there, are, and their.
8. Be aware of your audience
Keeping rule #6 in mind, try to tailor your content to fit your audience. If your brand targets tweens and teens, speak their lingo. If you’re a B2B company, you’ll definitely want to use industry jargon. Be sure to post information that is relevant and timely to those who follow you and who you want to follow.
Advice: If applicable, award shows and sporting events are great ways to attract customers.
9. Be timely with communication
Once you have started a conversation with someone in Twitter, it is imperative that you respond to them in a timely manner. Even more important, if someone asks you a question, answer it! Social media is great for giving you the opportunity to engage immediately and directly with your consumer base. There is nothing worse than asking a company a question and not hearing from them for 3 days.
10. Address customer service issues privately
Almost every customer who tweets you a complaint or concern wants to be heard, but not everyone wants to engage in a public dialogue. Target consumers directly via direct message, off the public “floor.”
Advice: You can even ask them for a phone number and call them personally to show that you care about fixing the problem.
BONUS: Don’t buy personal attacks.
There are always those people who complain and no matter what you say, they will never be happy. To make this worse, Twitter is a text medium, which means there’s a clear margin for misunderstanding because there’s no way to hear someone’s tone of voice or observe their body language. What can be understood as a joke could turn into something more negative. If it seems like a conversation is deteriorating and turning into something contentious, it’s wise to just walk away. Trust me, it’s just not worth it.
Twitter is one of the most effective ways to market your business in the last decade. Follow these rules, and you’re bound to have plenty of happy tweets ahead of you.
Build your buzz!