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Social Media Best Practices: Using Twitter

Our social media blog series continues with best practices for Twitter. Twitter can provide an avenue for you to share updates with your contacts and potential customers. However, it’s not all about how many people are “following” you or how many people you are “following”; it is about building valuable relationships with others and growing your business. If you have determined that Twitter is a good way to communicate with your target market, here are some best practices.

If you are thinking about using Twitter, the first thing you should probably do is start following others in your industry, pay attention to what is going on and from there really build out a plan that you can stick to – don’t go about this without a strategy.

Much like any other social media platform you need to COMMIT to using Twitter. Make sure that you are tweeting on a regular basis (start with once a day), that you are responding promptly to tweets and that you are portraying your business professionally.

Take advantage of the fact that Twitter allows for you to customize your business’s Twitter page. Bring in elements to your page such as colors, logos and graphics to maintain a strong brand image.

Take care in building out your page. The profile image should be a good one – if you are using your logo make sure that it isn’t cropped awkwardly or if you are using a personal photo, make sure you can see your face. Also, make sure that your bio is short and sweet.

If you are using Twitter you have to make sure that people can follow you if they are interested. Include your username to all communications that go out.

Twitter isn’t just about posting short updates. You can (and should) include photos as well – it has been proven to increase engagement.

Think about rewarding those people who follow you, especially those who are retweeting your updates. Think about offering Twitter-only specials or sharing certain information with those who follow you on Twitter.

Did you know that using Twitter can help you with your PR efforts? Before it is time to pitch your story, try to follow as many media people and outlets on Twitter as possible. Once you are ready to pitch your release, make sure that it is on your website where it can be easily found. Compose your tweet that gives a quick outline of your story and create a tiny URL for your release. (Visit www.tinyurl.com for instructions.) Finally, post your tweet and don’t forget to include the link to your press release. By doing this, you are creating a bigger splash with your release.

Many of the best practices in this blog post were inspired by a great article that was recently posted on Social Media Examiner and a guide that was put out by Twitter specifically for small business owners. If you would like even more helpful hints, click here to read the article or click here to download the guide from Twitter.

As with all social media, make this an enjoyable part of your day. This is a way to show the personality of your business to others – think of it like having a conversation with a friend.

As we continue our social media blog series we will be discussing LinkedIn in next week’s post.

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