Up to now, Twitter culture has been about being social, not commercial. However, when one uses Twitter as a business tool, the initial social chit chat soon becomes tiresome (real estate agents, for example, have been counseled not to discuss real estate because it may position them too threatening as sales people). Business demands ROI, and a culture shift is taking place as more businesses use Twitter for advertising and promotional purposes. It’s ok to be blatantly commercial as long as you’re providing value.
So… for businesses, make the Twitter feed a valuable, professional read.
- Limit the chit chat so readers don’t see distracting “noise” in your timeline
- Keep the professional Twitter feed consistently pristine. Create multiple accounts, including a personal account where you can be more normal and reveal your personality and interests. A pristine feed will also get your feed included into Twitter aggregation engines like Breaking SF News or Muckrack.
- Be consistent with your messaging so people with shared business interests can easily see the connection, and follow or communicate with you.
- Engage strangers you want to create relationships with by retweeting their good stuff or commenting
- Once a Twitter connection is developed, add the connection to the more intimate networks like Facebook or LinkedIn, and then move subsequent conversations to Facebook, email or phone. Strive to use Twitter to build new relationships.
- Tweet a portfolio of links your reader base will find useful. Breaking news on topics of interest positions you as a valuable “news” resource.
- Use bit.ly to simplify the retweeting interesting articles… it’s efficient.
- Use game play like #followfriday sparingly only to develop relationships or acknowledge appreciation. Don’t do anything a spammer would do.
- Avoid simul-tweeting conferences or events (see #1 above). Everybody seems to be doing this now.
- Other Twitterers appreciate austerity. It’s time efficient and gets the point across.