Social Media Series: Why Twitter is Important for Business Sustainability, PR and Marketing

October 21, 2010 at 3:28 am Leave a comment

Twitter is the new green.

Social media are an eco-friendly means for businesses to engage and interact with consumers and potential clients. Not only do they help your business reduce paper and energy waste, but social media can also open a door to unforeseen customers and clients.Twitter

Did I mention that most social media platforms are—free?

Whether you’re trying to spark a conversation with customers, raise awareness about a new product, drive traffic to your company’s website or become a more sustainable business, Twitter is your guy. (Or, perhaps it is your bird.)

Until a week ago, I could’ve cared less about Twitter.

I signed up for my Twitter account more than a year ago, but I never bothered to take the time to learn how to use it. I had the usual excuses everyone else does:

There is no real value in Twitter.

140 characters?—What am I supposed to do with that?!

Twitter is just a fad.

No one is going to care about what I have to say.

Sound like a familiar story? Don’t let your organization fall victim to the five excuses not to use Twitter for your business!

I learned how to use Twitter in less than a week and so can you!

Before you venture out on your first Twitter journey, check out this easy-to-follow guide of Twitter basics:

Then, follow these 10 easy tips to building a successful presence on Twitter for your business:

1. Define your target audience. There is no point to having a Twitter account if you don’t know who you want your messages to reach. Lee Odden suggests conducting research to “develop a persona that represents your customers that spend time on Twitter.”

@ElenaVerlee: Know your market. Successful PR is all about reaching the right audience with a message that is appropriate and meaningful to them.

2. Find your purpose. Figure out what sorts of links, information and news you can share with your target audience that would be of value to them.

3. Be consistent. Tweet well and tweet often. Make sure that your Twitter brand acts as an extension of your company’s existing brand. Also, be sure to post your Twitter ID on all of your communication elements (website, marketing materials, blogs, etc.).

@SmartWoman: Twitter tip for business: Commit to one tweet a day every day. Consistency helps. (It’s how I got started & it works).

4. Don’t overdo it. Tweeting too much can be just as bad as tweeting too little. People are sometimes selective about who they follow on Twitter. If you’re overloading your followers’ feeds with useless links and product promotions every five minutes, then you’re spam. All it takes is one simple click to stop receiving those nagging messages.

5. Don’t broadcast. Most likely you’re not a news anchor, so don’t act like you are one. People that use Twitter want to interact with their favorite brands, celebrities, professionals and friends. It is important that your company uses Don't Broadcast!Twitter to engage in two-way communication with your customers that they feel they’re part of a conversation and not just a sale.

@prblog: Auto DM after Twitter follow is like asking your 1st date what hotel they want to stay at after dinner. Slow down!

6. Use #hashtags. Hashtags will help you participate in conversation and acquire new followers. It is best to use clever hashtags that are relevant to your company.

7. Recognize “Twitter Time.” Picture yourself sitting at a red light that takes five minutes to change to green. If you were talking on the phone with a friend, you’d probably tell them that “the light took three hours to change!” The same goes for Twitter. Even two hours can seem like an eternity in Twitter Time. Make sure to respond to customer and client requests via Twitter as soon as possible.

@prodigaljohn: A company I tweeted about a bad experience with tweeted me back 5 days later. That’s 19 yrs in tweet time. Tweets age fast.

8. Don’t underestimate. Twitter publishes everything you tweet live in real time where anything can go viral in a matter of minutes. This could be good or bad for your company depending on how well you manage your Twitter presence.

9. Be transparent. Tell the truth about who is tweeting on behalf of your company. Don’t tell your followers that the CEO is tweeting when, in fact, he is not. Also remember to be honest with your tweets. Don’t provide your followers with tweets that have misleading links. Again, it only takes a single click to unfollow someone.The North Face is a brand that uses Twitter well.

10. Learn from example. Take a lesson from some of these businesses that are tweeting the right way:

Now it’s time to visit Twitter to set up your very own account.

Let me know if these tips were helpful to your business!

Entry filed under: Saving Money, Social Media. Tags: , , , , , .

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