When I was responding to a reporter asking about how to use Twitter properly to market your business, I thought, why not summarize a couple of my response on the Tellem blog? Can you believe some brands are just now getting into the Twitter game?

What–don’t think it’s for real? Hmmm…hundreds of millions of Twitter users, or every major television news media outlet incorporating Twitter, must be just plain crazy. Sure. Then my fellow crazies on Twitter, here are some basic points to keep in mind when working with a brand on Twitter:

  • Numbers of followers should not ever be an indicator of success. If you have 450 organic, true followers and each is dedicated (some might even be potential brand ambassadors), than it’s easy to argue how much more benefit they will bring you than say 1500 followers gained by two other common methods: 1) spending much of your time following thousands of people with hopes of being followed back or 2) buying followers. I’ve heard of buying followers for appearance, but that doesn’t make a company more successful or credible on Twitter, nor does it increase your reach (many of those paid-for followers are not real people anyway).
  • Telling people to buy things doesn’t mean they will, just because you said so. How many people walk up to you on the street at random and say “Buy this, it’s 10% off if you get it from me right now!” Same rules apply online. You can indirectly alert followers to specials and opportunities to save, win, acquire, but Twitter is about dialogue.
  • Put in the effort to identify and engage with your audience. Share news related to your industry —  your audience may find it valuable and share with their own followers.
  • Use twitter to find your “VIPs” and “brand ambassadors.”
  • Use Twitter to alert followers on exclusive opportunities.
  • Join conversation topics by using a #hashtag.
  • Use Twitter for exclusive random contests for your followers. This will engage them and make those on Facebook wonder what all the Twitter contests are about.
  • Post photos of your brand interacting at events.
  • Use humor and don’t be so serious that your tweets are boring.
  • Definitely don’t copy and paste the same thing over and over.
  • Post at the right time (don’t forget, Twitter operates 24/7).

Note: There are sites like Crowdbooster that monitor your activity and tell you the best times to tweet for each account. Crowdbooster also has affordable, basic reporting tools for unlimited accounts so you can provide updates to your clients.

You have followers because they want to feel closer to the brand, to feel valuable, to feel important. Don’t forget that, because they won’t. Just put yourself in the shoes of your followers if you are ever unsure. If you have a personal Twitter, use it to follow your brand. You’d be surprised how it looks coming through on your account/mobile notifications. This Twitter “thing” takes time and dedication. Are you ready for it?

-Dan TWW