Twitter is great tool for businesses, that’s something that can’t be disputed. But only when it’s used correctly. With such public exposure, businesses on Twitter can fall foul to criticism and a bad online reputation.
The tips below can help guide you so Twitter becomes less of a minefield and you and your businesses reputation can survive unwounded.
1- Never Spam
- This seems pretty obvious but with Twitter, there are particular methods which can be considered spam to other users. First and fore most, do not spam your followers with endless links to your own website, they wont appreciate it and you will loose their interest and support. Try to break it up by tweeting at your followers saying, “thank you for your interest, great to have you on board”. This makes them ore likely to soften to you and interact with any sales pitch and links you do send.
- Don’t spam using hashtags. Some businesses see a trend on Twitter and add a trending hashtag to their tweet in the hope it will be seen by those following that thread. Avoid this at all costs, your reputation will be broken in seconds and it will be painfully obvious that your promoting where you shouldn’t be.
2- Never Become Lazy
- Another thing you simply can not get lazy about is interacting with others. If someone take the time to Tweet you, tweet them back, it’s polite and build up customer relationships. Too many businesses ignore tweets. Also be aware that @mentions are not the only tweets you should look out for and reply to. Free to use Twitter apps, such as MarketMeSuite, allow you to create search panes so you could have your business/brand set up so anyone who mentions it, whether directly at you or not, can be seen. It means you are always aware of what is being said and how people feel, giving you the prime opportunity to act upon it. Being naive of chat about your business is dangerous so always be sure to run a quick search for your name/brand and reply to these tweets.
3- Never Misuse Features
- Direct messages on Twitter can be a topic of controversy. Some people love them as they offer a means to inform and connect with others. Some people hate them as they are often considered spammy and inappropriate. DM’s are usually sent when you get a new follower, a way of saying thank you. This is the only automated messaging service Twitter actually allows. So the question is, “when is it right to use them?”
Here is a quick list of examples to create the perfect DM:
- DO say thank you for following– This shows a human side to your business which the follower can connect with
- DO provide them with only relevant and useful information- For example, provide a link to your websites blog which means they stay up to date with all your business news and promotions. You could also send them to a link which has tutorials or helpful documentation so they know where to locate what they need immediately.
- DO send them details of how to get help and support if they need it. For example, here at MarketMeSuite we let new followers know they can tweet :@MarketMeHelp if they have any questions through the DM service. It’s quick, informative and to the point, everything a DM should be.
- DO NOT send more than one DM to a new follower. This is vital, just have one Message go out per user or you will be flooding them unnecessary information. If it doesn’t fit in one DM, then write a blog post explaining that you are grateful for their interest, add your business details and help information and link to that in a single DM. Sending more than one looks spammyand messy, avoid this if you can.
- These types of features are amazing, a fantastic way of targeting new followers and increasing your audience. But use them wisely. Not every result you get in these searches will prove helpful or even good for your businesses. Take your time to read through what the people in the results are saying, if they are on the same wave length as you. For example, your key word/ phrase may be “Social Media” but following someone who turns up in your results who says “I hate Social Media” is not someone who will benefit you and your business. Just because you get results, it doesn’t mean they are your perfect audience by default. Be sure to thoroughly read about the people you plan on following and interacting with.
Key Take Away
The key thing to remember about Twitter, and all forms of social media, is that you should treat it like real life.
Be personal with your tweets, always interact and never leave a customer without a response. Most of all, be human in your tweeting, people don’t interact with robots in shops, they wont like it if they get nothing but cold, automated or template updates sent to them.
Direct Messages are hit and miss. If you use them as they are meant to be used, as brief thank you with a quick link to the most relevant business material you have to offer, then they can be used for good. If you get the format wrong, you just look like you are spamming your audience with unhelpful links.
Most importantly, always make sure you are attracting and interacting with the best audience available. Be sure you are about to follow someone who is interested in your niche, they are the ones you want on side.