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Guide to using Twitter effectively to promote your business

Twitter’s ubiquitous nature makes it the perfect tool for businesses especially retailers to instantly connect with consumers. From a connectivity perspective, Twitter provides an excellent opportunity to humanise your business and a great way to open a relationship with your clients and customers. On the negative side, you may have read about the various twitter ‘scandals’ that occur when businesses treat their twitter followers too much like their friends. In this article we discuss the ups and downs of twitter and share a few tips on how to construct the perfect tweet.

Snakes and Ladders

Management of an effective Twitter account can be like a playing a game of snakes and ladders - the game where you aim to land on the ladders to progress and avoid the snakes which deter progress and can even set you back.

Ladders Snakes
Immediacy:- Businesses can sort customer complaints or offer spontaneous promotions quickly Embarrassment:- No matter how quickly you delete a poorly researched or planned tweet it’s already on the internet forever
Relevance:- Twitter keeps users knowledge relevant to the second allowing business to remain “in-touch” Out of Touch:- Not being self-aware about how twitter see’s your brand can make it seem out of touch e.g. Waitrose’s “I shop at Waitrose…” campaign
Personality:- It is accepted to use a more casual tone when tweeting giving greater control over the level of personality you inject Fleeting:- A tweet’s life is measured by minutes, it’s important to remember to not spend too much time crafting tweets

Most of the embarrassing tweets are due to companies being unaware of the overall Twitter conversation and ignorant about the etiquette of the twitter community.

Join the community

To be an effective in the twitterverse your tweets need to fall into any of the following categories; positive anecdotes, inspirational quotes, entertaining and funny comments, resolution of challenges, provide answers, relationship building.

It’s a good idea to have a consistent posting schedule, for example Tuesdays could be “Technical Tuesday” where you tweet photos and facts and what it’s like to work at your business. Similarly you could promote “Thoughtful Thursday” where you offer a discount to anyone who you see being thoughtful in your store.

To Tweet or not to Tweet

In all of this, there is the distinct possibility that Twitter is not a useful tool for your business. Twitter is primarily useful for communication with customers; naturally this poses a problem if none of your customers use Twitter.

Think about what you need to say and think about the direction you’re taking your business in. Using Twitter effectively can take time and energy that may be better directed elsewhere.

Tweet Off

The key takeaways from this article are:

  • Look to help, entertain or inform
  • Be part of the wider conversation

Twitter is an excellent marketing tool to reach the consumer as it enables consumers to see which brands and companies make an effort and which are just looking for free advertising. A secondary outcome of becoming an effective member of the Twitter community is the indirect sales leads but this should not distract from the primary twitter directive- to boldly help others.

If you think Twitter could benefit your business, do read our other twitter business guides.

Introductory guide to social media (opens in new tab)will help you decide the right social media mix (Twitter, YouTube or Facebook) for your business.

How to make Twitter work for your business (opens in new tab)develops this introductory guide and contains five insightful tips to obtaining the most out of Twitter.

Guide to writing better Tweets (opens in new tab)shows you how to be interesting in the Twitterverse.

15 Tips on how to write succinctly for Twitter (opens in new tab) is an educational piece on how to overcome the challenges of creating a Tweet.

Guide to increasing your Twitter followers (opens in new tab) develops the theme of Twitter followers and provides useful insight on the strategies required to attract a high volume of the right followers for your business.

17 Tips to increase your Twitter followers (opens in new tab) expands on the above guide to bolster your Twitter followers further.

Pitfalls to avoid in Twitter (opens in new tab)is an excellent guide on some of the big mistakes companies have made such as the Waitrose example given in this article.

15 social media tips for small businesses (opens in new tab) provides you with proven business savvy tips to make a social media mix work effectively for your company.

And for more on retail strategies:

How to win customer loyalty through CRM and the personal touch (opens in new tab) examines social in the physical world combined with an effective customer relationship manager to strengthen your customer base.

introductory guide to social media will help you decide the right social media (Twitter, YouTube or Facebook) mix for your business