To Tweet or Not To Tweet?

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OK, you’ve got your head around Twitter (or sort of), you’ve signed up and you’ve found a few interesting people to follow. It’s time to start tweeting. Now the big question: What should I tweet?

The obvious answer is “whatever you want”. But if you’re tweeting for your business then you clearly need to be more intentional than that. You need a good strategy.

What Do You Want to Accomplish on Twitter?

Are you trying to address customer service complaints or are you hoping to bring in new customers? Maybe you just want to set yourself up as an expert in your field and start making new contacts. Any of these goals will give you your strategy:

  • If you’re tweeting to resolve customer complaints, you better start listening and tweeting helpful tips.
  • If you’re hoping to bring in new customers maybe you’ll tweet coupons, brag about your chef or highlight new features.
  • If you want to positioning yourself as an expert and make contacts, then you’ll post interesting and helpful links, share advice, and listen and respond to others in your field.

General Tips

In some sense you just need to dive into Twitter and see what works. Pay attention to what people respond to and do more of it. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Not everything has to be about your business. If something is interesting, share it. If it’s funny, share it. If it makes you cry, share it. You can take that too far, but a little personality goes a long way.
  • Offer real value—you should be providing something people can’t get anywhere else. Don’t just tweet your blog posts—give us something more: deals, extra links, behind the scenes scoops, photos, funny stories, etc.
  • Twitter is about relationships. The hard sell doesn’t work any better here. It’s fine to push your wares, but avoid the appearance of a spammer: Don’t cram every tweet with links to your stuff, don’t repost the same thing over and over, don’t @reply or direct message people with unrelated information. It’s not all about you. Show some interest in other people. Consider introducing yourself and telling them what you like about their tweets.
  • Ask questions. Especially as you gain more followers you’ll find that people respond. Ask what people like about your business, what they’re looking for, what they care about.
  • Give credit where credit is due. Many of your links, resources and interesting finds were found somewhere, so give them some credit. It’s not only common courtesy, it’s ethical and gives people a source to track down further information.
  • Twitter doesn’t have to be just text. You can link to photos or videos. A number of sites like Twitpic will let you post a photo from your cell phone and tweet about it.
  • Whatever you do, don’t Twitter something you wouldn’t want the entire world to know. Anything you tweet better be public knowledge. If there’s a certain someone you hope won’t read what you’re posting, then don’t post it.

In the end, have fun. Twitter is a pretty laid-back communications avenue, so if you’re stressing over it you’re not doing it right.

Posted in: Tips & Tricks

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