What’s your T.Q. (i.e., Twitter Quotient)? Are you using Twitter intelligently? And by “intelligently,” I don’t mean are you tweeting Einsteinium equations. I’m wondering if you’re following the path of best practices.
If you’re on Twitter, you should be wondering, too. To that end, here are seven guidelines to consider, to learn if the way you’re using Twitter works for you or against you:
1. Is Your Name in the Game? When creating your business Twitter user name, consider these guidelines. If you’re already a recognizable brand name or not, use your business name for branding and consistency with your offline or online brand. However, if your business name is not available, use a descriptive name such as @HatsFromHeaven or @SEOpro. Keep your user name short as much as possible.
2. Don’t Start Off Automated. Many Twitter users use a service such as TweetLater to automatically push direct messages at new followers. This turns a lot of people off. It’s one thing to automate a friendly message saying “Thanks for following me.” But heavy-handed promotional messages on autopilot with a link to your products mostly fall on deaf ears.
3. Tweet Them Something Good. Make sure your tweets deliver value. Offer exclusive coupons or package deals. Post pictures of your team, new products, events, books you’re reading, etc. Provide links to helpful articles not only to your own site, but to any site where you’ve found something valuable or engaging.
4. Be Conversant. It’s a mistake not to spend time interacting with people who follow you. Two-way conversations build a community and keep your content interesting. Ask questions, reply to them, too. Spark the occasional discussion about other common interests.
5. Re-tweet for Good Karma. By re-tweeting other people’s interesting comments, they’ll be more likely to turn yours viral. It’s a bit like link love: You’ve got to some it to get some.
6. Over-promoting Erodes Interest. People are turned off by those who’re constantly trying to sell something. Be personable between “buy my stuff” tweets. Otherwise, you’ll be dismissed as a spammer.
7. Keep Your Tweet Content Consistent. Stay on message for the most part. If you’re trying to sell wedding photography services in Los Angeles, don’t confuse your brand identity by chatting endlessly about cooking or cars. Use a hashtag (#) to indicate keywords for which you want to be found by searchers. This is the best way to ensure potential clients and customers can discover you.
Twitter is a great place to reinforce your brand, form strategic alliances, and build credibility. But rather than approach as a broadcast medium, consider it a way to build mutually beneficial relationships. And like in any business situation, the more you connect on multiple levels, the better your chances of making a memorable impression. When the time is right, and if you’ve targeted your following well, the sales success will come.