Make a misstep on Twitter, and hundreds if not thousands of followers will see it–and possibly retweet it at your expense. Twitter offers a powerful opportunity for small businesses to connect to, and engage with, a community of fans. But there’s a lot that can go wrong when acclimating to any social media platform, including Twitter. Follow these Twitter rules for business success to keep your users engaged and interested in your brand.
1. Be Polite
Sometimes, fans will use Twitter to tell you about their bad experience with your store, brand, or business. Say a fan of a chain pizza places an order on Friday night; the pizza arrives 15 minutes late and covered with the wrong toppings to boot. The fan might tweet it, and loop you in with an @ symbol. When you find the tweet Monday morning, remember your manners. When your company commits a blunder, apologize and offer to make it better. Entering into flame wars just makes everything worse.
2. Tamp Down Hashtags
A few hashtags (or #hashtags) are fun and practical; they allow your content to be found through user search submission. But making up your own hashtags–like #teamjacob4life–and then using four in a post will irritate followers. Keep hashtags lean to keep your followers.
3. Spread the Love
How often you tweet is up to you; however, if you out-tweet everyone in your Twitter feed, especially for promotion, you risk irritating and alienating readers. If you have a lot to say, use a tweet scheduler to schedule one or more tweets a day. And take the time to make sure your tweets are interesting and informative.
There are times when you might be tweeting a lot (and using #hashtags). Say you’re holding or attending a conference. You’ll be tweeting updates for colleagues and users who weren’t able to come, and using the conference-approved hashtag, plus one or two of your own. In this case, send a warning tweet the day of the conference so users won’t get irritated when your tweets take over their feed.
4. Don’t Overshare
On a personal account, it’s fine to post a picture of yourself in that new outfit you bought, complain about your stomach flu, and tell all those juicy details to your pals. But on a business feed, you need to stay professional.
5. Grammar Matters
Again, what you do with your personal feed is your business. When writing on behalf of your company, correct grammar and spelling gives you an authoritative look. Would you buy a tech gadget from someone who tweeted “iPads 4 sale 2day”?
When you join Twitter, look for website promotion and marketing specialists to follow. Pay attention to how (and what) they tweet as a best practice.