Best Practices for Corporate Twittering

Many companies want to start using Twitter to promote their brand and business, but don’t really know where to start.  As most companies are starting to realize, Twitter is a great way to reinforce your brand, share news and important information, gather feedback , advertise and most importantly, start a dialogue with your customers and prospects – and the only cost is the time of the people involved with managing the Twitter feed.

Here is a short list of best practices for corporate Twittering that I compiled for one of my clients.  Most small-to-medium businesses should be able to achieve results with a couple of hours of effort per week.

Getting Started

  • Pick a Twitter name that matches your company name or alternatively a name that includes your company name such as @companyteam
  • Build up a level of tweets so other users will see you as credible and relevant – the minimum number of tweets that you should accumulate before you start promoting your account is somewhere in the 50 to 100 range  (most users will ignore you if you have few tweets or haven’t been tweeting for very long)
  • Fill out your profile completely including a URL as most people will not follow anyone with an incomplete profile
  • Create a customized Twitter homepage (that matches your corporate brand as much as possible) to provide additional information about your company and products

Getting your message out

  • Try to tweet 5 to 8 times per day, and you should space them out throughout the day if possible
  • Only 20% or so of your tweets should be related to your company or include a marketing or ‘advertising’ message – the others should be tweets about related topics that provide value to your followers or show a more human side of your company; people will stop paying attention to you if you use Twitter exclusively for self-promotion
  • Most of your tweets should contain a link to a website, blog post, article, etc. – these  are the types of tweets will establish your Twitter account as being a source of great content and worthy of being followed back
  • Use HootSuite‘s to schedule your tweets and to track your tweet clickthrus and their Hootlet app to easily tweet the URLs of content at the source – Hootsuite also lets you include multiple users on the same account which can help to spread out the Twitter workload

Following people

  • Use one or more of the Twitter directories (WeFollow or Twellow) to locate potential users to follow based on their interests and geography
  • Follow anyone who mentions your company or keywords that important for your business
  • Periodically do a Twitter search on your company name or click on @yourname from right panel to see who is re-tweeting you or mentioning your name
  • @reply people to thank people or to just reach out to them
  • RT or re-tweet posts that you think are worthy – generally these people will notice and start following you
  • You don’t want to grow your Twitter following too quickly – steady growth is better and a goal of growing 100 to 200 per month is a good start for most businesses

And finally as noted in The Guide to Corporate Twittering, you should:

  • Be honest
  • Be responsive and human
  • Be nice
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6 thoughts on “Best Practices for Corporate Twittering

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