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Using Twitter for business

Since launching in 2006, Twitter has established itself as a global, varied and immense online community of which businesses make up a considerable part. Making your business visible, likable and accessible on Twitter is not only a good way to stimulate brand awareness, but also an invaluable way to really connect with the people engaging with your brand.
Using Twitter for business - Digital Fire
To some, Twitter can seem overwhelming or even entirely intimidating. The microblogging site follows its own set of (often unwritten) rules whilst speaking a streamlined, newfangled language that is all its own. In order for business to navigate Twitter successfully, it is crucial to not only understand the lingo, but also the etiquette and best practices that will help your brand build a strong following and first-rate reputation.

Listen and respond to the tweeple around you

This is one of the things that scare the pants off businesses who choose to join Twitter - as a brand it is vital that you monitor everything people say to or about your brand - good or bad. People use Twitter to actively comment about the brands, products and companies they come across. Responding to tweets in real time shows that your company cares about public opinion, which in turn helps your brand to gain general respect and even followers.

It's not always easy responding to a flurry of complaints or negative remarks, but doing so in a polite and helpful way is always better than ignoring them. Bad blood on Twitter can pose a serious threat to brands -left to stew; negative vibes can easily go viral, potentially causing immeasurable damage to your company's reputation.

On a more pleasant note: always respond publicly and timeously to tweets regarding your business. Letting people know that you're helping others and getting good feedback will build trust amongst your customers.

Share the fun

Twitter is not all about monitoring comments and doing damage control - it's about connecting with followers and fans of your business in a fun and upbeat way. People are generally curious and use Twitter to access and share interesting information in all its forms. Sharing photos and behind the scenes information about your business is a great way to create online buzz and get people talking about your brand. Giving your followers sneak-peeks of future projects and events get people excited, while also keeping them in the loop of what your company is getting up to.

Establish the right voice

Twitter users are time starved and tech savvy, so establishing the right voice for communicating with them is important in order for your brand to be heard. Before even setting up a Twitter account for your business, start thinking of how you would like people to perceive your brand. A direct and likable tone is generally favourable, but businesses and their followers are different so think about how you can tap into your unique target market. The most important thing here is to make sure that your brand's Twitter voice is aligned with its public image.

Taking Twitter seriously

Properly managing your business' social media accounts can be a daunting and often time-consuming task, but if done correctly it can be very rewarding, for both your business and your customers. For this reason many companies opt to employ digital marketing agencies to support them when it comes to their active and ever-expanding social media. This option is often met with suspicion and claims that the service will not be as efficient as when handled by the company alone, but that is definitely not always the case. Agencies work with clients and become integrated into various departments of the company, including customer service, marketing and product development.

Social media should be a priority for your brand, not a side project. By outsourcing your social media to a competent, tech savvy digital agency you are much more likely to build up a loyal Twitter following who will value your brand's presence and contribution. Surprisingly, it is often cheaper to outsource social media than to employ specific people within your company to represent your brand.

14 Feb 2012 10:58

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