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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

Join The Conversation

  • Jul 21 Posted 5 years ago jamie4488 (not verified)

    I love twitter for my business however i found it very difficult to update as everything comes in so quick! i could hardly keep on top of my work load so i hired a social media marketing compnay to do my work and jeeeez what a help! great services and prices and i can now get on with my days work knowing i am on twitter and facebook etc and marketing my brand effectvley. 

     

    woohoo for social media!!!

     

    if anyone wants to check the media company i hire their site is:

     

    www.socialmediamonster.co.uk

     

    Cheers,

     

    Jamie

  • TomHumbarger's picture
    Sep 3 Posted 6 years ago TomHumbarger mizmedia just noted that I didn't include my @twittername in this blog post.

    The reason I didn't add the @twittername is that the post originally appeared on my Social Media Musings blog (http://tomhumbarger.wordpress.com) and then it was picked up Social Media Today.

    For anyone who wants to follow me on Twitter, you can find me at @tomhumbarger.

    Thanks again for all of your comments.

        Tom Humbarger
  • Sep 3 Posted 6 years ago LindaLopez Tom, you didn't include your @name!
  • Sep 3 Posted 6 years ago SteveWilhite Great article, Tom. Thanks for the advice!
  • ariherzog's picture
    Sep 3 Posted 6 years ago ariherzog Two comments to nit-pick out of your great advice:

    First, while HootSuite is a good tool for tracking mentions, it's built-in URL shortener, ow.ly, is not good. If you run some web searches on ow.ly and SEO, you'll see why. Namely, if you visit a http://ow.ly link and click a link within that page and then another link and so forth, the browser URL remains the original URL you visited. Hence, ow.ly steals analytical traffic.

    Second, I fail to understand the rationale for companies to "follow" anyone who mentions their company. I might mention a company ONCE and never again, yet am followed. That's silly.

  • Sep 2 Posted 6 years ago TimKitchin Thanks loads for the review of the Glasshouse Partnership Corporate Twittering Guide, Tom.

    I'm really glad people are liking it, but feel slightly guilty.
    Do bear in mind that it was written when Twitter was a non-corporate tool.

    Things have evolved, and in particular the array of analytical and monitoring tools and the ability to integrate Twitter with other social platforms are way more evolved than they were.

    We're working on an update of the guide as we speak. Watch this space.

    Meantime, we're falling in love with tools like ubervu

     
  • Aug 31 Posted 6 years ago JeanMacDonald Great tips! I have one to add. Besides checking your @YourCompanyName mentions, you need to search on your company name without the @. Many Twitter users either don't bother to use the @ or don't know that you have a Twitter account. This goes for product names as well.

    Another thing I just recently realized: you need to search on alternate spellings of your company and/or product name. In our case, we have a product called TextExpander, all one word. But if I search on "text expander", I find many additional mentions. Try to think like a customer/user--always a good idea. :-)
  • Aug 29 Posted 6 years ago TimKnight Hi Tom,

    Great post. How are things in Socal?

    Thanks,

    Tim Knight

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