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Do’s and Don’ts of Twitter

social media marketing TwitterYou wouldn’t jump into a pool without learning to swim, would you? Use the same strategy with Twitter for your business: don’t jump into this unique social media site without learning the do’s and don’ts of Twitter. Twitter can give a business a huge competitive edge, but if you don’t learn to “swim” on Twitter, all you’re going to do is sink—publicly and embarrassingly without reaching the goal you set out to achieve.

Do have a goal for your Twitter account. Is your goal to establish your business on Twitter as a subject matter expert? Are you using Twitter to interact with your customers?

Don’t leave your Twitter profile picture as the annoying egg. You’re missing out on a huge opportunity to establish your brand by not changing your Twitter profile and header photo. Create a bio unique to your business that tells your followers who you are and what to expect—all in 160 characters.

Do use hashtags. Find a #hashtag topic that fits your tweets to extend the reach of your tweets. You can find these hashtags by clicking on the hashtag in other tweets and seeing a list of tweets with that hashtag, or by typing in a #hashtag in the search box.

Don’t over use hashtags. There is a limit to the amount of hashtags that are effective. Plus, you look like a Twitter dork using a million hashtags.

Do tweet often, and tweet valuable content. How often you tweet is up to you. You can tweet as much as you like, but don’t tweet junk. You won’t achieve your social media goals with worthless (to your followers) tweets.

Don’t tweet ONLY about you. The 80/20 rule is a general guide to use when setting your tweeting schedule. Schedule 20% promotional tweets and 80% tweets that bring value to your customers.

Do remember that Twitter is its own animal with its own set of rules and followers. Linking your Facebook account to your Twitter account is a huge social media faux paux. Your followers can tell what you’ve done, and you won’t achieve the goal you joined Twitter for in the first place. Each social media platform has its own atmosphere, so customize your message for each platform.

Don’t send an automated message every time someone follows you. We’re begging you: please don’t send us an automated DM (direct message). Everyone can tell it’s automated, and it makes you look fake.

Do share content from other Twitter accounts and interact with other Twitter accounts. Twitter is about sharing, so SHARE and respond. Retweet tweets with valuable content (articles) that answer your customers’ questions, bring humor to your audience (if appropriate) and sheds light on industry trends and news. If you see a tweet with a @yourTwitterhandle in your notifications, it means someone is talking to you. Respond appropriately.

Don’t mix personal and business accounts. If you are a CEO of your company, this is complicated. But if the Twitter account is for your business, stick to business and industry information, along with photos of you and your employees on the job. Don’t flood your business account with a stream of tweets reflecting your personal views.

Do respond to negative reviews. This do comes with a don’t: don’t ignore negative reviews and comments. Instead, respond to your angry customer diplomatically by using these simple steps. Remember, everyone’s watching how you respond. This is your chance to show your excellent customer service skills.

Don’t abandon your Twitter account because you don’t have time. Social media may have a dark side, but is also a valuable communication tool full of opportunity. Twitter shows your business is available to your customers, knowledgeable about your products, services and industry and concerned about your customers, community and vendors. If you don’t have time to take advantage of social media, contact the marketing experts to manage your Twitter account, and produce content that you can share on social media.

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