Twitter is a part of the social media phenomenon that took off in the middle of the last decade. This included a few applications and websites that managed to gain the interest of a large number of people, initially mostly young people who enjoyed communicating with their friends online.
The situation has changed somewhat now, and businesses of all sizes and types are beginning to see the value that is contained within ‘being online’. What this has meant is that lots of businesses have rushed to get online and create a presence with a wide array of social media platforms. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t work, companies regret having twitter and Facebook accounts, and tend to blame these platforms for their misfortune.
The truth of the matter is that platforms like twitter can be used effectively by businesses as long as they keep some basic principles in mind.
As regards actually getting an account, they are free. But if you are planning to run a business one, sign up as soon as possible so that you get an account in the name of your business. There are many thousands of businesses worldwide, and chances are there is one out there that shares your company name. And you don’t want your competitors to get online and register your company name either.
Then spend some time searching. This is one of the most important aspects of twitter life, and is actually ignored by many of the platform’s users. Search for the names of your competitors first, and see what they are tweeting about. Even better, see what people are saying about them. This can help you, in the long run.
Then search for keywords linked to your business, for example ‘car hire’ if that is what you do. This will allow you to see how twitter works, and what people are saying when they talk about your business.
Then get down to tweeting. Tweeting is the act of composing messages on twitter and submitting them to the platform. If people follow you, they will see your message. This is the stumbling block for many small businesses, who get excited at the prospect of their corporate utterances being followed.
Many businesses rush into twitter with the aim of tweeting as much as possible about their offering. This is the worst thing you could possibly do as the owner of a business. You may see a bunch of advertisements on twitter if you drop in and look at the general ‘public timeline’, but the vast majority of users recognise self-serving spam for what it is, and they ignore it. The best thing you can do when you have a twitter account that is for your business is to take things as slow as possible. Tweet a few times a day, and whatever you do, don’t talk about your business until you have a good few thousand followers. Talk about the weather, music, technology, whatever. Just don’t mention your latest sale discounts.
So there we go. A few basic pointers. Go slow, search, and watch what is going on, and keep your business out of it, at least for the first few weeks.