Dos and Don’ts of Twitter

Jun 30, 2009 7:48 PM  By

Search and social have collided, and now they affect one another. Not only is search now social, but it also possesses its own unique voice.

The voice is that of your customers—connecting and communicating within social media sites like never before. So it’s critical that your brand establish a social media presence.

One particular social media site that’s been receiving a great deal of attention recently is Twitter. This microblog is one of the fastest growing social communities on the Web, and has proven to be a successful means of communication for businesses and consumers alike.

Twitter provides a forum where brands can interact with their consumers on a personal level—whether to introduce people to your product, communicate a special offer or to provide customer service.

If your business doesn’t use Twitter, it’s time to establish your presence. People are likely talking or discussing your brand and it’s important that you become a part of this conversation.

To ensure the best possible outcome from your Twitter experience, I’ve outlined a few Twitter best practices for using this channel. Let’s take a look.

Do take time to learn about Twitter. Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that allows users to stay connected in real-time. It’s estimated to have more than 7 million users.

While the gender gap is pretty even, there are slightly more women (53%) on Twitter than men (47%), according to audience marketing firm Quantcast. The largest age group on Twitter is 18 to 34.

Do make new friends AND keep the old. Not only can you make new friends on Twitter and invite them to follow you, but you can also follow those you already know. You can do this by using Twitter features like People Search, Twitter Search, Address Book Import or URL Look-Up. What’s more, as you make friends on Twitter, more people will likely request to follow you as well.

Don’t bore your followers. Refrain from reciting what you had for breakfast or how tired you are. Instead, tweet about something that’s relative to your business (ie: special offers/breaking news) or something that’s interesting, thought provoking and related to your industry. This way, your followers will be more likely to “retweet” (RT), or share with their followers.

Don’t forget that social media is public media. Remember, once you say something on any social media site, including Twitter, it becomes public media. For this reason, it’s extremely important to always be cautious of what you’re tweeting about. Definitely avoid anything that you want kept confidential or that may upset or offend others.

Don’t ever impersonate anyone on Twitter. This one goes without saying. Not only is it in very bad taste, but the legal ramifications of doing so can be extremely costly. Just don’t do it.

Do maintain a proactive Twitter presence. Once you establish a profile on Twitter, keep it updated and active. If you don’t, your business could be missing important conversations and risks losing customers that feel ignored and undervalued.

In turn, this could result in negative customer reviews, decreased sales and ultimately, a social media disaster.

Lisa Wehr is CEO/founder of Oneupweb, a digital marketing agency.