Twitter 101


You're all obviously familiar with Twitter, right? Of course you are - aside from being the medium of choice for teens and celebrities, it's instantaneous capability has helped make it one of the most revolutionary forms of media. Most likely your business already has a Twitter account too but are you using it to its full potential? And if you're just starting out and plan to register an account to tweet from in the near future, you'll need some guidance. Here are a few tips:

Use Twitter to Sell

Most businesses use Twitter as an easy way to interact with followers and announce new products. I'm not saying you don't need to do the things I just mentioned but you should also be utilizing Twitter as a tool to push sales. Post exclusive promo codes and coupons that people can redeem in your online store. Release special codes for followers to use at an event for a discount or free gift (UNIQUE LA for example). Try time-based specials to drive sales such as "the first 25 people to buy our new this-and-that will get 25% off". This way, your followers will feel special because the coupon was only intended for them, and you'll be able to track your direct sales from Twitter.

Understand Your Purpose on Twitter

Before you tweet anything, you have to understand why you're doing it in the first place. Do you need to simply have an online presence? Do you need to move dead stock? Do you want to drive traffic to your other social networks? Do you want to inspire followers? Do you want to use your tweets to increase email subscribers? Writing down a quick strategy before you start tweeting is a good place to start. Once you know your objective(s) and your target audience you can start treating your Twitter account as seriously as you treat your actual business.

Be More Visual

Sometimes sharing a photo can be far more effective than 140 characters when you want to talk about your product. A beautiful, captivating photo of a delicious-looking cupcake will probably get more attention than words alone. The same can be said about launching new collections, showing people what's currently on sale, sharing pics of your booth at a tradeshow, etc. You can also use photography to get advice from your followers (i.e. Which shape do you prefer for our new logo?), to create a more personal connection, and even to show your humor.

Give your Twitter a Human Face

It's you, your fingers punching in those characters on Twitter, so use your own voice and don't sound like a corporation on Twitter. If you're a one-person show like most entrepreneurs, make sure your Twitter voice is as personal as possible. Send simple, casual tweets from a first person perspective rather than dry tweets that sound like a robot. People will be pleasantly surprised because they're not used to hearing from the head of the company (YOU in most cases).

Don't be Negative

While you should be yourself, don't give into the temptation to use Twitter as a forum to complain. We've all been there before, when something is so frustrating you want to 'let it out' but there is no bigger turnoff then to read complaints. Remember, this is business after all. Even if you are in the right, and have every reason to complain, being negative on Twitter just comes across as whining. And remember, the customer is always right! If you talk poorly about a mishap, a customer experience, another business, etc. it just shows your followers that you don't respect them and that you could perhaps talk about them someday. A definite "Don't"!

Manage Your Tweets

Tweeting on a daily basis can be pretty overwhelming especially when you're running a business. Streamline the process by using HootSuite to schedule tweets in advance and to handle multiple accounts (if you have more than one). HootSuite also has a stats feature that lets you track how many people clicked your links/interacted with your tweet.

Track Everything

Websites like Klout and TweetReach help you track your influence and reach on the web. It is crucial to track your stats in order to understand whether you're helping your business and how... What types of tweets do your followers respond to most? Which tweets get the most retweets? Is there a time of day that your twets perform best? Track your follows with TweetReach. Klout is best used to track your influence and see how well you engage your followers.