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Tips to Create an Active Twitter Following for Your Business

twitter for businessBusiness owners around the world have become aware of Facebook’s potential for supporting their venture via social networking.  What about Twitter?  Have you capitalized on the marketing potential of the world’s 2nd most popular social network?  The network has over 200 million users and growing daily.

A substantial level of added exposure is very possible via Twitter.  Perhaps you have a company profile there, but haven’t done much with it.  Let’s change all that, starting now.  Follow these easy tips to start taking advantage of the free marketing potential of Twitter.

Create and Design Your twitter Profile

Reserve and Protect Your Name
It is advisable to create at least one profile on Twitter bearing the name of your company, before someone else does.  (Keep in mind that the character limit for screen names is 15.)  Even if you plan on using additional accounts for each member of your staff, you do not want to find yourself fighting a trademark battle against some other Twitter user who reserves your company name as a screen name before get the chance.  Try to come up with a screen name that is as similar as possible to your real company name.  This will help people find your company on Twitter if and when they search you.

Make It Look Official and Professional
Once your name is established, one of the best ways to make your business look professional is to create a background for your profile and upload a picture.  For your primary company account, you should use the company logo as your picture.  Creating a generic page at first is ok as Twitter provides a few nice backgrounds, but you should definitely customize your profile as soon as possible.  It makes you look like a more legitimate company and allows your company to stand out.

Make an Impression
The bio on your page gives Twitter users an introduction to what your company is about.  Make this impression count, as it could serve as reinforcement for an existing brand but may also be a first impression for some visitors to your Twitter.  Be sure to include a link to your website and other networks.  It also lends credibility to list a valid contact email address and phone number.

Cross-Promote Your Twitter Page

Mention Your Twitter on Other Networks
Your business should, naturally, have a presence on other networks like Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn.  In your tweets, you’ll want to mention these from time to time.  On the flip side, be sure to mention (and link to) your Twitter page everywhere.

Include a Twitter Link in All Communications
Link people to your Twitter in the email signature of your conventional emails and social network mail, the signature at the end of your blog posts, and anywhere else you post contact information.  This can multiply your Twitter following over time.

Interacting with the Twitter Community

Now that you have laid the groundwork, it’s time to interact.

Tweet Regularly and Caringly
Be an active Twitter user or assign an update schedule to someone on your staff.  You can also have your digital marketing company take this on.  As with all online communities, keep a caring community mindset and don’t simply self-promote and show only concern for your company’s self-interests.  Doing that anywhere is a quick way to alienate potential leads.  Allow your tweets to have useful information and links pertaining to your industry.  You can link to your landing pages with a headline that doesn’t look promotional.

Making Use of Hashtags
One of the most powerful aspects of Twitter interactions is the use of hashtags.  Hashtags start with a “#” sign as their prefix, such as “#exampletopic.”  Using existing hashtags that pertain to your industry will allow you to connect quickly with an audience (and hence gain exposure).

Hashtags also allow you to stay updated on a variety of topics and trends on Twitter.  Keep tabs on what topics are trending on Twitter daily, and see what you can do to jump on the bandwagon.  Come up with a useful non-promotional response and others following the topic make discover you “in passing,” by virtue of the hashtag discussion.  This is a free and quick way to nudge your way into the online “town square” and start a buzz.

Jared Pomranky

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