Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Making the Most of Social Media – Part Two: A Guide for Businesses Using Twitter

As a continuation of our social media guide for businesses, the second part of our series includes ways to use Twitter as an effective marketing tool. Also, be sure to view part one of our social media series by clicking here.

Twitter is a great way to connect with clients and customers via quick conversational exchanges. Though some Tweets can be vague and slightly ambiguous, the point is to create short phrases and messages to get your meaning across in a direct and instant manner. Essentially, Twitter is a short-form messaging tool, geared towards businesses looking for new ways to communicate with target audiences. And, not to forget, Twitter is also a platform for listening to the communication of others.

Twitter’s primary difference from other social media channels is that each individual tweet, is restricted to 140 characters or less. As a Twitter user, you can post updates; follow and view updates from other users; and send a public reply or private direct message to connect with another tweeter.

As a guide, below, the ECPR team has put together four simple steps to creating meaningful Tweets. Let’s begin!

Page Tags: Much like Facebook, Twitter allows users to interact and connect with potential clients, consumers and fellow industry professionals. The key is to use the “@” symbol to “tag” other Twitter pages. The “@” is a means of sharing valuable information from an outside source, who also has a Twitter account, thus virally connecting your business page with the source’s page.

If possible, we recommend all Tweets include a Twitter “tag.” This will not only help potentially multiply the number of followers you have by reaching out to another page’s audience, but also increase the number of retweets and comments related to your Tweet by other users.

Hashtags: A “hashtag” is a means to help spread information on Twitter while also helping to organize it. In essence, “hashtags” are subject matters pertaining to specific trending events, topics, etc. The “hashtag” symbol allows users to come together as part of a single conversation. While “hashtags” should not be overused, they can be a great way to reach target audiences at any given time. This allows companies to expand networks and create wider brand awareness.  

Links: Most, if not all, Tweets should include links to related pages, whether they are to company websites, online resources, articles from regional and national publications, etc. This will aid in improving brand awareness by directing potential clients, current clients and consumers to informative and educational “bits” of news a company finds relative to its designated industry.

Comprehensive Tweets: It is essential to develop concise, comprehensive Tweets within the 140 character limit at all times. Your target audience must clearly be able to understand the message your business is trying to get across. For a business page, this is one of the most important aspects to remember when using Twitter for business marketing.

One final thought for companies that are already using Twitter, or are in the process of setting up an account, pages need to be maintained and updated on a daily basis; whether that be designating a team member or a group to be responsible at all times. Not doing so could result in a negative effect. This is where our team of social media experts can be of assistance. We offer clients a range of services related to maintaining social media channels, such as developing content, interacting with friends and fans and calculating page analytics. For more information about our services, click here.

Stay tuned as we continue our social media series by exploring how to use blog as a creative marketing tool for businesses.  

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