Best Twitter Tips and Tools to Market Your Business!

Thanks to Shari Stauch, Where Writers Win, for this post about Twitter “best practices.”

To be a savvy Tweeter and still draw attention to your business, follow some basic important Twitterverse rules (and rely on some great resources) to make the most of this handy social marketing tool.

DO:

  • Cull from others. Not only can we learn a great deal from reading the tweets of others, we can learn a great deal from their own Twitter home pages. Watch how often your competitors are tweeting, what they’re tweeting, who they’re following and who follows them. You can, of course, choose to follow any of the same folks. It’s like free marketing intel on steroids — yet very few take advantage of the readily available information.
  • Tweet regularly. Too much lag time between tweets won’t get you seen much and won’t encourage new folks to follow you.
  • Be original, interesting and helpful: Share sites, blogs or articles that might interest your followers, whether that’s more information on the types of products and services you offer,  your own content and blog posts, special sales, best times to shop, etc.
  • Use Twitter as a “news portal.” You can announce your own news and relevant news from others. Likewise, you can find news on your interest areas just by typing a keyword into the search field.
  • Follow new people every day. Simply put, building who you follow builds who follows you. A few a day takes less time than it took to type this sentence, but they sure add up over a year! And remember, the bigger your audience, the more people you can tell about your business. It’s much more fun to shout our news from the rooftop when we know there’s a crowd standing below.
  • Retweet. There’s a button at the end of each tweet that makes retweeting as easy as can be — and it’s the ultimate compliment you can pay a tweet that you like and wish to share with your own followers. Retweeting is a.) useful to you by providing a tweet you didn’t have to create and b.) generous to others and makes folks want to reciprocate by retweeting your valuable content, too!
  • Use Lists. Twitter’s “List” function lets you place the people you follow on lists to make navigating around Twitter infinitely more productive. If you’ve built a list of customers and just want to see what they’re tweeting about on your next visit to Twitter, you can click on that list and viola — just Tweets from the folks on that list appear.

DON’T:

  • No overweeting. If you’re the New York Times, yes, you probably have a lot to tweet about; if not, don’t push it. Most folks don’t really care what you had for lunch (unless you’re heartily recommending a MUST-EAT-AT restaurant) or if you got your laundry done (unless you own an expert laundry service). Some personal stuff is great (customers want to know more about you because we develop relationships with people, not businesses), but leave out the mundane. We all scrub floors; it’s not very interesting when you do, too.
  • No constant shouting, “Look at me, look at me” in the Twitter space. It’s great to market your business, talk about your products, post your latest sales, etc., but overselling will get you un-followed fast — especially if you’re not sharing other content in between. Most savvy marketers have a 1:10 ratio: they’ll share their own news only in between a lot of other shares and retweets of other informative posts.
  • No cruelty. Hearken back to those old words of wisdom — If you can’t say something nice… An occasional outcry at injustice is great (and often humorous). But consistent 140-character bitch fests, or knocking a competitor’s product, will get you labeled a whiner — and un-followed faster than you can say, “I didn’t mean it, really!”

When in doubt, follow the examples of other expert Tweeters (especially those in the social marketing fields who are helping set the “rules.”) Keep it light, have fun, but know that Twitter is an underestimated and extremely powerful tool in your marketing toolkit.

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Explore these FREE tools to enhance your marketing efforts via Twitter!
wefollow – Add yourself using your location, interest and expertise (i.e. #restaurant, #bookstore) and other words that relate to your business. View other people already on Twitter who have used that same category, and let the games begin!
twitterfeed – Automatically feed your business blog to your Twitter account so when you have a new blog post, your Twitter followers know the moment it’s published!
twilert or tweetbeep – Receive regular email updates of tweets containing your brand, product, service, or any keyword search term you enter, rather like a Google Alert for Twitter.
twitterlocal
– See recent tweets that were generated from a particular location. Great for meeting people near you or getting a sense of what’s happening in a particular location. Often, a local business can find other tweeting businesses with whom they can cross-promote!
Top 100 Twitter Tools in 2012
  – Read DailyTekk.com’s well-categorized list 0f sites to enhance your Twitter experience, from tracking to building custom backgrounds.
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Creator of Where Writers Win, Shari Stauch has been involved in publishing, marketing and PR for 33 years. She retired from the Women’s Pro Billiard Tour in 2004 after a 20-year career as a top player and marketer/co-creator of the tour (inducted into the WPBA Hall of Fame in 2007), to serve a growing community of writers using their words to promote greater issues. Shari serves on the executive board of LILA: Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts, and co-directs programming for Words & Music: A Literary Feast in New Orleans, where she continues to help emerging authors create and broaden their audiences.

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Wintress OdomWintress Odom – who has written posts on Socialot Social Media Blog.
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