10 Ways to Rock #Twitter for Business

So, your company is on Twitter, that’s fabulous! Let me ask you, since you’ve been here have you garnered any leads? Seen an increase in customer engagement? Noticed a difference in bottom line sales?  If not, you may want to give some of these ideas a try. If Twitter is a good fit for your business getting creative might be all you need to do to see a real return. Twitter for Business with logo

  1. Follow your customers and encourage them to follow you back. This is easiest of course if you are a smaller business and know their names, if you’re larger make sure you follow back.  If you reach out first they will love that and you can DM each other if there is ever an issue either of you would rather not have play out in the newsfeed.
  2. Delight and surprise your followers when possible. This can mean anything from a shout-out to a random upgrade – can you image the share potential here? (In my opinion ALL airlines should randomly upgrade a Twitter follower each day – the engagement would be off the charts and even disgruntled customers would want in on that game! e.g. “If you’re flying in the next 4 hours tweet us your flight # – someone’s going first class baby!”  See?
  3. Tell your business story using your customers experiences and mention them when you do. You’ll be helping them build an audience and they will appreciate that.
  4. Listen to your customers and offer them solutions to their issues. For example, if you’re not in the pizza business and you know a business that delivers on time, pass on their info when someone complains about wait times. The key here is to provide value to your customers.
  5. Use Follow Friday (#FF) and fill your tweet with customers. Caveat – don’t go nuts, one or two tweets each week is enough to call out your customers but not enough to tick the rest of your followers off.
  6. Ask your followers what they want. Make sure you reach out to your audience and see how you might be able to do better – they will likely tell their following if you implement one of their suggestions.
  7. Do not leave them hanging. If a customer complains, comments or just gives you a shout-out be sure to respond as soon as possible. Less than 5 minutes is optimal. No matter what they are complaining about they will remember that you responded promptly with an offer of help. Set up notifications for your phone if no one is monitoring the account 24/7.
  8. Speaking of offers – give loyal followers exclusive Twitter offers – Have them tweet to the cashier for a special discount or fill in a promo code they only get by DMing you. Get creative if you can’t manage all those DM’s.
  9. If you have a large following and a large number of customer issues, consider creating a separate account for customer service. That way you can keep the brand account for the fun stuff and handle complaints without them falling through the cracks.
  10. Have fun. Show the less than serious side of your business at times. People want to engage with people, not businesses so don’t be afraid to show your human side.  Oh, and if there’s more than one person tweeting make sure to sign your tweets so we know who’s who.

Your turn – what’s worked for your business on Twitter? What have I left out? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Happy tweeting!

5 Ways for Business People to Keep Twitter Followers Happy

new-twitter-logoTwitter is the bomb. Millions of people check in every day for relevant, funny, engaging and informative updates from the accounts they follow. If you are using Twitter for business and you haven’t been around very long, you may have mistaken it for a sales pitch platform, or you may just chime in when someone insults your hockey team, or worse, your political party. If that sounds like you, read this post before you find yourself unfollowed by prospects and customers alike.

  1. Know your audience – truthfully, this is my mantra regardless of the medium but here’s why it’s a must on Twitter. Most consultants will tell you not to sell on Twitter but what if you own a restaurant and it’s lunch time and people gotta eat right? Give the people what they want – knowing your audience ensures you some insight into what they want.
  2. Do not repeat tweets. Some people will argue this point but I am sticking to it. I have unfollowed dozens of accounts, even great big, famous Social Media ‘experts’ because of this. At the very least, if you must duplicate tweets separate them by a couple of days. Ask yourself what’s worse, having some of your audience miss one of the 100 tweets you sent that day or having some of your audience stop following you altogether?
  3. Answer people. When someone takes the time to retweet your content, ask a question or comment on your tweets, give them a shout out. This is the reason you are here – to garner engagement – and interaction with your content can often be considered a qualified lead.
  4. Follow your customers. You are using Twitter for business to actually get business so make sure you target potential customers and stop worrying about increasing numbers. Growth will happen organically if you’re consistently active and that’s the best kind of audience out there – people who are actually interested in what you are saying.
  5. Reach out. Let your audience know you’re paying attention. Mention them in tweets and retweet their content. They love that, it makes them feel special and listened to, and people do business with people who make them feel all warm and fuzzy.

I’m sure I’ve left some out so feel free to share your tips on keeping your audience happy in the comments.

Frequently Asked Social Media Questions Series

“To save time shouldn’t I connect my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts?

Short answer: No, no and definitely no.

Here’s why. These 3 platforms could not be more different and one of the best ways to show you aren’t aware of how they work is to connect them.

Look at it like this, Facebook is the backyard barbeque, Twitter is the local bar and LinkedIn is the corporate networking event. All social, but all with completely different agendas and acceptable practices.

Connect Accounts What could go wrong you ask? Picture this, a bank manager who is also an avid hockey fan tweets passionately about his team losing, using a little ‘colourful’ language. Arriving at work the next morning he is horrified to realize that every one of last nights tweets (and there were many) is greeting each of his professional contacts as they glance over their LinkedIn newsfeed.

Now, what if his boss is also a connection, or worse, what if he is looking for work?

Using social media effectively for business is about gaining awareness and exposure that translates into qualified leads, leads that increase your bottom line, right? So, saving time, although a valid idea, becomes less important when your efforts are paying off. In fact, if your social media presence is helping to increase business wouldn’t you want to do more of it rather than less?

Knowing your audience and giving them appropriate content on each of the platforms will get the job done. Connecting your accounts might not only hinder that effort but could have it blow up in your face altogether. Just ask that bank manager….

Tweet Much?

No, seriously, tweet much?
Most of the clients or friends I ask answer that they don’t. They don’t because they think the mundane details of their lives are ridiculous and if they haven’t got something relevant to their business to say, they say nothing… (insert crickets here).

The problem with that is they think all the people on twitter are doing the same, waiting until the perfect inspirational, call-to-action tweet pops into their head and only then sharing it with the twitterverse – So. Not. True.

The reason Twitter works for business, and for pleasure, is because tweeters are people – and people want to connect with people.

If you only communicate on Twitter in business form, using business speak to discuss business issues, you’re missing the point and more likely, you’re boring your audience to tears.

The reason Twitter works is precisely because of the mundane details that connect us all – cheering on your sports team, watching your favorite TV show, hating on ridiculous drivers, talking about the weather and yes, sharing what you had for lunch, even immortalizing that salad in a picture.
Yes, we do business, but we also do life in general, and it’s that general part where most of us find some commonality.

If you’re resolving to get your tweet on in 2012, or you want to increase your impact on Twitter give this a try: take off your business suit, move away from your desk and tweet instead from the couch, in jeans – sweats even – and see if you don’t make a connection that just might someday lead to a little business.

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