Using Twitter to Promote Your Business

Set up an Account with Twitter

Twitter Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that is free to use and is available to everyone. But there is a certain degree of etiquette involved in any type of social networking, so here are a few suggestions about how to promote your business by using Twitter.

The first thing to do is create your twitter account and then populate it with interesting tweets, which is Twitters way of describing a micro-blogging post containing no more than 140 characters.

Before you get to involved with this new account and all the tweets you intend to do, take some time to choose or design a customised Twitter background for your business page. Far too often individuals and even businesses go for the common default ones provided by Twitter. Here's a really good blog post that's all about twitter backgrounds and why you should keep away from the default ones - mashable.com/2009/05/23/twitter-backgrounds

Once you start to deal with your tweets, retweets and a growing list of followers, its best to use a free tool like Tweetdeck to help you with your Twitter marketing campaign. Tweetdeck is a desktop application that allows you to review and post updates to your Twitter Account. You can even use this tool to update your Twitter and Facebook pages at the same time!

Tweetdeck lets you sort the people and businesses you follow into groups and allows you to limit the number of tweets you view at any one time. It also lets you remove all the tweets you have seen with just one click.

Adding Interesting and Informative Tweets

By adding tweets that are interesting and relevant about your products and services, you can keep your tweets current and therefore popular with Twitter users. You should also add relevant news about your 'industry' to keep your Tweets interesting and varied.

To build up a following you should begin following people and businesses who are also using Twitter. As you follow others, most of them will follow you back. This is an important step as a blank Twitter account will not attract anyone.

You can use Twitter to point people to content on your website perhaps to articles you have written or the products or services you want to sell.

Bear in mind that Google indexes Twitter so your Twitter business page can appear in the organic search results.

So how can you follow others?

The best way to follow others is to do some research.

Go to Twitter.com and run a search by using keywords that are related to the industry you are targeting. For example if you are trying to sell an application for Apples IPhone you would search using the keywords such as Iphone, Iphone App and Iphone Apps and anything else that might find people who use Twitter and own an IPhone.

If your tweets are interesting to your readers you will find that other people will begin to follow you as they stumble across your Twitter business page.

Another way to pick up followers after you have logged-in is to click the Find People option at the top of the page and then enter keywords, related industries, locations or other details to locate potential followers and begin following them.

Always respond when your followers tweet you. If you do not keep up with you hard earned following it may begin to crumble. If you have a large following to maintain outsource you retweets or assign the task to one of your employees. Also make use of twitter tools like Tweetdeck to help with your twitter marketing campaign.

As you develop your Twitter marketing campaign you need to keep your followers engaged so you will have to tweet often, preferably daily or weekly.

Ensure that you retweet relevant tweets from other Twitter followers. If they then start to follow you will begin to benefit from all their followers. Retweeting is certainly one of the fastest ways to build your own Twitter followers.

Keep an Eye on Your Brand Name

By checking search.twitter.com frequently you can look for your brand name to see what customers are saying about your company. You can follow these tweets whether they are good or bad and get involved in the conversations. Your customers will be thrilled when you thank them for their kind words or even rectify a problem for them.

The ability of your customers who use Twitter to contact your management team is an invaluable resource. This one to one exchange permits you to keep close tabs on customer viewpoints, concerns and interests and is a great way to tap into social networking to test new ideas and to ask for customer feedback.

Avoid Spamming your followers

Beware - if you start to spam your followers they will quickly un-follow you. Spam activity includes things like only tweeting about your own products or services or retweeting the same URL time and time again. To many frivolous tweets can also be classed as spam.

It's best to avoid these sort of tweets if you want to continue to build up and retain your Twitter followers.

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