Client: Hey! I am on Twitter

Client: Hey! I am on Twitter and already have 50+ followers.

Me: Wow that’s great! but

–          how many of those are your employees?

–          how many do you follow?

–          do you know that those you follow don’t get to read your tweets?

–          are there any conversations?

Client: Err… Can we meet, I need to understand this…

Yes we need to understand and from what I have learned so far, here are some Twitter Tips for Beginners – Business Edition:

Connect With People:

Now would you want to talk to someone who doesn’t respond? So connect with people.

And remember that Users do not want you to push your product, service or content on to them. If you do that they will be quick to Unfollow you.

To initiate Conversations, best way is to ask questions or respond to the questions other ask if you don’t really believe in greetings which comes even before. If someone responds, acknowledge and talk to them further. My only suggestion would be that don’t start asking your product/service related questions right away. Be a HUMAN and talk about subjects that are of interest to your Audience that will also help you get relevant Followers. Learn to work with hashtags that is very important.

To know more about hashtags http://bit.ly/6zCu7X

Another interesting way would be to start a fun hashtag and ask followers to contribute to it. Look at building a contest based upon hashtag contributions and you can give away prizes for top 3 most RT (re-tweeted) contributions. That will help you gain many followers.

RT (Re-Tweet) is a powerful feature, use it whenever you like something on Twitter. Retweeting simply means tweeting again what other people have tweeted. When retweeting, you must give credit to the original person who tweeted it. Only retweet information you find relevant or interesting.

To know more about RT http://bit.ly/8lqbxA

Remember Pushing people is one of the top reasons people un-follows you and block you. So, be patient and do not disturbingly push people.

Bring Value to your Followers

How much time in a day do you spend with people who bring absolutely no value to you? Hardly any, Right?

So you may not offend or disturb your followers they will still Unfollow you if you don’t bring any value to them. The idea is to be ‘valuable’ to your followers and this can be achieved even by being interesting so that they like to read what you Tweet. Sharing links of interesting articles in your domain would again be good getting you relevant audience while keeping your followers engaged. You must be careful not to share only domain related stuff you have on your corporate blog because then you are pushing content and chances are that you will be blocked by most of your followers.

Share links that sparks the discussion, ask for people opinions and derive learning. To add flavor share pictures, videos, funnies, inspiring quotes etc. Direct good links to help solve others problems and increase your authority which will lead to more followers.

Use services like Bit.ly, goo.gl or cli.gs to shorten your links on twitter (optimizing 140 characters space) and check back for the stats like how many times your link was clicked/ shared that will tell you what kind of stuff your followers like enabling you to share more of same kind and gain popularity.

Remember before you Tweet check if your followers would like to read that? Will they RT it? Will it generate any response?

Always Answer your mentions

People will refer to your company’s account as if it were a person.

You should reply to tweets that mention you and whenever relevant. This will give your account more credibility, personality and will make your followers feel engaged directly with the brand.

For example, a person might ask you a question directly: “@TelcomBrand Hi. When can I expect MMS messaging services on the iPhone?” In the absence of any reply the same person can write something like “#Unfollow @TelecomBrand – They just don’t care! #fail”. Imagine if this person has thousands of followers then they all get to read this.

Say No to Auto-Responding

You are busy, very busy and yet turn off all Auto-Responders on your Twitter Profile.

Some Auto Responder services, like tweetlater, offers to tweet a welcome message to all your new followers on your belhalf; “Welcome: @follower, @anotherfollower, @another_follower, @Justanotherfollower” until all the followers are ‘welcomed’. It is so Impersonal that everyone hates it.

Do you actually feel ‘welcomed’ if you know that the welcome messages are automated?

Remember, If you want to be on Twitter then Auto Responders are a big No #plainenglish

Important Don’ts

Never use/join any program to gain followers automatically

Never Follow/Unfollow many people for no reason at all, and certainly not at once

Note: If many people block you simultaneously, your account will be blocked by twitter

Don’t protect your Twitter Updates

Having theme that makes the text unreadable

And Must Dos

Complete your Bio. That’s your introduction.

Get yourself a Avatar. (Not the movie Dude) Profile Picture

Have a nice Background Image done and uploaded

Send regular updates

Now be a Good Twitter Citizen – In short No PUSH only Two Way Communication.

Anubhav Sharma
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