Rules of Using Twitter for Business

A lot has been made of Twitter as its popularity grows (significantly, I might add), so have the reasons for having a solid Twitter marketing strategy.
In this post you’ll learn the three rules every online and small business entrepreneur should know when using Twitter for business, and why.  Without these in place, your experience with Twitter will be of minimal value, and can even hurt your business altogether.

3 Rules of Using Twitter for Business

Ok, so you have heard of Twitter by now, but many questions remain.  Why should I use this service?  How can it help my business?  Let me encourage you to watch how others are successfully using it and follow their lead.  Here are three things I’ve observed others doing successfully, and am patterning my own profile after as well.  These are general and open ended rules, feel free to comment at the end of the post and add to the conversation.

1.) Have a Strategy

It doesn’t have to be rocket science, but after you get familiar with how the service works, with a few “tweets” of your own, it’s time to think about how to best use it for business.  Here are some strategy points to consider:

* Give them a Reason: Are your Twitter updates (tweets) useful to your target market?  Do they give followers insight into you as a person, as well as useful information?
* Show them you care: I’m not a fan of a lot of updates in a day, unless it is for good reason (event, or otherwise), many forget to update their status, and as a result become forgotten, unengaged, and unfollowed.  I generally have 3-5+ tweets per weekday.
* Mix it up: While building a profile for business, remember people ultimately do business with with people.  Feel free to mix up your updates with some of your own questions, observations, or personality.

Your Twitter marketing strategy should address these three areas.  As you use it, you’ll find even more ways to enhance your strategy.

2.) Have Targets

Have targets of how many tweets per day, as well as the subject of your tweets.  To start out you might only have a couple tweets a day, and build up from there.  Beyond that consider what you are tweeting about.  Here is guideline of what to tweet about:
* 5% – About yourself
* 50% – Useful information for your target market
* 5% – Thoughtful questions (which create responses)
* 20% – Industry news (other sources) with your commentary
* 10% – Stuff which can make your followers lives better (who doesn’t want  better health?)
* 10% – Resources available on your site

If you only tweet about one subject all the time, you will alienate some of your followers.  Regular updates spread across several subjects, allows you to remain interesting and valuable.

NOTE: While it is important to have targets, don’t be enslaved to Twitter (or any other tool for that matter)!  It can be addicting, and all the more reason you need to have a strategy…and make sure you stick to it.

3.) Plan to Participate

Involve yourself in a two-way conversation.  Watch what those you follow are saying, and respond with meaningful comments.  Doing so not only allows you to engage in more meaningful discussions, but it creates an opportunity for others to learn about you, your expertise, and your business.

The biggest thing you can do is get started.  As you follow these three rules, you will begin to see how powerful and useful Twitter can be in extending your reach and building relationships.  As you do, refer to this post as a reminder of these 3 Rules for Using Twitter for Business.

Your Turn: What is holding you back from using Twitter for business?  What is missing from these rules and your Twitter marketing strategy?

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