Twitter can be a blessing to businesses, making it easier than ever to connect with customers, share exciting news, engage in industry-related discussions, and overall make the meaningful connections that the site has become so popular for providing.
However, the social network can just as easily become a curse to businesses if not used properly. Here are the top 3 traits to avoid having if you don’t want Twitter to be useless to your company or even worse–taint its reputation.
Do you have some friends that are fun to spend time with but are almost impossible to actually schedule hang-outs with? You enjoy their company, but you know it’ll be fleeting. While usually well-intentioned, sometimes they’ll disappear for days or weeks on end, and you never quite know if they’re going to show up when they say they will.
These friends are often known as “flakes”. Chances are that you don’t trust them or rely on them as much as you do the friends who are always around and consistently there for you when you want or need them to be.
Which type of “friend” do you want your business to be?
Trustworthy and reliable are two qualities you can’t beat in a business. So don’t disappear from Twitter for more than a few days at a time, if even that.
Let your customers know you’re around, you’re reachable if they have questions or concerns, you care about their interests and will regularly deliver helpful content to them.
Twitter is a place to converse with, learn about, and help out your target audience. Twitter is not the place to try and sell your product or service by posting repetitive links to your website.
Now it is true that hard sales can indeed be made through Twitter. If what you have to offer happens to be the solution a particular user is looking for at a particular moment, you could very well lead that user directly to your website to purchase what they need.
However, Twitter is more fundamentally useful for developing relationships with customers and establishing your brand as more than a self-serving enterprise. Instead of solely posting updates about your business and its products, try sharing helpful and relevant information about your niche.
For example, if your company sells cooking utensils, why not share regular updates about new restaurants opening up, favorite recipes your customers might like, helpful tips from cooking shows and magazines, and the latest interesting ideas in the foodie community?
Doing so will make your company more than just the place your customers bought their good spoons and forks from. Your Twitter profile will become a place that your customers can go to for all kinds of cooking and food-related news, info, and useful tips.
Social media marketing is different from traditional marketing in that it is just that: social.
Posting engaging updates about your business and industry is fabulous. However, if you really want your Tweets to be engaging, you have to remember to engage right back.
If you get people replying to one of your Tweets, don’t sit back and smile at the successful post you’ve written. Get right back to that post and join the conversation you started!
When people are agreeing with your opinion, complimenting your product, or in some other way leaving you positive feedback, remember what your mama taught you as soon as you could learn to speak: say “thank you”. People appreciate businesses that are gracious and grateful.
Similarly, if someone is complaining about your company or somehow badmouthing it, you can’t stay silent and ignore the remarks. Instead, use these opportunities to gain real insights into what you can improve, and reply to the dissatisfied user with the necessary clarifications, apologies, or corrections.
Some people might say that finding success for your business on Twitter requires optimized posts, a certain magic number of updates per day, strategic use of hashtags, scheduling at the right times, and more. All of these factors can be immensely helpful to making your profile the best it can be.
However, as long as your business exhibits the following 3 traits:
…you will almost undoubtedly achieve great results for your company and for your customers as well.
What other traits do you think are essential for businesses to avoid having on Twitter? Please leave a comment below! I’d sure love to hear from you.