July 3, 2012 | By:

Top 5 Best Practices for Twitter

Ilfusion’s Top 5 Best Practices for Twitter

Twitter is a social media force to be reckoned with! Users have flocked to the site and continue to post 140-character “tweets” at a staggering rate. It’s a great opportunity for businesses to reach their audience, whether that audience is consumers or other businesses. Here are some of our best practices and recommendations for getting started.

1. Brand Your Account

Developing your Twitter page is a much simpler task than creating your website, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care when designing your Twitter page. Your background image and avatar (profile image) should match the branding on your website and other social media sites.

Tip 1: Your avatar will show up larger on your profile page than it will on most people’s Twitter feeds. If you have text in your avatar, make sure it’s still legible when viewing a small (50×50px) version of the image!

Tip 2: A clean, professional design is best for your Twitter background. Be very cautious with repeating backgrounds…some patterns can look nice, but it may be difficult to effectively add in your company logo or other branding while keeping that clean look.

2. Join the Conversation

Thanks to software like HootSuite, it’s easy to write tweets in advance and schedule them (and we recommend doing so). Don’t forget to really participate, though. That means looking at what other people are tweeting and replying to or forwarding on (retweeting) their words. These interactions are what will really make your Twitter feed worth following, so don’t skimp on it!

Tip 1: Find a hashtag conversation that relates to your business in some way and join in! For example, a staffing company might want to join the Hire Friday chat (#HFchat) conversation on Fridays at 11:00 a.m. CT while a doctor could learn (and teach) a lot during #hcsm on Sundays at 8 p.m. CT.

Tip 2: Find some of your existing fans, if you can. Take their names from Facebook or search for them by their email addresses, if you have an email newsletter list.

3. Use Hashtags Wisely

Twitter uses the pound (or hash) sign, #, to separate out searchable keywords. Many people use these hashtags to find tweets that are of interest to them. You can also use them to participate in ongoing conversations, like the ones mentioned above!

Tip 1: Make sure your hashtags are relevant to the content that you’re posting. A funny video might have tags like #lol #funny #video, but if it’s not related to #resumetips, don’t add that hashtag…even if you often share resume tips.

Tip 2: It may be tempting to add as many hashtags as you can fit into your 140-character tweet, but it’s probably best to stick to three or four.

4. Don’t Forget to Listen

Keep tabs on what’s going on with your fans, competitors, and other industry members. Not only will this allow you to connect with them on a regular basis and keep you up-to-date on relevant industry news and trends; you never know what they might say that will inspire the next big thing in your business!

Tip 1: Twitter allows you to create lists of your different followers. Make a list of the Twitter accounts whose content you like to interact with, then check it often!

Tip 2: You can also “favorite” tweets that you like, find inspiring, or that reference links that you especially want to hang on to. Just click on the star icon that appears on the tweet.

5. Check In…Frequently

Social media is not an advertising blitz; it takes time to establish your brand and build a following. Many people give up on social media when they don’t see results in a few weeks, or even within a couple of months…but great things come to those who are patient and work at it. Here are a couple of tips to make sure that keeping up doesn’t interfere with the rest of your business:

Tip 1: Use a program like HootSuite, TweetDeck, or Seesmic to keep tabs on your accounts. Most of these sites offer mobile apps for your iPhone or Android as well!

Tip 2: Set aside a certain time every day to check in on conversations. You may not always make it, but every time you do, you’re advancing your brand!

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