Twitter has become the perfect platform for businesses to leverage their brand personalities from. It's a showcase for industry greats and a hopeful starting block for those trying to build up a following. Creating engaging content plans for your readers is an absolute must-have item for your Twitter checklist, but more importantly is the way in which you engage with them. Many businesses are responsible for committing two of the ultimate Twitter fails:
- Talking to an audience instead of trying to interact with them
- Tweeting as though they're representative of a business
Talking As People To People
What many businesses forget within the world of social media is that this network is made up of people. As people, we respond more positively to businesses if we know that there are other people standing behind the logo and corporate identity. Talking down to others from a business perspective - even if you're doing it from Twitter - can be somewhat reminiscent of a boring conference that we aren't interested in attending.
Make sure you display your personal presence out in front. Be human. Be someone that other people can relate to. An example of using a human contact to make people feel comfortable is in the case of Starbucks:
They come across as just another people from the block and they interact with their readers in much the same way; as friends would. As their followers creep closer to the 3 million mark, it makes sense to assume that their engagement and human-friendly approach is working for them.
Forget For A Second That You're Promoting Your Business
A lot of businesses think that Twitter is an area for them to pitch from, and while it can be, you have to be subtle about it. Constant product promotions or rah-rah about what your business does will bore your followers and cause them to drop off.
Find a more creative way of selling what you do by offering up compelling content that your followers would be interested in reading and re-tweeting. Entertain, engage and enthrall and in doing so, you'll become a name that your followers become familiar with. This kind of exposure is worth gold in the Twitter-sphere.
Be The "Go-to" Guy Within Your Niche
Taking the above two points into account, try and position yourself as the expert within your field. Use Twitter as a news platform for your followers where they can read anything and everything that relates to your industry; whether it be news from your business or someone else's. This act of sharing other people's content - even that of your competitors - shows that you're not afraid to steer people away from your brand because you're confident in what it is you offer. This ties in beautifully with the first point about the "human element".
Hashtags, Auto-Response And Over-tweeting
These three facets of Twitter should be used in moderation or not at all. While #hashtags are a great way for people to search for and find the context of your tweets, they can also become irritating if they make up your entire 140 characters. Use them sparingly, as in one or two per tweet, and make each highly relevant to your tweet.
Over-tweeting = over-kill. You want to focus on quality versus quantity or face the risk of appearing over-eager and incredibly annoying. You also don't want to post all your tweets for the day within the space of five minutes. Rather make use of scheduling tools like Tweetdeck and plan for your tweets to release periodically throughout the day.
Auto-response is a simple no-go. Your followers are not numbers, they are people. By slotting them into your bulk messaging bin, you're losing that ever-important human touch.
Interact With Your Followers
If your followers take the time to read what you're tweeting and respond to it, they're certainly deserving of some engagement from your side of the pen. It is social media after all, not a megaphone for you to shout through. Interaction shows you're interested in what they have to say, which builds trust, which makes sales or enhances credibility; both of which are of great benefit to your business.