As the world accepts social support as part of the workings of business and customer service, businesses now have to look even more closely at the way we use social networks and blogs. A small mistake could send your brand into the abyss. At the same time, a little time and attention could do wonders for your business.
Twitter, for example, now has established dos and don’ts for business as well as personal use. For example, sending links to everyone using the @ feature is considered spamming, but sharing the same link twice or thrice a day with slightly different descriptions is not. Similarly you may also DM a link to a person, but repeatedly sending DMs with links to your product is not considered good form.
So what are the rules you should follow when you are using Twitter as a business? Here’s a quick and easy run through on some things you need to know when using Twitter professionally.
1. Use your Twitter real estate – Twitter gives you 140 characters to tell the world what you are all about. Use it tactfully, and well. You have a space for your company’s website, don’t forget to put it up. You may well change the way it’s displayed, month on month, and check metrics to see what works best for you. Here’s what we at Freshdesk, say.
2. Let people know what they’re clicking on – Do not shorten your website URLs on the bio page, as users might not be inclined to click on something that doesn’t bear any connection to what they came to see. It looks pretty out of place and additionally, you are losing a branding opportunity.
3. Brand your Twitter Background – Twitter lets you upload an image as a background for your Twitter page, and is another great branding opportunity that you should not lose. It’ll take you about 30 minutes to setup a satisfactory background image and upload it. Try to take the time out to do it. It’s intangible as a branding asset, but as all marketers know, the intangibles are sometimes the ones that matter most.
4. Don’t just re-tweet anything – Before you re-tweet anything, check, double check and triple check the sources and the links. Once you have RT’d the tweet, it amounts to endorsing the view and opinion in the tweet, even though you might not ascribe to it fully. You might also be held accountable for it, so think a million times before you hit retweet.
5. Do not Spam – As we pointed out before, refrain from bulk DMs or @ mentions to all your followers. Save your DMs for personalized recommendations or messages and @ mentions for conversations that can be viewed publicly. Any attempt at blatant self promotion or sales DMs will only be responded to by unfollows or blocks.
6. Do not get involved in controversies – On a personal twitter account, you can tweet almost anything on any topic you like, but on a business account, it’s a strict no-no. A snide tweet can be more trouble than you can ever imagine it could be. Here’s a Neal Schaffer post on Twitter Content Strategy.
7. Make conversation with your customers – Your customers will contact you on Twitter with questions and doubts relating to your product or service. You must track, engage and help them in every way you can. Word of Mouth is very powerful, as Jeff Bezos said, and when you serve your customers well on Social Media, the word of mouth generated is magnified many times over.
8. Use Twitter for Customer Support – Serve your customers, right where they are, on Twitter itself. Most companies now are already using Twitter to serve their customers. This does not mean directing customers to call or email, but resolving their issues immediately. It also makes sense to track customer sentiment on Twitter in real time, making it easier to respond, whether it is to positive appreciation or negative criticism. Here’s a whitepaper on how to use Twitter for customer support.
Do share your experiences with using Twitter for business.
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