Firstly a disclaimer! These are my personal tips for using twitter as a small business, and of course you are free to disagree!
- Twitter is a great platform to give you direct access to your customers. Use it to engage with them about things they care about (not just your product!).
- Decide how much you want to share about your off-line life. Different things work for different businesses, but decide and stick to it.
- Although we all moan a little sometimes, try your best not to moan about your actual business. If you moan about how long it takes to process something, or make your product, the impression I get is that you should perhaps be doing something else!
- Twitter works brilliantly if you use it regularly. It takes a commitment of time and effort. People expect responses quite quickly, and your tweet will only be on someone's timeline for a second before it disappears.
- My advice for both twitter and blogs is to find a consistent voice. Your voice should also be consistent across all social network platforms.
- Make sure your twitter profile describes what you do and has your website link - I'm always surprised by how many people forget!
- On a similar note, make sure your twitter profile is easy to find on your actual website.
- Your twitter account is a great way to really make your brand identity come to life. How do you want your customers to describe your brand - Fun? Young? Sophisticated? Reliable? Informative? Make sure your twitter stream reflects your brand ideal!
- Make sure your twitter name is easy to remember and spell. For example, I tweet from my phone rather a lot, and cannot easily get an underscore. It is easy to forget whether a twitter name has an underscore, a dash or an unusual spelling. Try and keep it simple.
- My biggest bug bear of all......asking (begging) for followers. No one really cares if you are 7 away from 300, or nearly at 5000. For me, it just makes you look a little desperate, and like you don't really understand what twitter is about.
Your content should be interesting, informative or fun. Why else would anyone follow you?
Do you agree? If you know any small businesses who use twitter fabulously, feel free to give them a shout out here!