Twitter: basics on how to use it for business

Twitter is part of the social media phenomenon that took off in the middle of the last decade. This included some apps and websites that managed to gain the interest of a large number of people, initially mostly young people who enjoyed communicating with their friends online.

The situation has changed a bit now, and businesses of all sizes and types are beginning to see the value of “being online.” What this has meant is that many companies have been quick to connect and create a presence with a wide range of social media platforms. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t work, companies regret having Twitter and Facebook accounts, and tend to blame these platforms for their misfortune.

The truth of the matter is that companies can use platforms like Twitter effectively as long as they keep a few basic principles in mind.

When it comes to getting an account, they are free. But if you plan to run a business, sign up as soon as possible for an account in your business name. There are thousands of companies around the world, and there is likely one that shares your company name. And you don’t want your competitors to go online and register your business name, either.

Then take some time to search. This is one of the most important aspects of the life of Twitter and, in fact, many of the users of the platform ignore it. Look up your competitors’ names first and see what they’re tweeting about. Even better, see what people are saying about them. This can help you in the long run.

Then search for keywords linked to your business, for example “car rental” if that’s what you do. This will allow you to see how Twitter works and what people are saying when they talk about your business.

Then get tweeting. Tweeting is the act of composing messages on Twitter and sending them to the platform. If people follow you, they will see your message. This is the hurdle for many small businesses, who get excited at the prospect of their corporate statements being followed.

Many companies take to Twitter with the goal of tweeting as much as possible about their offering. This is the worst thing you could do as a business owner. You might see a ton of ads on Twitter if you go in and look at the general ‘public timeline’, but the vast majority of users recognize self-service spam for what it is and ignore it. The best thing to do when you have a Twitter account for your business is to take things as slow as possible. Tweet several times a day, and whatever you do, don’t talk about your business until you have a few thousand followers. Talk about the weather, music, technology, whatever. Just don’t mention your latest sales discounts.

So here we go. Some basic tips. Go slow, find and watch what’s happening, and keep your business on the sidelines, at least for the first few weeks.

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