7 steps to Twitter success

You’ve just been given responsibility for your company’s Twitter presence. It seemed like a good idea when you pitched it to your boss last Friday after work but now you’re sat there staring at the words “What’s happening?” and you’re wishing you’d just kept your mouth shut.

Well I’m here to help. You can’t just jump in cold, you have to warm up with these 7 steps to Twitter success:

  1. Start with the Twitter handle. If you’ve only got a handful of followers this is easier than potentially confusing a few thousand. Think about what type of an organisation you are representing. You now represent that company’s personality. Does the name reflect this? If you are representing a very corporate business then it makes sense to stick with the brand name as the handle. On the other hand, if you are media or creative focussed then think about using your own name. Better still, put them together. Attacat do this well.
  2. Next, fix up that profile. With few exceptions, it’s best to put a name to the account. A real, human person’s name. Your name in fact. Make it clear in the profile that you are tweeting on behalf of the organisation. If there are more than one of you, list them all. Then spend a bit of time crafting a human friendly profile based on what you do, not a computer friendly list of terms DESCRIBING what you do.
  3. Draw up some guidelines. What are you going to be talking about? When are you going to be “on?” How will you handle negative responses? How will you handle sales enquiries? Answer all of these questions and write it up. Stick it on the wall and refer to it.
  4. Choose your client. You might be happy with the web interface but you won’t get much out of that in terms of analysis or flexibility. If you want to make the most of your presence you will want to start tracking keywords and organising your lists. Check out Tweetdeck which is a popular desktop application, or Hootsuite if you prefer a web-based app.
  5. Make time for research. The best feeds are those that can blend a bit of personality with a rich seam of genuinely information. Make sure you spend a portion of your time reading blogs in your business niche and following links from interesting people you follow. When you come across good stuff, share it. Better still, start to write good stuff of your own.
  6. Search out your audience. People aren’t going to just stumble upon your content, you’re going to have to go where they are and tell them about it. Use Twitter Search to search for things related to your business. Don’t just focus on your brand name, think about your services or the problems that they solve. Find the conversations about this and start following the people who are already talking about you and your niche.
  7. Start tweeting. Simple!

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