Twitter is an absolute essential for connecting with customers and clients in today’s competitive business environment.
According to a 2014 study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 83 percent of Fortune 500 companies maintain active Twitter accounts. The most successful of these businesses carefully craft tweets capable of building an engaged community. The result is greater brand loyalty and ultimately, an improved bottom line.
To reap these and other social media rewards, be sure to abide by the following essential Twitter do’s and don’ts.
Do: Humanize the Company
Twitter users do not just want to see lists of products or services offered by the companies they follow. Rather, they want to experience the unique cultures of those companies.
A variety of tactics can be used to humanize a company on Twitter, including the sharing of jokes, silly photos of employees, links to interesting stories, and more. The goal should be to prove that the account is about more than simple advertising—it is also there to inform and entertain followers.
Old Spice is the ultimate example to look to when attempting to craft a personable Twitter account. Since the launch of the iconic “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign in 2010, the company has continued to make waves in the world of social media.
Several of the account’s tweets fail to make mention of Old Spice products, but that’s exactly what makes it so appealing to Twitter followers. With jokes about everything from hipsters to hummus (interspersed, of course, with the occasional silly Old Spice ad) it’s easy to see why followers are so eager to return for more.
Don’t: Overdo Hashtags
The hashtag is an effective tool for attracting attention in the Twitterverse, but if used incorrectly, it can be distracting and downright unprofessional. If hashtags are a must for a given tweet, proceed with caution.
The right hashtag will generate an impressive response, but dozens of hashtags that are difficult to decipher will convince followers to seek social media entertainment elsewhere.
LifeLock’s Twitter page offers plenty of excellent examples of seamless hashtag integration, with the company using this powerful social media tool to highlight such concepts as #IdentityTheft and #CreditHealth. The company also strives to get followers involved by promoting a variety of Twitter events, including #IDTheftChat and #SaferInternetDay.
Do: Engage Followers through Entertaining Contests
One of the easiest ways to build a sense of community is to hold a trivia contest, photo captioning challenge, or fill in the blank contest. Your contest should choose a reward enticing enough to convince followers to put a little effort into their responses.
Ideally, the contest will in some way integrate the company’s message, highlight one of its goods or services, or better yet, get followers to cross the barrier from virtual interactions to real life. For example, WWE attracts a great deal of attention with its #HideAndTweet contests, in which followers are asked to find wrestling stars based on posted maps photos of wrestling stars. Winners receive tickets to WrestleMania and other major events.
Don’t: Tweet Too Often
All good things should come in moderation, Twitter included. Even the wittiest social media account will bore users if its tweets become incessant.
For most corporate Twitter pages, one tweet every hour or two is sufficient. This rule can be broken during special Twitter events or when responding to pressing questions from curious followers.