Maximizing Twitter for Your Business

Shopping_Cart_by_Gary_AllardA quiet or nonexistent corporate Twitter account is a disappointing sight for a potential client or customer. Somewhat like an empty, abandoned shopping cart.

But how do you keep up?

Option 1: Hire or Assign a Dedicated Person or People to Manage One Corporate Twitter Account

An impersonal corporate Twitter account, one that’s under your brand name with no “real” person identified, can prove successful if you provide useful company information, such as exclusive deals, product info, sales, and events. Take a look at The North Face, Merrell, DWR, Modernica, Piperlime, Dell Outlet, Amazon, and Sephora.

Option 2: Give Each Department a Twitter Voice

Imagine if your creative team, your customer service team, and your product development team each had a branded Twitter account and could reach out to customers, listen and provide feedback? Check out Zappos as an example.

Option 3: Give Your Entire Company a Voice

With a few guidelines in place, giving your employees a Twitter voice can be a powerful way to collectively express your brand personality and mission in a broad way. You’ll also connect on a very real level with your admirers (and potential admirers!). Here are some suggestions to get started:

  • Start with your movers and shakers: People already well-versed with Twitter and your people managers.
  • Create some Twitter internal guidelines for your managers and team members. Here’s an example, Corporate Twitter Guidelines (pdf), I recently put together for a presentation. It includes business benefits to help convince your boss.
  • Use a consistent Twitter “handle” structure, such as REI-Miles, REI-Drew, and REI-Wendy.
  • Use a fairly consistent photo style, such as all headshots on blue background, all outdoors photos, or all black and white.

Here are more great resources with ideas to make Twitter work for your business:

Writing Tips for Twitter

The Art of Writing Great Twitter Headlines by Brian Clark,

10 Twitter Etiquette Rules by Norman Birnbach, Fast Company

9 Twitter Writing Tips for Businesses (this one’s mine)

Leveraging Twitter to Grow Your Business

How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business by Michael Stelzner, Copyblogger

How Twitter Is Revolutionizing Business by Jason Ankeny, Entrepreneur Magazine

5 Ways to Actually Make Money on Twitter, by Max Chafkin, Inc. Magazine

Corporate Twitter Guidelines and Benefits for Business Managers and Staff (pdf) (mine too)

Making Twitter Part of Your Content Strategy

Content Strategist as Digital Curator by Erin Scime, A List Apart

How to Write a Twitter Policy for Your Employees by C. G. Lynch, CIO

Best Twitter Tools

OneForty: The Best Twitter Tools and Apps

Hootsuite (this is the one I use)

Am I missing an excellent Twitter article or resource for business? Let me know!

iPhone photo of shopping cart courtesy Gary Allard. View more photos from his shopping cart series here.

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    Shelly Bowen is the founder of Pybop, a boutique content strategy consultancy dedicated to creating exceptional content for websites, mobile, and video. Contact Shelly by email.