Here’s a quick guide to the effective use of Twitter to promote your business, yourself, and your brand
by being Real, Relevant, and Reliable.

1.  Be Real

Your Twitter account should be an extension of your brand, but keep it real for your potential audience. Twitter is more about networking and connecting than interrupting and selling. Also, be sure to have a proper profile before you begin to tweet. Consider the following.

  • Username: Your username is your Twitter identity and it should reflect your brand. Your website name or company name is often a good choice. Best to keep it short, since every character counts.
  • Profile image: Folks on Twitter will be much more receptive to a real person than a graphic. Use a close-up, personable photo of yourself, or social media rep.
  • Bio: Be authentic and informative with your 160 character bio. Write descriptive phrases that share information about your industry, areas of expertise, or interests.
  • Background image: Market this prime digi real estate. Create an image that helps identify and establish your brand. Add a logo, image, or copy in the available space to the left of the Twitter content. If skillful, create one yourself. If not, there’s talent for hire.

2.  Be Relevant

It is as critical to be relevant as it is to be real on Twitter. Strive to share thoughtful content and relate to others.

  • Value: Provide good reason to be followed on Twitter. Tweets should be meaningful. Give useful advice, share opportunities, recognize the good work of others, post beneficial links, and show some personality. Retweet worthy content, giving credit where it’s due.
  • Follow: While it’s important to gain an appreciative audience, it’s also critical to follow the leaders in your field or industry. Seek & find: search, then consider the users’ activity, merit of their tweets, and the number & quality of their followers.
  • Connect: Develop connections and build relationships with others. Participate in discussions, sharing pertinent information. Ask questions, request input, and read others’ tweets, which can help you identify interests and spark discussions. An important part of connecting is replying to any questions or comments concerning your business.

3.  Be Reliable

Using Twitter for business is about making connections, developing trust, and extending your online reach. You build this relationship the way you build any other—by being reliable.

  • Consistency: Building a following requires steady effort. Be active and tweet regularly. Consider repeating valuable tweets to get them heard. People use Twitter at different times, and users are often spread across many time zones.
  • Schedule: Avoid Tweet binges. No one wants to feel spammed. Spread your Twitter activity over time by scheduling tweets throughout the day using sites like SocialOomph or HootSuite.
  • Build: Write tweets that are clear, concise, use industry keywords, or even hashtags to identify topics and stay within the 140 character limit. Create a voice for your brand and build trust by offering resources and expertise. You might also consider generating buzz with give aways or contests and build your following.

Social media has become an important tool for online marketing. However, a careful approach must be taken in order to be effective. While the goal might be to drive traffic to your website and sell your service or product, making profitable connections on Twitter requires time and patience. Remember to be Real, be Relevant, and be Reliable and it will be easier to connect to your prospective customers.

Jon Whitbeck
As a web designer and developer, I have managed, built, launched, and maintained websites that meet my clients' objectives. I develop dynamic websites with content management systems based on the latest design trends. My background as an educator and instructor helps me create user-friendly interfaces and teach my clients how to update their own sites.

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