How to use Twitter to communicate with customers
It is still the case that many businesses don’t see the point of Twitter. The microblogging site is often viewed by those not in the know as a waste of time and something that only the most self-obsessed people engage in. However, this isn’t the case at all. Almost every business can benefit from setting up a Twitter account, and if used effectively, it can be a great way to establish the right brand reputation and to engage customers with your company. So, how should you use Twitter to get people talking to you and about you?
Recently we blogged about HootSuite and why it’s so useful being able to monitor what’s being said in your community. Follow keywords related to your industry and see what people are saying about you. If someone asks a question, jump in with an answer. If someone needs help, offer it. This isn’t about leaping in to force your products upon people. It’s about showing that you’re approachable and knowledgeable and a worthwhile business to follow.
Promote your blog
If your company website doesn’t already have one, set up a blog. This is because you can use Twitter as a way to engage customers in your new posts and spark debates. You can tweet links to new posts, ask questions and make people aware of your new posts. Facebook pages aren’t necessarily the best option for all businesses, so Twitter might be your only way to get people to read your new posts.
Link to the news
If there is a particularly relevant news story related to your industry, be sure to link to it and include an appropriate hashtag in the tweet. Many people search for news on Twitter by tracking certain hashtags, so you can get instant exposure by including yourself in their search results. This only works if the news is genuinely relevant, though, as jumping on the bandwagon of any old news story will annoy the people who follow you if you stray too far from your usual content.
If you’re going to stand out on people’s Twitter feeds, give them something to look at. However, Twitter no longer displays Instagram images on the site, so if you use these people will be redirected to the Instagram site to look at any pictures you include. Instead, upload an image directly into Twitter to give people an embedded Twitpic which can be opened, more conveniently, in their Twitter feed.
If you post relevant, interesting or informative tweets, you will be rewarded in the form of retweets, when someone posts your tweets to their own list of Twitter followers. This increases exposure with minimal effort from you. Don’t just post information about your company as people can find that on your website. This is about raising exposure and getting people connected with your brand. Then, when you do post the occasional tweet about your own site, people will be more likely to respond positively.