There was a good article written by the guys over at Macworld on Twitter and its use for business (referenced at the bottom of this post) that highlighted several tips on how to communicate effectively in this new medium. I’ve read a number of articles on the what to do and what to avoid when Twittering and thought I would give a quick summation for those trying to stay on top of the curve. If you’ve heard of Twitter but don’t know what it is, go here.
What seems to be at the top of everyone’s list is that Twitter is for personal communication, not sales. Keep things personal and and loose–and avoid sounding stuffy or corporate. This may seem at odds with your idea of professionalism, but by showing the personal side to your organization you’re making yourself more attractive to your existing relationships and making yourself approachable for potential new relationships.
A recent Tweet from Infomedia said:
can’t wait for IE6 to go away http://tinyurl.com/cp8cyr
While it may seem odd for us to say it outright, one of the big issues Infomedia and other web developers face is browser compatibility, especially out-of-date browsers that force us to refit perfectly good code so that it displays correctly on all platforms. One of our biggest nemeses is Internet Explorer 6. It’s old and outdated, yet some users are still hanging on to it, so we have to factor that in when building our sites. Sure, our personal complaints aren’t headline news, but by Tweeting in this way we’ve invited a dialog with our followers–a way to bring up the subject in a personal way instead of with sales or marketing.
But enough about browser compatibility and back to the main point: keep your tweets casual and personal. Some of you may never know that we face issues with various browsers but we decided to broadcast it on Twitter. It gives you the chance to get to know us just a little better and in the end, will enhance the relationships with our clients and other followers.
Even if you keep it casual, it’s inappropriate to Tweet about your products or services too much. Think about it: if you don’t want to be bombarded by commercial tweets, neither do your followers–and it only takes one click for them to disconnect from your message entirely. Twitter is not a replacement for marketing. An occasional informative tweet about what you offer might be okay as long as there are about 500-1,000 other tweets that are not self-promoting (that’s not scientific by the way–just one man’s opinion).
Be informative, provide links to interesting articles and promote other people that are following you by retweeting their tweets and crediting them when due.
There are a lot of other things to know and other people have said them better than me. Here are a few links to help you think through your Twitter strategy.