The Digital Doctor: The etiquette of Twitter, a businesses guide.

Business Marketing Reading Time: 3 minutes

Since our last blog on the etiquette of Facebook was so popular we thought it was about time we bring you the etiquette of Twitter, and how to use the social media platform effectively to grow your business. With 271 million active users, Twitter is the go to site where micro blogging and worldwide discussions take place. Users love Twitter’s rule free and laid back approach, however some generally accepted rules have evolved over time, and if you’re using Twitter as part of your digital marketing campaign there are some crucial things you need to know.

  1. Don’t spam. People hate spam, whether it’s over the phone, through your letter box or online, spammers don’t survive long. Firstly you won’t build followers and more importantly the few followers that put up with your constant waffle will not convert. You may as well be printing a thousand flyers, folding them into paper aeroplanes and throwing them out of your window. There are a few different types of spam on twitter; following thousands of irrelevant people, or hashtagging a trending topic just to get readers even though it has nothing to do with what you’re saying. Above all spamming is just annoying and doesn’t say good things about your business.
  2. Give credit to any content you reuse. Whether it’s an image, an article or just a pretty awesome tweet, you should always credit the original tweeter. It’s practically plagiarism to just steal someone’s content, and although there’s no written rule that it shouldn’t be done, it’s basic etiquette. Retweeting is a quick and effective way of starting conversation, making new business alliances and building your followers.
  3. Twitter’s 140 character rule is one that has been largely discussed. Whether you agree or not, you can’t deny that the 140 word limit stops you waffling and pushes you to be creative with your tweets. However like anything people have come up with a way around it. Some like to write half finished tweets and offer a link for people to continue reading; others spread their message across multiple tweets. However the truth is that this rarely works, readers expect Twitter content to be short and snappy , that is after all why they signed up to the site. So stick to the 140 rule.
  4. Follow back! As you’re a business using Twitter to get your business out there and convert followers into paying customers, shouldn’t connecting with your customers be a priority? The chances are that if someone has hit the follow button, they’re already interested in your product and are more likely to convert, everyone feels a little bit special when they get a new follower, so return the favour. Your follows and followers is a tricky thing to get right, follow too many people and you’re not going to be able to read all their tweets and will miss some interesting content, follow too little and it’s more than likely you won’t receive many follow backs.
  5. Be fun and encourage communication. As with Facebook the 80:20 rule applies, people don’t want to be sold at. Twitter is all about conversation, so ask questions, tweet to your followers, favourite your business partners and mention your customers. The days of letter writing are long gone, if a customer has a question/ complaint it’s more than likely they will use a social media platform to express themselves, so don’t ignore them.
  6. Get #hashtaghappy. Hashstags can add a voice of humour to your tweet, or tether your tweet to a large audience. If you didn’t know already hashtags form a label on social media platforms to identify tweets on a specific topic, and allows you to broadcast your tweet to millions of concerned tweeters. They are a great tool if used sparingly, my advice would be use 3 or less, tweets full of #’s look messy and unreadable, and of course only use them where relevant, don’t just pick a trending topic to get more readers. What’s the point if they’re not interested in what you’re selling?

I could go on for much much longer about the unwritten rules of Twitter, there a lot of businesses out there doing it wrong, but follow these rules, and along with a well planned digital marketing campaign, you should do just fine.

If you have any questions about digital marketing, ask our Digital Doctor!