twitter-117595_640Do you have a Twitter account for your company? If not, perhaps it’s time. Twitter is the #2 Social Media platform behind only Facebook. It has nearly 650 million users and is growing at a rapid pace. Even better, in response to the rise of Social Media upstart, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have recently undergone fairly dramatic redesigns to place more prominence on images and videos, both of which can now be incorporated into your Tweets. It’s rather hard to ignore 650 million potential customers.

Twitter Do’s And Don’ts

If you’re interested in getting your feet wet in the world of Twitter and building a legion of loyal followers, here are some basic “rules of the road” for Twitter. This is more important than you might think, because there’s a key feature about Twitter that makes it very different from other social media platforms. What works everywhere else will probably kill you on Twitter. Here’s what to do and how to do it in the Twitterverse:

Understand the Limitations

Tweets are limited to 140 characters. That’s it. That’s all you get. Some article titles are longer than 140 characters, so you need to be concise and impactful. Every time you Tweet, it needs to be content rich and include a link that users can click on to obtain the full story or more information.

Be Relevant

You know the quickest way to lose followers? Tweet about “stuff” that doesn’t matter. No one wants to know if you’re going for your second cup of coffee this morning. On the other hand, they’d be very interested to hear about a sale of your much anticipated product, with a sneak peek preview available to all your Twitter followers (with coupon).

Include Images & Video

The new Twitter redesign places special emphasis on Tweets with pictures and embedded videos, so while you don’t necessarily have to include those elements with each Tweet you send, you want to make them a part of the regular diet of your Twitter followers. That said, of course the images/videos chosen should be original and relevant to your company, products, or services.

Behind the Scenes

Everybody loves being part of the “in-crowd.” Everybody loves exclusivity, and you can give that to your growing collection of Twitter fans. Periodically take them behind the scenes and into the heart of your company. If you’ve got an app that’s proving especially popular, perhaps a short video interview with the lead programmer, or a picture of the latest work in progress.

No Dirty Laundry

Don’t ever tweet about company problems, infighting, or what happened at the recent Christmas party. Those are all public relations disasters waiting to happen, and there’s no point in setting yourself up for failure or shooting yourself in the foot. Every Tweet should be business relevant, of interest to your fan base, and show you and your company in a positive light. Believe me, if you sell to the public, you’ll have your share of detractors. No sense in being your own worst enemy.

Ask For Retweets

As anybody on Twitter will tell you, you’re much more likely to get retweets if you ask for them in your Tweet. Doesn’t matter why it’s true, it just is. So just do it!

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