25 Small Business Twitter Tips

Posted By on Mar 11, 2009 | 56 comments


We have been getting quite a few questions over at Brandswag about Twitter. The questions range from personal use to business use. I thought I would put together a list of 25 Tips for small business owners to use when starting out on Twitter.

Use them. Learn them. Love them.

1. Use your personal picture in your Twitter profile. There is only one situation where you can use your logo… if you have two profiles. Your personal profile and your company profile.

2. Don’t setup an Auto-DM to send when users follow you. Why you ask?

Here are two posts talking about why you should not:
Tweeter Blog: How to STOP These Freakin Auto DMs
Social Media Club: To Auto DM or Not to Auto-Dm

3. Use Twitter Search to find subject matters that interest you. This can cater to your business interests, as well as your personal interests. This will help you find people that share

4. Personal life reigns… but not too much. Add in some of your personal life while you are using Twitter. What is important to remember is that you are using Twitter for your business generation as well. The people following you want to know that you are REAL… but not to the point where they are hearing about what you are eating or where you are driving.

5. Use it. It is important to use Twitter as much as you can but not to the point where you are wasting valuable time when at work. Tweet about what you are reading online.. Maybe a new insight you found while reading the night before. Try to use Twitter a couple of times a day.

6. Reply. Reply. Reply. Whenever you get a response (@yourname) make sure that you respond to the reply. This is extremely important because your most valuable followers are the people that respond and communicate with you.

7. (via John Janstch) Use strawpoll to create a survey to feed into your Twitter stream. This will be an awesome way to get information regarding service offerings and products.

8. Follow some awesome business Twitter people (@problogger, @chrisbrogan, @gacconsultants, @business901, @roundpeg, @Ribeezie)

9. Use a business Twitter account (example: @brandswag) to create a great place for customer relationship management. Teach your clients to use Twitter to keep with the happenings of your company. Also, it can help you share the news and information regarding the success of your clients.

10. Use Twitter as a discussion forum. Ask your clients and prospective clients what they would like to see, hear, taste, and experience.

11. Help. (via Twitip) Always help before asking for money. Twitter is not a place for you to hard sell individuals on services. We are here for discussions and not sales.

12. I started out with a personal profile that allowed me to create relationships before starting my company profile. (also via Twitip) I was able to cleaning transition between two accounts because people trusted me. If you start two accounts at the same time you will be overwhelmed and underwhelm your followers.

13. Use TweetLater for productivity. I don’t recommend using this tool much. You need to be involved in the conversation as you start sending tweets. If you are not there to interact with your followers there really is not a point for using the tool. Though.. it does help for those random tweets to stay connected.

14. Take pictures and share on TWitter. Add pictures on Twitter using Twitpic using your iPhone or mobile phone.

15. Use Google Analytics to measure the traffic directed from Twitter to your blog or website. If you can measure the traffic related to sales or aquisitions it help you understand an ROI from the tool.

16. Encourage your employees to join Twitter and become part of the conversation.

17. Twitter connets thought leaders. Talk about a great brain trust!

18. Fill out your profile. Make sure you put information regarding your personal life as well as your business life. This is important because.. everyone reads it.

19. We add our Twitter URLs to our business cards. I also like to add my LinkedIN account and blog URL. This will encourage more of your networking friends to follow you and communicate more effectively.

20. Follow @Zappos. A perfect example of corporate blogging.

21. Download TweetDeck. Tweetdeck is a powerful tool to help you be productive while using Twitter.

22. Are you using a Blackberry or iPhone? You should definitly be looking at downloading an application to help you manage your twitter account while you are out of the office.

23. Thank you. When someone shares your post or tweet make sure you send a DM or Tweet thanking them for their support. Just as you should be emailing people to thank them for comments… same goes with Twitter.

24. Don’t AUTO-DM. Please… it is completely and utterly worthless. Show some personality and human quality when using Twitter. The worst thing to do is Auto-DM. There is a reason I put this twice in the list. :-)

25. Don’t add hundreds of people when you first join Twitter. Let the entire conversation happen naturally.

If you have anymore tips. Please add them below! Get on it!

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  • http://www.alienst.com Head Alienst

    Great list, it is ironic just prior to reviewing your post we initiated a new Twitter account strictly for online research. Twitter is an exceptional tool, everyone should utilize it.

    • http://www.nashvillesmls.com/hendersonville-real-estate.php Hendersonville reo

      I totally agree. It is an exceptional marketing tool that everyone should consider and focus on. Most of the time, internet marketers misuse this site just like by following auto follows thinking that it would increase their chances of getting leads. In my experience, it is not advisable to follow auto follows as this will only hurt your credibility and reputation online.

  • http://sashakovaliov.com Sasha Kovaliov

    Kyle, #2 and 24 a bit the same? ;)

  • http://www.getbrandswag.com Kyle Lacy

    I noticed that. I switched it up. :-) There is a reason I put it twice.

  • Leigh Caraccioli

    Thanks for the insight. Many folks don’t see the business benefit to Twitter when managed properly and this blog help make that more clear.

    #19 is timely as I am redoing business cards and hadn’t thought of that!!

    #24 Avoidance of the auto-DM is a great point. It has never rung true for me and I find that many relationships began when I found common ground with a new follow and mentioned it in a welcome/thanks DM.

    Thanks for these kernels of bizwizdom, Kyle.

    Leigh

  • http://www.getbrandswag.com Kyle Lacy

    My pleasure Leigh. I have always been a huge fan of adding your social media sites onto your business card. What better way to connect? :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/loriosterberg Lori Osterberg

    Great tips. I agree with #12. I started out with my personal twitter account, and it took a good four months before I adjusted to how to use it, and fit it into my schedule. Now that I have that worked out, its easy adding another account and working that as well.

    Lori

  • http://livertising.vox.com jean-pierre ranschaert

    I use my twitterfeed (livertising) to keep my advertising major students updated on the posts on my teaching blog (http://livertising.vox.com) – nice alternative to twitter. I’ll post about your advice – very to the point. Thank you.

  • http://www.compendiumblogware.com Chris Baggott

    What is an auto DM?

  • http://hobokin.wordpress.com Jason Mitchell

    Great twitter thoughts.

    One important thing you forgot is linking. I think it is important to share valuable links with your followers. If this was not the case I would never have found your site :)

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  • http://coachdebbi.wordpress.com Deborah Bifulco

    To add to Jason’s comment – I would stress the use of the Judicious ReTweet! Not only is a good way to “show the love” to people you follow, but it is a great way to help other Twitter-peeps out. Great stuff here, Kyle!

  • http://www.online-praesenz-beratung.de Alex Schestag

    15.: Why do you recommend Google Analytics? It’s much better to use a separate, more powerful tool like awstats to do this analysis.

  • http://www.educationandmore.org Karen Pickett

    I have connected with many through the sharing of links. I really appreciate good links from others in my field.
    Thanks for all your information!
    Kare

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  • http://www.gutzmarketingblog.com Holly Powell

    Nice!.. Thanks for sharing this post. These twitter tips are awesome and cool. Looking forward to reading other great post.

  • http://www.clickandinc.com/ Barkri

    Before embarking on any solution, make sure that you have separated the symptoms from the real problems. Failure to take this action may results in silo solutions that are not linked and may cause additional poor business results. For example, recently as a corporate coach I was asked to help with some team building because the management team of the potential client had participated in a workshop that suggested their organization had some team building issues.
    # Establish a proven and written goal planning, setting and achievement process

    Within the Unites States, there exists a paradigm that individuals know how to consistently plan, set and achieve their goals. If this was true, then why isn’t there more success in this country? After working with thousands of individuals as a performance improvement business consultant, corporate and executive coach, I can honestly state that less than 10% of those individuals had a written goal plan where their goals were consistently achieved.

  • http://businessclasswebsites.com/ Jeremy

    Good advice Kyle, I have to admit I haven’t used twitter in building my business any where near to it’s potential.
    I guess I still haven’t got out of my inbox to build credibility or customer loyalty but on the other side of the coin I like following Guys that are doing everything in the twitter to do list and I have been the recipient of some very useful tips and tools, Kyle Your article gets a tweet from me.
    cheers

  • http://www.susuh.de Stefan

    Great list, just tweeted it via @susuh .

    You should add that success – whatever that means to an indivisual business – does not come overnight, but may take several months of input to the community.

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  • http://www.socialmediafanatic.com Geoff Wood

    Good thoughts, Kyle. I recently posted on my blog some thoughts related to KEEN Footwear and their use of Twitter that overlaps a bit: http://www.socialmediafanatic.com/2009/03/nothing-irritates-me-more-than-poor.html

  • http://www,beegreenfoods.com Kristen Taylor

    I love this except for #4! People LOVE to hear what I’m eating! Ha Ha! But that’s because of the nature of my biz. Probably wouldn’t be the sameif I was shoving a greasy Big Mac down my throat! LOL

  • http://www.WithAKicker.com Chris Cobb

    I like to follow people who are following big guns in my niche. With Twitter you can easily see anyone’s followers. Once you follow them, most will follow you back.

  • http://marketingdonutblog.co.uk/ Anna Kirby

    There are some really useful tips here, thank you. I frequently use the search facility to find people who are talking about the same topics as me. Adding URLs to business cards is an interesting idea.

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  • http://myscones.com Joannah

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Joannah

    http://myscones.com

  • http://what-is-twitter.roneyzone.com Jeff Roney

    I created a free tutorial on how to schedule future Tweets wishing your friends/followers a Happy Birthday. It's a great way to stay connected, even if you have limited time to do so:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcjHlySkqEs

  • http://www.wendysoucie.com Wendy Soucie

    Great compilation of tips with a lot of new ones for me to digest. I have been using a new Beta social relationship management tool – http://www.xeesm.com/wendysoucie. I was running out of room on cards for social media links, plus for the 35 -55 age group, the font is getting too small.. Rather than just place on my website page, which I did as well, I wanted something that might provide more functionality. This tool is moving to public Beta and introduced on Nov 16 at the Social Media Tools Week. Right now I can track easily all my comments across the blogs I read and post to. Pretty good when I want to review where I have been for the week.

    Wendy Soucie, Principal
    http://www.xeesm.com/wendysoucie

  • http://www.bizplancorner.com Rashid

    Hi,
    Nice tips, Especially #19, totally agree with you, its really help your networking friends to follow you easily and its really make communication better.

  • http://www.bizplancorner.com Rashid

    Hi,
    Nice tips, Especially #19, totally agree with you, its really help your networking friends to follow you easily and its really make communication better.

  • http://www.facebooklicious.com Facebook Application

    Nice!.. Thanks for sharing this post. These twitter tips are awesome and cool. Looking forward to reading other great post. Twitter is really an effective social networking website

  • http://www.facebookster.com Facebook Application

    Well i wanna add one more thing. Tweetgrid also help to find small business people.

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  • http://ListSamurai.com Roger Bauer

    Kyle,
    Good stuff. I created a mind-map to go along with the tips that will give people something to download and print out for future reference. It includes a link back to this page for good measure.

    Anyone can download the mind-map for these tips along with 9 other marketing mind-maps for free with no registration required. Just visit the page below, and enjoy!

    http://listsamurai.com/marketing-maps.html

    -Roger

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    Hi,
    I really like your website and your writing style. You have written great and interesting content.

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    Hi,
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  • http://twittervendingmachine.com Jimmy Sou

    Great post- you covered it well. Thank you

  • http://backgroundfinder.com/ people searches

    Twitter is a great tool to connect and interact with colleagues, customers and prospects if used well. One of the important skills to learn is how to respond correctly to a tweet so that the user sees that respond to their response.

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  • http://www.contentfac.com Jasmine A. Davis

    Awesome, thanks for the tips!

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