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VOL. 35 | NO. 28 | Friday, July 15, 2011

10 Twitter tips your business might be missing

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Most businesses have Twitter profiles. Very few, though, are satisfied with the outcome of their Twitter strategy.

In this second of a two-part series, we’ll explore 10 advanced Twitter tricks of the trade to ensure you’re getting the most of your time investment.

Start with ensuring you have enough of the right followers. For most businesses, it’s about growing the right followers versus just any followers. Find businesses similar to yours in your market with similar target audiences and follow their followers. Many of them will reciprocate and follow you back.

Conduct an advanced search for followers at search.twitter.com. You can search for tweets referencing keywords of interest to your targeted followers (e.g., “intellectual property” for law firms or “designer shoes” for a shoe boutique). You can filter your search on proximity to your city, which is handy for businesses that market locally or regionally. Once you find a good targeted list, follow them and they’re likely to follow you back.

A word of advice, though: Before your following spree, ensure your most recent post is relevant to new followers. If you have a frozen yogurt shop, tweet, “I’m going to look for other Memphis people on Twitter who love frozen treats.”

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part series.

As you grow your follower base, nurture those followers and engage them. Focus on at least two per day that you’ll make a concerted effort to engage with.

Advertising your Twitter handle can also boost qualified followers. Including your handle on your business cards, in your email signature, and on your LinkedIn profile. Include prominent links to your Twitter profile on your website home page and in your HTML email design.

Another way to call attention to your Twitter profile is by publishing a real-time feed of your tweets on your home page.

To engage and retain followers, create value through your content. Offer followers exclusive content and offers not available elsewhere. Hold Twitter contests with a grand prize winner and where everyone who participates (e.g., answers a trivia contest or retweets a message) gets a discount.

With all of the social media platforms that we have to maintain these days, it’s critical to create content posting efficiencies. Consider batch writing your content, at least a week at a time, and publishing those posts at scheduled times throughout the week utilizing tools like Future Tweets or HootSuite.

HootSuite and competitor Tweet Deck will also allow you to post the same message across several of your social media accounts. For example, with HootSuite, you can publish a single post across your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles at the same time.

There’s a lot more to Twitter than simply posting updates about your day. There’s a bit of a science to it. If you’re ready to get serious, test some of these strategies, measure your results, and refine your strategy accordingly. Happy tweeting.

Lori Turner-Wilson an award-winning columnist and managing partner of RedRover Sales & Marketing, www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).

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