Friday, July 17, 2009

Is it Tweet-Worthy? Corporate Edition

Twitter CorporateLast month I weighed in with a popular post called "Is It Tweet-Worthy?" What started as a compilation of types of tweets I found annoying turned in to a comprehensive list of do's and don'ts for tweet-o-phytes.

I was asked to expand my POV to corporate Twitter accounts a few weeks ago by a friend who recently started tweeting for his business. I procrastinated writing this post for a while but starting keeping a tally of best practices and promised myself that when it got over 10, I'd post them.

So here's my initial list but I fully intend to add to it over time. For that matter, I hope to add suggestions from others so please comment here or @AaronGoldman.

  • Mix business and pleasure. If you set up an account under your business name, tweet about things related to your business not personal musings.
  • Tweet as "I." You're a company, remember? Always tweet as "we" or avoid personal pronouns altogether.
  • Just talk about your company. People have a low tolerance for overt self-promotion on Twitter.
  • Send out the same tweets from your business and personal accounts. Mix it up. You should have different audiences. If there is something that's relevant to both then tweet from one and then RT it from the other.
  • Just recommend your other Twitter accounts for #FollowFriday. Share the love.
  • Save searches for keywords related to your business so you can see who's talking about your category. And then...
  • Engage the community. Talk to people directly.
  • Tweet links to your blog posts, press releases, press mentions. Ain't no shame in that. After all, you are trying to publicize your business.
  • Share links and RT relevant news, articles, posts about your area of expertise. Give people a reason to follow you. Become the expert and best source for all things related to your category.
  • Reply to all @ messages and DM's. Unless they're obviously from spammers.
  • Reciprocate following. Odds are you don't use that account as your main source of Tweet updating so you shouldn't worry about having a clogged feed of tweets you don't give a hoot about.
  • Include @names when talking about other people or companies that are on Twitter. That will ensure that they see your tweet and are more likely to respond (which will earn you publicity to their followers.
  • Sign your tweets (initials are fine) if more than one person tweets from your account. People dig transparency and it gives followers a chance to get to know the different personalities behind your company.
Update 7/20: What are people's thoughts on automatic emails deployed to new followers? Not sure where I stand here. Seem a bit too annoying and impersonal for use with individual accounts but might be more acceptable for corporate accounts. Kinda like the auto-responder email you get when you register for a list. Nice to get confirmation that your request was received and a link or 2 pointing to a good place to start or learn more. Please weigh in.

Update 7/20 #2: @chicitigirl responds that she has "yet to see 1 that's added value." Can't say I have either. That's not to say it's a bad practice, though. Just haven't seen anyone doing it right. Can anyone share an example of a good auto-responder?

Update 7/23: Twitter itself just released a handy how-to guide for businesses on Twitter.

1 comment:

Alec Green said...

Great article Aaron. Just read it after drafting our guidelines for @thesearchagents. Could have saved myself some time and just sent the other authors a link to your post.
I would add:
Don't re-hash company gossip or inside jokes
Do retweet relevant research from competitors.

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