While there are tons of ways to use Twitter effectively, there are many more ways to Twitter uselessly, so the following guidelines from the SMX West 2011 conference should be used whenever Twitter is being used for public relations.
Twitter now has over 75 million users, making it an excellent social resource for finding new customers, pulling new website traffic and spreading a better public image. However, this many users also means more competition for each tweeter’s attention, so every aspect of your tweets must be effective in many ways–by avoiding a lot of irritating Twitter practices as well as by making sure to engage those positive ones.
Some of the most important rules involve Twitter conduct that hurts your brand image and frustrates users: those things that make your account look unprofessional and “spammy”. These mostly include duplicates of many types–duplicate twitter accounts pushing the same product, multiple tweets pushing the same advertisement, and old-style post retweets are all part of the content duplication frenzy that annoys many users throughout the internet.
Further, effective tweeters do not directly try to spam or deceive their followers in any way, which includes firstly divulging if their posts are “sponsored,” by not using @reply or #hashtag spam pointlessly, by not posting links that redirect users to advertising pages, and by not populating their follower list by “buying” followers.
The last thing to avoid can badly damage your brand image: automated tweeting systems. Automatically posted tweets do not effectively engage users, regardless of whether or not their content is generated by keyword searches–and setting an automatic direct message to greet new followers usually makes them feel disrespected and put on a robotic list. In all cases on automatically generated content, it just feels fake.
But these pitfalls help outline good tweeting practice, which more than anything involves your human involvement. Users need to be engaged with, frequently questioned, responded to, and given retweets they feel were handpicked for them. This behavior, in combination with an interesting and trustworthy tweeting voice, brings true authenticity and loyal followers to a twitter account.
Del Harvey, Director of Trust and Safety, Twitter
Contributed by: Zaid Ramadan, SEO Specialist, Milestone Internet Marketing