By Louis Nel
I’ve recently had to do a little research on acceptable etiquette for brands on Twitter. My findings were rather interesting and after some cyber stalking, I was appalled by how many brands get it wrong. So, having done some online research too, here are some points to consider.
Make your profile interesting
You can’t go wrong with using your recognisable brand logo as your avatar. Make sure it’s cropped correctly and legible as a thumbnail. Clearly state your purpose for being on Twitter in your bio and include a link to an engaging and informative page on your website. And please, do invest in an attractive background.
Never ask for more followers or retweets. That’s not the point. People will follow you or share your stuff if you provide great content. Focus on quality, not quantity.
Know how to spell and string a sentence together
B sure that whatevr u post looks as gr8 as this – LOL!
Srsly. Don’t use confusing abbreviations or text-speak. When you’re unsure of something, your two best allies are Dr Word Spell Check and Captain Google. Make sure your punctuation is amazing. Remember, the grammar police are undercover, pretending to be the average Twitter user. They WILL throw tomatoes at you.
Don’t be windgat
Refrain from tweeting about your latest prize, achievement or golden review. Ask yourself, “Would I care about this tweet if I wasn’t a part of this brand?” Having people say nice things about you holds more weight than you saying them about yourself. That said, it’s tacky to retweet a compliment. Rather post about the benefits that your brand can give to its followers, without being spammy, or even better, ask your followers for their input.
Although Twitter is more of a broadcasting medium than Facebook, it’s still important to have conversations with your followers. Make sure you use @mentions and don’t tweet too much.
Give out cyber high-fives
Be sure to thank followers who give you favourable mentions. Show them some love. You’ll find that they’ll be stoked to see your brand’s name in their stream of replies.
Don’t cross the line
This usually happens when the person behind your brand’s Twitter account gets too personal. Don’t share your top 10 favourite rom-coms of all time if it has nothing to do with your business, and do not (I know it’s sometimes difficult) flirt with a good looking follower. Keep your conversations professional and tweet about what’s relevant to your brand and your audience.
Use hashtags properly
When properly applied, hashtags can greatly increase brand visibility in the Twitter community – and they’re usually not just your brand’s name. A successful hashtag will lead to a trend and in order for this to happen, users must want to include it in their tweets. Don’t #post a #tweet that’s #riddled with #hashtags. One is enough.
Remember to keep your finger on the pulse by doing frequent searches for current trends and terms related to your brand. And know your enemy. If you happen to come across a tweet from someone complaining about your competitor(s), take immediate action. This is a great opportunity to gain new followers and convert window shoppers into customers. Just don’t be creepy.
Don’t drive in automatic
This is something that I find extremely annoying. If your brand uses Twitter and Facebook, stay away from auto posting the same content on both mediums. Pretty please. These two platforms serve totally different purposes.
Another important point to remember is that it’s not very useful to set up auto direct messages (DM) to every new follower. Most Twitter users are pretty savvy and can spot an auto tweet a mile away.
Never leave someone hanging
Based on personal experience, the average follower will only wait a couple of hours for a reply. After that, your post will become vapour in their timelines. You can still get away with one working day on Facebook, but Twitter is far more immediate. Also, make sure you use the correct Twitter handle (@so_and_so) for your response to be seen.
Finally, not every brand should be on Twitter. Your target market might not be users or might not like being spoken to in this medium. It’s very important for a brand to monitor Twitter, but it might not be the end of the world if you’re not on it. Your type of product and target market should dictate this decision.