Twitter for Business 101: 6 Tips for More Engagement

Are you struggling to attract followers or stimulate engagement with your company’s Twitter handle? Try these six simple tips.

  1. Share “Up” — Retweet and Repost Influencer Content

One of the surest ways to become a social media influencer is to share “up” — that is, retweet and repost content created or shared by other influencers. As long as you’re respectful and measured in your engagement, this activity will raise your social media star, boosting your follower count and driving engagement with your own handle.

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  1. Self-Promote Cautiously

Many corporate Twitter handles aren’t shy about self-promotion. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with sending out the occasional commercial tweet, too much of this activity can turn off followers. In fact, many experienced Twitter users, like Miami entrepreneur George Otte, send out virtually no self-promotional tweets. They stick to topics relevant to their industries or specialties without overtly singling out their own enterprises.

  1. Don’t Focus on 280

Twitter recently raised its per-tweet character limit to 280 from 140, but you shouldn’t see this as a license to be long-winded. In fact, you shouldn’t change your tweeting strategy at all. Short, punchy tweets continue to work best in most situations.

  1. Avoid Controversial Topics

Your corporate Twitter handle is not the appropriate venue to discuss topics not directly or tangentially related to your business, particularly those likely to attract controversy or incivility.

If you do need to discuss politics, religion, or other hot-button issues not related to your business on Twitter, use your personal handle for those interactions. Though it’s still important to maintain civility and avoid crossing bright ethical lines with your personal handle, it’s much more appropriate to mix business and personal interests there. NBA superstar LeBron James tweets about a wide range of matters related to basketball (his vocation) as well as social and political causes about which he feels strongly.

  1. Engage Judiciously

In that vein, choose your Twitter engagements judiciously. Don’t reply to every ill-conceived comment from semi-anonymous followers or chime in on a public conversation with no direct bearing on your business. Avoid liking and retweeting potentially controversial or irrelevant tweets, too.

  1. Don’t Worry About Spelling Everything Out

Twitter is built for sound bites. Even with the increased character limit, it’s not always possible to fully communicate what you mean in a single tweet. If you do need to get across a complicated idea or longer announcement, keep the explanation to a single tweet or short thread highlighting the main points. Then, follow up with a link to a fuller explication — a news release, article, video, whatever.

Don’t Tweet in a Vacuum

You’re well aware that Twitter isn’t the only social media platform with a clear business purpose. In fact, it’s not even the most effective: that honor goes to LinkedIn.

Your company’s social media strategy should include every property for which you can identify a clear business case — not just Twitter and LinkedIn, but Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and niche platforms as well. Your customers are waiting out there, and savvy social media use can shine a powerful spotlight on them.