Many of us on Twitter take it for granted that getting up and running is a breeze, however, many potential corporate users are still craving more information on how/where they should start. Here’s a basic introduction for corporate Twitter users with 10 useful tips on getting started.
- First – grab a good Twitter name (just park it if you have no immediate need) – more often I’m seeing companies losing out on securing their name for a Twitter account – act fast if its already not too late!
- Once you create a Twitter account, be sure to apply a logical logo/image (don’t simply use the default icon) and provide a short, useful description and a url to your website. Start following your competition, your customers and clients, and some interesting Tweeple from your industry
- Once ready to start tweeting, determine if your Twitter account will simply be a corporate twitter account that pulls feeds of your news or if there’s to be a person or team of people manning the account to provide useful updates. Consider adding secondary Twitter accounts that target a specific topic (i.e. technical support, developer network, marketing etc…) As an example, I use @gletham for a mix of Geo Technology and personal Twitter posts (this is my most widely used Twitter account and has my face associated with the account), although I also manage @gisuser for GISuser.com specific topics (news and job postings with GISuser logo as icon) @lbszone.com for LBS related news topics etc… Each account has been designed in a way that it is quite clear to potential followers what kind of updates they will be getting when following.
- Consider using real people to manage your social media accounts. A Twitter account managed by real people will get you more attention than a “robot”. Don’t be afraid to let your “Tweeple” mix a little personal information with business (Twitter users accept this and enjoy it) although some discretion should be used. Companies should consider creating a formal policy on what’s cool/not cool for people to do with Twitter and other social media outlets.
- Assign a person to monitor activity on Twitter to see who’s saying good or not so good things about your company, your products, or services. Search.Twitter.com is very useful and is very easy to use and create RSS feeds of posts that mention your company.
- If you have multiple Twitter accounts to manage, consider using an application like HootSuite (currently in R2 Beta) or Seesmic (I suggest this one), enabling rapid and effective management of multiple accounts.
- Encourage your social media “experts” to also learn how to Tweet via mobile. This is very useful when attending conferences, trade shows, training events and other events outside of the office. your customers and potential clients will appreciate live updates from events with useful information – it also makes you look more like a “Twitter Pro”!
- Consider sharing other media, like photos and videos with your Twitter followers. Several excellent media sharing applications are easy to use and very effective for sharing multi-media and will automatically “Tweet” when you make updates. To start I suggest the following mobile applications: Shozu (for data crunching and sharing); Qik.com or Flixwagon.com for live video streaming/sharing; Flickr and YouTube are very useful for hosting and sharing your product demonstration videos, product images etc… Finally, become familiar with Twitpic and TweetPhoto are very useful for sharing photos with your Twitter accounts.
- Finally, share your Twitter name and address with your clients, colleagues, and anyone else who is listening. Mention your Twittername in press releases, have employees add it to their email signature, post it on your website and blog (Twitter has some great widgets) and spread the word!
- For more information on the corporate Twitter environment I suggest you follow @mashable and @joelcomm @chrisbrogan @mattsingley for some useful tips and tricks. There’s also loads of self-proclaimed “Social Media Experts” out there who maintain useful blogs with tons of goodies. Once comfortable, be sure to investigate some of the many fine 3rd party add-ons that will make your Twitter experience more valuable and fun!
Seesmic is very useful for managing multiple Twitter accounts