Twitter thoughts for businesses

When I squatted one of the twitter accounts, I went to the effort of setting up the twitter page to match their website palette, added their logo to the user avatar, set up the links and tagline, and so forth to see how much I could make it a part of their brand.

When they took it over, they didn't change a lot (better version of the logo, etc), so I suppose I did ok. It's cutting a fine line, though, since I am not really a representative of them. I took care not to "follow" anyone on their account, and only made tweets that linked to their website and were obviously directly related.

When they took control of the account, they asked for suggestions, and here's what I told them. Keep in mind this was for an electronics hobbyist retailer, so some may not apply to you:

Some of the things I thought would be interesting to see on the [business name] twitter are:

  • Links to new articles, products, classes, projects throughout the week (the usual)
  • Maybe a few times a week pick an interesting thread in the forum to highlight
  • Employee highlights - One of the things I love about [business name] is how personable it is, compared to [competitor], etc. Highlighting the projects or endeavors your employees are doing might continue that feeling as [business] grows.
  • Twitter only sales/discounts/info/advance notice
  • Useful information (shipping in time for holidays, etc)
  • Links to other projects and interesting things around the Internet that [business] enthusiasts would enjoy

I know a few companies don't want to 'feed' their twitter constantly, so they use a service (such as brightkit) and once or twice a week put a bunch of twitters on there that are sent on a schedule. People get daily updates about what's going on, without you actually spending time daily dealing with it. I had twitterfeed sending your RSS automatically to the [business] twitter, for instance, but if I had more time I would have taken your one post and sent a few twitters about each item over each week. My feeling is that smaller, more frequent updates get more attention than larger infrequent updates.

A few companies keep a tab on their @ replies and use twitter as an easy way to get customer feedback - a lot of people will tweet about things they wouldn't take the time to send an email about. People/companies with a lot of followers use twitter as a search/resource engine - they post a question, and 1-2% of their followers to respond - instant answers, free surveys, links, etc, all without sending out mass emails and waiting days for a response. You'll also want to learn about tracking and subjects - set up a few keywords to find people talking about you, or about things you want to know about.