Guest post: Best practices for a Twitter novice

Guest post: Best practices for a Twitter novice

Marketing strategies of newly found businesses often ignore social media. A brand’s presence on Twitter and the likes is important and has been talked about extensively by various publications and PR specialists. Some say that it’s crucial to keep up with what your customers are doing on social media, while others utilize the online environment mostly for branding purposes.

Twitter marketing is a great way to build up momentum around what you’re doing. You might be a startup owner or someone intending to create a personal brand. Maybe you’re a freelancer looking for new clients. So then, what better place to find them other than Twitter?

Before you start spreading the word on what you can do for people, there are some things to keep in mind. This is a short list of best practices that can assist a Twitter novice in getting the most out of the network.

Choose your name wisely.

Even celebrities and politicians have Twitter accounts and although it is a fun thing to do, it’s being perceived as something quite serious. The Dark Ages of the Internet have long gone, and we the users can’t hide behind a virtual identity anymore. If we want to make a difference, we have to use a real name and a real picture, and let people know that we mean business.

Unfortunately, nobody’s name is unique. If it is, grab your Twitter handle now! Otherwise, you might lose it before you know it. If you can’t use your own name for the handle, at least try something that’s related to what you do. Handles are important because people will refer to you through them. Nobody’s going to use more of those 140 characters to type your entire name.

The key takeaway here is that you need to think about your Twitter identity before many people start following you. Sure, the handle can be changed, but by the time you do it, some people might have memorized your old one.

It’s all about meaningful conversations.

Some Twitter users will refrain from posting updates, because they wrongly believe that they need to have something really important to say. Although it’s true that if you’re trying to market your products or services on Twitter you definitely shouldn’t use it as your personal account, your followers may like hearing from you more often than you think.

The first rule of bonding on Twitter is the 80/20 rule. As with other marketing strategies, what this means is that you’ll need to interact with other individuals for 80% of the total time spent on social media. Post updates about yourself only 20% of the time. If you do it more often, you might accidentally give the impression you’re being spammy.

If you really intend on gathering a large number of followers in a short amount of time, you may want to look for trending hashtags. Using them, however, needs to be performed intelligently. There have been accidents in the past that have gone down in history as the biggest social media fails of popular brands. For instance, there was a campaign about domestic violence a while ago that used the hashtag #WhyIStayed. In a desperate attempt to get more followers, the social media people at DiGiorno Pizza published the following tweet: #WhyIStayed. You had pizza.

So if you want to talk to other people about last night’s Super Bowl match, use the hashtag. But if you really have nothing to say on the subject, why not just leave it be? Always publish tweets that you know are worthy of reading.


Just be yourself.

It really doesn’t come as a surprise that people will automatically think of you as a spammer if you keep on blabbing about yourself all day long. This isn’t marketing and it’s not even honesty… It’s pure, selfish self-promotion.

If you really want to make a difference, be yourself, which is something that you’d normally do on a daily basis, with your friends and family. There’s nothing better than reading the tweet of a person that strongly cares about something and expresses a direct opinion on the matter.

Acting like a human being is sometimes more important than getting cold hard results. And it pays off! Actually, it pays off both for you as a person and for your business, because nobody wants to buy anything from a robot.

Define your Twitter marketing strategy

After having gone through these basic principles, you need to start working on your Twitter strategy, particularly if you want to use the network to acquire new customers. Marketing on Twitter includes posting updates about the business, offers, discounts and all that jazz, but it also means that you’ll need to create an unbreakable bond with your customers.

Here are some small steps you can do to boost your Twitter visibility:

  1. Post promotions and make them available for a limited amount of time.
  2. Respond to replies respectfully and in a timely manner.
  3. Try to legitimately help your customers, with tips and tricks.
  4. Retweet success stories and testimonials.
  5. Post pictures of you and your team, while at work.

Creating a social content calendar is also a great idea, but it can somewhat rob you of your ‘humanity’.

To make a difference on Twitter, you need to always focus on your human side.


Cristina Vulpe is a writer and a content marketer at Beaglecat. An avid reader and a tech and science aficionado, she puts her heart and soul into boosting site visibility for startups, with the help of content marketing. Get in touch with her via Twitter and Google+.

Image credits: Pixabay

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