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Christine Mortensen

christine@sprk-d.com

5 twitter tipsTwitter is a great way for businesses to let people know about your recent blog posts, converse with potential customers, and to gain insights from followers. Before diving in though it is critically important that you first LISTEN to what's going on before starting a corporate account.

If you think about relationships, one doesn't bust into a room like Kramer and say, "Hey guys! Stop what you're doing! Look at me!" This approach only works on 90's sitcoms—not social media.

So what's a business to do? Take a step back; watch and listen for a few weeks (or even a month) to get a lay of the land. Find individuals who are influential in your industry. Watch what they are talking about and more importantly how they are talking. Most likely they are providing advice, asking questions, and are actually present and interacting with others (as opposed to scheduling everything ahead of time and never interacting with others).

Aside from being conversational, below are a few more technical tips that will help you in your tweeting adventures:

1. Don't use your own handle

Using your own Twitter handle in your own tweets is not advised. It's as if you are talking about yourself in the third person and comes off as quite odd even online. It's better to say "our" or "we" so that it's like you are actually speaking to your followers. When your content is good enough to earn retweets your handle will be included.

2. Don't start tweets with @

Tweets that start with @ (for example @GetSprkd) will only be seen by the author and the person mentioned. That said, any tweet of your own starting with @YourUserName will thus be seen by no one as Twitter will assume you are talking to yourself. This can be avoided by rewording those tweets. You may ask why someone would ever do this to begin with but trust me... I've seen it while reviewing draft tweets.

3. Keep hashtags simple

Hashtags cannot contain spaces or any other symbols. For instance "#disability insurance" is really only a hashtag for "#disability"—a totally different topic. This is generally why I initial cap multiple word hashtags so that they are easier to read but still register as the appropriate hashtag

4. Denote new and unique content

Consider using a specific hashtag to denote new content of your own. For example, when I publish a new post and share it through Twitter I use "#GetSprkd" It's subtle but if someone wants to see what else is being said around that hashtag when they click it they will see more original content from Sprk'd. This is also the hashtag I'll use for upcoming Twitter chats so try to keep future marketing activities in mind.

5. Use conversational calls to action

Use calls to action but avoid generic phrases like "Read more," "Click here," and my all time least favorite... "Check it out!" These are overused, annoying, and just make you sound less human. Remember the point of social media in any channel is to converse with others in order to build relationships.

Have any quick tips of your own? Have questions or want to know more? Let us know in the comments below or contact us.

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