Would you smack gum during a business call? Have you copied your boss on an email to a loved one? Can you imagine people taking you seriously if you walked around wearing a mask at a trade show?
What on earth am I talking about? Business etiquette, of course; acting and communicating in a professional manner. Whatever method your business is using to communicate with others— phone, in person, email or Twitter— you need to know the unspoken rules and practice good manners. Social media marketing is no different! On Twitter, knowing what to do and what not to do is a form of etiquette we call Twitterquette.
Twitter is still so new that many businesses are unsure of it as a social media tool, and companies often have different objectives when using Twitter. However, first and foremost, most companies are trying to build brand loyalty and establish themselves as a trusted resource. Consider the following best practices on Twitter!
Here are some valuable business Twitterquette tips:
• Make sure you’ve filled out your Twitter bio completely, including your full website URL (don’t shorten it). Upload your company logo or a photo as your avatar. Don’t leave the generic “egg” pic; that’s similar to running around a trade show with a paper bag on your head.
• It’s OK to push your own products and services, but remember the 90/10 rule and don’t overdo it. Talk about business…and non-business 90% of the time and then it’s OK to mention your own products and services for the remaining 10%. Over-promoting yourself can be a turnoff.
• Use direct messages for one-on-one conversations if you feel there’s no value in Twitter at large to hear the conversation, and avoid automated DM’s. Anything automated leaves a less-than-personal feel, which is off-putting to the average user.
• Don’t over-tweet. If you tweet more than a few times an hour, your followers may consider you spam and un-follow you.
• Give credit to the original tweeter when you retweet someone else’s content. And thank the users who retweet your content. That’s basic courtesy.
• Respond if someone mentions you. Seriously. It’s just rude not to do so.
• While retweeting others’ content is OK, don’t overdo it. Be sure to share your own words and thoughts from time to time.
• Uppercase is equivalent to shouting. Don’t shout.
• Try to use correct grammar and spelling. Don’t use text abbreviations like “L8er” or “2” instead of “to.” Some abbreviations are acceptable, such as OH for “Overheard .”
• #Don’t #overuse #hashtags.
Make your messages personable, interesting, and lively. Keep an eye on the information passing through your own timeline and become involved. You need to engage with others in order to increase your engagement. It’s always a good idea to keep the Golden Rule in mind, whether on Twitter, Facebook or in real-world interaction: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
What additional advice do you have for businesses that use Twitter? Did we leave out something that drives you nuts? Leave your suggestions in the comments!