How To Use Twitter To Your Advantage

If you have a business or an organization to promote, don’t ignore the power of Twitter.

According to Edison Research, 42 percent of Twitter users learn about new products and services through Twitter. That’s a large, captive audience who will be interested in your new product or service — if you engage them. Try these five power user tips to tweet successfully and grow your brand or product awareness.

1. Tweet daily, but not so often that it’s annoying

Twitter recommends a best practice of tweeting daily, but businesses who overdo this see their follower number drop as customers get irritated with the Twitter feed spam. Twitter suggests posting three to five tweets daily, and keeping tweets timely as a general rule of thumb. Experiment with tweeting two, three, four or five times per day to see what resonates most with your followers. Gauge your success by the number of RT, @s and followers you gain the more (or less) you tweet.

2. Learn to listen

Customers will take to Twitter to complain or praise your business — either way, you want to be listening. Apps like TweetDeck or Hootsuite (which have free and paid versions) allow you to track hashtags, like #yourcompany or #yourproduct and can notify you when you are @ mentioned, RT’ed or DM’ed. is a free Twitter search engine that can retrieve results around any hashtag or search term. Listening well is the first step toward responding to your customers in a timely manner. Businesses who cannot master this step will lose face as well as followers. One recent success story here is Amtrak, which launched a writers’ residency program after it was suggested in a tweet.

3. Teach through tweets

Demonstrating the use value of your products or service through tweets (and through blog posts and other content you’re tweeting) helps you engage and retain these customers. Lists that demonstrate uses for your products and tutorials that show how to use your product are two popular kinds of content. Joss and Main is one brand that has mastered teachable tweets. Create and share this type of content to expand your appeal and your network of Twitter followers.

4. @Reply and mention customers when they @tweet you

Listening well is one part of the Twitter puzzle, and communicating is the second part. When customers @tweet you, @reply to them to demonstrate that you’re an active listener who will respond to customer communication. Jet Blue does this well, @tweeting customers to have a good flight when they tweet that they’re flying somewhere on Jet Blue.

5. Have a contest or promotion

Twitter recommends contests as another best practice for businesses, particularly when they are trying to gain Twitter followers. Host a contest and the winner must tweet a certain hashtag, follow a certain user (aka your brand), or tweet a certain status update. Ask users to @tweet you in any entry, so that you can see all contest entries and each participant has an equal chance of winning. If you plan to host a contest, giveaway or promotion, ensure you’re following all legal rules and regulations as well as all of Twitter’s rules regarding the use of its platform.

~ Rich Washington

One thought on “How To Use Twitter To Your Advantage

  1. 42 percent of Twitter users learn about new products and services through Twitter.

    SO. That is a rather weak statistic. in fact almost meaningless. I don’t know what percentage of people use Twitter but lets say it is 10%. Then that means 4.2% of people learn about new products from twitter. Big deal!

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