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Entrepreneur – A Quick Guide to Mastering Twitter for Business




December 23, 2014

By Carol Roth

Twitter is an excellent tool for business. However, many entrepreneurs don’t understand how to use Twitter, or at least how to use it well.

Here are some tips to help you maximize your 140-character interactions.

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Understand the four Cs.

Twitter can be used for four different Cs. Using Twitter in this framework can help you get more out of your usage.

  • Consuming content: By following the right accounts, including those of industry experts, news sources, customers and competitors, you can get access to must-know information quickly with Twitter. Use Twitter to stay abreast of the intel that is important to your business.
  • Creating content: You can establish thought leadership by creating content through the lens of yourself or your business as an expert. Whether you use Twitter to link to content that you have created elsewhere (such as through a blog or being quoted in an article) or through short (140 characters or less) tips that you distribute through Twitter, your knowledge can raise your profile and gain you followers and customers.
  • Curating content: You can gain a strong following without doing the heavy lifting by sharing information that you find elsewhere — either online or through other twitter followers — that is of interest to current and potential customers and clients.
  • Communication: Twitter is an easy way for you to connect with current and potential customers, by tweeting directly to them, or using their Twitter “handle” (the name they go by on Twitter, such as @CarolJSRoth for me) to thank them or highlight them.

Once you understand the 4Cs, here are some other important Twitter do’s and don’t’s:

Don’t bury the ‘lead.’

The Lead (or “lede” as it’s called in journalism) is the major point that you are trying to get across. You have a limited amount of characters to capture attention, so highlight the key point or an intriguing quote, to make your tweet stand out and make others want to share your tweet and interact with you.

Picture it.

Tweets that feature pictures get significantly higher engagement than those that do not, so include pictures to illustrate your points, showcase your products or to add depth to your tweets.

Repeat the tweet.

Most people aren’t on Twitter all day long. When they are on it, they usually only see recent Tweets in their timeline. So, consider sending important Tweets several times. Space them at least eight hours apart or over a variety of days at different times, and consider varying up the language to see if certain phrasing gets more engagement.

Also, make sure that you share other content in-between repeat tweets so that if someone looks at your profile, it doesn’t look like you are an auto-bot!

Embrace lists.

I find that the most efficient way to consume content is to create lists of the people you follow on Twitter. I make mine private (only viewable by me), and group different accounts that I follow into different lists to make it easier to read. You may have a list that has your competitors, one for customers and one for news, as an example, so that you can easily hone in as to what you are reading via Twitter.

Use a social-media client.

I like to have a special interface to use Twitter. I recommend that you use a program like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to easily view your lists, your mentions and to even be able to pre-program your tweets, so that you can still drive impact on Twitter without having to be online constantly.

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