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March 12, 2015

Maximize Your Twitter Account

Twitter can be one of your organization's more powerful, yet least expensive marketing tools. Here are a few tips designed to help you maximize this little 140 character birdy.

1. Optimize your Twitter bio.
Make sure your company identity and voice are branded well. That means having a bio that tells people who you are and includes a link to your company website or a landing page - and having a consistent tone so that people clearly understand who you are and what you do.

2. Find out who the influencers and experts are in your target area(s) and interact with them on a regular basis.
Find like-minded prospects, customers and influencers/media that relate to your industry, then follow and interact with them on a regular (daily) basis. Products such asTopsy or Followerwonk can be helpful, as just a plain old search on Twitter itself.

Make a list of the 100 most influential people in your space -- journalists, thought leaders, potential clients/customers, big-name bloggers and writers, potential partners, etc.

Add them to a private Twitter list and engage with them daily. Tools like HootSuite make managing this process much easier. Remember to be casual [and helpful], not promotional - build a real relationship and then look for opportunities to collaborate."

3. Get colleagues involved.
The first people to help build your brand should come internally. Make sure your coworkers are following you on Twitter and tweeting, retweeting, engaging, etc.

4. Tweet regularly.
Regular tweeting is a sign of an active, healthy profile. If you only tweet once a week, or once a month, you aren't keeping up with the Joneses [or the Twitter equivalent]. And even worse, folks will forget about you.

Use recommend daily postings and engagement so that you are top of mind on a consistent basis. Just be sure you are tweeting relevant or useful information, content your followers will read, click on, retweet and/or favorite.

5. Don't be afraid to ask for some Twitter love.
Ask followers to retweet, mention or favorite your tweets -- or to share content with a fresh tweet.

6. Track mentions -- and respond if appropriate.
Track brand mentions and keywords to make sure [you know what's being said about you); and be sure to respond in a polite, professional manner if appropriate. After all, customer service is the new marketing!

7. Retweet.
Don't be afraid to retweet as this will help link you with and cement your own thought leadership within your industry.

8. Favorite tweets.
Many people don't know about favoriting tweets, but it can get someone's attention more than a retweet or a mention. Try to use this in ways that are geared toward either your brand or general thought leadership position. In other words: don't randomly favorite tweets.

9. Offer discounts or special deals to Twitter followers.
Run Twitter contests such as: The next 50 people that retweet me will receive a coupon for 50 percent off,' or have people post pictures of themselves in the store or using the product and do a random drawing.

11. Use images and videos.
Get visual, photos and videos drive three to four more clicks on Twitter. Images, videos and other rich media have proven to receive more views, clicks and shares than plain text tweets.

While community managers may be doing a great job engaging followers, a banal post about enjoying the weekend is much less effective than rich, in-stream content in which someone can, for example, view a film trailer and find out where the movie is playing in their neighborhood. In fact, research shows that rich tweets have significantly lower negative feedback rates as consumers appreciate interactivity and content designed for their social mobile context.

12. Make sure Twitter is integrated with your other marketing efforts.
Twitter, like other social media platforms, is much more effective when integrated with your other marketing activities. For example, if you're running a promotion or contest on Twitter, let your email subscribers know about it, as they are another customer base who have already let you know that they want to receive messages from you. Inversely, by occasionally tweeting out the link to your mailing list, you can also tap your Twitter base into your email content."

Attila Sary