Twitter for Businesses – Essential Reading

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Through the last several years, there have been a number of resources created for companies who want to use Twitter to promote their businesses. Consider this the CliffsNotes version of the best take-aways from these blog posts and articles. If you have any other favorite resources, link to them in the comments!

Tweeting for Companies 101 by Tara Hunt

This is a great primer for Twitter if you really don’t know where to start. Plus, it shows a sample stream of tweets from a couple successful companies, showing a good balance between the twelve types of tweets that are recommended, including personal thoughts, events, contests, links, replies, announcements, and shout outs. There are also some good time-saving recommendations, including desktop clients, but we’ll talk more about those later.

50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Businesses by Chris Brogan

Short and succinct, Chris Brogan’s advice encourages you to take building community one step at a time: Listen first. Be helpful instead of just apologizing. Talk about non-business subjects. Be human.

And don’t stress about it! You might feel barraged by information, but take what you can absorb and don’t let the rest of this bother you.

He also covers some arguments that you might hear against using Twitter for business, as well as the rebuttals and reasons it really is usable. Since this was written in 2008, we have seen even more proof that Twitter can work.

The Right Mix: Listening and Creating Content by Dawn Foster

Written two years later and in a completely different style, Dawn makes many of the same recommendations as Chris – start by listening, then join in conversations.

She also talks more about how to use Twitter to inspire creation of more content – come up with blog post ideas related to what is being discussed on Twitter, especially if you can then encourage anyone involved in the conversation to read and respond to what you have to say. Use Twitter to showcase how much your employees know and you can become more authoritative, faster!

3 Ways to Rock Twitter for Business (Without Annoying People) by Zach Davis

I hope you heard it already: listen! Size doesn’t matter, especially number of followers. How well you can hear and respond to people’s problems is everything. If you do things for others, the power of reciprocity works in your favor! People who feel indebted don’t want to be taken advantage of, but they will stay loyal to someone who has already proven themselves useful.

Another powerful tip: share quality content, even if it isn’t yours – you can gain trust even by being able to recognize high-quality work.

Picking Twitter Tools for Your Business by Jessica Lee

You should have no problem finding tools to help you understand what is being said on Twitter. But how do you filter through the hundreds of tools out there? This article helps you understand some of the things that Twitter tools can do for you – once you know what you want, search for reviews and reactions to narrow down to the best tool for you.

Things that a tool can help you with: manage Twitter followers; find potential customers; schedule tweets, images, and videos to be shared at certain times; manage your brand through searching and aggregating popular topics and custom search terms. Jessica also recommends using OneForty.com to see what tools others are using and read their reviews.

99 Essential Twitter Tools and Applications by Paul Andrew

Now that you know how to decide on a tool, here are more than a few that are recommended in Smashing Magazine. Check out the categories:  Tools and Productivity Apps, Statistics and Analytics, Find New Twitter Friends Apps, Search Twitter Apps, Web-Based Mobile Apps, WordPress Twitter Plug-Ins, Adobe Air Twitter Apps and Firefox Twitter Extensions. There’s definitely something for everyone!

Now that you’ve gotten started, follow Single Grain to get tweets with more social media tips!

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