It’s no secret that social networking sites are a way for businesses to reach current and potential customers. Twitter is among the most-used social media giants, making it a valuable tool for your business. The problem with social advertising on this site is Twitter’s 140-character limit and the severe community-building limitations such choppy communications can bring.

Rather than avoiding this powerful networking and sales tool, you can learn how to use Twitter without spamming customers away.

What Twitter Is and Is Not

If you’ve spent any time on other social networking sites like Facebook, you already know about the enhanced capabilities of photo, video and idea sharing. Sites like that give you the opportunity to create an individual personality for your business and cultivate connections with partners, vendors and suppliers. Expecting Twitter to do even half that for your business will leave you sorely disappointed.

Twitter is best for sharing links and staying current with the activities and thoughts of your network. It’s difficult to convey deep, philosophical musings via Twitter. Expressing in-depth opinions is impossible within the character limitation. This leads far too many businesses and individuals alike to fall into the trap of link spamming their networks for lack of understanding on how to engage in 140-character conversations.

Using Twitter Without Any Links

Using your personal Twitter account, you might discuss a book you’re reading or a television show as you watch it. This can also translate well to business Twitter accounts. The trick is to keep your sharing relevant to your business.

For instance, if you own an event planning company, you might tweet about:

  • Your thoughts on an article in a bridal magazine
  • New trends from a trade show and how they’ll impact the industry
  • What you liked or disliked about the way a TV wedding planner handled an event.

Even if people in your Twitter network aren’t local enough to use your service, they can still appreciate feedback on more generic topics, especially when they share your interest.

Using Twitter Without Your Own Links

If your business has a website, chances are good that you create content for it that you want people to see. While there is nothing wrong with sharing your own links on Twitter, you enter the spam zone when you only share your links. Not only does constant self-promotion look like spam to many Twitter users, it hurts your credibility.

Consider it this way: As an expert in your field, you don’t exist in a bubble. This means your knowledge base should be ever expanding as you read and research your industry. If you come across an article useful to you, you can bet someone in your network will feel the same way about it. Sharing the link will also send the message that you aren’t threatened by the competition and, instead, consider your business always able to learn new and exciting techniques.

Using Twitter With Your Own Links

In order to post your links on Twitter without seeming like a spammer, brief commentary is critical. Consider these techniques:

  • Does your article answer a question your network needs answered? If so, pose that question along with the link.
  • Does your content offer breaking news or information on a sale you’re having? Let your network know why they need to click your link now.
  • Is your article part of a larger discussion your network’s trying to have on Twitter? Let everyone know you needed more than 140 characters to express your views when posting your link.

Occasionally, you can post a link and run, but in general, you’ll experience greater success when you maintain a balance of other people’s content, valuable content of your own and witty – yet professional – banter with members of your Twitter network. If you can learn to view Twitter as a conversation you have 140 characters at a time, not a link dumping ground, you can convert your growing social media network into valuable sales for your business.

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