Social Media Marketing - Businesses Using Twitter Should Act (and Tweet) Like People

Guest post by Emma-Julie

Twitter is one of the top 2 social networking sites in the world and, according to this statistic, as of May 2013 there were over 550 million registered Twitter accounts. Although many of those are not active users and are merely “following” the tweets of famous celebrities, friends and brands, there are still 58 million tweets counted each day, and for each second that passes there are 9,100 tweets tweeted.

With such high numbers, businesses left and right are taking the opportunity to use Twitter as well. Here, they can accomplish so many things at once: market their goods or services, interact with loyal customers, attract new patrons, branding, and maintain a constant online presence, among others. It doesn’t take an SEO company to create a Twitter account, but having one would definitely be helpful in managing followers and tweets. All of these are excellent goals; now the question is, are businesses doing it right?

People Like to Tweet People

The environment in Twitter is very personal and intimate. Each tweet is ideally written by a person who wants to share short messages with friends and followers. Each Twitter account is associated with an individual. This is why it is often better for businesses to treat their tweets as a message from a real individual, or at least to take the tone of a real person typing genuine messages.

This accomplishes two things:

1. Followers will feel gratified that the business or brand they are following closely is taking the time to pay attention to their tweets. That often translates to better results, as far as business PR is concerned.

2. It creates a candid atmosphere and a more personal interaction between business and customers. People will feel more comfortable tagging your business or tweeting you directly.

Other than saying that as a business you ought to “speak” like an individual in Twitter, it would be difficult to tell you precisely how to tweet your messages. What works for one business may not work for every other business. For instance, while it would be easier for Starbucks to be very casual and friendly to its followers, CNN cannot really take the same tone of voice.

So, below we have the common mistakes businesses often do with their tweets. If you know what not to do, then there should be a good chance you’ll end up doing the right thing.

1.    Adding too many hashtags in one tweet. Not only are they distracting, because each hashtag breaks the flow of reading and the words are highlighted, they also run the risk of being recognized as spam.

2.    Replying fan and followers’ tweets using automated responses. Followers can tell when a reply is automated, and they are often dejected and discouraged when that happens. Take the time to compose a brief and honest reply to your followers’ tweets. They’ll be more responsive and welcoming of your future tweets if you do this.

3.    Mistakenly tweeting a wrong message. This is in conjunction with the previous item. There’s always a possibility that your tweets will get screwed up. Or, if your business has opened branches in various states or countries and you’ve made a Twitter account for each of them, you might mistakenly switch tweets—like what happened with Starbucks Ireland’s Twitter gaffe in June 2012.

Caption: Starbucks Ireland mistakenly referred to followers as British, much to the Irish’s ire.

4.     Promoting your business too much. When you speak of nothing else but how great your products or services are, you come across as promoting and sales pitching, and people in social media don’t like that.

5.    Tweeting 10 different messages or more in rapid succession. It hits too close to over-promotion because it gives the impression that an employee is tweeting messages composed ahead of time. Plus, it will flood the walls of your followers and possibly irritate them enough to stop following you.

Lastly, think about what types of tweets you yourself would want to receive from the brands and celebrities you follow. This exercise can help you develop a candid and level plane of communication between you as business entity and your customers.

About the Author:
Emma-Julie writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a Vancouver company that provides SEO services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to write on your blog too please contact


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