Twitter 101 – a guide to Twitter for business

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This week has seen Twitter launch Twitter 101; a guide for businesses of how to use Twitter. We’ve looked before at how organisations can use Twitter, and this guide covers the basics as well as showcasing a few cases studies of what some businesses are doing.

The guide itself is part a how-to guide, part an explanation of what Twitter is and part a set of ideas and examples. The fundamental recommendations from Twitter can be summarised in four simple steps

  1. Listen to what people are saying about your brand on Twitter
  2. Set up your own presence and be honest about who you are
  3. Follow people that are relevant to you
  4. Respond to discussions about your brand and business

This approach of listening first is a great way of starting to develop a strategy of how your business should use Twitter. Once you know what people are saying about you, what issues they are discussing and what problems they raise, you will know what kind of responses might be expected of you when you get to stage 4. But I would suggest an additional stage that builds on this information. Getting your strategy right.

There is a strong argument for brands being on Twitter. Experimenting and finding out what works for you. However, you will get most success if you take a step back first and think why you are doing this. What are your business aims and what do you hope to achieve. How will you measure your success and evaluate if you are getting out of your use of Twitter what you hoped?

This needn’t be a lengthy and complex process but it is one worth doing. It helps to focus what you are doing and gives the use of Twitter a real focus and direction. Different businesses will be in different situations, with different business needs and different strategic aims. Think about where you are and where you want to go and then brainstorm how you might use Twitter to help you get there.

Innovation is great and social media is a fantastic medium through which to innovate. But a little bit of focus and strategy will help turn this innovation into something that you can evaluate. Something that you can assess and something that you can improve on.

Only if you think about what you want to achieve will you really be able to measure what you have done and the success it has brought your business. Then you’ll be able to add to the great case studies from the likes of Dell and Pepsi that are listed in Twitter 101.

Download the Twitter 101 slides