Remember back when Twitter became a “thing?” Well it wasn’t just a thing really, it was the the thing. Everyone was talking about it. It was the “new” Facebook for my circle of twittersmallfriends and it didn’t take long for me to realize that there was a wave of users following the same trend. The fact that there was a character limit added to the fast-paced aspect of Twitter that was so refreshingly new. People just tweeted. And tweeted. And tweeted. A lot. But it was normal. That’s what you were supposed to do. It was almost like every user had purchased their own personal soapbox and people would respond so freely.

I caught the wave in 2009 but surprisingly Twitter made its debut to the world in 2006 and was created by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams. Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco and has more than 25 offices around the world. As of March 2016, Twitter turned 10 years old and now has over 310 million users.

After 10 years in the game, Twitter has certainly evolved to a point where it’s sort of strange for a company to not have a Twitter page. Working as an intern for a public relations firm, I was responsible for managing the social media platforms. Twitter was our most popular channel and the world of users in “Twitter business” is much different than “Twitter personal.” Well, much different than my personal timeline. It’s like a business center for releasing company-related content. That was when I truly realized that everyone uses Twitter.

There are best practices for journalists to follow when addressing their target audience on social media and Twitter has it’s own set of rules. For a successful Twitter page journalists should: tweet content related to their beat; live tweet, use hashtags for context and @cite your sources, share what you’re reading with your twitter followers, use the Retweet button to curate. Another key to Twitter content I learned about was the 4:1:1 rule. This basically means, don’t blab about yourself (or company) all day long. For every self-promoting tweet, you should tweet 4 pieces of relevant original content and 1 retweet of similar content. This allows users to get a mixture of content from your page instead of just stuff about your company.

The absolute worst thing to do as a business tweeter is overkill. Don’t drown your followers in content that they want to unfollow your page. Losing followers is like shrinking your network. Don’t overkill hashtags either. Studies have shown more than 2 hashtags per tweet begin to categorize the tweet as spam. Spam is bad. We don’t like spammers.

So if you want to expand your business through social media, Twitter is honestly the way to go. It’s fast paced so content should go out multiple times a day if you want to get the most out of your target reach. Tweet to inform others. Knowledge is welcomed. Just remember not to drown us!

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