Twitter Etiquette for Businesses

With approximately 6 million users and 55 million monthly visits (according to, Twitter has become one the most dominant social media websites. Because of their rapid growth, businesses have embraced social media sites such as Twitter. Developing an online presence where their users are, is a smart online marketing strategy.

Because Twitter is still evolving, businesses are still figuring out how to leverage it effectively. Each new feature brings a new opportunity for businesses to introduce their products or services. Businesses must be careful however. Just like in the offline world, there are rules and standards of behavior for social media marketing. Social media etiquette should be observed by businesses (and consumers too) so they don’t alienate their target market.

Business’ using Twitter should follow these etiquette tips:

Identify Who Is Tweeting

Is this your business’ official Twitter account? Foster trust with the community by being transparent and honest. If you specify who is doing the tweeting you will build a stronger relationship with those following you. Everyone likes to know who they are talking to.

Listen First

Twitter can be a powerful tool for identifying customer concerns or fostering dialogue. You can use the Twitter Search function to see what people are talking about in relation to your company. A better solution is to use an application like TweetDeck or Seesmic Desktop. You can create and save a search query for your company (or any topic). This allows you to continually monitor the buzz about your organization. If you find questions and comments about your business, join the conversation.

Provide Value Not Just Promotion

Why should someone follow you or your business? Give them something of value. Help others without an expectation of something in return. Share your knowledge, both from your own company but also from other sources. If all you do is link back to your own site, this will be viewed as spam and your business will be cast in a negative light.

Pay It Forward

Retweeting (RT) means taking a twitter post from someone else and forwarding (rebroadcasting) it to your followers. If you find a good tip or information, retweet it to your followers. This shows you are in touch with your market and willing to give credit to others. When tweeting yourself, it is not considered good practice to ask for retweets. This will happen naturally if others feel your information is valuable.

How does your business utilize Twitter to grow your bottom line?