Many small to medium businesses haven’t stopped to plan their social media plan before they launch on Twitter. While they see it’s important to have an online presence, the typical mistakes they make all revolve around the fact that they don’t have a professional communication strategy.
Sometimes companies allow a non-expert or junior marketing person run their account. If you’re selling a product it may make sense to hire a marketing agent, but remember that people don’t want to be sold things on social media. They want you to speak to them as a real person. They want to connect and they want to have you help them solve problems.
Humour, sarcasm and satire don’t translate well on social media. Remember that even if your clients are local, your audience is potentially global on Twitter. Many high-profile Twitter accounts have come under heavily criticism because they tweeted insensitive or offensive “jokes.” Don’t rely on gender, cultural or sexual stereotypes for a cheap laugh. Avoid weighing in on political, social or moral debates and medical topics unless this you’re an expert in the field. If you want to make social commentary, start a personal Twitter account, but be aware that your personal account and those of your employees will reflect on your company.
A better approach is to have a professional marketing strategy for your Twitter account, which is distinct but integrated with your other social media. People expect transparency. Be inclusive with your tweets. Engage everyone into a conversation and inform your followers about news and advice that will enhance their lives. Build a community worth following and you’ll see your community grow in productive and creative ways.
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