The Upperdog Guide to Business Twitter Etiquette

As a digital agency we spend great chunks of time browsing the Twittersphere for the latest stories, news and updates from the online kingpins. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt about this pixelated dimension it’s that a good Twitter etiquette can mean the difference between taking your brand global and starting a feud with Kanye West. For this very reason, we’ve developed a basic set of Twitter do’s and don’ts for businesses.

Reflection

The most important thing to take away from this is that everything you tweet as a business directly reflects your brands personality for all those online to see. What do you want your audience to think of you, and what do you want to say to them? Even the accounts you follow give an insight into the brains behind the brand.

Accounts

Sign in. Tweet. Sign out. All too often we hear of a social media ‘expert’ accidentally posting personal tweets from a company account. For example, nobody following the Red Cross’ official Twitter account wanted to know how many beers their staff had necked one evening in February 2011…

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Relevance

Remember to keep your business posts relevant, or at least interesting. People will be following your brand for a reason; whether that be updates on your progress or for the content you produce. Tweeting about cupcakes to your die-hard motorcycle audience probably won’t win you brownie points (excuse the pun).

Spelling

Whilst the register of the online world is pretty informal, it’s still important to use spelling and grammar appropriately. As a business or organisation you carry a degree of credibility, so tweeting “we r da bst at marketin” isn’t exactly going to boost your prestige, nor will (most) users know what you’re on about.

Originality

Original content is vital. Producing and sharing your own content means you’ve got something nobody else does. Whilst it can be beneficial to retweet or share other people’s content for variation, doing it too much will cause you to become a mere middleman.

Trends

Be careful of trending topics. Stay up to date with the latest happenings on the Twitter scene so you don’t get the wrong end of the stick, especially when it comes to serious matters. Gap faced a backlash after they tried to make light of a dark situation when carrying out some self-promotion at the time of Hurricane Sandy:

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Humour

Humour is hard, but it can pay dividends, especially if it’s original. American food chain Taco Bell has a wealth of followers as a result of some dry-witted, unusual responses. Whilst the humour may not be everyone’s type of taco, the fast-food restaurant continues to grow its list of followers.

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Frequency

Tweet enough to prove to your audience that you’re ahead of the game and on top of the latest developments - a dormant Twitter account suggests you’re asleep on the job. At the other end of the spectrum of etiquette is robot-induced tweets – you’ll need a balance between the two if you’re to occupy your audience. By organising what you post with a tool such as HootSuite and planning your content in advance, your tweets are given structure and variation.

Interaction

Interacting with your audience is a great way to make your brand seem more personal and reinforces some character. A great interaction can also reward you if it goes down well, as the official Smart car account found out with this elaborate response:

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If you’re able to balance each of these tips, we’re certain you’ll start to build a Twitter base from which to expand your digital horizons. Don’t let the mistakes of other brands on Twitter deter you. If the following quote doesn’t motivate you to get your tweeting cap on, we’re not sure what will: “With the right tools, companies can instead focus on connecting with clients on social channels – and tap into 1.3 trillion in value waiting to be unlocked” – Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite. Need a social hand getting your head around Twitter or social media? We’re here to help with our social media services including content planning, content posting and social KPI reports with analysis. Contact us for more info!