Using Twitter for business – the basics.

I see a lot of newcomers to Twitter using a dedicated Twitter business accounts.  While this is great, the people behind these accounts make lots of mistakes.  So here’s my Twitter do and don’t list, send this to everybody you know and let’s make the world a better place:


  • Start each day with a tweet commenting on the weather, your breakfast or even worse tell me you’re going on holiday or you’re glad to be back.  I don’t care.
  • Some new twitter clients (I’m looking at you Tweetdeck) allow for tweets longer than 140 characters which are difficult, nay impossible, to read on my mobile twitter client.  Don’t do it.
  • Don’t tweet or retweet random charities from your business Twitter account unless of course your organisation publicly endorses said charity and better still donates money to said charity from time to time.
  • Retweet the nice things people have tweeted about you to you.  I know you’re amazing, that’s why I’m following you, so this much we already know.  The 2010 apprentices were incredibly guilty of this behaviour.
  • Request a retweet, it’s annoying and the people who accept these requests are breeding this behaviour.  Stop it immediately.

Now with those basics out of the way, here’s things you should do

  • When you follow somebody new, talk to them.  I presume you’re already interested in that person because you followed them right?  So ask them about something you always wondered about them and stand out from the crowd.
  • Talk about what you’re doing in a professional capacity.  Who’s your latest client?  What’s the latest idea you’re working on?  What’s the last project you completed and launched?
  • By all means start a poll.  Ask people for their opinions.  For Atlas, a software company, I might ask what really pisses people off about web developers.
  • Ask your employees (to their face, or Skype if you have to, definitely not by e-mail) what they’re up to.  What cool stuff did they find out recently that you can tweet about?  Better still, get your employees on Twitter.
  • By all means retweet useful and relevant information, add additional commentary to it if you can and if it doesn’t take you over the 140 characters limit
  • Engage with other people.  Challenge their opinions, stir things up.  You’re not on Twitter to be liked, it’s not a talent contest – make some enemies.
  • Finally, use the twitter search facility, to find people who are talking about topics of interest and relevant to your business.  If overall their timeline of tweets is interesting, follow them and introduce yourself.

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