How to Use Twitter for Business


Aaron Kahlow

A look at why some tweets catch on and why some business are killing it using Twitter.

One of the big questions I have consistently in my daily personal Twitter activity is why do some tweets get a lot of love and retweets and why do some just sit there with not a chirp to mention?

A class from Nate Riggs, “The Secret to Business Success on Twitter,” attempted to answer these questions and taught me a lot about how to succeed on the social platform.

1. Build New Cultural Habits Within the Entire Organization

This was really a strong reminder for me that many organizations just don’t have a culture to be social. And to work on what that means is the FIRST step to making Twitter useful.

2. How to Be Relevant in the Moment

The famous Oreo story (which, like you, I am a bit tired of hearing about), on how they brought a brand manager and social media manager together to really quickly brainstorm on amazing ideas to react and be relevant was key. So, it’s important to make sure your brand is layered into your overall game plan.

3. Build Infrastructure – Alert System, Quick Approval

You have to have rules of the game, such as who tweets when, how to react to the negative tweets and how to jump on a quick trend. You can’t scramble or guess.

4. Be Clear About Your Intentions

Ask yourself, why are we on Twitter? As my French partners would say, what is your raison d’etre? For OMI, the answer would be something like, “We are tweeting to provide good learning opportunities and places to learn digital.”

5. Be Conversational, Be Relevant

As most know, being too promotional will really hurt you. It’s more important to conversationally engage folks. Keep the tone casual, conversational, and relevant. You’d be surprised how many miss the relevance piece and try to hijack a conversation by using a promotional chest-beating tone.

6. Actively Participate

Really find the trending conversations that folks in the space are talking about and interested in. Don’t try too hard to create the conversation, but really participate in what’s happening and create helpful tweets on that topic.

7. Consistently Take Big Calculated Risks

New Castle’s “If we won the war” and Obama’s Big Bird campaign are a few examples of risks getting people’s attention and causing them to perk up and have an opinion. Don’t be afraid.

Bonus: Frictionless Sharing

Write your tweets so that it is easy to retweet and quote the tweet (less than 100 characters so they can toss in their own two cents). Make them as shareable in tone and interest for your audience’s audience as possible.