Most of you know that Twitter can be used for much more than just announcing what you ate for breakfast. Many of you already know Twitter’s value in business, but you can still take it further and use it to land gigs, market your business, grow your network and gain free publicity — all in 140 characters or less.
It’s true that Twitter is what you make of it. Some people publicize their daily activities, some make it about link love, some share quotes all day long. Smart people using Twitter for business mix it up. Here are 62 ways to use Twitter more effectively in your business.
Share Expertise to Build Credibility
- Help others with problems.
- Share tips related to your business and work-life balance.
- Share photos (Twitpic makes it easy) of conferences, travel, products and other interesting finds.
- Provide selected highlights from a conference or event.
- Report industry, company, world and other news that’s related to your business, together with some commentary.
- Link to articles and content posted elsewhere with a summary of why it’s valuable.
- Post original thoughts on your topic, industry and business.
- Ask about other locales so you can make the most of a trip, or meet up with Twitter friends.
- Connect with friends from other social networks. Can you name one person who has only one social network account? (Grandparents on Facebook don’t count.)
- Join industry and topic groups related to your business and career on sites like www.twibes.com and www.wefollow.com.
- Feed your Twitter tweets into other social networks like FriendFeed. (Although consider carefully before integrating your Twitter feed into other profiles, Like Facebook, as a stream of tweets can overwhelm your contacts.)
- Combine your social media approach: when someone asks question in Twitter, respond briefly in Twitter with a link to another site with the detailed response.
- Participate in Twitter chats related to your industry or business on a regular basis. Although you should beware that the stream of tweets from chats can overwhelm contacts that aren’t participating in the chat, so consider using a separate ID for chats.
- Research prospects before meeting them. You can gain a lot of valuable information just from scanning their tweets, profile and contacts.
- Discover trends. You can use Twitter search for this purpose. Mashable also has a list of tools that you can use for tracking trends on Twitter.
- Network to find new clients or land a new job. Just be careful of making your tweets overly promotional, as that’s not appreciated by most twitter users
- Stay in touch with friends and colleagues. You ever know when a friend of colleague might have a lead for you.
- Get referrals.
- Give referrals.
- Ask questions.
- Answer questions.
- Recommend other Twitter users to your network including reasons to follow them — by sharing goodwill you will encourage others to reciprocate.
- Use search feature to find topics, keywords and locations. Use hashtags or usernames to limit results to topics or responses mentioning a person. Dawn has some more tips on advanced Twitter search here.
- Spread your tweets throughout the day, rather than posting the all at once, as people check Twitter at different times of the day. It’s always prime time on Twitter.
- Look for connections related to a job you want.
- Find vendors and contractors.
- If your site’s not working or you’re suffering from another problem, give updates on Twitter so customers know what’s going on.
- Find experts to invite as a guest blogger on your blog or as speaker at your event.
- Seek sponsors for a contest or program.
- Hold a contest using Twitter: it can spread like wildfire. Squarespace’s iPhone (s aapl) contest made the trending topic list.
- Use applications and tools like www.clickablenow.com and www.twittercustomizer.com to enhance your Twitter background and profile.
- Put together a virtual mastermind group.
- Track conversations mentioning your name or your brand.
- Respond to tweets talking about you and your brand.
- Link to your content wisely and sparingly to avoid looking too promotional.
- Do market research and gain knowledge with polls and surveys.
- Share those survey and poll results.
- Publish your Twitter ID on all marketing collateral, including business cards, email signature, email newsletters, web sites and brochures, so prospects can learn more about you.
- Share what you’re doing so people learn about the type of work you do. Do this on occasion rather than all day long.
- Avoid hard-sell tactics: focus on relationship building.
- Write honest and valuable recommendations for your contacts on sources like Mr. Tweet.
- Link to your presentations and videos.
- Mention when you’re attending or speaking at an upcoming event.
- Announce the publication of your newsletter’s latest issue, along with a brief description.
- Post discounts, coupons and package deals.
- Announce job openings to find qualified talent.
- Share information that is useful for prospective clients or employers to enhance your reputation.
- Be nice even when you have a difference of opinion.
- Save the “Thanks for following me,” “Thanks for the RT” or similar tweets for direct messages (DM).
- Use Twitter often to improve, tighten and sharpen your writing.
- Remember to laugh and have fun because it inspires you to innovate and be creative in your job.
- Make your goals public to compel you to reach them.
- Start your day strong: some people find Twitter interactions put them in a good mood.
- Read Twitter’s own Twitter 101 Guide and other Twitter articles.
- Use keywords on your profile and a fun fact to earn trust, add personality and enable you to be found.
- Dump the default Twitter avatar and use a photo of yourself or a suitable image.
- Follow experts, companies, competitors and leaders in your industry.
- Limit Twitter automation, because it comes across as phony.
- Think quality not quantity.
- Be authentic, genuine and real. In other words, be yourself.
- Mix up the tweet types to include retweets (RT), @replies, original thoughts, and links to other people’s content (not just your own).
- Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of contacts you have. Organize them into groups using third-party applications like Tweetdeck and Seesmic.
Grow Your Network
Do the Right (and Fun) Thing
Finally, Some Tips for Absolute Beginners
Like this post? Check out the other useful articles in this series 32 Ways to Use Facebook for Business, 34 Ways to Use YouTube for Business and 33 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Business. Find us at @webworkerdaily on Twitter.
What other ways do you use Twitter for business?