Anyone with a Twitter account can create short messages and include website links, photos and videos. The Messages , or “Tweets” are limited to 140 characters and so they read more like headlines and statements than articles, and they are delivered instantly to anyone who has chosen to follow you, or the kind of content that you are Tweeting about.
Although most people reading what you have Tweeted will themselves have their own Twitter account it’s important to note that Twitter pages are picked up and indexed by search engines and can appear within normal search results.
Everyone knows about the high profile personalities who have gathered vast numbers of Twitter followers however there is also a growing number of businesses and non commercial organisations that are using it to spread their message, products and services.
One of the most exciting aspects to Twitter is the potential for your Twitter content to be ReTweeted. So for example if your original Tweet gets sent to your list of say 1000 followers, and within those followers 50 of them like what they see and think it would in turn be of interest to their followers then your list of 1000 could in effect become a list of many times that size without you having to do any more work.
Think of it like a chat room with information being broadcast, questions being asked and answers coming back. It’s not a single conversation but a continuing flow of information across many many topics, all of which are constantly updating, including:
- Tweets created by organsations that you follow
- Tweets mentioning you
- Tweets relating to a topic (often categorised using a Twitter hashtag) that is of interest to you
So Twitter provides businesses with the opportunity to share information and increase the reach of good quality articles/news stories
There are however a few important best practice areas to be considered including: The need for high quality engaging content/Twitter etiquette/Relationship building with influencers/and share buttons.
It is worth noting that Twitter is one of the more anonymous of the social channels; there is no requirement to create a personal Twitter account before creating one for the business organisation. It is important to decide what role Twitter is to play within the digital marketing strategy e.g.
- another channel to distribute content alongside the more traditional emailer, one retweet by an account with 5,000 followers increases the reach of your news article.
- alerts (e.g. system downtime)
- or picking up PR related tweets from other departments such as the customer service team
As with any social channel there are questions you should consider before creating a Twitter Account for business use. If the creation of a Twitter account is not of interest then including the ability for Twitter users to share your articles with their followers direct from your business website or blog is still worthy of consideration.