Although Twitter isn’t for every company, if you do decide to use Twitter for your business it is going to require a commitment in the form of time. Here are just a few of the factors to consider:
Is Twitter a good platform for your target audience? If your audience is unlikely to be on Twitter then this is not the platform for you. Is your product or service geared to an older population of senior citizens? Do you target stay-at-home-moms? Although you will find a few of these demographics on Twitter, it is not wide spread among these groups. Doing some research will help you to determine if Twitter is a good platform for reaching your audience.
What is your competition doing on Twitter? You will want to research your competitors and see what they are doing on Twitter (use search.twitter.com and simply type in their name). What can you do that is different? Could you have a better delivery of information? If they are directing readers to a blog or article, could you use video? If they are simply using Twitter to pitch their product, could you provide great tips? If you can’t find your competitors on Twitter, you can be the first to use the marketing medium and that can be a great position to be in.
Take time to determine your objective in being on Twitter. Is your goal to educate your audience about your product or service? Is your goal to use Twitter as a customer service delivery point? Is your purpose to gain customers? By determining ahead of time your purpose, you will take much less time to create your tweets and ensure they are on target for what you want to accomplish.
How are you going to measure success? This goes hand-in-hand with determining your objective. If your goal is to reach a large audience with what you have to offer, then the number of followers would be important. However, if you goal is to provide another level of customer service to your existing customer base, then the number of followers is irrelevant and it is more important to judge whether your audience is involved with what you are tweeting. If your goal is to increase website traffic, then tracking the number of visits to your website from Twitter would be a good measure of success. Take the time now to think about how you will measure success.
What will be your brand personality on Twitter and what will that look like? This goes back to researching your competition. How can you set yourself apart and what would that look like. This will determine what you will say in your profile, what your screen background will look like and the tone of your tweets. Is it your goal to be warm and humorous or more technical? Do you want to be viewed as caring and concerned or more to-the-point type of person?
If you have employees, you will need to set a policy. What can employees say and do on company time? Do they know your goals with Twitter so they can stay in line with those goals? Do you have a single account for the company as a whole or should each employee have their own account? Will someone be assigned to monitor what employees are tweeting?
These are just a few of the areas you need to address before jumping into Twitter (or any other social media medium.) Take some time to do your research and set your policy upfront and you will be successful with using Twitter for your desired result.