Executive Tweeting

Twitter has more than 10 million users, its web traffic was up nearly 131 percent from Feburary to March 2009 and so organisations are beginning to realise that it is a channel they cannot ignore.

ExecTweets is a good place to see the twittering of business people.

At the moment we are being asked to help organisations harness Twitter to enable them to open up better relationships with key audiences. Typically we find that companies have plunged ahead and set up Twitter channels without fully considering the implications of what they are trying to achieve.

The internet is a mass of niches and there is a lot of depth to the niche of Twitter in terms of how you can use it to track trends, break news, liaise with journalists; build your followers; provide customer service; offer customer offers/discounts; organise ‘tweet ups’ (ie meetings and so on).

In particular, companies need to make sure they are findable on Twitter. For example a common mistake organisations make on Twitter is filling out the profile in a way that makes it hard for people to find your company. The problem arises when you use the name field to list the person who does the twittering. Instead put the company name there, and describe the person in the bio field. Twitter’s search looks in the name field, not the bio. In the vast majority of cases, people search for your company name, not your employee’s name.

If your account name is Heinz, but your name is Brian Smith, people will get notifications that Brian Smith is following them and they may not realise the account is really for Heinz.

I discovered this tip in a really useful new book on Twitter called ‘‘ by Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly) and Sarah Milstein (@sarahM).

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