Editorial line


·         Decide of a tone

Many would describe Twitter as a virtual office party. It is professional, yet informal and somewhat entertaining. Whichever tone you should agree on, make sure it remains friendly and respects common decency. If several people are managing your Twitter account, try to stick to a similar tone to ensure coherence.

·         What type of Tweets do you want to spread?

Like the tone of your messages, the type of Tweets needs to be carefully selected. Are there topics you should avoid, such as political conflicts, wars, climate tragedies, etc.? Depending of the kind of business you run, it could be relevant to show for instance a political colour and defend it; however this is rarely the case and generally advisable to remain on a neutral position when it comes to controversial topics. Many companies have established social media guidelines for their employees to help them decide what works and what does not work.

 Building a database of followers

·         Who to follow

More than following your friends and acquaintances, it is advisable to follow Twitters you want to receive attention from. They can be in the same industry than your business but not exclusively. For instance, if you are a language school, you probably want to follow other schools, dictionaries, teachers and academics. Yet you ought to consider some less-related accounts such as expat groups, universities or translators. It is all the more sensible if one of those accounts are influential and/or significantly popular. Such accounts are characterized by a large number of followers

·         How to get followers

If you want to constantly get new followers, you need to do something more than plainly following them. Retweeting is a good way to show your interest in a fellow Twitterer’s activity. Another possibility is to publish information with an “@example” so he is notified of your Tweet, given of course it might be of any interest to them. You can also attempt to trade promotion: recommend a post from their blogs, give positive feedback about a product or praise their websites. Chances are, they will return the favour for the Twitterers will see every RT, @, etc. on their Twitter wall. Finally, use the Follow Friday to promote other Twitterers.

 Receiving attention

·         How to post catchy Tweets?

Just like the tone you use, your “Tweeting habits” should follow some sort of pattern. Aside from courtesy Tweets such as thanking and Retweeting, you should at least post once a day and as often as you have something interesting to share. One of the purposes of having a Twitter account is to promote your business, but it must not be invasive. No more than 10 to 20% of your posts should be direct advertisement. People use Twitter as a communication tool to get information and to interact, not to get spammed by advertising. The rest of your writings can be based, for instance, on a daily game or news and articles related to your field. Let us assume, as an example, that you are running a language school. A daily game you could organise is to post proverbs in a foreign language and to ask your followers if they can guess the meaning. As for news, keep an eye out for articles related to your business such as the cultural section of major newspapers or specialised magazines.

·         At what time of the day you should post?

This depends primarily of where your audience is located. Generally speaking, people tend to check Twitter in the morning before working, sometimes again after lunch. Ofcourse minority will check Twitter all day long, but it is not your main concern. If your target audience and followers are national, then post your main information early in the morning. If you are on an international scale, it is more complicated and it would be helpful to know where the main percentages of your followers live. Even then, bear in mind that in large countries such as the USA, there are different time zones. If you post a lot, try to spread your messages across the day to reach everyone and avoid flooding your audience at a particular time of the day. CoTweet is a handy tool to use as it lets use schedule your posts in advance.

·         Create “hash tagged” topics

Should you create an activity or a topic that will be recurring in a given time frame, it would be worth giving it its own official hash tag. It helps other users on Twitter to know what you are talking about and search for more related information in previous posts