This post is part of our Twitter for Business: Fundamentals series.
setting the tone for your Twitter accounts

As mentioned in ‘Choosing A Twitter Strategy,’ you’ll need to decide what persona your Twitter account(s) will take on.

Each Twitter identity really does form a personality in the minds of followers over time and you’ll want to be cognizant of how you’re approaching your audience.

The most successful commercial Twitter accounts seem to have a few traits in common:

  • There’s some humor involved.
    No matter how you phrase it, people like to be entertained. People are much more likely to follow a Twitter account with some humor mixed in as opposed to an account composed of dry, boring Tweets.
  • They send links to useful information.
    In addition to being entertained, people like to see relevant and useful information. It’s not only helpful to your followers, it’s also helpful to you. By tweeting useful information, you show your followers that you’re on top of the industry and really know what you’re talking about.
  • They share some value with their followers (special deals, insider info, etc.).
    By sharing special deals and insider info with your followers, you give them incentive to follow you. You also help build customer loyalty by offering special value to your customers. Building customer loyalty is one of the most beneficial things social media has to offer-don’t miss this excellent opportunity.
  • They interact a lot with other people.
    People don’t like to feel ignored. If someone replies to you-respond to them. If someone tweets an awesome link-retweet it. If someone retweets you-thank them. Twitter is about conversation-not about blasting your followers with what are essentially one-way commercials.
  • Their followers get to know the humans behind the accounts.
    On of the advantages of Twitter is the ability to really connect and get to know your customers and followers. Through interaction you can learn more about what they want and how you can help them. You can also show them more about your personality and the culture beyond the app. In addition, you can use Twitter as a great way to extend you CRM.
  • Their messaging is relevant to their followers.
    This is an excellent example of “common sense that isn’t so common.” While of course it makes sense for you to tweet relevant content to your followers, many businesses tend to forget this crucial piece of strategy.

There are exceptions to each of those of course, but in general this is a good formula for finding success with Twitter.

It’s entirely OK to have a more formal business account, and let your employee or secondary accounts handle the personality. Over time you may discover that a mix that works best for your business.

In contrast, here are some traits of commercial Twitter accounts people tend to avoid:

  • Those that do nothing but promote their business.
    If you were having a conversation with someone, you wouldn’t endless drone on about how great you are would you? Well, Twitter is the same thing. Think of Twitter as having a conversation at a party or networking event-sure, you want people to know how awesome you are, but you wouldn’t do it by constantly telling them.
  • Those that ‘feel’ automated.
    To most people, anything that comes across as too automated comes across as “spammy.” That’s not saying you can’t schedule tweets-it’s saying that you should mix scheduled tweets with interaction and organic tweets.
  • Those who don’t converse with their audience, either directly or through a secondary account.
    Twitter is a wonderful opportunity for Customer Relationship Management [CRM]. If someone has a question or problem about your product-answer it. If someone is shopping for a project management app and that’s your product-let them know about it. Interaction is key on Twitter. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with potential customers and to create a sense of customer loyalty with the ones you already have.
  • Misleading or Opportunistic Accounts.
    No one likes to be lied to-especially your customers. Don’t mislead. Don’t offer infomercial sounding opportunities. As a rule of thumb, if you read your tweet and you sound like a pitchman for OxyClean, you want to re-write that tweet.
  • Those who insert themselves into conversations with no tact.
    Once again-think of Twitter as a party or networking event. You wouldn’t walk up to someone having a conversation and blurt out how you sell the best shoes when they’re talking about hats. Don’t do it on Twitter either. That’s not to say you can’t promote yourself. If you run an accounting service and you see a tweet where someone is asking for accounting advice or looking for an accountant-by all means send them an @reply and promote your services. Make sure to keep your promotions relevant to the conversation-it’ll benefit you AND you’re potential customers.

Helpful Links On Creating a Twitter Strategy:

Additional contributions by Leslie Joy