Tweeting is not just something a guy does to let the world know what he had during his lunch break. Companies now have multiple Twitter accounts, a team of people working in the social space, and policies to go along with it. All that takes management.

In order to successfully manage Twitter for your enterprise, you need to keep your messaging consistent, and create standards and policies to ensure your brand’s reputation remains positive. Communicating a clear Twitter strategy, and keeping your policies and branding in sync, will help all your Tweeters stay the course.

Protect the Brand

When you think of your corporate brand, you probably think of your company logo, colors, and tag lines. Yes, you’ll want to roll out a standard look and feel for all of your Twitter accounts: consistent logo placement in avatars, standard backgrounds, and a naming convention for usernames. When it comes to the world of social media, however, your brand is also how it’s personified.

When you’ve got just one person tweeting on your company’s behalf, establishing and maintaining a consistent tone is relatively easy. As your enterprise-wide social media strategy expands, you may find that you want to add new Twitter accounts and key members of your staff to the mix.

Creating a style guide to define standards of tone and style will help keep multiple people on the same page. In this document, you’ll want to address things like how casual or formal your Tweets will be, as well as standards for proper spelling and punctuation.

Create Standards and Policies for All Tweeters

There’s more to your social media brand than your corporate Twitter accounts. A lot of people are tweeting today, and if your employees have their own personal accounts, you need to make it clear how their behavior on Twitter could affect your overall brand reputation.

You want your employees to feel empowered and to get the word out about your product, but be sure the ground rules are clear for any employee with a Twitter account. Even if the employee isn’t using Twitter in a professional capacity, as a member of your organization he or she must adhere to a certain amount of decorum. Make sure employees are aware of what they can and cannot say about your brand in the social space.

If you’ve decided to have multiple Twitter accounts for individual employees tweeting on behalf of your company, you’ll have to consider account ownership. Does the account belong to the individual or to the brand? For example, if one CEO moves on, is it acceptable for the new CEO to simply change the account name while keeping the same followers? You’ll want to make sure you have policies in place to address such contingencies.

Coordinate Your Efforts

When you’re managing a group of tweeters, some coordination of efforts is necessary. At the very least, you’ll want to know who will be responsible for your accounts when someone is sick, or takes a vacation.

You’ll also want to ensure the right people are dealing with the right issues. For example, if you’re the CEO, responding to customer feedback and complaints is probably not your primary responsibility. You’ll want to refer incoming tweets to the right internal Twitter account, perhaps by tweeting something like “@customercare will be able to help you out with your issue.”

Make sure your social media-enabled employees are monitoring each other’s efforts so they can retweet appropriate information from other accounts. Meet with your Twitter team regularly to discuss any issues that need resolving and to make sure the lines of communication are open.

Manage Your Content and Your Reputation

If you have your Twitter voice figured out, you’ll also want to maintain some content standards. Ask yourself: What type of content do you want to tweet? Do you want to automate some of your tweeting? Is there a tweet-per-day standard you want to maintain? There aren’t necessarily right answers to these questions. These are things you’ll continually revisit as you go. Discuss your content and tweeting habits with your team to arrive at a consensus of what works for your organization.

You also need to address how to deal with feedback. Creating a standard response time amongst your Twitter crew will ensure everyone is accountable for their efforts. Work with your team to make sure they regularly check direct messages (DMs), and respond in a timely manner to @replies.

Track Analytics Data

If you’ve got an enterprise level Twitter execution to manage, there’s a very good chance you’re accountable for tracking social media analytics. One key metric to track is your referrals. A lot of people tend to concentrate on the follower number, but are those followers following through? Referrals are also a great way to analyze your content. Take a look at what type of content gets you the best click-through rate and share your findings with your team.

Are you managing multiple Twitter accounts and multiple people? We’d love to hear your tips on how you keep everything running smoothly.

[Image credits: chollingsworth3, Carakrater, FeatheredTar, Kevin H, spwelton, digital_monkey]