We’ve profiled many companies that are making waves with their strategies on various social media platforms, and one of the consistent threads connecting these success stories is giving a human voice to the brand. This can be a challenge for some businesses on Twitter since most human conversations don’t take place naturally within a limit of 140 characters.

Despite the constraints, people still expect that touch of human interaction from your brand’s account. It’s a great way to attract followers and to encourage conversation with your company. So what can your organization do to get that human voice on Twitter? Here are three main points to keep in mind as you craft your brand’s Twitter presence.

1. Personality

Even if your company uses a tool to schedule tweets, there’s still a person composing them in the first place. If you’ve made smart choices in hiring your social media team, you should feel confident in letting your employees infuse some of their own personality into their tweets. Be sure to collaborate with your social media manager to decide on an official voice that’s appropriate for your brand.

Another element of crafting an effective brand personality is knowing when to capitalize on, or avoid, social media trends. Don’t use hashtags that are irrelevant to your business just because they’re trending. Saturating your feed with buzzwords can also take away the individuality of your brand’s account, so don’t feel the need to call your team members “social media gurus” or to dominate the “Twittersphere.” Furthermore, trying to participate in a meme that doesn’t make sense for your company in an attempt to look hip will most frequently backfire. Stick to the voice and style of tweets that makes the most sense for your brand.

2. Professionalism

This is important even if you choose to adopt a casual or quirky tone on Twitter. If you are using social media to represent your business, you need to present yourself with respect. That means proofreading your tweets for spelling errors and double-checking that you are posting from the correct account.

The character limits of Twitter can make this challenging. Relying heavily on shorthand netspeak to keep your tweets concise can make your account look juvenile since that language is most closely associated with kids and teenagers. If you need to resort to shorthand, make sure that the contents of your tweets balance out the super-casual language. A post reading “omg thank U!” looks silly — since you have the space to type out a full thanks. If you have a complex statement that simply won’t fit into 140 characters, then you can get away with a bit of shorthand. However, Twitter is best when tweets are simple. Ideally, you may want to rethink a post that is too wordy for the format.

You’ll also want to avoid the caps lock button, special ASCII characters, and other glyphs. These are overly gimmicky ways to try to grab a reader’s attention and fans may be turned off by that. Instead of trying to use this flashy technique in your bio or your tweets, focus on the content of your Twitter feed. Your material should be strong enough to stand on its own without a star or an arrow highlighting it.

3. Outreach

Don’t have a one-track mind on Twitter. Casual Twitter users doesn’t post constantly about work on their personal feeds. They’ll also talk about their weekends, the movies they saw recently, or the articles they read online. Just as people have varied interests, your official Twitter feed shouldn’t be all business.

Many successful Twitter accounts follow the 10:1 rule, which suggests that for every one tweet about business there should be 10 tweets about other people. That can include everything from sharing an outbound link or casual conversation with your followers. You don’t have to follow that exact ratio, but make sure to strike a balance between promoting yourself and reaching out to build new connections. The point is to show a genuine interest in forging relationships. If you don’t, your Twitter feed will risk reading like an advertisement, rather than a human voice.

Do you have any tips for keeping a human element in your tweets? Let us know in the comments!

[Image credits: Ricardo Diaz, Helico, Victor1558, stuartpilbrow]