Optimizing Corporate Twitter Accounts

Earlier this year, I wrote a post on tangible, actionable social profile improvements that everyone should make to their personal Twitter accounts. Today I would like to present some best practices and ideas to optimize a corporate Twitter account.

  • User Name/Twitter Handle: The user name is arguably the most important part of any Twitter account, as this is how the company will be known. If the exact business name is unavailable, make sure to choose something that speaks to the brand (in 15 characters or less).

  • Profile Photo: This should be the company logo.

  • Header Photo: This should be something that represents the brand.

  • Bio: The bio is a short description of who the company is (160 characters maximum). Keywords should be used to make the company more easily found in searches.

  • Location: It is important to post this information so that the company can be found when other Twitter users are searching by location.

  • Website: This could link to the company website, LinkedIn or Facebook page, or any other site that the company wants to promote.

  • Theme Color: This should be customized to enhance/compliment the profile picture and header photos.

  • Following/Follower Numbers: According to the Twitter Help Center, “Every Twitter account can follow 2,000 users total. Once you’ve followed 2,000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow. This number is different for each account and is based on your ratio of followers to following; this ratio is not published.” Be sure to keep those rules in mind when deciding who the company will follow. That being said, following brands that are similar to your own will expose you to an array of potential customers.

  • Favorites: There are two approaches to favoriting content. 1. Favorite the recommendations, testimonies and positive comments from customers and fans, and use the favorites tab as a place to showcase company successes. 2. Favorite the content of people you follow, influencers and organizations, in an attempt to build rapport with them.

  • Lists: Setting up lists as a resource for others can bring traffic to the company profile and earn new followers.

  • Pinned Tweets: Twitter allows users to pin a tweet to the top of their profile page. This should be a tweet speaks to the company brand or mission, one of the companies best tweets or an upcoming event or company announcement.

Best practices/advice:

  • Don’t be too pushy/salesy: No one wants to read a stream that is constantly pushing to sell something. Ask yourself if you would want to be one of your followers.

  • Direct Messages: In the “Security and privacy’ section under the “Profile and settings” tab, be sure to click “Receive Direct Messages from anyone.” This will allow the company to receive messages from any Twitter user even if the company does not follow them.

  • Acknowledge tweets from followers as quickly as possible: Twitter is a fast paced platform and your community will expect you to be responsive. Don’t just react when there is a negative situation/emergency. Make sure to respond when you receive a compliment and reach out proactively to thank people for following you as well.

  • Join Twitter chats that are relevant to your customers: You will learn quite a bit about your industry in general, as well as people to help expand your network.

  • Use hashtags correctly: When the right hashtags are added to tweets, the message can be exposed to Twitter users who follow certain topics, but who may not be following the company. Be sure to add value to the conversation and don’t just simply promote the brand.

  • Include pictures and videos in your tweets: Text and links are fine, but they are not attention grabbing. When pictures and videos are added to tweets, people are much more likely to take a look.

  • The bigger, the better: Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger than others in the stream of tweets, making the best content easy to find.

  • Tweet often, but not too often: Strive for quality over quantity.

What are some of your favorite Twitter practices? Please comment below and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter.