Twitter is primarily about followers. Who's following you or your brand? What can you do to gain more followers? How can you engage them so they continue to track you and refer your company to friends and colleagues? It can be a maddening game if you don't play it correctly.
Luckily, the blog Stop!ThinkSocial has provided guidelines to ensure you're not alienating your fans or performing actions that may harm your reputation.
For example, your bio shouldn't begin with personal information. There's a limited number of characters you can use to describe your business, so be sure to state company information first and foremost. The news source also suggests entrepreneurs don't add superficial titles like "guru" or expert" in their bios unless they can convincingly prove they are one.
In terms of handle, strange, off-putting names or spammy titles such as "IFollowBack" may create a negative connotation between the user and the brand.
Also, quality over quantity is paramount. Tweets are much more effective when they're insightful and provide worthwhile thoughts or information. A brand or entrepreneur who clogs a Twitter feed with constant re-tweets or random, unrelated thoughts can expect to lose followers fast.
However, you should consider re-tweeting in the same light as incoming links on a website or blog. You want to give credit where credit is due - if you remove the original tweeter's name from the re-tweet, it's unlikely they'll promote your business again in the future.
In addition to optimizing your own actions, being informed about consumer behavior and why they're following your brand can help your company tailor tweets and create a more effective social media strategy.
Recent research from Constant Contact and Chadwick Martin Bailey found that of the nearly 21 million Twitter users, 21 percent follow brands, eMarketer reports. Approximately 64 percent of those do so because they're already a customer, while 48 percent follow strictly to get deals and discounts.
Gaining a follower also increases the chance that he or she will provide your company with business, as 50 percent of respondents said they were more likely to buy a brand's products after they followed it, while 60 percent stated they were more likely to recommend a brand to a friend or colleague after becoming a follower.
Lastly, researchers found that 36 percent follow to receive exclusive content. Thus, your company should tailor tweets to provide followers with content they likely wouldn't be able to obtain otherwise.