Many businesses use Twitter as part of their social media strategy but many fail to utilise it properly as a publication relations (PR) tool. Some businesses view the 140 character limit per post as a negative but that is potentially due to a lack of understanding in terms of how best to use Twitter.
The 140-character limit is, in fact, a good thing. Today’s business people are very time poor, they need information to be easily digestible and to the point. Twitter’s character limit forces users to convey a point concisely.
One of the more effective ways of using Twitter is to share links with a brief description describing what the tweet links to. For example a tweet could be, “come to our seminar and find out how we can help you to reduce your tax bill – click here for more www.taxbill.com”
Given that Twitter limits users to 140 characters, it is necessary to shorten hyperlinks. Services such as tinyurl.com are free of charge and allow you to shorten even the longest hyperlinks to just 10 or 15 characters.
If you want to generate useful PR from your business’s Twitter account you need to identify the right target audience. One you have worked out which segment of the market to target, start following people on Twitter who match that profile. When you follow someone on twitter they tend to follow you back (usually!). If you are saying something which is relevant to them they will begin to take an interest in your tweets, therefore giving you an effective way to reach out to your target audience.
Many businesses lack the time or resources to reach out to customers individually. Instead they rely on mass campaigns to connect with existing and potential customers. You can differentiate your businesses by messaging your targets directly on Twitter. Many of your competitors will only use Twitter to post updates and announcements. You can go one step further and use Twitter as a call to action, a means to respond to customers and make them feel like they are truly being heard.