Twitter Updates and Facebook Page Updates for Your Business

Are you using Twitter to market your business or nonprofit organization?  Here are some guidelines for posting updates on your business Twitter account.  These recommendations would also apply to updates you post on your company’s Facebook Page and your LinkedIn Profile.

Keep Focused on a Key Message

Your business probably has a key message (or a set of key messages) that guide the kind of content you post on social networking sites.  For example, the key message for Fletcher Prince is “creative and affordable marketing solutions for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.”  So, I would not Tweet about television advertising, for example, because that does not fall under the category of affordable marketing solutions for a small business. Think about what kind of information would be most useful and relevant to your followers.

What Kinds of Updates Work Best for a Business on Twitter?

Here are some suggestions for the types of updates to post on Twitter and Facebook Pages for your business.

  • Communicate with journalists.  Post links to press releases, articles, and blog entries when they tweet about something related to your industry or issue.
  • Respond to consumer questions, concerns, and praise.
  • Announce new products, sales, or special offers.
  • Request feedback from your followers on new products or approaches.
  • Announce new hires, upcoming events, and good news.
  • Post links to interesting articles related to your subject matter expertise.
  • Never rant or post negative comments.

It may be tempting to lapse into conversational updates about movies and the weather and such (and I break my own rules on this; I’m trying to do better), but to maintain the integrity of your brand online, and deliver on the promise of your brand to your followers, it’s best to keep the updates relevant and useful.

That doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions or ask for feedback.  Personally, I think that type of engagement works much better on Facebook Page updates, rather than Twitter, because streams of conversation are so much easier to follow on Facebook than Twitter.  But you can also use that approach on Twitter.

When and How Often to Post

You can maintain a brand presence by updating your Twitter account and Facebook Page once or twice or day, during business hours, Monday-Friday.  Many premium accounts post updates with that frequency.

You can tweet more frequently than that, but ideally you should space your Twitter updates at least an hour apart.  You can schedule your tweets with a free, third-party Twitter management application, such as Hoot Suite.   But I feel you should have a pretty compelling reason to update your account that frequently.  I don’t recommend live-tweeting events or interviews on your business Twitter account, or really, at all.  It will not help your brand.  A better approach for reporting would be to write a summary and post it on your blog (which you can link to in a tweet).

Social Media Tactics Used by US Small Businesses, December 2009 (% of respondents)

Using Twitter as a Customer Service Channel

The truth is, however, that Twitter is not the most highly optimized platform.  Facebook Page updates may be slightly more so, but only slightly more.  Your well-crafted update and link can also get lost in the immense amount of information posted every second on Twitter, and no one is going to see it, unless they are following you.  (Search engines do crawl some of it, but very little of it will actually show up in Google, in a way that is meaningful to your business.)

Therefore, the best Twitter and Facebook update strategy for your business or nonprofit may be to post daily useful updates, but to concentrate your involvement on thoughtful and prompt responses to what others are saying about your brand and products (or industry) — and responding with thank you’s, clarifications, and offers of support or help.  Using the Twitter search function and creating Google Alerts will help you monitor these online mentions of your brand or products on Twitter so you can respond to them.

Keep your Facebook and Twitter updates separate

I recommend that you keep your Twitter and Facebook updates separate, that is, that you do not feed your Twitter stream to your Facebook account, so that the updates are identical.  While Twitter and Facebook are both social networks, they really are two very different platforms, with different capabilities, audiences, and tone.  Twitter updates often seem out-of-place on Facebook.  However, you may safely feed your Twitter stream to LinkedIn.  LinkedIn isn’t used in the same way Facebook is.  I think that would be fine.

How are you using Twitter and Facebook Pages?

Thanks for your comments and opinions about how to best use Twitter and Facebook Pages for your small business or nonprofit organization.  Please follow Fletcher Prince on Twitter and Fan us on Facebook.

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on March 17, 2010, in Facebook Tips, Twitter Tips and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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