Twitter and Your Business: Harnessing The Goliath

October 18th, 2012 by Allison Warmbir

Since its initial launch in 2006, social media goliath Twitter has expanded into a vital part of our daily lives, 140 characters at a time. The microblogging platform provides a flexible platform for 14-year-old Jessica to share her flirtatious encounter with the boy from 3rd period Science while simultaneously hosting serious discussion and real-time world events. Twitter even feeds our celebrity obsession, allowing fans an interactive look into their favorite celeb’s personal life.

If your topic is hot enough, this constant influx of viewer traffic translates to millions of potential eyes on your company’s product information. A good example of this was the marital dispute between Oprah-proclaimed “king” of Twitter, Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk), and his former wife Demi Moore (@justdemi). The couple brought their issues to the public eye by posting comments, photos, and replies to both each other and their fans throughout the ongoing affair. While it’s unlikely that small businesses have the starpower of a dramatic split between two A-list celebrities, a compelling storyline and personal interaction can go a long way in drawing attention to your message.

Twitter has been instrumental is social movements as well. Millions of tweets were broadcasted during the initial stages of last year’s “Occupy” movement, in addition to being an invaluable source of real-time information broadcasting in the wave of revolution that became known as the “Arab Spring” in late 2010. Even journalists began tweeting updates on current situations when access to their media sources was unavailable. Poignantly, renowned journalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington’s last words were shared via his mobile Twitter app for iPhone.

Clearly, Twitter makes a dynamic impact on modern-day society. But how can you put this force to work for your business?

Start with choosing a good handle. This name will be what consumers use to @ reply and retweet your posts. Therefore, the name should adequately reflect your company, as well as be simple and catchy enough for people to remember. Make sure to do your research on this aspect. This name is shown next to your profile, and is typically what directly draws search results. Therefore, you might want to consider looking at which variations of your company’s keywords receives the best monthly search traffic before deciding on a name.

This same optimization should be used for posted tweets as well. The first 42 characters of each post are devoted to the tweet’s title tag and account name, which directly affect search results. Keep in mind that Google will still index the rest of the characters in the tweet.

If you provide links in your tweets, make sure that the copy consumers are directed to is accurate, helpful information as well. Good links will be shared across various accounts — but not if viewers are forced to search through your site to find the information they need.

Using Twitter to promote your business is an easy, free way to bring attention to your company. Find out if tapping into the social media storm that surrounds Twitter could be a beneficial tool in your SEO arsenal—it’s only a click away.