The meteoric rise of Twitter as one of the foremost social media platforms has added another tool in the arsenal of social markets. Being able to exchange ideas and information in 140 letters means that you have to very creative and imaginative. The use of hashtags and mentions is another powerful feature that allows users to get their point across to their intended audience immediately.

Many small and medium businesses often complain that they do not see any advantage of joining Twitter and building a follower base. According to many, it is expensive, both in terms of money and time. The oft quoted return on investment or ROI is perceived as too low to pursue the matters further.

However, in a recent study of the Twitter usage and presence of small and medium businesses, it was found that a number of users are not utilizing the full potential of the platform. There were basic mistakes in the way the brand was presented and the business had unrealistic expectations for Twitter.

The first thing to understand is the difference between Twitter and other social media outlets. Once you have understood them, you would be able to appreciate the ease and efficiency of Twitter.

Facebook: Facebook uses its new EdgeRank algorithm to determine who sees what. Twitter has no such filters and every tweet you post is passed on to all your followers. This allows everyone to see and reply to the tweet.

Pinterest: Like Pintrest, Twitter allows you to post photographs and images. However, at Twitter, each image could be discussed in the same thread unlike the comments section of Pinterest.

LinkedIn: The strength of LinkedIn is also its weakness. The two way relationships based on trust ratings often hinders the growth of the network. It becomes difficult to contact a company or person for getting quick information or posting a complaint. Twitter allows you to post to anybody using hashtags.

Now for the guidelines for posting tweets.

There are several guidelines for posting at twitter. All of them complement the official posting guidelines of Twitter:

  • Keep it friendly
  • Keep it positive
  • Try some humour
  • Ask a question
  • Keep it timely related to current events
  • Retweet positive customer experiences
  • Keep it interesting