Twitter is one the least understood, yet one of the most versatile social media platforms out there.

It is an incredibly helpful platform that lets you manage customer feedback and support, engagement with colleagues and clients, real-time chats and dialogues, opinions and trending topics, instant reach to companies and thought leaders, and most importantly helping you establish your own online community.

Here are 10 advanced strategies that can help businesses promote themselves on Twitter.

  1. Know everything about your target audience. Do your research and get down to specifics about their habits and behaviours, their likes and dislikes, and the type of content they need and want.
  1. Gather competitive intelligence. Keep an eye on your competitors. Research who they are, their activities and strategies, what works for them and what doesn’t etc.
  1. Follow the 10-4-1 rule (popularized by Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey Cohen in their book,‘B2B Social Media’) for social sharing as a guideline. Maintain a library of content that you want to share with your followers, and for every 15 updates you share, 10 of them should be other people’s content, 4 of them should be your own content, and 1 can be promotional or advertorial in nature.
  1. Choose people and company accounts on Twitter that you want to build relationships with. Make it a priority to engage with them in a manner that is respectful and helpful. Participating in their tweets and updates is a great way to build relationships on Twitter.
  1. Online communities are all about mutually beneficial reciprocal behaviour. Its about give and take information, tweet and retweet, help and ask for help.
  1. To become a person of influence, find other users who you would like to emulate. Learn from their strategy and engage with them. This kills two birds with one stone as you not only learn from them, but engagement with them exposes you to their audience.
  1. Take part in Twitter chats on topics that you are interested in and have an expertise in. Showing people that you know what you’re talking about helps to build networks and connections.
  1. Stay in touch with your own audience. Realize that there are human beings behind all (or most) of the Twitter accounts. Once in a while, break up the monotony of sharing updates by asking questions, conducting polls, commenting on other people’s updates etc.
  1. Use the Search and Advanced Search options – hidden away in Twitter search is the advanced search that helps you find people, accounts or conversations using keywords, negative keywords, updates during a time period, in locations of your choice, from specific people on Twitter, etc.
  1. When replying to someone, starting a tweet with a Twitter handle converts it to a private conversation. These conversations are only visible to common followers of your and the recipient’s account. If you want more people to see your reply (which could be useful in certain cases, but best avoided if the chat is not going to be of interest to the vast majority), you need to convert them to public tweets by making sure that the first character of the tweet is not ‘@’. Either put the Twitter handle somewhere in between, or insert a period before the username(for eg, .@username) to make it visible to your followers.

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