Social media is vital to your brand image. Make the most of social media platforms by engaging users and by posting compelling content. Twitter is challenging for many entrepreneurs and small-business owners because of its brevity and rapid-fire nature. To make your tweets stand out in a user's cluttered feed, post frequently -- but choose your characters with care. Mind the Characters Tweets may be no longer than 140 characters. To maximize your sharing potential, keep your tweets to 100 characters or less. That way, you can include a URL and leave space for followers to retweet with commentary. Use a guideline of 22 characters for a link -- Twitter adjusts all URLs to this length regardless of its original size -- and 18 characters of empty space. Stay Focused Your brand account is more than an advertisement for your product line. It shows participation in an industry. Strike a balance between tweeting about everything you find interesting -- leave that for your personal Twitter account -- and showing that you know what's trending. If you sell fashionable clothing manufactured using fair trade practices, tweet about fashion and fair trade. Leave out extraneous comments that do not fall into these categories. Tune in to the News Brand image is built on a philosophy. Tweet relevant and interesting news items that reflect your brand's unique selling point. Exceptional content is important; what you tweet reflects your brand. The fair trade fashionista might send out news of consumer preference for ethical products, including clothing. Listen and Respond Followers will tweet to you. To show engagement, tweet back, especially if they are unhappy. A negative comment can hurt your image. Consider a simple apology for the bad experience and ask them to contact your company directly over email or by phone. If comments are positive, retweet them with thanks. Social media is by its nature an interactive platform. It is vital to show you value your customer base and are in step with what they want. Make it a Story If you are planning to launch a new product, get your Twitter followers engaged as early as possible. Write periodic tweets that show each stage of the process. A photo of your materials, your new warehouse space or other elements that hint at something new and big can entice followers. Your tweet language should hold something back so users are encouraged to click the link -- think "Planning the new line. How many color swatches can we fit on one bulletin board?" Make sure you follow through with interesting, relevant content. Make it Shareable Social media is exactly that -- social. When you choose a link to send, ask yourself if it is something your users will not only want to read, but want to share. That way, you will get your name out and gain more followers. Before hitting "tweet," ask yourself if what you are sending out will help your brand.
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