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By now, everyone has an idea of what Twitter is. But are you getting the most out of it when it comes to your business?

Sure, most of these tips are things that you are probably already aware of, but have been putting off. Now is the time to get a handle on what you’d like to see from your Twitter presence.

Follow these tips and watch as you’ll generate more followers on Twitter, increase your marketing reach and generally make an exceptional splash in the wondrous world of social media.

• Set your Twitter goals

What do you want to achieve? What are you going to do differently? What are you going to try? If you haven’t done this already, then get on it. Knowing where you’d like to go with Twitter is oftentimes more important than a fantastically-written Tweet.

• Tweet on a regular schedule

Make this a priority resolution. Tweeting predictably establishes report with new followers and reassures your loyal customers.

• Tweet in multimedia: videos and pictures often speak louder than words

Change it up. Remember, that Twitter is a proud member of the social media family: use all types of media at your disposal to reaffirm your product.

• Mix-in retweets, shout-outs and thank you’s

Spend more time answering questions and thanking followers for retweeting your links than pushing products. The marketing karma will pay you back generously.

• Tweet relevant content and information that your followers will enjoy

If you’re not in-tune with your followers, then you’re missing the point of Twitter, entirely. Social media has its own limits of shameless self-promotion and Twitter is more about a dialogue than a soapbox. Learn about your followers and customers, and Tweet links and information that they’ll enjoy.

• Change up your Twitter background to reflect your company’s focus

Switch your background to something that shows where the company is going in the future. New product? New mission?

• Balance out your follower-to-following ratio to 50/50

An ideal Twitter business account has a relatively equal follower-to-following ratio. If you swing more towards the followers side, then your message will get lost. If you want to follow more, then your Twitter will be more skewed towards promotion instead of interaction.

• Host quarterly Tweet-ups with your customers to gain valuable feedback

If you haven’t already done this, then you’re missing out!

• Link your Tweets to your other social media pages and website

All social media sites and websites should “talk” to each other. Have your Twitter feeds featured on your website. Send your Tweets to Facebook. You’ll reach more people if you cross-mingle. And, as a bonus, you’ll look like you’re on top of your game.

• Plan your Tweets ahead so they have substantial impact and consistency

Without “generally” knowing where you’re going, you’re bound to get lost and distracted on the way. You don’t need to write your Tweets out verbatim, but have a theme or idea for the coming weeks.

• Broaden your Twitter presence by adding additional business accounts for customer service and ordering

Just do it!

Ready to start? Want a hand with automated some of your Twitter messages? Use SimplyCast’s Twitter marketing tool for free. Sign up today and stop worrying about your Twitter profile vanishing into the giant see of hash tags and Tweets.

1. The quality of your Tweets matters more than the quantity. 5 exceptional Tweets will always be better than 25 crappy ones. Otherwise, you’re just Tweeting for the sake of Tweeting.

2. If you let it, Twitter will consume your marketing life (just as any other form of social media). Twitter and social media aren’t the only marketing games out there. Diversify your marketing strategy.

3. Twitter will make you a better writer. You’ll learn that there’s more power in saying the same thing in 3 words than in 13. Less is always more.

4. Aim for an equal spread of followers and those who you follow. Don’t stack your Twitter deck by amassing a ridiculous number of followers. All that says is that you’re pretentious and you don’t really care what the rest of the world has to say.

5. Remember that Twitter (and all other social media sites) is a competition for air time.

6. Always be kind and respectful on Twitter.

7. Make Tweeting a daily habit.

8. Plan before you Tweet. Don’t use Twitter if you’re at risk for off-the-cuff content.

9. Incorporate what’s going on with your other marketing channels in your Tweets. New blog posts? Most YouTube hits this week? Record “Likes” on Facebook?

10. Remember that Twitter is searchable. Dot your Tweets with relevant keywords and phrases so that newcomers can find you easily. Don’t forget to include important keywords in your bio!

Have more? Do share?

We also invite you to check out SimplyCast’s free Twitter marketing automation tool. Make your Tweeting that much easier.

When it comes to social media, standing out from the crowd is key. There are so many tweets flowing and offers being pitched, that they can all blend into one.

Here are 3 ways to do promotions on Twitter that your competitors are not doing.

• Break Free From the Incessant Marking Twaddle

Sure, it may sound counterintuitive and a bit on the silly side, but breaking free from the never-ending cycle of marketing-only tweets will actually propel your brand to new social media heights.

Actually, tweet less about your brand and more about the story behind your brand. Tweet about your employees, your customers and what’s going on inside your company.

Twitter is based on a conversation, so have one.

• Have a Voice (Better Make it a Passionate Voice)

Remember, your followers are more intuitive and sensitive than you think. If you’re tweeting because your job description tells you to and you treat it more like an annoyance rather than an opportunity, then you’re going to lose your followers.Fast.

Put some passion into what you’re tweeting. If you’re excited about your company and it shows, then your followers will be, too.

Excitement and passion are some of the most important fuels that feeds social media.

• Create a Trend

Or, more specifically, create a hashtag (#) trend that relates to your brand, but don’t make the hashtag your brand. Let’s put it another way. Let’s pretend that you are Ford and you’re launching a brand new car in the spring. You could create #MyFirstFordWas or #IloveMyFordBecause. This sort of hashtag will generate more response and marketing power than one that’s just #Ford. With any hashtag, think action, fill-in-the-blanks or anything that requires engagement.

Have you tried either of these ideas? Was it a success? Let us know.

Need a hand managing your daily tweets? Check out SimplyCast’s free twitter marketing tool.

Own a small business and wondering how to use Twitter Marketing to generate leads and grow sales? Use the following tactics:

• Freebies

Drive customers to purchase from your website or physical location with giveaways. As always, do the math beforehand to ensure that you’ll be able to handle the potential loss or the insane influx of customers. Better yet, tie the freebie to a purchase, like, for every $50 spent, you’ll get a trial size version of your most popular products. And, you’d better be well stocked!

• Lean on friends

Ask your family and friends to tweet honest opinions, thoughts and experiences about your business and products. That’s how any word-of-mouth campaign begins. If your friends aren’t going to support you, then who will?

• “Check-in”

Encourage customers to tweet that they’re at your store. Not only does it show how busy and popular you are, it makes your store the place to be. Offer customers a coupon or a free (small) gift for doing this.

• Donate

Ask your customers and followers to retweet your latest promotions. If you reach, say, 100 retweets, you’ll donate a portion of the promotion’s sales to a local charity. You’ll be reaching a ridiculous number of people in a very short period of time. For example, if each person who retweets your promotion has just 10 followers, then you’ll reach 1,000 new people. Awesome, right?

• Make it friendly

Tweet photos and videos of you and your staff hard at work. The sillier, the better, (increasing your chances of going viral). Put a face and a name to those who work for you. Customers like businesses that are more focused on people rather than sales.

Once you have all of these tactics in place, add a little automation to your game plan.

SimplyCast provides a 100% free Twitter marketing automation tool to help you post and manage your daily tweets.

•    Tweet company press releases

Whatever’s going on inside the walls of your business – unless, of course, it’s top-secret – is great fodder for Twitter. Try to Tweet fuzzier, heart-warming press releases than those that may be more technical. Happy news – such as how your product changed a family’s life – is read, commented on and reTweeted more often than non-fuzzy news.

•    Tease customers with almost-released new products

This tactic works especially well with an upcoming holiday or a highly anticipated product (think the iPhone). Perhaps you release a new product feature every week or what the initial price will be. Twitter is a fantastic tool at creating buzz, and buzz is what every marketer wants.

•    Tweet short profiles about company staff

Customers love to learn about the people behind their favorite products. They want to learn about the people in your company. Too many companies on Twitter are more focused on selling that they miss how much of a sales impact a little humanizing does.

•    Link to customer testimonials on your website

People trust other people. People trust people they’ve never met more than they trust the company that’s pushing them to buy their latest product. Let your customers to the selling for you.

•    Tweet reviews and articles about your company products

Link, with minimal commenting, articles and product reviews. Even better, try to link to reviews by trusted consumer agencies and websites. Essentially, you’re not saying how fantastic your products are, someone else is.

•    Tweet Twitter-exclusive promotional codes, sales and giveaways

This technique is virtually foolproof: not only will your chances of your promotion going viral, you’ll gain new followers just because they want the inside scoop on your next deal.

Want a hand automating your Tweets? Sign up to use SimplyCast’s free Twitter marketing tool. It is easy to use, brings in the results you want and like we said, it costs nothing to use.

Sign up for Twitter marketing today.