Twitter: It’s a Conversation Not A Billboard

By Jordan Ruden

I am often asked “what is the best way to promote my business or nonprofit on Twitter?” And my response is “don’t use twitter to promote your business, use Twitter to have a conversation about your business.”

Twitter is a conversation, not a billboard. That does not mean that you can’t use Twitter to share what is happening at your store or within your organization, but do it with context. The beauty is the brevity that Twitter requires.

Here are some tips to create conversations on Twitter.

  1. Look for hashtags within your universe. You don’t necessarily need to create a # around your event or cause. See what’s trending with in your context. Then join that conversation by replying and adding quotes to retweets.
  2. Tweet @ someone. This is a great way to generate a conversation. Again do this with context. Don’t tweet to Justin Bieber about your gluten free cupcake bakery on Long Island; you likely won’t hear back. However you can find like minded people in your area such as baking clubs or nutritional counselors you can engage to build a network.
  3. When it does come time to promote, keep it simple and see if you can draw in a reason to generate a conversation around the promotion. For example:

Always think about what you want to see in your feed. Like any good story, be contextual, entertaining and unexpected.

Here's a great example of creating engagement combined with a promotion for a Film Festival client.