20 things brands and PR people can tweet right now

At a loss for what to share on Twitter? Consult this handy guide.

To make Twitter work for your company, you have to tweet consistently. This task can prove challenging when you aren’t sure what to share. Here are 20 ideas to help solve that conundrum:

An interesting article you just came across. Two things worth pointing out: First, the No. 1 thing to do on Twitter is share content. That’s pretty much why it was created. Second, while there’s a time and a place to focus on yourself—as our list shows—your first priority should be to share things that don’t necessarily come from you, as followers get sick of that pretty quickly.

Share a useful resource. What tools do you use in daily operations? Found a useful iPhone app that makes life a bit easier? If it’s industry-related and you think your customers or peers might find it useful, share it.

A blog entry you just posted on your business blog. Of course, when you put that new post up on your company blog, you want as many people read it as possible. But that doesn’t mean tweet out the link 10 times a day. You also want to tweet links to old blog posts from time to time to keep them fresh.

Inspirational quotes that tie into your industry. The average person loves inspirational quotes. Find one and send it. Just make sure it’s useful and not filler.

Highlight one of your staff members. Talking about your staff is an important part of brand building. If people just see your company as a name and a logo, they aren’t going to connect with you on a personal level. By talking about members of your staff from time to time, you remind your followers that there are real people behind your company.

Breaking news related to your niche. You need to stay on top of what’s going on in your industry. And if people start noticing that you tweet important news as soon as it breaks, they’ll start paying attention.

An upcoming event your company is involved in or attending. This accomplishes a few tasks. It’s a great way to get others to attend fundraisers and other functions. It also takes another step in the human direction we discussed above. And finally, it also gives other event participants free press, which is great for building good will.

Tips that would prove useful to someone who may use your product or service. You want people to see you as an expert in your field. And experts know what tips to give. So putting two and two together … provide useful tips and you’ll quickly become an industry expert.

Real time updates of what you and your staff are working on. As long as you don’t do it too often, followers will love to get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes activities of your company.

Websites of the companies you partner with.
This one is along the lines of turning the attention on to others. When you draw attention to your partners, you give them free advertisement. And you can bet they’ll return the favor, which is a great way to get new followers.

Personal stories that make you seem more human. As mentioned above, search for feel-good internal stories. Maybe one of your employees just beat an illness. Or perhaps you just completed the “Couch-2-5K” plan and ran your first race. Maybe you have a classic rags-to-riches story. Anything someone can derive inspiration from that will make you seem more accessible.

Suggest a reputable industry blog. Where else can your followers get good industry-related info? What RSS feed do you subscribe to that you couldn’t live without? Let the world know and the blog owner will thank you.

Ask your followers a relevant question. Social media is all about conversations. So invite your followers to join in by asking them a question. Just make sure you respond when they answer to show that you care. Failing to do so will end any chances of the back and forth you desire.

Announce a contest or discount exclusive to Twitter.
Everyone loves to win, get something cheaper, or grab a freebie. By announcing such things via Twitter, your followers will feel as if they have one up on everyone else. Contests are also great for getting people involved.

Thank a follower for something they did. Make sure your followers feel important. By thanking them for sharing content, commenting back, or simply following you, they will get the idea that you understand how important they are to your business.

Share a picture of a staff member or event. Mixing different forms of media into your tweets keeps things fresh and interesting. You could also use videos or pictures customers have sent in using your products.

Answer a question someone has asked. Along the lines of engaging your followers, when someone asks you a question, make sure you answer (and answer well). It’s probable that others had the same question and stand to benefit.

Put out a fire. Sometimes we piss people off—it’s bound to happen. Without getting defensive, put your supreme customer service on display and try to make a disgruntled customer happy.

Something ironic in your industry. People like a good laugh or an “AHA!” Pointing out irony is often well received. However, be careful not to do yourself any damage in the process.

Suggest someone to follow. It’s simple. You bring other people new followers, and they take notice and return in kind. Even if they don’t offer you new followers, you’re still doing something good for yours.

Mickie Kennedy is the CEO and founder of eReleases and blogs at PR Fuel, where a version of this article first appeared.

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