So you have yourself a brand new Twitter account for your business. Now what do you do? You want to post tweets that will attract clients and followers. You know (or will learn) that tweets with pushy sales pitches or details about your lunch will only turn off followers and prospective clients. You want to select content for your tweets that show your expertise in your field, build trust among your followers, and are interesting enough to get retweeted. But you’re not a writer and facing that blank field several times a day can be frightening. How do you get started?
One way to show off your expertise is to be able to publish breaking news or new analysis about your field. But you don’t have time to search the news and blogs several times a day.
One good source for content can be Google Alerts. (For those who haven’t used Google Alerts, you go to http://www.google.com/alerts and set up an alert based on a search term. Google will then send you an email with a list of links to new results that pop up for those search terms.) Select terms that are specific enough — this may take some tweaking. You may find varying experiences. I have usually found that Google Alerts bring at least one link per day that would make a good tweet. I have found some pitfalls though — some of the results that Google sends on one of my alerts are pulled from fake search sites. Usually I have been able to recognize them by checking the URL and checking the description — a string of unrelated key words instead of an actual well-formed sentence are red flags. I have heard recommendations to set up an RSS feed for a Google Alert and then send it directly to your Twitter account through Twitter Feed. But I’d make sure that the alert brings valuable results before you do that. You don’t want to post a link to a fake page accidentally (especially if it installs spyware…)