**Definition:**A tweet is a status update on Twitter that is broadcast to other users. Limited to 140 characters or less, tweets can express how users are feeling, what they're doing, and anything in between.
Twitter allows online businesses to engage with present and potential customers, drive brand awareness and ultimately generate sales. Tweets are a platform to share expertise, product/company updates, and overall shape brand identity by projecting the values, interests and voice of the company.
Twitter can also serve as a conduit for customer communication. When people ask questions and tag your company, you have an opportunity to help them. Being responsive on social media has an immediate upside; satisfied customers often tweet their satisfaction out to followers.
The open conversational format of Twitter also makes it a great networking tool. Businesses connect with other professionals in their industry and establish mutually beneficial relationships that enhance reach, generate leads and even help earn links to your website.
One of the chief attributes of Twitter is the widespread use of hashtags, which label by subject matter. Users followthese hashtags receive notifications of others who use it, increasing Twitter visibility in the process.
Add value to the conversation: One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is focusing only on themselves. Twitter is an open, streaming conversation that allows anyone who is listening to join in. If your business only talks about itself, why would anyone relate to what it has to say? While its important to favorite, retweet and comment on the content other people share, it's equally important to be sincere and authentic about it.
Offer helpful advice without appearing self-promotional: When a user tweets a question your business can answer, something that you sell a product or service for, resist the temptation to launch into a sales pitch. People are usually annoyed when companies try to sell them on social media, even when they are asking for help. When you see an opportunity to connect with new prospects, offer a helpful tip they can use on their own. Nurture the relationship without talking about your products and services and, if the user appreciates your efforts at helping, he or she will research your company. Helping people is a great way to prove that your company is focused on providing great customer service, something that people often value even more than price.
Measure performance with analytics: Twitter recently introduced an analytics tool, where you can monitor engagement with your tweets. Using these metrics, you can get a clearer view of what types tweets elicit response from users. By continuing to experiment with different approaches, you will learn more about what your audience likes.