A quick tip for brands that are starting to navigate the Twitter waters....listen as much as you tweet. It is important to get your word out, but it is equally as important to listen to what your customers are saying.
I won't lie, listening and responding properly to tweets is a lot of work and I highly recommend you either hire a consultant (check their influence first) or add a staff position to handle social media.
If you think you have the time to go it alone, please be sure you approach Twitter properly to ensure this effort helps, not hurts your brand reputation. Below is a brief summary of how to listen and respond to your base.
To start, the best way to monitor Twitter is to use a third-party application. I personally use Tweetdeck, but there are others out there equally as good.
At minimum, you should monitor tweets in which you are mentioned. Respond to these tweeps immediately. You should also be watching your direct messages to see if anyone is sending you something privately that should be addressed. Additionally, setup columns or tabs in your Twitter application to search on specific terms relating to your company- your company name, industry buzz words, etc- and respond to those tweets as well.
Of course, it should be noted that you should always think before you tweet- most important when responding to a negative tweet. The last thing you want to do is escalate a bad customer experience by reacting negatively to a comment critical about your company. You need to be social, but not defensive.
Keeping engaged with your base is key to social media. They need to know you care about their customer experience. You don't ever want to be known as a Twitter Broadcaster and face Twitter tuneout.