6 twitter for businessSocial media should be an integral part of your inbound marketing efforts. As social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Social media equals business. Period.”

While each social media platform has unique strategies and best practices that work best for that particular network, Twitter is gaining popularity as a social network for business. With more than 230 million active Twitter users sending 500 million tweets every day, a proper Twitter strategy can ensure your marketing message does not get lost.

Here are six business strategies for Twitter that will help improve your inbound marketing returns.

1. Use Customized Titles

Content curation is an important part of your overall social marketing strategy. Sharing fresh, relevant information with your followers will position you as a trusted source of information. However, it’s not enough to simply retweet the link with the article’s title.

Instead, give your Tweet a personal touch by substituting a provocative phrase from the article or adding your own opinion of the piece. This will help to engage your followers, and it shows that you have deeper understanding of the subject matter. You can use this strategy for your own content as well.

2. Ask Your Followers Questions

People are willing to share information and opinions with you if you just ask. This seems like a simple tactic but many companies overlook it. They tend to treat Twitter as a broadcast station and only send out marketing messages. They forget that it’s called social media for a reason. Be social.

3. Be Helpful

Twitter allows you to search for any keyword of phrase that pertains to your business or industry. Create a list of common words or phrases that people use when researching your industry, then search Twitter to see what questions people are asking.

Then you can simply answer their questions and give them a link to your helpful information that will provide the answers. This is not the time to hit them with a sales pitch, though. Simply supply the information without expecting anything in return and you will build a reputation as a trusted voice within your industry. This tactic attracts followers and your inbound marketing efforts will see success later on.

3. Use Less Than 140 Characters

By now you know that Twitter only allows you to use 140 characters for your messages. But what a lot of marketers don’t know that it is beneficial to use fewer than that. In fact, the ideal tweet is somewhere around 120 characters. Why so short?

The answer is to leave room so that others can retweet your message. When someone retweets your message your name gets added to the length of the message along with theirs. Adding those extra characters can easily put you over the 140 mark.

4. Strategically Place Your Links

Most people place the link to an article or product at the very end of their tweet. Research shows that is a mistake. Hubspot recently studied over 200,000 tweets for their click-through rates and found that placing the link about 25% of the way through the tweet was optimal. This means you should put your link near the beginning of your tweet.

5. Track Mentions of Your Business

You should be keeping track of what people are tweeting about your business every day. It is not enough to retweet the positive things people are saying about you. If there are any complaints it is important that you deal with them as soon as possible.

Don’t just search for your Twitter name, as some people may not use it. Also search for any misspellings of your company name. Online software like the Hubspot Social Inbox tool or Topsy.com make this an easy task.

6. Don’t Use Multi-Part Tweets

Resist the temptation to send long messages that take up two or three tweets. Your message will be fragmented and can easily get lost in your follower’s timeline, preventing them from seeing the entire message. Keep your messages short.

These six simple tips for Twitter can improve the ROI of your inbound marketing efforts.