10 steps for brand managers to get started on Twitter

Don’t just sign up and start tweeting. There’s a lot of groundwork to do before you start marketing in 140-character bursts.

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Consumers might be talking about your brand—in either positive or negative ways. Competitors could be active on the platform, dominating your category with their 140-character tweets. Twitter is also the place to reach people who have influence elsewhere, including relevant bloggers and even traditional media contacts.

However, it is not wise to start tweeting up a storm without thinking through your goals or about how to measure your activity.

Here are 10 steps every big brand should take before they get started on Twitter:

1. Do your homework.

Do not jump onto Twitter without doing some homework. Go to search.twitter.com to find out whether people are talking about your brand, your category, or your competitors. If they are, what are they talking about? Are their conversations positive or negative? Are your competitors participating in the conversation?

If you cannot find any relevant conversations, there may still be an opportunity for your brand on Twitter. By being the first player in your category to use the platform smartly, your brand establishes its leadership.

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