Companies large and small have started using Twitter as a way to promote themselves, interact with customers, and handle customer service.
Some do it better than others.
Of course, how you should run your company's Twitter account varies widely by the size and type of your company -- a small coffee shop will obviously want a different Twitter presence than a large airline or utility company, or a news website.
But there are certain universal truths to what your company’s style of tweeting reveals about your corporate culture, your attitude towards social media, and what you think about your customers in general.
Want to know what people think about YOUR company's Twitter account?
Take a look at it and compare:
Your Twitter: An automated list of headlines and links to your site, blog, etc.
What it says: We don't care about interacting with our customers, at least not on Twitter. We just want you to visit our website, where we might also not want to interact with you.
Your Twitter: Mostly retweets of nice things that other people are saying about you.
What it says: We don't have anything interesting to say, and we don't care about you, or we wouldn't be spamming you.
Your Twitter: Mostly apologies for terrible service, and cues to call/email your customer service department.
What it says: We should probably fix our business first instead of hanging out on Twitter.
Your Twitter: An engaging feed clearly written by humans, including a good mix of news, tips, deals, contests, photos/video and basic customer support.
What it says: We're here in earnest and we care. And in exchange for giving us some of your attention, we're going to reward you, or try to make you feel special.
They obviously won't necessarily be the perfect model for your specific business, but they're at least in the right spirit.