Search marketing doesn’t begin and end with keywords and organic search results. An effective strategy blends as many aspects of SEM as possible to create the perfect recipe for customers.

To use the cooking analogy further, the exact amounts of each ingredient will vary according to your business model, the products and services you provide, and the consumers (or “potential customers”) you’re targeting.

Let’s look at a straightforward “checklist” that I recommend to clients:

Consistent Branding

Every time your target market visits your Twitter page, you want them to be able to instantly know that this is your Twitter page, rather than an competitor or private Twitter user. Ensure your logo and any corporate colours are present (your profile pic should ideally be your logo, and if you need to modify it to fit the box, keep it as close to the original as possible.

When creating a background, it’s worth knowing that many companies create a customised background (which can be re-used on other social media profiles too). Many choose to include an address or a “corporate message”. Just be aware that few (if any) will read the content of your customised background – it’s purpose is to help visitors realise whose Twitter page they’re on.

When you design a background, remember that Tweets appear in a centralised column on PC screens, so any key information needs to be towards the edges. You might need to view your Twitter page on a couple of different-sized screens just to be sure users can see everything.

Twitter Usernames and Bio

Again, you want these to be instantly recognisable as being yours.

Many opt to use the company name as their username (the “@xxxxxx”). Others may choose something related to their product or service. Remember that Twitter usernames should be:

  • Easy to type from memory
  • Short and sweet
  • Distinctive, and
  • Unlikely to infringe any trademarked brand names

When writing a biography, keep it short and sweet, including SEO-related keywords if possible (your SEO staff or agency will be able to help with this).

When choosing a username, bear in mind that spam accounts are usually a name followed by a sequence of numbers (for example @ crazyfred1234567). Avoid usernames like these, even if someone recommends including your phone number in your Twitter username.

When & What To Tweet

There are any number of schools-of-though regarding Twitter “Netiquette”. Always remember that the tone, language and content of your tweets will form the “official statement” in the eyes of many. If your social media administrator is tweeting in a laughing, joking manner, this could backfire if someone sees a casual tweet as some official opinion.

Short and sweet is the safest option, in my eyes. The less said, the less there is to misinterpret.

In terms of regularity of tweeting, many companies tweet multiple times per day, if only to remind the web that the TwitMaster General is at their desk. Tweeting a special offer, new product or service, blog post, or retweeting an interesting news story (which relates to your industry) is a good way to encourage interaction. And of course, interaction is a key part of tweeting.

Choosing What To Tweet About

Twitter includes a list of “trending topics” on every users homepage, and this can be customized from “Worldwide” right down to city-level in many cases.

Trending Topics on Twitter

Twitter provide a list of customizable “trends” on user’s homepages.

As topics on Twitter change rapidly, the results can seem a bit capricious at times. One of my favourite tools for checking which topics on Twitter are popular is This site allows users to view trending topics on a map (using data supplied when Twitter users register and/or GeoIP locating). Tweets update in near real-time, and users can also see which Twitter users are popular, not just subjects & hashtags. Twitter trends shown in map view Twitter trends shown in map view.

What Not To Tweet

It’s easy to get carried away with Twitter. Businesses should always remember that a line must be drawn between the official tweet and something fun which could go too far. Always remember:

  • An inadvertent tweet containing contact details or simply the name of a member of staff can backfire if that staff member is inundated by calls, tweets, emails of Facebook friend requests,
  • A controversial opinion, tweeted with the best intention, could end up harming your reputation, especially as such faux pas are generally remembered months or years later,
  • Although it might sound silly, photos of staff parties could be a step too far if those in the photo are “a little worse for wear”, looking or acting unprofessionally, or simply unhappy that their photo has been publicised as part of your social media strategy,