I’m being asked more and more about ways of improving the Twitter presence of industrial, engineering and technical companies. So I thought I would produce a quick reference guide, a kind of ABC, to help people take the first steps if they need to. So, here goes: 

Measure the influence of your Twitter account:Firstly, you should follow the instruction here about how to measure the influence of your Twitter account. This will give you a bar to measure your improvements against.

Set yourself some targets: Once you have done that, set yourself some targets to improve this influence over the next three months. Good targets to set would be to find some relevant people to follow, such as journalists, influencers in your industry and influencers in your region. You might find this post on the new ways Twitter has created to make it easy for you to find relevant people useful. 

Another good target would be to increase the amount of times you Tweet and, crucially, to increase the amount of times you engage with your followers each day. Engaging with your followers means re-tweeting their content, answering their questions and generally just saying hello. 

Make sure your account looks respectable: Other people will engage with you if you like a ‘real’ Twitter user. To do this, you could:

- Make sure your profile image is good, high resolution and correctly named. By correctly named, I mean that the name of the file should be search optimised – so a key word like ‘Linear Actuators’, ‘SCARA robots’ or ‘Six axis robots’ would be better than ‘profile pic’ or ‘me in Tunisia – 2008’.

- Make sure your profile is well written and interesting. It should include your key search terms (because that will make it show up in Google) but also be interesting and say something about you or your business.

- Get your handle working baby! In the old days of the Internet people used CB radio style handles to identify themselves in chat rooms and via e-mail. Some people still do this with Twitter. If you are one of them, stop it right now! Change your Twitter name to something that identifies your properly! And then make sure you change any links to your Twitter account on your Web site or other Web sites.

Finally, Measure the influence of your Twitter account again at the end of week one and then at the end of each month. It will increase and low and behold Twitter will become very useful to you and start generating your PR opportunities, engagement with potential stakeholders and maybe even sales leads. It really will. 

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