Ashley Zeckman

5 Tips for Taking the “FUD” out of Twitter for Employees

How to Twitter? A common question many businesses ask.

Whether you work for a large or small business, in BtoB or BtoC, or are just interested in growing your marketing and sales network, you may have been faced with a common issue:  You’re fully on board with social media, but your employees may not be.

Many organizations have done their due diligence to put together a policy which includes all the ways that employees may not use social media in connection with their brand.  However, what are some simple steps you can take that will not only take the fear out of social media, but will encourage participation?

5 Tips for Taking the “FUD” out of Twitter

As with any new task there is a reasonable amount of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) associated with reaching out and interacting via Twitter for many employees.  How can you help your staff overcome this fear?  By making it as easy as possible for them to participate and engage.

Tip #1 – Cover the Basics
Before teaching employees the best practices for utilizing Twitter for business it’s imperative that you have an understanding of their core knowledge base.  Some of the basics that it’s important to cover include:

  • Do your employees have a Twitter handle?
  • Do they need help setting up their account information?
  • What is considered spamming?
  • What is a good follow/follower ratio?
  • How to re-tweet
  • Character limits

Looking for some general best practices for re-tweeting?

Tip #2 – Provide Lists to Get Employees Started
Putting together a list of Twitter users for your employees to follow is a great way to jump start their Twitter experience.  You may want to consider creating some lists within Twitter that include the following groups of individuals or companies:

  • Industry influentials
  • Clients
  • News & Media Sources

Below is an example of a list of marketers created by TopRank Online Marketing CEO Lee Odden (@leeodden).

Create a list of influencers on Twitter

Tip #3 – Consistency is Key

I would recommend starting with a goal number of tweets, RT’s, or interactions that you would like your employees to participate in on a weekly basis.  If asking them to interact each day is unrealistic instead suggest that they set aside 5-10 minutes 2-3 days a week to find something interesting to post with their followers.

A tactic as simple as finding a news article related to your business or interests and sharing it via Twitter can be a one click process.

Tip #4 – Recommend Tools
Remember, we’re thinking ease of use.  Another way to make the transition to Twitter as easy as possible is to provide free tools to your staff that allow them to instantly post, schedule posts, and monitor activity on Twitter.  Some of the tools that I recommend include:

Hootsuite has proven to be very user friendly and provides a great scheduling function for sending out tweets throughout the week. You can also view your home feed, Twitter mentions, and sent tweets at the same time in an easy to read format.

Tip #5 – Event Best Practices
If your organization is participating in, hosting, or attending any events there is a prime opportunity for your employees to spread the word and provide live coverage of the event.  Prior to the event you should determine:

  • The event hashtag (if there is one) and make sure to share with your employees what that is as well as the best way to use it.
  • The Twitter handles of the speakers/vendors who will also be participating in the event.

During the event encourage your employees to tweet highlights from sessions or speakers as well as track any mentions of your brand.

While Twitter is just one of the many ways that you can encourage your employees on board as advocates for your brand, it is a start.  Remember, to always start small and ensure that you are providing as much direction as possible to set your staff on the right path.

If you have any additional questions relating to encouraging office participation please feel free to comment on this post or send me a tweet (@azeckman)! Of course, if you have some of your own ideas about how to get your co-workers on the Twitter bandwagon, please share in the comments.

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Senior Director of Digital Strategy for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.


  1. Avatar Ron Coachman says

    I would add if employees are unsure of content, they can look at competitors and what they usually post, to get idea of where to start.

  2. Avatar Daniel Hollerung says

    Sounds a lot like what Lee presented to my company yesterday. It is good to know that members of the TopRank team are on the same page as him.

  3. Definitely a practical framework to get employees started (good stuff!). I wonder though if certain types of people aren’t just predisposed to being “good” at Twitter, and if so, what characteristics those might be. 

    • Hey Pete, I think that’s an excellent point. Some people are “naturals” at things like Twitter and I can only think of looking at their participation online as an indicator. At the same time, it can be “learned” by a natural introvert. I am a classic example myself of that.

  4. This is a good article marketers should start taking into acount!

    Anyway, I don’t agree with Ron Coachman. Your competitors might do things wrong so it would actually be best not to copy their techniques. Especially if your niche is quite small.

  5. Thanks for sharing, Ashely! I also recommend using TwitVid, which I’ve found to be great for taking short video clips of live events. The key with tweet-videoing is to think like an editor and be considerate of people’s time and attention spans.

  6. When getting employees to handle business Twitter accounts, they have to be oriented on how to respond to spontaneous queries and tweets from other people in the industry – there’s no formula for this one because having employees respond with a template can make the Twitter account seem robotic and less engaging.

  7. Avatar sallazzar says

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  8. Avatar Ozio Media says

    Having employees engage in the online conversation of their niche is going to be a growing part of the job description for many jobs in the future. Education will lift the overall ROI that businesses can expect from their social media interaction, but it will be the natural Tweeters that will have the most success with this form of marketing. Social media skills have become a valuable part of many resumes now.

  9. Avatar Moray Guison says

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  10. Avatar MichaelWhite12 says

    Here, I
    get help from how to start B2B community. Thanks for posting.

  11. Avatar Karachi eats says

    I always follow professionalization rule to keep in touch my twitter followers and this thing help me a lot whats inn the market.

  12. Avatar ITManx Ltd says

    It could well be a double edged sword for many companies.  With great power comes great responsibility!

    • I could not agree more! Because representing your brand online is such a huge responsibility all the more reason to go through proper training and procedures.

  13. I think the comments made in this post are good ones.  Thanks for explaining what “FUD” means.  🙂

    Also, you really made easy to explain Twitter to others.  Thanks.


  14. I think promoting brand is a big task. you need to understand all things before promoting. your post giving great explanation about “FUD”

  15. Avatar Tyler W. Price says


    I really enjoyed reading your post. As my company has began to grow we have been experiencing the reality that certain clients are not able to utilize social media due to their employers guidelines and parameters. The first section to reducing the “FUD”, loved that acronym by the way, was to cover the basics and to insure that they first know HOW to use social media. I’m sure if more business professionals were exposed to info on how to properly post and reply, they would be “FUD” proof! Hopefully we get there one day :-). Thanks again for sharing.

    think the comments


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  17. In my opinion twitterfeed is another great tools for posting tweets to twitter and updating it especially through feeds.