. Sure, Twitter doesn’t have
even close to the number of users Facebook does, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an
important tool for business.
Business owners are frequently being
advised to engage on Twitter. But it’s one of those platforms that isn’t as
intuitive as… well, Facebook. You get told the basics, yet you don’t get told
how to use it effectively.
Despite what the entrepreneurial ads
online tell you, there is no “blueprint." There are ideas, tips, innovative
ways of using social media but no sure way of gaining followers.
Which is one of the reasons why I get a
lot of people telling me that once you have Facebook, you’re golden. No need to
delve too much further. Better to have one excellent fully active social media
platform than two mediocre ones.
While that might be true in some cases,
most of the time it’s not. Limiting yourself to one platform not only assumes
that all platforms work the same way or provide the same utilities, but it’s
also limiting the growth of your online presence.
Think about it this way, let’s pretend
you’re making a map, creating roads and paths towards your business as the
destination. Having only one path to your destination decreases the chances of
customers finding that single path, let alone your business at the end of it.
Building multiple roads, multiple avenues that lead back to your business increases
your visibility and put you miles ahead of the competition.
Twitter can be a great
tool for improving brand awareness and increasing traffic to your website. But
many companies are still not using it properly and have questions like:
Does Twitter still work for
small businesses? How can you get your Tweets seen? Should you invest time into
it? The common theme is businesses are struggling to make Twitter work as
effectively as it used to.
So how do you do it?
Here, I look at seven ways to get the most out of the social
media platform. But don’t just take it
from us, we only started our account recently. Take it from the success of our
If you already have an online presence on other
platforms, your Twitter profile should reflect this. It’s important to retain
consistency. Pick a username as close to your brand as possible even if your
company name is already taken.
Keep in mind the power of your profile picture – whether it’s
a company logo, mascot, or a face sets the tone for the account. While the logo
establishes professionalism and formality, a face or mascot makes it more
personable and approachable. Include your company’s web address too. It may
also be a good idea to create a custom background (Twitter also offers several
options when creating a Twitter profile), as well as including a brief
description of your company and what it does.
We just started taking our own advice and added hashtags
to our bio, within a minute we got 9 new followers!
Here are some "don’t do's" for your brand – don’t always tweet
promotional material. Don’t only link back to your own blog, and don’t NOT have
a personality. If your twitter feed is all corporate related things, people are
going to get bored.
Once you have established your presence, the next step is
to let people know you’re there. Increasing your follower count is undoubtedly
the most effective way to boost your influence on Twitter. Start by looking at
who follows your competitors and follow them. To keep track of the Twitter
accounts you follow and those who don't follow you back, you can use a tool
(the basic service is free but you can pay US$12 a month for
the Pro Service and US$49 a month for the Business service, which will offer
more in-depth analytics). This will make it easy to unfollow people who don’t
follow you back. You can find people to follow according to keywords associated
with your business, either by using a standard search on Twitter’s home page or
Twitter’s core is to be a
network for conversation. You tweet to your followers, and to the masses.
Over time, Twitter gained more users and while that’s great because you have a bigger
audience, it’s not so great when your messages get lost in the crowd. Instead
of retargeting, marketers are losing that connection with people by using it as
a mass messaging channel. Take a step back and focus on creating personalized
experiences and engage in conversations with your followers. It’s also important that
your followers share your tweets so don’t be afraid to ask for a retweet.
Salesforce found that when followers are specifically asked to “retweet”
with the shortcut “RT”, they are 10 times as likely to retweet that message.
should also be using Twitter to reach out to influencers. Start by searching
for your industry keyword. Find out who or what tweet is getting retweeted the
so you can keep track of
what they tweet and engage with them on a regular basis.
Please please use the @ button correctly!
If you want to tweet directly to someone without DM'ing
(Direct Messaging), then it’s often best not to start @username. If you do,
then the only people who will see the tweet are your followers and the person
who you are tweeting it to. Using @username later in the tweet will ensure
everyone can see your tweet, including your followers and the person who you
are tweeting (it’s like tagging someone in a Facebook post).
Hashtags are used (#) to categorize tweets so that other
users can search for that keyword for relevant tweets. Use hashtags that are
simple, and easily thought of over longer phrases that nobody would intuitively
search. If you want to know trending relevant hashtags, search up your keyword
in the search bar and see what other hashtags influencers are using with that
keyword. Studies have shown that tweets with hashtags receive twice as much
engagement than those without. If you can incorporate your hashtag into the
tweet itself than that’s amazing.
Always make sure
your hashtag is relevant to the subject - there is nothing worse than
“spamming” other Twitter users with hashtags that are irrelevant to the content
you are writing about. One way of growing your Twitter followers and
encouraging engagement is to use the #FF (Follow Friday) hashtag. You can use
this to recommend users to follow and thank people who have followed you.
and Hootsuite to schedule tweets
to appear at specific times. Not only does it help you to consistently have a
presence on Twitter when your followers are more likely online, the Calendar
option on Ghostit allows you to view your content as a whole month, making it
easier to strategize. According to
, the best time to reach people on
Twitter is Monday to Thursday from 1 pm to 3 pm. The very worst times are after
3 pm on Fridays and any evening after 8 pm.
Tweet consistently and tweet often. How many Tweets per day is too much? There really isn’t a
clear-cut answer to this. It’s more about what you’re Tweeting. Don’t send similar tweets every ten seconds,
especially if all they’re doing is directing your followers to your website.
Advertise on Twitter
One effective, although not a necessarily cheap way of attracting
new customers is to pay to show your tweets to a targeted audience.
including promoting your account or promoting specific tweets, which you can
purchase to reach potential customers who may not be familiar with your brand.