There are many small businesses that have already created a Twitter account but may not be using it to its full advantage. Some may not even be certain how Twitter can be an asset in growing and promoting a business. Yet, statistics show that the social media platform can be a great place to develop a loyal following.
Twitter is a social media platform where users communicate with each other using short, 140-character messages, known as tweets. Your tweets will show up in the stream of anyone who is following you and likewise you can see the tweets from those people you follow.
You can also mention another user in your tweet, which is how you can start a conversation or connection with them. So, if you wanted to get in touch with McDonald’s, you could simply find their user name, which is the name that appears with the @ symbol (so, for McDonald’s it is @McDonalds)
Another way to connect with users is to retweet someone else’s tweet that you like. There is also a like button where you can let the person know you liked their tweet.
Hashtags are a valuable communication tool on Twitter. This is any word that is proceeded by the hash sign, #. You can think of it like a label for your topic like, #hockey or #NYC. There are an endless number of hashtags used on Twitter and you can search for ones that might be relevant to your topic. By using the hashtag, your tweet can be seen by anyone following that topic, which is another way to reach a wider audience.
Using visuals and links are the best way to get attention on Twitter. There are services that can shorten any URLs that you are sharing, which is important when you are limited to 140-characters. Some of these include tinyurl.com and bit.ly.
Twitter allows you to engage other users and to connect with them through conversations, messages and by providing quality content that is interesting to them. There are 313 million users on Twitter each month and they send out over 5,000 tweets a second. Statistics also show that 94 per cent of users indicated they were going to purchase from a small or medium size business they found online.
Visual elements added to your tweets, like a photo or video, have become the norm and you should consider how you can promote your company with a short video or article and photo. You can also use Twitter to promote your products or special offers you are running and you should use it to converse with customers or potential customers.
This platform is also a great place to monitor feedback. Many customers these days are comfortable getting in touch with a brand or a company via social media. It is important that you respond to any inquiries, whether they are positive or negative, quickly. That means respond within hours, not days, and the sooner you respond the better your reputation will be on the networking site.
You can also find out who the influencers are in your industry, follow them, and engage them when you can. This includes journalists, advocates, bloggers, etc. that are relevant to your company’s product or service.
Another way to increase your followers is to offer a discount to them or a contest like, ‘the next 10 people who RT me get 25% off’, etc.
Promote your Twitter account to your current customers, whether it be through your email marketing campaigns or word of mouth. Try to connect online with those who are already interested in your brand.
One tip to remember is that Twitter has been designed for conversations, not sales pitches. It is about engaging in conversations with customers and potential customers.
Twitter users expect you to join the conversation. You can do this by searching for what is going on in the Twitterverse (Twitter world), like what other users are tweeting about, be it a local happening, an industry development or something else. Once you find a conversation you feel you can add value to – jump in. That can be as simple as tweeting out a fact, statistic or opinion or you can choose to add a link to relevant content that you think will enhance the discussion.
Adding a hashtag or mention will give your tweet an edge and help you reach a wider audience. Search out a hashtag or two that will be relevant to your message and include them at the end.
If you are looking to start a conversation, consider asking a question or running a poll to engage other users.
There are also a couple of options if you want to advertise your business with Twitter. These include promoted tweets and promoted accounts.
One of the most attractive things about Twitter advertising is that it targets certain users that are more likely to be interested in your content. In fact, 68% of users said they discovered a small or medium size business through a promoted account and began following the account.
There are three ways to use this service. You can promote a tweet, a trend or an account. The difference is where they will appear for the user. A promoted tweet will appear in the timeline of users that you have targeted, while a promoted trend will appear in the list of trending topics on the social media site. A promoted account will invite users to follow your account.
Twitter will also allow you to refine your target audience by specifying things such as location, gender, languages, etc.
Most companies cannot always be connected to the social media site but your engagement doesn’t need to end. There are a variety of sites that can help keep your account active even while you are busy with your business. This is called automation. It also helps you line up a schedule of tweets you would like to post, keeping your account active and engaged.
There are a few different sites that you can use to automate your tweets including Buffer, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, among others. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are the two most commonly used sites for social media as they have a dashboard allowing you to manage several accounts at one time. They also run streams of tweets from other followers or hashtags/trends, depending on your settings. This is an additional benefit in that you can keep it running on your computer while you are doing other tasks, which allows you to track what is happening on Twitter.
There are several ways that you can use Twitter to grow your business and also connect better with customers. Twitter requires users to be engaged in conversations with one another, allowing customers to become more familiar with your brand, which also creates loyalty.
There are also opportunities to advertise your tweets or accounts, which can help you gain more followers. Statistics have shown that once a user is a follower, they nearly always become a customer.
Also published on Medium.