Twitter is one of the most visited websites in the world. It’s also one of the most misunderstood, because it’s different from many of the social platforms available, in that its focus is on public conversation and exposure. If you understand how it works and how to market on Twitter, however, it can drive you a ton of traffic, build your brand and make you more money. It also offers the opportunity to find people who are interested in your industry and turn them into customers. Revved Business is happy to share a few tips and tricks for using Twitter for your small business.
Benefits of Using Twitter for Your Small Business
There are a range of successful business accounts on Twitter, some with hundreds of thousands of followers. No matter what their industry, they have one thing in common—they develop a unique personality rather than a stream of self-promotion. Your Twitter feed should be a combination of useful content, such as “how to choose the right AC repair company for you”, and tweets that demonstrate your personality. You can also use images to create more of an impact. Tweets with images get on average about 35% more engagement than those without. Keep in mind, the ideal image size for Twitter is 506 pixels by 253 pixels.
It’s so important to get creative when using Twitter for your small business.. A quick search using Twitter’s free search bar will give you an idea of the kind of topics your target audience is engaging with. Think laterally. Are you an HVAC service company? Perhaps you want to target those complaining about poor indoor air quality or feeling hot at night. A tree removal service? Look for someone frantically tweeting about their fallen trees in the backyard.
Active Twitter users will tweet about most aspects of their lives, making Twitter a huge database buzzing with real-time information. Searching keywords such as “broken AC” and “fallen tree” will pull up a stream of tweets. You can then do an advanced search on location and actively identify your ideal customer. Twitter allows you to interact with anyone with a public account, an opportunity not afforded by any other social platform. Avoid becoming spam by offering useful content and tips to your followers, based on your business expertise, or even reply to their tweets—generic responses won’t cut it.
Stay organized and share relevant content
Twitter is fast-paced. With thousands of tweets on any one topic being fired out every minute, messages get lost easily and it can get overwhelming. Having a clear content strategy with an organized content calendar is a good way of keeping on top of the day-to-day feed, leaving you free to interact with customers. Your content calendar should include events, blogs, brand messaging, sales and products or services you wish to promote throughout the month. This is a good opportunity to offer discounts exclusively to Twitter, or run competitions to create engagement. One tactic that works surprisingly well is asking people to follow you and retweet your tweet for the chance to win a prize.
Twitter can be a lot of work. Make things simpler by streamlining your processes. Use the list functionality to organize individuals into helpful lists. Having a list for customers, influencers, prospects and even competitors will make monitoring and targeting easier and much more effective. If you don’t want the person to know you’ve added them to a list, make the list private. Also, if you want to connect with the top people in your industry, then follow them. If you start following them, they may just follow you back. Follow as many people in your industry as you can – this will enable you to connect with relevant people and build a following.
If something major is happening in the world, it’s happening on Twitter and the chances are, it has its own hashtag. Hashtags are used to centralize a conversation. Searching a specific hashtag in the search bar will bring up a stream of any tweet that contains it. Use the hashtag, get involved in the conversation, and watch your engagement levels grow. Hashtags can also be a more general link to a topic, person or interest – so if Twitter users are searching for tweets on a certain subject, a hashtag can alert them to your tweet.
You can also get involved with, or even facilitate, #hours. These are conversations that happen on Twitter at specific times around a specific subject. There are Twitter chats for cities, industries, hobbies, and sports. To find relevant hashtags, look at the trending stream, or check out what your competitors are doing—are they interacting with a specific topic? If they’re doing it, you should too.
Hashtags can be a helpful way to get your tweets in front of a more engaged audience. But using them too much can make your tweets harder to read. This can be off-putting for your audience. Research has shown that the optimal number of hashtags is two per tweet. Use any more than that and engagement has been shown to decline. Research and find the most relevant tags for your business and use those in moderation.
Finally, one common mistake many people often make via tweet is trying to oversell their products and services. Really, Twitter is not for selling, it’s for generating engagement with your customers and/or targeting new audiences. When using Twitter for your small business, your goal is to attract your customers. It’s good to put more effort into providing a reason why people would want to know more, as opposed to the hard sell. For additional help with Twitter marketing strategies, don’t hesitate to contact our Marketing Gurus at Revved Business.