Social media platforms, like Twitter, make it possible for small and large businesses alike to engage current customers and attract new ones in seconds. As the second most popular social networking site, Twitter has over 645 million active users tweeting an average of 58 million tweets every day. That’s a lot of action you don’t want to miss. Implement these three tips to start building your business on Twitter today.
Listen to what they’re saying
Before you start tweeting, do some recon. See what other businesses in your industry are doing to learn what’s working and what’s not. Read what they’re tweeting about by following them.
You can also go to search.twitter.com to search for worldwide trends and popular keywords and hashtags used in your industry. Utilize the advanced search option to find people, places and tweets by date. And search your business name to find out what people are saying about you.
Analytics are a great way to see how past tweets are performing. Use the dashboards to gain insight into your followers’ interests and demographics. Monitor your tweet activity to measure engagement and discover how to enhance your tweets for better performance. For those of you familiar with HTML, you can track the effectiveness of your Twitter Cards. Learn more about what a Twitter Card is and what it does here.
Tweet interesting content
Business owners are often unsure what to tweet. As already mentioned, a lot can be learned by observing others and by using Twitter’s analytics. Fortunately, when it comes to tweets that perform well, there are some tried and true tips. Here are a few ways to get your followers engaged:
Use images: Tweets with images get retweeted (shared) more often than those without.
Ask a question, promise an answer: Pose a question your followers will be interested in and provide a link to your blog or website where they can find the answer.
Include a quote: Share inspirational quotes relevant to your business with your audience. Everyone loves positivity.
Offer specials:Tweet offer codes that can be used on your website as well as creative promotions where followers receive discounts by tweeting about you, coming in or attending your events.
Exclusive news: Share pictures and videos of your business, staff and events—anything of interest that they can’t find anywhere else.
Helpful tips: Keep your followers coming back with useful how-tos related to your industry and business.
Build your following
Now that you know what others are doing and what tweets work, get your name out there. Add your Twitter handle (@username) to everything: your website, social media channels (Twitter can be integrated with Facebook) business cards, printed materials, emails, newsletters, business vehicles, paraphernalia, etc. Be sure to check out Twitter’s branding guidelines before using their logo.
Expand your audience by getting others to retweet your content. When people retweet your tweets, their followers can then read your content, too. The more your followers retweet, the broader your audience becomes. That means more prospective clients for your business.
Starting conversations or adding comments to others’ conversations can be fun and help build your business’s reputation. But, it can also harm it—so be careful what topics you get involved in. Here are a few examples of tweeting gone wrong.
In an attempt to “promote the quality of its suppliers”, McDonalds started the hashtag #McDStories. Unfortunately, the tag was hijacked and people started tweeting McDonald’s horror stories instead.
Kenneth Cole tried to take advantage of a trending hashtag, which isn’t usually a bad idea. But making fun of political unrest is. After tweeting “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo,” fans were upset and expressed their distaste for the insensitive joke with tweets of their own. Kenneth Cole later apologized and deleted the tweet.
Twitter is an effective way to build your business and promote your brand. By paying attention to what others are saying and doing, and posting content that inspires retweets, you’ll have a growing and engaged following in no time.