Social media is at the forefront of many marketing plans these days and it would be crazy to think that it can’t influence the day to day running of a business. In fact, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have proved themselves to be the foundation needed for many start-ups and new businesses.
But what about Twitter?
Twitter is a social media platform that can reach a huge audience in a small amount of time. It’s also a fantastic tool for promoting snippets of information and updates. Twitter sets itself apart from other social media platforms by way of microblogging; a short one-line update with a maximum of 140 characters that can be posted alongside images, videos and links.
But this approach doesn’t work for everyone. Choosing the right method of promotion for your business can be the difference between success and failure (this might seem harsh, but not getting it right can make it considerably harder!).
Here we’re going look at what Twitter can offer a business and what tools can be used to maximise exposure such as hashtags, tweet scheduling and analytics. All of these tools plus many more can help you get the best out of the platform and your posts.
Presenting Your Business
How you present your business on Twitter is vital. Ensuring everything you share is relevant and in line with your business’s image is critical for building a successful brand on Twitter. Choose a username and logo that is consistent with the rest of your other online profiles and of course your brand.
Choosing the correct Twitter handle (username) for your business is imperative as this is the first thing that potential followers will associate with you. It’s best to stick with your business name if possible or if you’re promoting yourself, your own name. Avoid usernames that aren’t related. Remember that the username will appear in the bio of your profile and next to all tweets you send, so remaining recognisable and memorable is key.
Much like Twitter usernames, profile pictures are super important too. If your business has a logo, it’s advisable to use this as it will allow potential followers/fans to recognise you at a glance. It will also help build brand awareness. If you’re promoting yourself, a clear and forward-facing headshot is best. The same goes for your profile header, this is a larger image that sits across the top of your profile. A quality, related image is best. If your business has a colour scheme, try to stick with this.
Building Your Follower Base
Once your profile has been created and you’re happy with the presentation, it’s time to get started. Sharing content that is relevant to your company will connect you with like-minded individuals and businesses. Here are a few key points for getting your business profile out there:
- Use hashtags – The best way to give your posts a boost is with hashtags. Hashtags can be added to the beginning of keywords within your tweet, providing a link to the post when anyone searches for that particular keyword. Keeping a close eye on trending hashtags will give you an idea of what’s popular and what isn’t in real time.
- Interact with others – You can also use Twitter to reach out to businesses and individual influencers. Relying solely on your own tweets isn’t always going to create the type of buzz you’d like, so counteract this by responding to tweets left by other people and tagging individuals or businesses – particularly those that can be influential. Building these connections can be invaluable.
- Use the Twitter algorithm to your advantage – Using hashtags can work in your favour in other ways too. Originally, Twitter would display tweets in reverse chronological order, but the platform recently implemented a complex algorithm. This means that posts are far more targeted and tweets that would be of interest to an individual are more likely to be displayed over those that aren’t. The more interaction your tweets receive, the better the chance they’ll have of being promoted.
- Invest in paid ads – If you’d like to extend the reach of a certain tweet in a short space of time, a paid ad might be a good option. A promoted tweet gives a boost to a post and will put it in front of potential followers that it otherwise wouldn’t reach. Ads also give you the opportunity to target a particular demographic or geographical location.
- Utilise different tools – Using tools such as Twitter video can be a fantastic way to add an edge to your content. It also allows your content to compete with the likes of Snapchat and Instagram (from a visual standpoint). With the decline of Vine, video is a great way to reach younger generations with an estimated 82% of Twitter users watching video on the app.
- Time it right – Getting the timing right for a tweet can be the difference between success and failure. In the UK it’s noted that the average half-life of a tweet is just 24 minutes; that means you have a particularly short time frame to make an impact. The type of audience and the location of your followers are the main influence when it comes to timing. If you’re hoping to promote your company to other businesses, it’s said that the UK Twittersphere is most active between the hours of 12pm and 5pm, with the most shares occurring around 3pm during the week. If you’re hoping to promote your company to the general populous, the most active time is between 5pm and 6pm during the week with Thursday being the overall best day.
- Schedule your posts – Using social media management systems such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite and Buffer can help control the tweets you produce and plan your future posts. This also allows you the freedom to make changes since you don’t need to be glued to Twitter every hour of the day. Systems such as these also allow you to manage interactions with other users as well as monitor your progress.
- Avoid over promotion – The key to success on Twitter is to be ready for interaction; try to steer clear of promotional, salesy tweets as these will be quickly overlooked. According to Sprout Social, 57% of social media users get annoyed when brands are too promotional. Add value and humanity to a post by inviting people to interact and get involved – this will build better relationships and increase loyalty.
Setting Measurable Goals
When building a Twitter presence, it’s important to set measurable goals. Without measurable goals, it’s easy to lose track of exactly what it is you’re trying to achieve. Tools such as Twitter Analytics can help you to stay on top of what’s happening and give you further insight into what’s working and what isn’t.
It may be that in the first 6 months your main goal is to increase the number of followers. From there, your goal may be to increase the number of visits to your website. Each of these goals require different tactics and what works for one goal may not work for another.
Using Twitter for business may seem like a foreign concept to some, but in many cases it can add serious value to an online marketing strategy and allow your business to tap into a whole new audience. With clear branding, measurable goals and a human approach, we’re confident you can make it work!