Twitter is one of the leading social media platforms today. More and more people are using Twitter to connect with others and exchange ideas about their interests, businesses and products. Twitter has become a must-use tool for businesses to reach more audiences, talk with their customers and initiate dialogue with other individuals and businesses in their sector.
Here are tips on how to effectively use Twitter for your small business:
1. Understand what Twitter is all about.
The key to long-term success on Twitter is to view this microblogging platform as a community. While it is a great way to get exposure and even increase traffic to your web site, your success on this platform depends on how you engage your community, dialogue with them and how you make full use of this social networking platform.
2. Set your goals.
Determine what you want to accomplish in Twitter and how you want to use it for your business. Some possible uses of Twitter include:
- To showcase your knowledge and expertise.
- To reach out and connect with other people with similar interests.
- To communicate with existing customers.
- To generate traffic and backlinks to your site.
- To give a “human face” to your business
- To post your random thoughts and display your wit and brilliance.
3. Keep on target.
Focus on what you want to accomplish. If you want to demonstrate that you are an expert on eBay selling, be consistent and post only tips on how to use eBay. Steer clear of random thoughts and be true to your mission.
4. Plan what you are going to tweet.
Decide what you will say on Twitter. Study what other users in your niche are saying, and how you can make your tweets more interesting, informative and engaging. Some ideas on what to tweet:
- Articles or blog posts that you have written
- Articles, news items or blog posts that may be of interest to your followers
- New information about your business and product, including press releases, announcement of events and product features
- Offers and discounts
- Customer service responses
- Post a question to your followers
- Comments on what other folks have posted, starting a dialogue with other users
If you are using Twitter for business, showing your personality is well and good. But be careful in posting your own personal opinions especially on explosive topics that may not reflect well on your brand and business.
5. Carefully choose your Twitter ID.
Look at your Twitter ID as part of your brand. You can use your name, name of your business, or a keyword-rich username.
If you are building up yourself as an expert in your field, use your name and your own photo. If you want to build your brand, use your website or brand name, with the logo as your profile image.
6. Be searchable on Twitter.
Make sure that people can find you when they search on Twitter for people with common interests, goals and professions. Study how the users that show in the first page do it – look at the username, as well as the keywords they use for their name and their profile description.
7. Give value.
Like any business, success depends on how well you create value. Establish yourself as an authority in your field. If you must post an article or news item that 100 other Twitter users have already posted, tweet the main learning from the article, not just the title.
8. Increase the visibility of your tweets.
Even if you have only 100 followers, you can potentially expand the reach of your tweets. Write highly informative tweets (even if that means writing great content on your blog first that you can then tweet) that will attract other users to retweet your post.
Be sure to ask others to retweet your post. Posts that contain phrases such as “Please retweet” or “please RT” tend to get more retweets than those that do not.
Also, make use of the hashtag # symbol in order for your users to be visible to those who are interested in the topic, even if they are not your followers. According to Dan Zarella’s Twitter statistics research, “tweets that contain one or more hashtags were 55% more likely to be ReTweeted than Tweets that did not.”
9. Get yourself listed in Twitter directories.
They may not be as effective in bringing a huge number of followers, but they can be useful in getting targeted followers, or those who are specifically interested in your sector. Good ones include:
- WeFollow http://www.wefollow.com
- Twellow http://www.twellow.com
- Just Tweet It http://www.justtweet.it.com
- Twibs http://www.twibs.com
- TweetFind.com http://www.tweetfind.com
- Twibes http://www.twibes.com
- Twiends http://www.twiends.com
10. Use tools outside of Twitter to expand your reach and increase your followers.
Some ideas you can try are:
- Add your Twitter username to your email signature
- Add a Twitter badge to your website or blog
- Add Tweetmeme or AddThis to your articles or blog posts
- If you use other social media communities such as LinkedIn, Plaxo or Facebook, consider connecting your Twitter account so you can showcase your Twitter feed to your other social network contacts.
- Use tools such as Hootsuite to make it easy to manage your Twitter and other social accounts
- Consider Feedburner’s social media tool to automatically post your latest article on Twitter.
For more tips on how to effectively use Twitter, read our blog post “20 Tips on How to Use Twitter for Your Small Business”
Recommended Books on How to Use Twitter for Your Small Business
- Twitter For Dummies
- 500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints and Strategy for Business: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and More!
- Twitter Tips, Tricks, and Tweets
- The Twitter Book
- Twitter Power 2.0: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time
- Twitter In 30 Minutes: How to connect with interesting people, write great tweets, and find information that’s relevant to you.
- Top 10 Social Media Tips
- Using Automation to Manage Your Social Media Marketing
- Why You Need to Measure Social Media Marketing Efforts
- Is Social Media Marketing Benefiting Your Small Business?
- 4 Must Have Foundations to Grow Your Social Networks