Of all the social networks out there today, Twitter is perhaps the most valuable and the most intimidating to businesses. With every tweet you send, you can spread information about your industry, your brand, and your presence. In our last blog, we talked about how businesses can use social media to enhance SEO. Today, we’re going to start breaking down your choices, starting with that daunting little birdie with so much potential.
Strengths of Twitter for Businesses
- Creating & Maintaining Relationships – While other social media platforms can be valuable for grabbing attention and breaking news, Twitter allows for a greater focus on relationships. Connect with your client base; reach new customers; interact with industry leaders; share your expertise. Unlike your 140 character constraints, the possibilities are limitless.
- Reaching Local & Global Audiences – Implementing the tricks of the Twitter trade, you can put yourself in front of targeted audiences looking exactly for your area of expertise. Whether your focus is your city, your country, or the world at large, you can target your message to exactly the ears (or eyes) you seek.
- Marketing Without a Budget – Unless you’re paying someone to manage your Twitter account, Twitter is free. Press releases, news articles, advertisements, and commercials require so much more time and budget management. Redirect a portion of your resources in this direction for equal if not greater value.
- Viral Potential – Twitter followers can do so much more than “like” or “+1” a message they appreciate. Like “shares” on Facebook but exponentially more frequent, retweets can spread a single message to thousands outside your original reach.
Ready to dive in? Be sure to make the most of your efforts.
10 Twitter Strategy Tips for Businesses
- Your Bio – Think about your brand and the persona you want to present. (Your CEO may love cats, but this isn’t the place to gush about it.) Think about the keywords you want customers to find you by. (Twitter’s “Search” box is used for just this purpose.) Be sure to note your city. People think local these days. So should you. Hint: Beware of copying and pasting your bio from another social network. With only 140 characters, it’s likely to be cut short, making you look sloppy.
- Big Ideas in Small Packages – With only 140 characters allowed per tweet, sound-bites look huge in comparison. Make the most of your messages by using well researched keywords (Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool here) as well as language that intrigues, informs, and/or excites.
- Content that Connects – What is it that your potential customers and partners are looking for? Don’t just talk; take the time to listen and reply. Twitter is not just about building a list of followers. You should follow others as well. Once you know your audience, you can act as their personalized resource. This is customer service at its best.
- Focused Messaging – We’ve talked about strong social media having a 10:1 ratio, where you should only talk about yourself once for every ten messages that you send out. For Twitter, let’s expand that ratio to 25:1. No one likes constant sales pitches. Inform your followers; educate them on industry trends and breaking news; reply to thought leaders and Twitter newbies alike. Twitter is great for giving away promo codes and announcing your latest company news. Just make sure that’s not all you have to say.
- Hashtags – Hashtags (#) are used to connect users interested in the same subjects. If you add #fantasyfootball to the end of your message, everyone in the world following this hashtag will see your message. Follow industry leaders and community members to see what hashtags they are using. Use the same. Join the conversation. #smallbiz #win
- Timing –Twitter moves fast. If you share all of your day’s ideas within a 5 minute span, you’ll be quickly forgotten. Make the most of each tweet by learning when your target audience is most active. Hashtags.org allows you to see the peak times of day for different hashtags. Tweet using researched hashtags when others are doing the same. The goal is to join the conversation, not to be the lone voice in an empty room.
- Schedule Ahead – Twitter doesn’t need to be a daily time drain. If you know your desired schedule, your hashtags, and your content, you can organize most of your Twitter communications by putting a few hours in once a week. Schedule when tweets are released into the world via resources like Hootsuite. Interactive tweets will only enhance this strong base.
- Retweet (RTs), Favorites & Direct Messages (DMs) – Retweets can be a sign of your own tweet’s success, but remember that you are a part of a community. Retweet others. Favorite their messages. Send Direct Messages to thank for follows and/or retweets. These are ways to show that you appreciate what others are saying, while giving them a chance to get to know you better.
- Use your Toolbox – If you’re already using Google Analytics on your site – and we suggest you do – track your traffic sources. Is Twitter one of them? What times of day or topics are driving people to your site? Take note. Repeat that strategy.
- Still Overwhelmed? Ask for Help – We at Petrofy are here if you have any questions. From strategy ideas to implementation, if you need help, take advantage of experts who can guide you.
Like any social media platform, Twitter takes time to learn. But what business doesn’t want a little birdie whispering in their customers’ ears?