6 Ways to Use Twitter to Market Your Business
[A Guest Blog Post for Ripl Customers]
By: Sarah Saker | Small Business Owner and Writer
With social media use higher than ever, it's important to not only understand the different platforms available to you, but how to use them to their fullest potential. Many people focus so much of their marketing energy on Facebook and Instagram that Twitter is often forgotten. But it shouldn't be!
Twitter is a great place to meet new customers, connect with other brands, and build your potential audience. It's easy to learn and once you get into a good rhythm, you'll be tweeting like a pro in no time. Here are six helpful tips to get the most out of your Twitter marketing.
1. Build your profile to reflect your brand - graphics and all
Twitter allows you to create an attractive cover photo that serves as the backdrop for your personal business page. All that space gives your brand a good opportunity to get noticed! Use your avatar or logo as your profile photo and make sure to include all pertinent business information, such as a short bio, mission statement, and how to contact you. Optimize your bio and make sure you have a link to your company website.
2. Names matter - get creative with your handle
Use your company name or a catchy related phrase as your twitter handle - something that is both unique and easily recognizable by your audience. If you're just getting started, you can register for a unique domain name with this helpful tool and then use the same name for your twitter handle. If there's one thing to remember here, consistency is key! Make sure all of your social accounts reflect the name of your business so customers don't get confused and can easily find you on all social platforms. Twitter allows up to 15 characters for usernames.
3. Interaction is everything
It's not enough just to be there. You'll have to reach out to your target audience, engage with them, and get involved in their conversations. Identify experts in your field, then follow and interact with them to bring recognition to your brand. The key here is to be engaging as opposed to promotional. Show interest in what others have to say in order to start conversations. This could lead to business opportunities down the line.
It's important to respond to tweets when your business is mentioned or identified in some way, whether they're positive or negative. If they're positive, you have an opportunity to reach out and thank the person for the mention. If they're negative, take this opportunity to evaluate the feedback and then react to it appropriately. Not everyone is going to like your product or service - but if you can personally reach those unhappy customers, you can identify possible business shortfalls.
4. Tweet, tweet, tweet
Twitter is an in-the-moment kind of platform, where your posts are quickly forgotten as other tweets fill the news feed (unlike a Facebook post that might linger around for a while and weave slowly through social circles). In order to keep up with quickly changing events, tweeting often is key. You should tweet more than you post on other platforms, but make your tweets meaningful. The most effective tweets are short, succinct, and offer a visual aid or a link to an additional source.
Hashtags are an essential part of the Twitter experience. Use at least one or two per post and make them relevant, but general. You want them to be general because Twitter hyperlinks and categorizes hashtags. A great way to find similar content to retweet is by using appealing hashtags that relate to your business. For example, if you run a web design business you could research the hashtag #WebDesign and see what kind of content others are posting, and identify places where you could improve.
5. Engage your audience using Twitter's tools
A great way to do this is to use Twitter's Flock to Unlock campaigns. Post a tweet requiring a certain number of retweets, with a reward for those who retweeted once the number is reached. You can approach this in two different ways, offering an incentive for the deal up front or something that will be revealed only after the required number is met. This is an effective way to measure the engagement of your audience as well as perform a subtle promotion.
6. Measure your success
You can only track how well you're doing on Twitter by measuring your metrics and evaluating them in terms of your business goals. How many followers did you get this week? How many of these interacted with your posts? Did you garner any website traffic from Twitter? It's important to have a goal to work towards that gives your social media efforts focus. Twitter has its own built-in analytics to provide you with a more in-depth analysis of your performance.
Sarah Saker is a business coach and freelance writer that specializes in helping small businesses setup processes for customer support and predictable growth. When not writing or coaching, Sarah can be found on her (small but growing!) family farm. Connect with Sarah for coaching or writing help.