Twitter is currently the 9th most visited website in the world. It’s a powerful tool, and if used correctly it can enhance your brand, bring you more visitors to your website and lead directly to new customers.
Yet getting the most out of Twitter for your business can be a big challenge and many business owners find getting started and building up a following daunting.
So how do you get started on Twitter for your business?
Our Essex based Graphic Designers at Add Design have been doing their research, and have compiled 10 top tips to get you started on creating a ‘must follow’ twitter account:
1. Plan your ‘Tweeting’ time and stick to it.
Time is precious in business, and it’s safe to say that being active in the abundance of social networking pages can be a dangerous time sucker! So make sure you schedule your time effectively. According to a study by Bitly (the link shortening service), the best time of day for businesses to tweet is early afternoon (between 1pm and 3pm) Monday through Thursday, so to start you off set yourself half an hour to post a tweet within this time frame and make sure you don’t get distracted and go over your time allocation.
2. Brand your Twitter page
Your twitter page is essentially a website where people can gather information about you and your company. It should be consistent with your website, and by uploading a customised background image it can contain as much information about your business as you’d like, but don’t go overboard. Also chose your Twitter avatar wisely. Either have a clear and legible company logo as your business’s Twitter avatar, or a professional headshot of the person in charge of tweeting so that people can visualise and trust who they are talking to.
3. Don’t sell
The one thing you must avoid is to bombard your followers with constant promotions, campaigns and offers. It’s not what people use Twitter for. They use it for getting to know people, for learning new things and communicating. The key is to tweet things people will find interesting, topics that will get people re-tweeting and responding. If you talk about your company and its products the majority of the time, it’s likely that people will start to unfollow. So remember to make your tweets interesting and informative to keep people following.
4. Be consistent
If people come across your page, find what you do interesting but notice that you haven’t tweeted for over a month they probably won’t follow. If they see that you are consistent with your interesting and insightful tweets, they probably will. Whether it’s once a day, once a week or every hour (time permitting), consistency is absolutely key. Keep this in mind when you schedule your tweeting time accordingly and make sure it’s going to be achievable.
5. Hashtag (#) often
Hashtags are everywhere these days. They appear on TV shows, in advertising material, magazines, you simply can’t escape it. Ever wondered what they do, what they’re for and what the point of it all is? It’s quite simple really, they are used to mark keywords or phrases. If the hash-tagged word is clicked on by the user it will bring up all the tweets featuring the same keyword by users across the globe, making it easier for anyone anywhere to find your tweet and potentially become a follower of your business.
6. Follow your potential customers.
If you run a business services company for example, the best way you’ll get Twitter followers who could be potential customers is to compose a search either using search.twitter.com or in the main twitter search function, with keywords that relate to your target market. For example ‘business’, ‘solicitors’, ‘property’, ‘retail’… you get the idea. Make sure the people you follow are your target market based on location, their profile bio and avatar/brand. Also if you can follow business acquaitances you have previously worked with or met before, even better. This means they already have a relationship with you and this can be a way you build on that relationship and potentially get new business from them. Don’t go overboard with who you follow, each account has a follow limit of 2,000 which will cause you to be unable to follow anyone else until you get yourself more followers. So if people follow you who don’t appear to be your target market and there would be no benefit to their tweets appearing in your feeds, don’t follow them back.
7. Collaborate & Retweet
The whole purpose of Twitter is to allow people to communicate and collaborate with each other. When you want to tweet about someone, type the @ symbol followed by the persons or companies username to ‘mention’ them in your tweet. They will then see this in their mentions feed. If people mention you in their tweet, try to reply back and build a rapport. If you show no signs of having seen their tweet mentioning you, then they may not mention you again. If it’s a nice comment about some the great service you’ve provided, give it a ‘retweet’. This shows that you have acknowledged their tweet and it helps raise awareness to the tweeter responsible for which they will be thankful.
8. Let your followers backstage
People love being taken behind the scenes, whether it’s in the form of reality shows, in magazines or simply getting to see pictures of you working away in your office. We love being let into people’s lives and seeing what they do on a daily basis. So when you tweet, let them know about you, what you’re working on and have fun with it! When you’re having fun, your followers are having fun. But remember to keep it strictly business, potential customers may not be that interested in what colour socks you happen to be wearing today.
9. Thank your followers
Your followers have taken the time out of their day to see who you are and to ultimately decide that they want to follow you. So remember to acknowledge their kindness and give a little appreciation back by sending them a private message or dedicating a tweet to them. They will be ever so grateful and it will prevent them from ever clicking that dreaded ‘unfollow’ button.
10. Link your Twitter account to your website and all other social platforms
There’s not much point in getting your head stuck into Twitter if no-one knows you’re involved. Assuming that your website is one of your largest sources of business, it is vital that you have clear links that allow people to quickly follow you and share your blog articles and posts. Also be sure to add the Twitter logo with your username on all promotional material, business cards and even on other social platforms so people can follow you quickly and easily.
Have you joined the Twitter bandwagon? We’d really love for you to join us! – @adddesignuk