Tweeting for business: 4 top Twitter tips

Getting set up on Twitter is easy. Using it effectively can be tricky.

But fear not: that’s why we’ve put together these four top Twitter tips, to help you create a workable Twitter strategy for your business.

1) Choose your goal(s)

Why do you want your business to have a profile on Twitter? This may sound like a basic question, but make sure you can answer it before powering ahead. Like any business activity, success depends on knowing what you want to achieve and making a plan to get there.

If you’ve decided, for example, that you want your Twitter activity to increase sales, you’ll want to position your profile to help meet this goal. You can do this by featuring products in your cover and profile photos, and putting a link to your online store in your bio. You’ll then want to make sure your tweets direct people to your product pages, and tempt them with enticing offers!

On the other hand, if your goal is to raise your industry profile and generate PR, you’ll want to focus on becoming a trusted source of industry knowledge. Your bio should feature words like ‘expert’ or ‘consultant’, as well as ‘speaker’ and ‘author’ if you’re looking for relevant opportunities.

2) Eavesdrop

Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a very open platform, so it’s easy to follow conversations through hashtags and keywords. This offers a great opportunity to find out what your customers really think about you, your competitors, what you do and where you do it.

For example, if you run a coffee shop, you’ll want to look out for discussions about the best (and worst!) coffee in your area as well as any specific mentions of your shop.

Use social monitoring software to follow relevant conversations, and make sure you join in (see point 4, below!)

3) Create a content sourcing system

Most business owners are short of time, so it’s important to have an efficient way of curating and publishing your Twitter content.

A good profile will contain a mix of content from your business and relevant industry content from other sources. You should also make use of scheduling tools such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck to upload your tweets in batches, rather than publish them one-by-one.

Be mindful of the transient nature of Twitter: a tweet that you publish at 11am might not be seen by someone logging in at 11.10am if their newsfeed is busy. There’s no harm in tweeting the same content more than once – within reason! (Just make sure your tweets aren’t identical, as Twitter will automatically reject duplicated content.) This approach is especially valid if you publish your own blog pieces: you’ve put a lot of work into each article, so make sure you tweet it a few times to reach as wide an audience as possible.

4) Socialise

Imagine going to a party and spending the whole time talking at everyone you meet, without ever letting them get a word in edgeways.

That’s what too many businesses do on Twitter: always remember the ‘social’ side of social media, and make sure you’re having two-way conversations. The downside of the scheduling tools mentioned above is that it makes it very easy to treat your Twitter page as a digital megaphone. Avoid slipping into broadcast-only mode by regularly sending @ messages and retweets.

And finally, have fun! You can follow all these top Twitter tips and still end up with a boring profile. Don’t be afraid to use a little humour and show your personality. Your followers will thank you for it, and so will your bottom line.

If you’d like some face-to-face help with the social media strategy for your business, sign up to our next workshop!

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