When entrepreneurs of every variety want to promote their businesses through social media, Twitter is one of their top platforms of choice. Brian Magierski, for example, promotes his startup, Nano Vision, by Tweeting links to related content about the applications of blockchain and cryptocurrency in the healthcare industry, while lawyer Aaron Kelly, who specializes in cases related to online intellectual property, uses his Twitter feed to educate his followers about copyright law.
Twitter’s 313 million monthly users send 500 million tweets every day. According to Twitter’s own statistics, 66 percent of users have discovered a new brand on Twitter, 69 percent have made a purchase after reading a tweet, 79 percent have retweeted brand content, and 94 percent plan to buy something from the brands they follow. While Facebook has more users, Twitter users are three times more likely to use their accounts for these purposes.
Creating a Twitter account for your business is the same as creating a personal account, but your handle will be some form of your business name. Using an online brand name generator can help you choose a unique business name that’s also available as an online domain and social media username.
The platform’s defining feature is the concise nature of communication: Tweets must be 140 characters or less. Profiles must be 160 characters or less, which leads many companies to neglect to use this feature to its full potential. Optinmonster suggests your Twitter bio can be a lead generation tool if you include links to your best content or lead magnet, a call to action leading to an exclusive offer, and hashtags related to your topic.
Hashtags are an essential tool for increasing engagement. Maximize Social Business reports that Tweets with hashtags receive twice the engagement as those without. Branded hashtags are those you create yourself to represent the core image or values of your business. Interest hashtags are more generic, but they’re a way to attract people who wouldn’t normally follow you but are interested in the topic you’re covering.
When it comes to hashtags, more is not necessarily better; Tweets with one or two hashtags receive 21 percent higher engagement than those with three or more. To cut down on the number of hashtags, make your branded tags more focused. Use campaign hashtags for a particular challenge or contest. Create event hashtags for one-time events you’re hosting.
Jumping on the bandwagon by using trending hashtags can increase your exposure, but only do so if you’re well informed on the trend. When Entenmann’s used the hashtag #NotGuilty in a Tweet about their doughnuts, it left a seriously bitter aftertaste. They didn’t know the hashtag referred to the trial of Casey Anthony, who was found not guilty of murdering her child.
Hashtags may attract users to your feed, but it’s the content and style of your Tweets that will turn them into followers and customers. Sprout Social explains that your Twitter marketing strategy should focus less on broadcasting and more on the conversation. One way to engage with your followers is to Tweet questions. Even if you’re sharing a link to a blog post, ask them what they think of your new content.
Consumers cite responsiveness as the most important factor in their decisions to buy from a business. Your Twitter feed is an opportunity to respond to customers publicly and demonstrate you are interested in what they have to say and dedicated to addressing their concerns promptly.
Lead Forensics’s advice to businesses is “Twitter is not about you! You need to find a ratio of about 20 percent is about you and the rest of other people.” Aim for 60 percent of your Tweets to be curated content, such as articles written by others and content you are retweeting. Use @mentions to tag followers in your Tweets to drive traffic their way. When you like, follow, and retweet others, many of them will return the favor. Your goal is to “engage, inform, and entertain before you ever think about selling.”
On LinkedIn, Pankaj Narang emphasizes the importance of cultivating the right voice: “People are no longer interested in following brands on Twitter that only post well-edited PR releases and ad campaigns, they want to follow brands that are funny and worth their time. With an authentic brand voice, your brand becomes more recognizable. So much so that the followers don’t need to check the handle when they read a tweet.”
Hootsuite notes that listening and observing are just as crucial as Tweeting. When your followers aren’t talking to you, observe what other accounts they follow and what content they respond to most favorably. It’s equally important to monitor what others are saying about you to others. Use Twitter Advanced Search to keep tabs on Tweets that contain your brand name, product names, slogans, competitors, or the names of your CEO or other business representatives.
How will you be Tweeting to your target audience? Share your strategies in the comments.