For all of its simplicity, Twitter is a platform that requires attention to detail if you want to get the most out of it.
Your integrated marketing strategy (that is, strategy that includes multiple channels, including your blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) must include social media channels that are well-optimized to help you get the most out of them.
When we talk about optimizing Twitter, we’re talking about something different from optimizing for search engines, although although basics like utilizing searchable keywords and strong content still apply.
To make the maximize the results of your small business Twitter, you’ll need to optimize in these areas:
Your bio is extremely important. Think about it — how many times have you had someone interact with you on Twitter, whether by retweeting a post or following you, and when you look to see if they’re someone you should be following, there’s nothing. Or, just as bad, vagueness.
You’re probably less inclined to follow a twitter that’s vague about who they are, and if you’re not, you should be. Which is why it’s vital that you don’t leave other users unsure of who you are.
- Be sure to fill in all of the fields — not only does it look bad, it will decrease your page’s ability to be found by location or search if you don’t complete it fully.
- Consider your About section content, and give it the same high quality you give the content on your website. You wouldn’t slap any old sentence or two to your website’s About — treat your social media Abouts with the same care (but keep them relatively brief).
- Adda cover photo that uses your logo and branding. You can make nice, professional-looking graphics yourself using Canva, even if you have no graphic design experience. The cover photos is the most visual item on your Twitter page. Make it count.
- Many businesses use their logo as their Twitter avatar (the picture that is posted with each tweet). That’s good, but using a photo of yourself is better. Why? Because it gives your company a face and personality. Social media is about being social. Even when people are interacting with a business, they don’t want to feel like they’re interacting with a faceless company.
- Your logo should be used on the graphics you post, without exception. Again, this is easy to do in Canva.
For a good example of a pro Twitter bio, see Simon & Shuster’s:
The first step is to connect with the people who are already in your network. When you first set up a Twitter account, they make it very easy to find contacts who already have Twitter accounts.
Once you’ve connected with their preexisting contacts, it’s time to start connecting with new people.
The first thing to do is to find other people and businesses in your industry. You can find them by searching for commonly used industry keywords.
Following industry peers gives you more retweetable content right on your Twitter feed (the stream of posts by the people you follow).
It can also increase your follower count, since people often follow back when they see a new follower in their industry.
A few Do’s and Don’ts for gaining followers::
- Don’t start following new people until you’ve set up your bio and have made a few posts. People often look at your page to see if they’re interested in following you back, and an empty page is just not going to grab them.
- Don’t exceed 100 follows a day. Twitter considers mass following spam and it could put your account at risk. You will be cut off from following people if you reach the daily limit, but try not to hit it anyway. Following 10 really good accounts is more valuable than following 100 random accounts in a competitor’s follower list.
- Do have more followers than people you follow. It doesn’t have to be a wide margin, but try not to exceed a following number that is over 90% of your follower count. This can be hard when you’re starting out, and it’s not going to hurt you if you have a higher follower number at first, but it should settle in as you grow.
- Do clean out your following list regularly. Tools like Just Unfollow can tell you who isn’t following you back, who has unfollowed you, and as inactive Twitter accounts you follow.
There are some valuable online tools you can use to maximize your search for people to follow:
- Tweepi does double duty, helping you find people to follow, while also alerting you about inactive and non-mutual accounts on your following list.
- ManageFlitter allows you to search for Twitter accounts by keywords; you can follow accounts right from the results page.
- Followerwonk allows you to compare users, analyze your account, search bios, and sort followers.
- Tweetbot is a Twitter management tool for iPhone and Mac.
Never, ever forget the most important thing about social media:
It’s meant to be social.
Often business owners see social media as a free platform to post their content and self-promote, and are disappointed when they get little attention.
In most cases, they neglected to interact and engage with their followers, they just used it as an advertisement platform.
Social media users are savvy. They’re not interested in seeing commercials in their social media feeds.
And yet, the chain restaurant Denny’s has almost 300,000 followers who retweet them in droves, even when they’re being promotional:
They’ve created a funny social media personality that people love.
It looks easy, but it’s very hard for a business to do what Denny’s has done. Denny’s took a popular Twitter type (the sardonic humor blog) and convincingly adapted it into their own “character” that people not only buy, but love.
For most businesses, it’s best to be yourself, and to avoid over-promoting.
You should only post about your business directly in about 1 in every 7 posts. That doesn’t mean that the other six posts are about something unrelated to your business.
In fact, they shouldn’t be. If you’re a marketer, you should post about marketing most of the time. Just not about YOU.
When you see social media as a social entity, filling up the space between your promotional posts is pretty easy: You follow people in your industry, they post their valuable content, you retweet it, your followers enjoy it.
And, bonus, when you post your content, they’ll be more inclined to share it with their own followers.
If you like a tweet, like and/or retweet it. If you have something to say about it, leave a comment. It’s all networking.
And the more relevant the people you follow are, the easier it will be to use Twitter so network.
We’ve already established that the majority of your content should be non-promotional, so I don’t have to tell you that logging into Twitter only when you’re having a sale then disappearing isn’t going to work.
You should post to Twitter every day, multiple times a day (including retweets).
This can be a big challenge for a lot of small businesses, because it means the dreaded content curation.
You can make it easier with a few free tools:
- Twitter Lists — Allows you to sort Twitter users into easy-to-manage lists, so you can see the tweets of only a select group at one time. Without using Lists, your Twitter feed can be overwhelming.
- Scoop.it — a streamlined, visual-oriented content curation tool that updates you on curent content of interest with 1-click sharing.
- Feedly — An RSS reader that organizes the web content you want to see as it it’s created. This is a pretty basic tool similar to Google Reader, but it can be very useful.
Your blog and your Twitter need to work together in a successful social media plan. The blog hosts the content that shared on Twitter that drives people back to your website to read the blog.
But you will also have people who will see the blog post first, then click the Tweet button to post it on their own Twitter.
This one-click sharing option has been around for while, and it has become an invaluable marketing tool.
To put a Tweet button on all of your blog posts, you will usually need a plugin; WordPress has many to choose from, one of the most popular being Ultimate Social Media.
Twitter is serious business for marketers, but never lose sight of the fact that it’s a place people go to engage and (usually) have fun.
If you make it about hard-sell self-promotion and following random people in the hopes that they’ll bulk up your follower count, you’re doing it wrong.
Are You Ready To Start Doubling Your Business With Half The Effort?
If you have a business, whether it’s established or brand new, wouldn’t it be great to know how to use free and low priced modern marketing methods to boost the number of customers banging on your door and dramatically increase your profits? And with no technical degree, no sales staff and just a few minutes a day.
As a member of The Owners Club, you’ll get free access to the methods I used to bootstrap my company from zero to a million dollars in its first 12 months with no sales staff (it was actually $1,002,000). And the methods I’m using today to keep growing it beyond 97,000 customers with very little effort. Best of all, it’s absolutely free.
Go here to get started