Social media is key in the marketing and branding of today’s small businesses.
That’s no secret. If you run, or work for any kind of business you’ll know that without social media, it’s difficult to make your brand’s voice heard and near impossible to continue growth.
Utilising Twitter to market your small business can certainly be overwhelming if you don’t know your handles from your hashtags. But once understood, Twitter can be a strategic wonderland for networking and building valuable relationships and generating leads for your company.
6 Ways to Utilise Twitter for Your Business
Made famous by Twitter, the hashtag is a highly effective tool, particularly for small businesses. Hashtags let users to search for particular topics that interest them – so using a relevant hashtag within your tweets means potential customers are more likely to come across your brand.
A short, sweet, simple and clear hashtag that is relevant to your brand can be a huge driver for brand recognition.
A perfect example is Slims Healthy Kitchen, who use the #ChooseBalance hashtag, which is their recognisable brand slogan. Their customers frequently use the hashtag when mentioning the brand on their social media platforms.
— Christine Fitz (@Kristinelokokos) May 25, 2015
However it is important not to spam your tweets with hashtag. Twitter recommends no more than two per tweet as using anymore actually devalues the strength of each hashtag.
Timing plays a very important role in your Twitter strategies. There will always be better times of the day to tweet than others and this will vary for every brand, depending on the online habits of your customers.
Buffer is a great app to use to schedule Tweets and help you stay organised. The recommended optimum tweeting times are between 9am-4pm, showing the most activity and the highest number of clickbacks. Buffer allows you to schedule your tweets for specific times of the day, meaning you don’t have to worry about being on hand to tweet, and it ensures your highest potential reach throughout the day.
3. BE VISUAL
Twitter decided to add inline images to tweets way back in 2013, meaning that you no longer have to click on the tweet to see the image. Buffer recently found that tweets with images received 18% more clicks than those without. They also received 89% more favourites and 150% more retweets.
Canva is a great tool to use if you want to put together an image for a tweet that looks good and speaks to your brand. It allows you to select the dimensions perfectly formatted for Twitter and the freedom to design your own graphic.
Twitter has also recently rolled out a native video feature which is set to stir even more engagement among users.
As a brand, engagement is one of the most important things you can do with Twitter. Follow those who may be interested in your brand and other local businesses. Favourite tweets, retweet good content and most importantly, respond to tweets. Thank people for following you or for recommending your business to others. The more you engage with others, the more they will engage with you, thus turning followers into customers.
Tweetdeck is a desktop tool to help you stay on top of all of your engagements. You can make individual columns for your feed, your mentions, your lists and more, allowing you to see everything in one place.
Galgorm Resort and Spa is one local business who often retweet and favourite mentions from their happy customers, thus encouraging more users to interact.
— Aaron Willis (@willis_aaron) September 21, 2015
In a similar sense to Buffer Analytics, Twitter Analytics is a goldmine of information allowing you to see what you’re doing right and what you can improve upon. The user-friendly dashboard outlines which tweets are performing best, the number of impressions they are receiving, growths and drops in followers, mentions, profile visits and more.
It gives you a monthly summary, allowing you to make a quick and easy comparison month to month. Looking for patterns within your information gives you an idea on how well certain strategies are working – such as the time of day your tweets go out, which links are clicked and shared, who responds and so on. This leaves room for you to experiment on your strategies. For example, if you’re seeing a lot of impressions per tweet but not so many clicks, perhaps finding a more compelling way to word the tweet can work in your favour.
Once you’ve got the basics of Twitter down and you have established your presence, it’s important to stay consistent with both your content and your activity if you want your following to continue to grow. Posting something irrelevant to your brand or falling off the Twittersphere can negatively impact both your following and your reputation. Simply tweeting daily can keep your presence firmly established.
It certainly takes time and a craft, but once you have it grasped, Twitter can be a highly valuable social media platform and an extremely cost-effective marketing tool for your small business.
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