Part 6 of the Get Social Media Savvy Series

The last of the “Big 4” Social Media Platforms I will be looking at as part of the Get Social Media Savvy Series, Twitter is a very powerful but unique platform.

Unlike the rest of the Social Media Platforms, Twitter is much more limited in how much information you can put out in one go. As a result, it is a very fast moving platform!

It can be quite daunting to small businesses as it can be difficult to get your message across and to be seen. Often times it can feel as if it is more about “patting each other on the back” than actually finding clients. But this is also it’s great Advantage. Twitter is a great platform for finding people to collaborate with you and to share your content, and therefore their followers seeing what you do.

Generally, Twitter works best if you have some sort of “informational” content to offer like blog posts, opt-ins or even just little bits of information. So if you run a services or information business, Twitter would be great for you. However, this doesn’t exclude product businesses as you can still tweet photos or any content marketing materials you develop.

If Twitter is something you would like to explore for your small business, here are my Top 5 Tips.

In addition, I’ve also prepared a Checklist for you as part of the “Get Social Media Savvy” worksheets. Click here to access them all (no email address required).

No. 1: Make sure your Short Description is Really Enticing!

When you are looking for people to follow, all you see is their profile picture, twitter handle and this short description. So people will often be choosing to follow or not follow you based on these few short words alone – so make them count!

Don’t just say what you do! Try to make it witty or interesting. Throw in a random fact. Give people a reason to follow you. This is where having a brand purpose statement can help.

No. 2: Pimp your Profile

Once someone sees your account and short description, they might want to check you out further before committing to follow you. Or, someone who is already following you might want to learn more about what you are all about if they are finding your tweets interesting.

In Twitter, there are two main places where you can a big impression in your profile. The first is the header photo. Like I recommend for Facebook Cover Photos, use this space as a “virtual billboard”. Create a great custom image which gives people an instant impression about what your business does. Or if you are running a special promotion, use this space to showcase that latest product, service or opt in.

The second place is your “Pinned Tweet”. As twitter is so fast-moving your first few tweets on your page might always showcase what you are about. To combat this, write a tweet specifically for the purpose of “pinning” it to the top of your feed. This is a great place to include an image as well as a link to a landing page on your website. You can either once again give a brief description of what you are about and link to your homepage or you could use the space to promote your current free email opt-in.

No. 3: Tweet Often (But Tweet more of Other’s Stuff than your Own)

As the Twitter feed moves so rapidly, it is essential that you tweet often throughout the day. Most people recommend tweeting at least 5-10 times a day but not all at once! Some people even recommend as often as 20 times!

That sounds like a lot and it definitely is if you are trying to fill that quota with only your content! But luckily the general rule of thumb is to be sharing, more of others stuff than your own. In fact aim for 80% others content, 20% yours.

To make this even simpler, I suggest you use a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your tweets.

Start with the 2-4 posts a day that you will promote your own content or products and schedule these for a week ahead.  Craft your tweets based on the suggestions in the next Tip and keep these saved in a document or spreadsheet somewhere. That way it is just a matter of copying, pasting and entering the date & time.

Next, try and find a bunch of items to share or to retweet. Hootsuite and Buffer have extensions you can add to Chrome so that when you find something you want to share you can click on the plugin and schedule in the time to post.  Or similarly when you are logged into twitter, if you see someone else’s post that you want to retweet but you’ve just tweeted a bit in the last hour or two, you can press the Hootsuite or Buffer icon and schedule it for a later time.

After you have been doing this for a week or two, check back in with the schedulers analytics. You should be able to see at what times of day your followers are more active and more likely to see your tweets. Armed with this information, you can try and target your promotional posts to appear at peak times.

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No. 4: Use your 140 Characters Wisely

140 Characters is not much when you are trying to express something to your audience, so this space needs to be used wisely. Even worse, you get less characters once you add in an image or a hyperlink.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Use Images: Pictures speak louder than words, as they say, so while you will get less characters to work with your tweet, if you are not linking to a specific blog post or web page (that brings up a preview) make sure you add an image. This will help you stand out from the crowd.
  • Use Link Shorteners such as bit.ly so that your whole tweet isn’t taken up by your URL
  • Use Hashtags (but only one): Try and find a hashtag that is highly relevant to your tweet and that people are using. However, try to stick to ONE hashtag per tweet. Statistics show that tweets with only one hashtag are 69% more likely to be retweeted than those with more.

Finally, make the few words you do use enticing and encouraging people to click through.  This doesn’t mean you need to go into full “click-bait” mode but still make it more than just the heading of your post or page. Give them a hint of what they will get if they click through, ask a question or highlight one particular point. Make them want to click! This might take some practice but the great part about twitter is you can promote the one piece of content many times so you can (and should) try a number of combinations.

No. 5: Boost your Followers through Collaboration

There’s that word again… Collaboration! But what does it mean when it comes to Twitter?

There are a few ways to do this but the underlying philosophy is the same – support others and hopefully you will be rewarded with their support in return.

Start by finding some people in your niche to follow, people who’s content you are already interested in. Follow them and start engaging with their content. If they post something great retweet it! Even better retweet it with a quote from their actual content or a reason why others should read it. This shows them that not only are you retweeting but you have actually read their content.

Once you have a good number of those covered, you can also start looking at their follower lists and follow and engage with them. And so it goes.

Secondly, be social!  If someone retweets one of your items, thank them. Or feel free to ask people questions or start conversations around posts people have put up.

Even better, find some twitter chats in your niche to participate in then follow some of the other participants and keep it going.

Over time you will build an audience of people that are genuine followers and genuinely happy to onshare your tweets.

 

So there’s my Top 5 Twitter Tips…. Make sure you also check out the free checklist here.

 

Have you tried Twitter for your business? How did you find it? What tricks have you discovered to help build your audience? Let me know in the Comments Below!

Want to know more about Getting Social Media Savvy? Check out the other posts so far:

10 Discoveries in Social Media for Small Business (A How to Guide to Effective Social Media without losing your Sanity or your Soul)

Top 5 Facebook Tips for Small Business

Top 5 Instagram Tips for Small Business

Getting Started with Pinterest: A How to Guide

17 Ways to Get More Social Media Followers (Totally Organically)