Now how do you take off?
Twitter has a nice site for small businesses which contains several informative short videos:
and a dedicated blog.
Might I suggest…
- Fill in the basics
Choose a Twitter account name and images that are consistent with your brand and have the same look and feel as your other online presences. Some small businesses use the business name for their account and then a personal profile photo. Your Twitter profile header is a larger background image where you can tell your business story, include a logo etc.
- Then add the detail
Complete your Twitter account profile. Tell people where they can find you by including location info. Share a website address. Complete the 160 character bio.
- Follow others
Be selective but there should be obvious choices and some opportunities for networking – customers, colleagues, suppliers, contractors, trade or professional organisations, other local businesses, and businesses run by people you know.
- Then tweet
Listen first. Then retweet, reply and finally start tweeting. Avoid the hard sell. Give people useful info and answer their questions. Focus on how your product or service can benefit them. With only 140 characters to work with every word should count. Read up on hashtags – they identify a common topic or theme in tweets – and consider creating a hashtag unique to what you do.
- Push traffic to your website
Create a tweet around a link to your website with a message that compels people to click. Twitter’s link shortener will reduce your URL to a manageable length.
- Then integrate
Make sure your Twitter account is included with all other social media info on your website – Twitter has a Follow button you can add. They also provide a widget which allows you to share a tweet timeline with website visitors. You can add a Tweet This button to a blog post or web page. You can even embed a tweet in a post.
- Add photos and videos
You don’t need to be a professional photographer with a fancy camera – your phone will do. People like visuals so get into the habit of taking photos of business activities that you can share. You cannot add video directly from Twitter – upload it to another service like YouTube first and then link to it in a tweet.
- Then go mobile
Android and iOS apps allow you to easily send and receive tweets. You can set up Twitter push notifications on your smartphone so you know when people mention you, someone retweets you or you get a new follower.
- Use lists
As the number of people you follow grows you may want to separate them into groups. That’s where Twitter lists come in. Lists allow you to see tweets from list members as a separate Twitter timeline. You can make a list public (people know when they’ve been added or deleted and they can follow your list) or private (people don’t know they’re on it and only you can see the list timeline). Consider separate lists for customers, nearby businesses, people you talk with most often etc.
- And think local
Twitter connects you globally but don’t neglect those right beside you. Most businesses need local customers – people who live and/or work near you. Use Twitter Advanced Search to find them and the Places box to identify your location. Then add them to a ‘potential customer’ list and start engaging with them.
Then it’s time to dig deeper – here’s an article from Social Media Examiner on 6 analytics tools to help you improve your marketing.
Parting Thoughts: Twitter Advertising
Twitter’s ad setup is straightforward. There are two categories: Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts.
Promoted tweets are ideal when you want to target an upcoming event, new product, deal or contest. On the other hand, if your goal is building an audience, promoting your account may be the most efficient method as you’ll pay only when you add new followers. It’s probably worth testing whether promoting a specific message or having more followers (who may then of course see multiple tweets) is more advantageous for your business.
You can opt to target by keyword, which allows you to focus on those who search, tweet about or otherwise reference a specific term. You can also target by interests and followers, thereby reaching those who fall into specific interest groups (like current affairs or football) or those who follow specific accounts — a perfume brand might want to target users who in turn follow accounts that tweet about beauty. You can also target by gender or geography.
And Twitter’s ad products are equipped with analytics so you can know how your campaigns are doing.