Ever wonder why some people and businesses on Twitter have hundreds, if not thousands of followers yet your business is still stuck at a mere 95? Do you wish for more favourites, retweets and click, and wonder what more you can do to master the art and science of Twitter engagement? You are not alone. Twitter is a free and powerful tool that if used well, will drive business leads and through this online presence, establish your business as a market competitor. While Twitter is a free tool, the man power that can go into cultivating a Twitter presence can be costly. (If you’re curious how costly, dive into your bookkeeping software to see how many company funds are currently taken up by the social platform.)
Honing your Twitter skills will decrease the required social media budget, so you can reassign that portion of the funds. Luckily, there are ways to increase your followers, strengthen your online presence, and become a Twitter Master.
Write like a comms person, who thinks like a Twitter user
You may have written your fair share of business plans, proposals, and pitch decks, but for Twitter you need to write like a comms person. A comms person thinks like a Twitter user, who has an attention span of just a few seconds. There’s a lot of information on Twitter and with a 140 character limit, messages have to be unique, relevant, and punchy. Your opportunity to attract a new customer could be over within the blink of an eye, or a scroll of the thumb. When you read a news article, the content is straightforward with no cliches or fluff. Similarly with Tweets, you need to practice tight writing and craft messages using as few words as possible while still getting your message across. Practice makes perfect.
Make fun of them all you want, but words preceded by the historical pound sign have made tracking and participating online a breeze. Use hashtags often, but use them appropriately (see tips on what not to do below). Hashtags are useful when promoting your product or when taking part in a discussion. Hashtags allow your tweets to show up in searches, and allow you to take part in Twitter-wide trends. Want the hashtag, feel the hashtag, use the hashtag, be the hashtag.
Engage With Fellow Tweeters
Follow people or organizations with similar businesses or ideas, your customers, people who embody your brand, and other members of the startup ecosystem. Favourite and retweet tweets that fit your brand and will appeal to your customers. Start discussions and find fun ways to ask your followers for feedback on how they use Twitter, how they use your product or service, and how you can better serve them. Twitter is a great market research tool.
Twitter Tools & Why You Should Use Them
What’s a Twitter tool, you ask? Ever heard of Hootsuite or Buffer? Klout or Keyhole? Or If This Then That? These are just five of the hundreds of tools you can use to sharpen your Twitter presence. You can schedule your tweets in advance (but not too much or else you’ll resemble a robot, and although robots are cool in real life, they’re kind of annoying online), monitor your online reach, see what’s trending, what hot discussions are taking place, receive notifications, and even measure your tweet reach.
The Power of Visuals
Pictures are worth a 1000 words. If you’re good at math you know that’s a lot more than 140 characters. Break up your tweets with images, and design your Twitter page to reflect your brand and get people clicking to your website.
Peak Times and Measurability
Post on Twitter during peak hours. Multiple sources say 11 a.m. to 3 p.m are the best times. That’s not to say you shouldn’t post outside of these times, but be cognisant of when you’re posting and measure the number of favourites and retweets you get. Adjust posting times as necessary.
Similar to what was mentioned in the Twitter Tools subheader, you should be measuring your presence on Twitter. Use something like Keyhole, Klout, and Twitter Analytics to see how you’re doing in the Twittersphere. Like any other aspect of life, online or offline, measuring your progress and finding what works and what doesn’t is the key to success and improvement.
What Not to Do
- Don’t create a Twitter account and expect it to run itself. You need to be active daily and reply to questions or conversations in a timely manner.
- Don’t use so much text lingo that your tweets become unreadable.
- Don’t buy followers. However sweet gaining 5,000 followers overnight looks, it isn’t worth it and people can smell a fake, which hurts your credibility.
- Don’t spam.
- Being original and interesting means replacing the infamous default egg photo and replacing it with something else – perhaps your business logo.
- Be grammatically correct. There are people watching and waiting for your yours to become you’res when they’re supposed to be yours.
- Hashtags are awesome, but don’t abuse them. #Thissentancedoesn’tneedtobeahashtag.
- Don’t fight. You don’t want to be the angry person on Twitter blocked and reported for spewing rudeness. Your business needs to be credible and inviting.
- Don’t set up an auto-tweet thanking people for their follow. Again, robots are cooler in real life, not online.
- Don’t be fake!