Twitter may not have as many users as some of the other social networks, but because Twitter doesn’t distinguish between business and personal accounts the way Facebook does, your tweets have the potential to reach a wider audience. One of the best ways to get your message to the masses is to grow your Twitter following.
Adding Twitter follow buttons to your webpages and email communications is the most basic way to encourage your customers and fans to follow you on that channel. Here are five more tips for managing your business Twitter feed to help you engage potential customers and build your following.
1. Tweet Ahead
Time is one of the biggest barriers to a robust social media presence for busy entrepreneurs. The good news is that there are a number of free apps that let you schedule your Tweets in advance so you don’t have to be glued to your feed to keep your Twitter stream active and attractive to new followers. With Twitter’s own TweetDeck, you can set up a dashboard to track your mentions on social media and schedule tweets in advance. The downside of this app is that it can only manage your Twitter account. Hootsuite allows you to cross-post on up to five different social media accounts with each update and can help you save time by auto-scheduling your tweets at optimal times when more of your followers are online. For a monthly fee ranging from less than $10 to several hundred dollars, there are even more tools available, including Hootsuite Pro, Social Flow, Sprout Social, and Buffer.
- Tip: You may take weekends off, but your Twitter feed doesn’t have to. Schedule tweets on weekends — particularly Sundays — to boost follower engagement.
2. A Picture Is Worth 140 Characters
Tweets with photos not only get more views but also more retweets, replies, and site visits, as reported by Adweek. The more your tweets circulate around the web, the more potential new followers see your name. Twitter has lately been expanding its features, allowing users to post gallery cards, with multiple images in one tweet, as well as short (Vine-length, 6-second) videos.
- Tip: If you use your smartphone to take photos or video, hold your phone sideways when you shoot. Landscape-oriented images are much more compatible with online viewing. Twitter offers additional tips to improve your image sharing.
3. Tweet Often
Twitter is a moving river, so your followers see only what flows past them while they’re logged on. It’s fine to tweet the same message multiple different times, so, for example, you can catch early-morning and late night users alike. For promotional messages, three per day seems to be optimal, according to social marketing metrics company Social Bakers. In between, the more interesting content you can tweet or retweet the better. Active Twitter streams attract users.
- Tip: You don’t have to do it all; schedule retweets of relevant content from partners and others to fill your feed. Also, space out your tweets and avoid dumping an avalanche of tweets all at once; this can cause people to unfollow you.
4. Optimize Hashtags
Tweets with no hashtags get half the engagement of tweets that contain them. The ideal number of hashtags in a tweet is two — more than that and engagement starts to drop. Choosing popular, searchable hashtags can get your posts seen by users beyond your existing follower base.
- Tip: Visit Trendsmap.com to find out what hashtags are trending in your area in real time. If you can tie your message to what everyone else is tweeting about, your tweets will get more views.
5. Analyze Your Feed
Twitter Analytics will show you your recent activity, including the number of views and link clicks from your feed, and even the demographics of your followers. Social media management apps provide analytics tools as well.
- Tip: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try out different tweets on the same topic and see what garners more engagement or leads to the most new followers. The beauty of social media is speedy feedback, which allows you to continuously improve your message and expand your reach.