Twitter can be a great tool for making connections with your customers and building relationships, but it can also be intimidating or confusing for new users.
If you’re an experienced entrepreneur, you already know social media takes up a lot of your time and none more-so than Twitter. But don’t worry. Help is at hand. Here are some best practice tips to help you launch and grow your business on Twitter.
Business vs. Personal Accounts
Twitter is great for mixing your personal and professional lives. You can create lists and join multiple conversations while balancing your personal interests and professional expertise. However when looking to build the channel for your business, it’s highly recommended to keep your personal account separate. You can always include that you’re the founder or CEO of your business on your personal account, but your business account should have its own distinct branding and voice.
Search and Join the #Conversation
Twitter is full of people having conversations about almost every topic imaginable. One way that these conversations are organized is through hashtags (#). By adding a hashtag, your Tweet will show up when someone searches that specific hashtag. If you search #StartUpChats for example, you will see all the people who have joined in that conversation. You can use Twitter’s search function to find relevant conversations about your industry and join in. More on hashtags.
Beware about jumping into chats unprepared, though. One brand famously mistook the trending hashtag #aurora for excitement about their celebrity-designed aurora dress. The tag in fact related to a mass-shooting in the American town Aurora.
Twitter has a few ways that you can promote your business with paid tactics. You can set your own budget and use Twitter’s built in targeting to help you reach new customers
- Promoted Tweets
You can write a clever Tweet with a link to your website and put some cash behind it to increase it’s reach. This is a great way to get your message to more than just the people who follow you.
- Promoted Accounts
You can also promote your account which will help increase your follower base, by putting your account front and centre for the people you target.
- Promoted Hashtags
You can also create a hashtag and promote it so that it shows up in the trending section. This can be fairly expensive and is also prone to being hijacked by pranksters; such as when Waitrose created the #Waitrosereasons tag for people to explain why they loved shopping at Waitrose. Twitter users turned it into a public parody of the brand’s perceived middle class values.
Don’t use auto DM’s
There are a million tools out there that allow you to set up an automated Direct Message (private) when someone follows you. This was once a common practice but 99 times out of 100 the resulting message is distinctly robotic. There is nothing wrong with you personally sending someone a “Hey thanks for following us” DM but make it personalised in some way so people know you’re a real human being. Nothing comes off as impersonal as getting a DM from someone asking you to Like them on Facebook 2 seconds after you follow them.
Reply quickly to @mentions
When someone Tweets @ your business, you need to respond ASAP. Twitter is a fast moving channel where people are accustomed to a quick dialogue. Customers will be delighted when you give them a quick answer to a question and will build a relationship with your brand faster if they feel you are accessible.
Following your competitors can be beneficial for a few reasons. Firstly, and most obviously, you can see what they are up to and keep an eye. Secondly, people who follow your competition may also be more likely to follow you. If you sell cupcakes and there is a popular bakery in town using Twitter, their follower base will likely be full of people who could be persuaded to try your cupcakes.
Twitter can be one of the fastest and cheapest ways to deliver customer service to your customers. Socially savvy customers will likely reach out via Twitter if they have a problem or question and you can answer them from anywhere.