Twitter Tips for Business

Use these Twitter Tips for Business to develop a successful presence on Twitter. With more than 100 million active daily Twitter users, Twitter offers a unique opportunity for businesses to reach current and prospective customers. Over 70% of small businesses are on Twitter, but it requires a thoughtful approach to use it effectively. This Twitter for Business Guide will help you build your Twitter following.

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Build

  1. Profile Image – Include a compelling Twitter profile image. If possible, consider using a friendly face photo, since it makes your Twitter profile more personable.
  2. Header Image – This is the image that appears behind the Twitter profile image. Consider choosing a photo that in some way represents your brand or business & ties in with your profile image.
  3. Background Image – Currently, the Twitter background image can be used for branding purposes. However, what is visible really depends on screen size. As more people access Twitter on mobile devices, background images may become less important. Consider including a logo or an image relevant to your business.
  4. Profile Bio – A carefully crafted bio should provide accurate information about your business focus. It encourages folks to follow and can spark engagement.

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Decide

  • Consistency – Clarify your focus, which should be relevant to your brand or personal interests. Followers should know what to expect and be able to rely on the dependability of your tweet content.
  • Voice – A steady style or approach should also be taken with tweets and interactions. A business or brand should present a uniform manner of communication.
  • Value – Share content that will be of interest and value to your prospective audience. Offer tweet content that intrigues, informs, entertains, and satisfies your Twitter target audience.

51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks. ~Edison

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Create

  • Curation – Find and gather content to share on Twitter. My favorite is likely Pocket, where you can save URL’s, tag them by topic, and view them on a Pinterest-style page. You can even filter by type: article, video, or image. Other curation tools include BagtheWeb with collections based on topic, Diigo with annotation and collaboration tools, and Bundlr also with collaboration. Additional options that allow for publication are Swayy, Scoop.it, Paper.li, and Storify.
  • Schedule – In order to build a following, it’s important to be active on Twitter and regularly tweet. Thus, you may want to consider scheduling your tweets using a third party service, like Hootsuite, Buffer, or BundlePost. Bundlepost is a great tool for efficiently curating and managing social media posts. Your “bundled” tweets can then be uploaded to Hootsuite or Buffer for posting and analysis.
  • Content – Varied content will keep your Twitter followers more attentive. No one cares much for robo-tweeting, or scheduling a slew of similar tweets, especially if they are self-promotional. In your tweets, consider including quotes, stats, images, infographics, videos, or links to articles related to your focus or relevant to your industry.
  • Tweet Length – Although a tweet can be up to 140 characters long, keep them under 120 to allow for retweeting (RT). The best tweet length resulting in Twitter engagement was found to be 100 characters, according to studies by Buddy Media and Track Social.

42% of Twitter users learn about products and services via Twitter. ~Convince & Convert

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Craft

  1. Clarity – Having a concise tweet is ideal, but ensure that it’s clear. It may be necessary to revise a link title for brevity and accuracy.
  2. Creativity – Get creative with titles or turn them into questions to make them more engaging. Adding brief commentary to a link or an RT is another way to increase Twitter engagement.
  3. Categorize – Hashtags, #, can identify keywords or topics in a tweet. Hashtags make the term searchable & linkable. To avoid appearing spammy, limit hashtag use to one or two per tweet. To save space, hashtag keywords in titles, capitalizing words for legibility. For example, #SmallBiz.
  4. Optimize – Hashtags can also be used to increase the visibility of a tweet. Finding and using optimal keywords and hashtags can improve the chances a tweet will be seen in relevant streams or feeds. Since broad hashtags are too general to be effective, get specific in order to reach the right audience. Useful tools to research hashtags include Topsy and Hashtagify.

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Engage

  • Connect – Social Media should be about making social connections. Comment on others’ tweets and retweet those of interest. Mention a follower on a tweet they might find interesting. Keep the social in social media. Engage your audience! As Ted Coine, author and business consultant, once shared, “Social Media should be more social, less media.”
  • Credit – When sharing posts on Twitter, also strive to credit your sources. If authors have Twitter profiles, mention them by including their Twitter names. Although this requires more effort on your part, it’s a great way to connect with the writer or blogger.
  • Appreciate – If you receive an RT or a mention with a link to your content, be sure to show appreciation. It’s best to personally reply with sincere thanks. You could also favorite the tweet or thank the person with with an RT. Another way to show appreciation is to tweet thanks to new followers and / or RT an interesting item from their feed.

67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from the brands they follow. ~MediaBistro

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Explore

  • Discover – Use the discover tab on Twitter to find tweets, interesting activity, or popular accounts organized by category. When the discover tab is active, the sub-tabs (that appear in the top left-hand column) display select tweets across Twitter that are personalized for your account.
  • Search – Another useful feature on Twitter is search. Enter a keyword (or username) into the search box to find related content. The results page includes a menu to show results by people, media type, timeline, or location. Also included is advanced search where specific criteria, including phrases, people, dates, and location can be used to find Twitter content.

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Emerge

  • Trust – Building social media relationships is based on trust. Be authentic, thoughtful, and conscientious with what you share and how you interact. Be real and reliable.
  • Ratio – Credibility is critical when building a social media following. Crafting quality tweets is paramount, but having a balanced follower to following (friend) ratio is also important. A high follower to friend ratio shows more authority and credibility. If the ratio is low, potential followers may wonder if you are worth following.
  • TFF Tool – Cendrine Marrouat, social media journalist and author, wrote an informative post about the Twitter Follower:Friend Tool. The tool is easy to use. Simply go to tffratio.com, enter the Twitter username, then click “Get TFF Ratio”.

61% of Twitter users follow small businesses to interact, sharing ideas and feedback. ~Twitter

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Organize

  • Lists – A great way to organize your Twitter following is to create lists. Lists offer an effective way to group friends or influencers to view their Twitter activity.
    • Public – Those included in public lists are notified, whereas those added to private lists are not. You can also subscribe to public lists, which can be a great way to follow a respected or influential group and possibly connect with them.
    • Private – Private lists could be used to quietly keep tabs on the competition. You could also create a private list to follow a group of friends.
  • Timelines – Custom timelines, created through TweetDeck, allow you to develop a unique selection of tweets based on topic or event. The timeline can be named, shared, and embedded into a web page. Custom timelines are public, and can be viewed via TweetDeck profile cards.

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Strategize

  • Timing – Although a number of studies have analyzed the best time to tweet, there isn’t consensus. Therefore, it’s likely best to consider your own experience. Consider the level of engagement (RT’s, replies, favorites, clicks), the type of content, the time, and the day.
  • Days – Tweeting on weekends should be considered seriously, since some brands have significant Twitter engagement on weekend afternoons. Mid and late afternoon also seem to be a sweet tweet spot on weekdays.

Only 19% of businesses tweet on the weekends. ~Buffer

Twitter Success

With a professional Twitter profile, clear goals, valuable content, and regular engagement, you can reach customers and build your business. Making constructive connections with customers on Twitter can bring many rewards to your business.

If you’re like a lot of people, you might want to shop this out. When hiring a company to handle your Twitter account, be sure to use a marketing company that customizes your tweets to your voice and business. That’s how we do it at Whitbeck Web.

Twitter for Business Tips, quote

Sources
  1. Frasco, S. (2013) Facts and figures about Twitter. Retrieved, 4-4-2014 from Social Media Today
  2. Lee, K. (2014) Ideal length of everything online, backed by research. Retrieved, 4-4-2014 from Buffer.
  3. Williams, K. (2014) How to Use Hashtags to Become a Top Twitter Influencer. Retrieved, 4-9-2014 from Hashtagify
Jon Whitbeck
As a web designer and developer, I have managed, built, launched, and maintained websites that meet my clients' objectives. I develop dynamic websites with content management systems based on the latest design trends. My background as an educator and instructor helps me create user-friendly interfaces and teach my clients how to update their own sites.

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