Twitter tips for small business

Since coming into the world of self-employment and setting up my own social media business, naturally I’ve been taking a look at who’s around and if there’s anyone or anything I can help with. What I’ve found is that there are of course some really great tweeters about who do a great job of their business accounts but I also keep seeing some bad habits and twitter etiquette so I wanted to give some advice to anyone who may be tweeting blindly or wants to understand how to get better at being active in the space.

Here’s my 7 tips for improving your twitter presence that will result in other tweeters being much more inclined to follow, interact and recommend you.

  1. Be visual: use pictures, GIFS or video, this makes your content more engaging and will draw your customers in. People are 3 – 4 times more likely to take action on tweets with visuals. If you’re just tweeting text, in the mobile world we live in, you’re just going to get scrolled past. NB: You can now add up to 4 photos to a tweet and tag people in those photos.
  2. Use relevant hashtags: these help your content to be seen by more people and should be relevant to your business or audience (think industry and location). If there are local or national events happening these will usually have a hashtag too and if you can incorporate these relevantly then you’re giving yourself a lot more exposure. Don’t over # your tweets though as it becomes difficult to read. Twitter recommends not using more than 2 in any one tweet.
  3. Share other content and be social: don’t just tweet your own call to actions and sales messages. Join in with conversations and use twitter as a customer service tool to look for and respond to feedback about your business. Remember the Social in Social Media.
  4. Be timely: data shows us that customers who contact organisations online expect a response within one hour. Now, that isn’t going to be achievable for many businesses and that’s ok, but hopefully it goes a long way in helping you to see that social media isn’t traditional & answering a tweet 5 days after it comes in can be potentially damaging to your online reputation. Make it a part of your day – check twitter first thing before you open your emails, before and / or after your lunch break and again before you go home.
  5. Tweet regularly: there’s no definitive answer to how often you should or shouldn’t tweet but due to the instantaneous nature of twitter there’s so much content potentially populating your follower’s time lines that posting regularly will give your messages more opportunity to be seen. If you don’t have anything to say, don’t panic. I went to a conference recently where from @Alicemof from @wwf_uk said something that is a good reminder to us all: “The best time to post is when you’ve got something to say”. My top tip for cutting through all that twitter noise – create twitter lists. You can group people of similar category/industry and access their tweets specifically in order to keep up to date with what they’ve been saying. Access your lists on the move from the settings icon on your twitter account in the app.
  6. Don’t be lulled in by the promise of automation: time is precious and maintaining a successful twitter feed has the potential to take up a lot of your time. Automation can be useful if used in moderation but when your entire content plan is simply churned out through a scheduling tool week in week out it all becomes a bit samey and stagnant. There’s no spark, there’s no real time and thus there’s no connection. People buy from people. If you can’t connect with someone online when you’re in their space then please audit your strategy and why you’re using it. Computers aren’t humans and there’s no substitute for human interactions. I’m seeing accounts which are completely populated by algorithms, RSS feeds and automatic posts from Facebook and there’s no identity. For me, that’s never a good marketing or PR ploy.
  7. Spelling and grammar: In a nut shell, it doesn’t look professional if your grammar is off and you have typos here there and everywhere. 140 characters isn’t a lot to play with I know but practice makes perfect. Utilise your website for further details (dates, times, booking forms etc) and be creative and conversational with your tweets. Draw people in. Cutting words down into slang and text speak just to cram your message in only alienates people. Why? Because there is no universal way to abbreviate. We all do it differently so what might make sense to you may not make sense to many of those reading your content.

 “Always remember to be a person and build relationships when you’re online. That’s the simple secret to success.” – Natalie Luckham (that’s meee!)

If you’re looking to get to grips with Twitter more then give us a shout, we run social media health checks that can help outline where you can improve and develop. We also offer 1:1 mentoring and group training.

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