As a millennial, I am a product of the social media generation, surrounded by peers who Tweet, Snapchat and Insta their every move. However, I am a complete novice to twitter, and specifically how Twitter can be used to maximize brand awareness, engagement with customers and even generate profit for a businesses.  But, as I’ve recently learnt, Twitter is one of the most important platforms to utilize for personal contact with your customers… Only when it’s done right!

I attended the Salisbury Big Business Event yesterday as a social media intern for Naturally Social.  The Salisbury BBE is now in its 6th year and offers varied range of business seminars and workshops, from Snapchat to Cybercrime there is something every business can benefit from.  A seminar I was most intrigued about was ‘How to use Twitter to engage with you business’ – I understand how to use Twitter just fine, but it’s the nuances and tricks on how to create and maintain a good page for a business that I wanted to know more about.

Introtweet were hosting the workshop and the first and arguably most important point that they made was that you have to engage to get engagement! If you’re sat in front of the screen wondering why you haven’t had a mention in over a week, then you need to get tweeting. But before you can start to engage, you have to have an audience to work with and it’s imperative to target the right people. The search option on twitter lets you find appropriate businesses and potential customers, so that when you are engaging, your information is going to reach your demographic. If you put an ad in the paper, it could be seen by hundreds of people but, not one them meets your criteria. However, with twitter you build your own audience by deciding the most important accounts to follow so all your information is going to reach the right people.

How, what and when are three components that are going to make your tweets stand out. Always, where possible, include a hashtag. With hashtags, it’s quality over quantity, you don’t need 6 #’s at the end of your tweet taking up those valuable characters. Make a statement you think is going to be relevant and important to your audience, and add a # at the end. This makes it clickable and interactive – you can then see everybody else who’s tweeting using the same # and get engaged. Another place for them is in your bio, this will make your profile searchable. So include relevant hashtags to your business.

Replying to tweets is what will make your audience feel valued and want to tweet again. Twitter is an instant and live platform so people don’t want to wait, if someone’s asks you a question don’t leave it a day to reply as another business could beat you to it. You should aim to reply to people within an hour.

Another great place to network and promote your business on Twitter is by using local business hours. For example, #SwindonHour is every Thursday from 8pm to 9pm where local businesses tweet there news, events or just have a chitchat- either way it’s a great place to increase your followers and get your name out there.

To make sure your tweets reach the maximum audience potential you should be tagging accounts within the tweet.  This is going to increase the chance of them re-tweeting you which means you’ll be reaching their audience too. A new feature introduced to Twitter two months ago allows users to tag accounts in images. You can tag up to 10 accounts and it won’t eat into you character count.  Not only are images more eye catching and likely to get a response but you have the potential to reach far more people with this new tool.

Finally, it’s important to keep your spontaneity and impulsiveness when tweeting. Be funny and creative, use the trending stories on the left hand side and hashtag National days that could be relevant to your company – you want people to see your personality not just your business – this is going to make you more  personable and not just another twitter account that’s trying to sell something.  You should aim for a varied range of behind the scenes personal content, industry news, relevant articles and information on your business and promotions.  It’s worth putting in the time to have a strategy every week so you’re using every tweet to its full potential. Remember, stay engaged and keep tweeting, because that’s what will make your Twitter page a success!

Lily Thorne

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