Twitter for Business – All you need to know
So, you’ve already set up a Facebook business account, now it’s time to move onto the newest, savviest, younger social media site to optimise your company. However, you’re not quite sure how to create one, why Twitter would be a tool for success, and basically you’re a little rough around the edges on the ins and outs about Twitter for Business. Well, fear not below we will show you how to create, manage and optimise your successful business Twitter account.
Firstly, let’s look at a brief overview about what Twitter is and why it is the next big step on your quest to becoming a tech-savvy-social-media-business-entrepreneur. With over 500 million users, and 135,000 new users signing up every day, Twitter can be a great place to connect with your target audience. It’s an online platform where users can share their thoughts, news, information and jokes in 140 characters of text or less. Which keeps everything succinct and prevents people from rambling; short & sweet makes more shareable content.
Twitter makes worldwide communication cheap and easy. Profiles are usually public, anyone in the world can see what you write, unless you choose to make your profile private; which is not be a good idea for your business account – this is a publicity tool!
Now onto the essentials, how to create a Twitter account. Creating an account is a fairly simple process, Twitter will automatically take you through the relevant steps.
First up, you’ll be asked to enter your full name and either your email address or phone number, then create an 8 character password.
Because you’ll be creating your account for your business, enter your full name as the name of your business and use a company email address. Don’t forget to note down your password!
There are 6 fundamental components to your Twitter for business account:
1. Your username – otherwise known as your Twitter handle. This is your business’s unique name on the site, it identifies your company and should be 15 characters or less. This Twitter handle should be something that is memorable, catchy, likely to stick in your customers minds and should also be representative of your business so that it can be easily found. Your Twitter name has power and influence on search engine optimization (SEO), which translates to how close to the top of a search results list you appear in a search engine such as Yahoo! or Google. For example, our Twitter handle/username is @SMMS_GURU because @SocialMediaMakesSense is too long.
2. Your profile photo – should be an image that visually represents your company and fits well in a small space. It will be shown at the top of your profile and as the icon in every single tweet you post. Usually your business logo works well, something that is instantly recognizable and represents your company as a brand. However, if you are a sole trader, we suggest a picture of yourself. You are your business and people relate more to pictures of people than logos.
3. Your bio – this is the section below your profile picture which allows you to tell your story. Be warned however, because you only have 160 characters to do so. Time to be concise, clear and cram as much information about what you have to offer the customer as possible. Tell your viewers why your business is unique, why they should follow you and anything that give you authority (like if you are apart of an accrediting body).
4. Your URL – Make it easy for your customers to find your website by including your URL (a website link).
5. Your header – this is a large feature image found at the top of your profile. Your header allows you to get creative, use it as you wish either by featuring products or services or as a promotional device. It can also be used to feature the company team.
6. Last but not least, your pinned tweet – use this feature to get maximum exposure at the top of your profile timeline for your best and most popular tweets. However, don’t leave a tweet pinned too long, it starts to look old and outdated.
Next, onto the nitty gritty, the all-important question of: Why should I create a Twitter account for my business? What benefits will it bring me?
Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the past 5 years you will have come to realise that social media is the new ‘it’ concept of the modern era. It can be used for almost anything and everything. People come to Twitter to discover and tell people what’s happening in the world right now, to share information and pictures instantly and to connect with people and businesses around not only their own country, but the entire globe.
With hundreds of millions of users and over 500 million tweets being sent each day, Twitter is a great platform for businesses to reach a global audience of new, exciting and interested customers. It allows you to reach out and connect with your potential clients in an intimate and friendly way.
No matter what business you are – from a large retail store to a freelance graphic designer or make-up artist; from a B2B software provider to a B2C restaurant – you can use Twitter to build meaningful connections with a relevant and engaged audience.
If you’ve decided to take the plunge and delve into the business world of Twitter you’ll need to know how to use it to optimize your business, who to follow, how to build a following, what to tweet and when to tweet it, the list goes on and on. Below we have answered some of these questions alongside some top tips on how to use Twitter for your company.
What does all the Twitter mumbo jumbo mean:
A Tweet – is a message posted on Twitter, it can contain text, photos, links or even videos.
A Reply – you can click reply to respond to anyone’s Tweet, replying to a tweet is a way to show that your listening and have acknowledged the customer.
A Retweet – Is when you share a tweet from someone else with your followers. This will then be shown on all of your follower’s timelines.
A Like – Is a simple way to acknowledge a tweet, it shows you appreciate what has been said. It can also be used as a bookmarking tool if you want to find that tweet again in your ‘likes’ section. Tap the heart icon to like a tweet.
A Hashtag – is any word or phrase without spaces, beginning with the # symbol. People use hashtags to organise conversations and make it easy to find all content related to a given topic. Click on a hashtag to go directly to the search results for that term. Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics (lots of people talking about the same thing at the same time).
A Mention – you can mention somebody by including their username in your tweet, you can use mentions to ask customers a question, to thank them or to simply highlight a piece of content. For example: ‘Thanks for the great blog on Twitter For Business @SMMS_GURU’.
A Twitter List – A Twitter List is another way to ‘follow’ Twitter users. A Twitter List allows you to categorise other people on Twitter, assigning them to groups which will have their very own feed. You don’t actually have to follow the people you add to a list you will simply be able to keep an eye on their feed. Once set up, a Twitter user can select a Twitter List to view just the public tweets of those allocated to that list. In other words, these lists act as a filter on Twitter, making sure that you pick up the tweets of those who are of interest to you rather than the other meaningless tweets of other followers.
Next up, what to tweet: The main thing to remember when Tweeting is to keep it concise. A short and sweet tweet makes an impact. Keep each tweet focused and remember to include a relevant link to a blog post or website if necessary.
Add colour to your tweet by including an image, video or GIF. This adds personality and is more likely to lead to higher tweet engagement rates.
Incorporate relevant hashtags into your tweets. They are a powerful tool which allow you to expand your reach and create relevant conversations around a subject. Focus on keywords that are relevant to your business. Use hashtagging of popular events to engage your audience for example, cultural events.
Ask questions and run polls to interact with and engage with your customers and finally, be responsive to any questions, comments, and criticisms that come your way.
Next, how to build a following and who to follow:
Promote your username – Include your Twitter details on your website, include a link to your profile on your email signature and also promote your username on your business cards and instore (if you have one).
1. Upload your email contacts and let your customers know you’re ready to engage by following them on Twitter.
2. Bring your customers online by asking your employees to follow you and retweet your content.
3. Ask people for retweets, this will help to share your business with other networks and your reach will grow exponentially. Be direct and ask followers for support.
4. Use incentives – set up competitions with a relevant prize for the winner, offer exclusive coupon codes if a tweet reaches your desired number of retweets.
5. Tweet throughout peak times. Studies show that top Twitter activity usually takes place between 10:00 and 16:00pm. Tweeting during those hours will mean you greater visibility on your feed
If you’re stuck on who to follow, start out small and then branch out. Think of friends and family who will help to promote your account then move onto employees, friends of friends and friends of employees. Once you have a credible amount of followers branch out to other companies – this helps especially if you want to keep an eye on your how they are interacting with customers. We suggest following suppliers, local noncompeting business and even clients. If a customer tweets your company make sure to reward them by following them. Search for potential customers using hashtags.
Another snazzy app that can help you manage your Twitter business account is TweetDeck, this software allows you to schedule tweets in advance. With Tweetdeck you can plan all your tweets without having to stay logged into your Twitter account. So if you’re worried about tweeting whilst at work, stop, it’s all under control.
So there you have it, it’s time to embrace the twittersphere and start generating leads, conversation and sales for your business. Tweet us your news and ask us to follow you @SMMS_GURU 🙂