Social media offers business owners looking to grow their business a number of benefits and needs to play a part in your marketing strategy. In this blog, we offer some simple ways that business owners can get more from Twitter.
What does social media offer entrepreneurs?
Choosing the right social media networks to focus on is key. Whichever platforms are right for you, the end-game is to create a channel that you can use to drive response of some kind. It could be visits to your website, app downloads or a conversion of some kind (white paper download, quotation or contact enquiry). The first step is to get followers and engage them.
Twitter offers incredible reach and the opportunity to make connections; engage with influencers, customers and prospects; distribute your content; generate targeted traffic to your website; and, in a very focused and targeted way, generate awareness – even from scratch. However, you need to understand how it works – and test and learn about how it works for you – in order to get the most out of it.
As a business owner, you’re unlikely to be able to devote hours and hours to your social media activity but here are 40 ways to use small amounts of time to help develop Twitter as a channel for your business.
40 ways business owners can get more Twitter followers and engagement
- Tweet more often.
- Tweet at the right times. Think about who you’re targeting and when they’re going to be on social media. Once you have some activity under your belt, use analytics tools to find the best times to tweet and experiment.
- Have great content to tweet about. If you want to drive traffic and engagement you need something to drive people towards – blogs, white papers, guides and more.
- Don’t just tweet about yourself. Make the majority of your tweets about your market and community.
- Retweet other people – it gets you noticed and shows what you’re interested in.
- Add comment or further insight into other people’s tweets when retweeting them.
- Reply to tweets and start engaging people in discussions. Ask positive, open questions.
- Use hashtags (ie. #hashtags) in your tweets. Hashtags allow you to be part of the conversations that are happening on Twitter. They also make your tweets infinitely more effective.
- Only use 2 or 3 hashtags per tweet though.
- Do your hashtag research and know the hashtags that are used in your domain.
- Use your hashtags list to influence the topics you tweet about and content you create.
- Add hashtags to other people’s tweets when you retweet them. By doing this you are also helping their tweets reach even more people.
- Find the influencers in your community and look to interact with them – by retweeting or mentioning them (ie. using their Twitter handle in your tweets – @influencer, for example).
- Proactively follow people who are relevant to your business and market – influencers, practitioners, prospects.
- Follow the news sources that are relevant to you, your business and the people you’d like to engage. This will help you understand the topics that are most-often reported and that gain the most response.
- Follow back relevant, non-spammy Twitter users who follow you.
- Grow your follower base with real, active Twitter users. Getting the most from Twitter depends on a range of factors but having more followers is always a good idea.
- Follow people who use the hashtags on your hashtags list.
- Follow people who follow your influencers and other high-priority followers.
- Follow people who are active and engaged.
- Don’t follow spammy accounts – it will fill your feed with low quality tweets and make your profile look spammy too.
- Find people you already know – customers, partners, suppliers, advisers and other contacts – and connect with them.
- Thank people for following you. Occasionally, gather a group of new followers into a tweet (referencing their Twitter @handles) and welcome them. Not only does this get you noticed by the followers, they may get to know each other – good host behaviour.
- Use lists to help you organise your Twitter use. Create lists of key influencers, key people and organisations.
- Use a scheduling tool to keep your frequency up and to make better use of your time.
- Don’t be afraid to post the same tweet multiple times – remember that Twitter is a stream, not an inbox.
- You can post about the same blog (or white paper or guide) multiple times, focusing on different ‘hooks’ within the content.
- Include statistics and quotes in your blogs so you use them as hooks for your tweets.
- Create branded images with key statements, quotes or statistics added to them. Using visual content in your social media boosts effectiveness.
- Talk to people. Pushing information out is a solid foundation for using Twitter, especially when you’re starting out, but actually engaging with other users takes things up a level.
- Be positive. It’s easy on social media to criticise or disagree with people. Online, even more so than in real life, how you disagree with people is important.
- But have an opinion and share your experience(s) and expertise.
- Respond to mentions and direct messages quickly. Either set up alerts on your phone or use a monitoring tool (like Hootsuite or Hubspot) that monitors your social media account and emails you.
- Integrate Twitter (and your other social media channels) with your website – add ‘social sharing’ buttons to blog posts and include prominent links to your social media profiles on your site. AddThis is a good tool for WordPress users.
- Include your Twitter details on your LinkedIn contact details, your email signature, business cards.
- Participate in Twitter chats. Twitter chats are pre-arranged times when people with a common interest gather to discuss a topic on Twitter using a hashtag to form the group.
- Go to events and tweet about the the presentations. Find out the event’s hashtag and use it.
- Follow other people attending the event and using the event’s hashtag.
- Use an automated response to direct message (DM) new followers to greet them and link them to your content.
- Be a good headline-writer. Tweets that are succinct, action-oriented and interesting are more likely to get noticed and clicked.