Did you know that there are 328 million active monthly users on Twitter? So why wouldn’t you want to showcase your business to this huge audience?
A commonly heard phrase is “I don’t really ‘get’ Twitter” so it’s common for small business owners to bypass this particular platform and concentrate on other channels, particularly when time is precious.
Negotiating your way through the Twitterverse with little guidance can be daunting, but when you consider the statistics, that kind of audience really shouldn’t be ignored, so here are some useful tips to ease your trepidation.
Find those followers
The best thing about Twitter is the ease in which you can make connections. Unlike Facebook where closed profiles make it challenging to get your information in front of the relevant people, Twitter is a much more open platform, giving you a real opportunity to find the people that are interested in your product or service and turn them into customers.
However, it’s not quite as simple as sending out a blanket of tweets and spamming them with your sales pitch.
Try searching for words and phrases that are relevant to your business. If you are florist, a hairdresser or a baker, you might want to target users who are excitedly tweeting about getting engaged.
If you run a taxi service you may decide to follow users who engage with the local hotspots.
Twitter allows you to interact with any user that has a public account – so feel free to respond to their tweets with useful, personalised answers, encouraging them to interact and follow you back.
Hashtags are also a great way of getting involved in conversations – we’ll talk about them in more detail now.
To #hashtag or not?
If something big is happening in the world (or even if your local area), chances are people will be talking about it on Twitter – and it may even have its own hashtag.
If you aren’t yet confident enough to start using your own #hashtag, you can view which topics are currently trending on Twitter. If you see a tag that’s relevant to your business, no matter how tenuous, then jump on it. Add the hashtag to your tweet and see how your engagement levels grow.
Once you get into the swing of things, you could even start up your own conversation by introducing your very own hashtag. Want people to review your new product or discuss your blog? Promote the conversation via your website and social channels with a hashtag e.g. #wilyfoxblog and this will allow you to keep track of what your customers are saying on Twitter.
Open all #hours
Hashtags are also used to facilitate Twitter business hours. These are conversations that happen on Twitter at specific times throughout the day/week, based around specific subjects usually relevant to small businesses and start-ups. Examples of this include #bizhour or #smallbizhour.
If you’re looking at attracting local custom, then it’s certainly worth looking to see if your town or local area has their own business hour such as #Chesterhour #Wirralhour or #NorthWesthour. It’s just like an online version of a networking meeting without the awkward small talk – although many of them arrange face-to-face meetings too.
Develop your personality
What do the most successful Twitter accounts have in common?
They all have a unique personality which their followers are keen to engage with. As with any social media channel, your tweets should be a combination of content that useful to your customers as well as demonstrating your personality – whether you as the person or that of your overall brand.
A constant stream of dull, self-promoting posts is not going to win you any followers – use a mix of media such as images and videos to showcase your brand and increase engagement.
Whilst Twitter can be a useful tool, it can take a lot of time to manage, which let’s be realistic if you’re a small business owner you probably don’t have a lot of time.
There are a range of Twitter management tools available such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck which can help you keep on top of your tweeting activity, as well as giving you some basic insights into your follower growth.
Need more help with building up your Twitter following? Then why not consider a Twitter management package available for small businesses?