Social media is a powerful marketing tool, and you don’t need a budget the size of a small country to launch a social media marketing campaign. Indeed, the primary purpose of social media is to distribute user-generated content. So, a small business can leverage this powerful medium for no or little cost.
Twitter may not be able to boast the largest number of active users, but one-quarter of Twitter users visit the platform multiple times a day, and 60% of Twitter users are aged between 25 and 49 years old. So, if you want to catch people’s eye in that age group, Twitter is the place to be.
Of all the social media platforms, Twitter is, arguably, the easiest to use, and, for a busy small business owner, time is money, so the simplicity of Twitter should be appealing. But you only have 280 characters per tweet, and the lifespan of one tweet is said to be only 18 minutes. So, how do you grab people’s attention on Twitter when your options are so limited?
Well, if you want to use Twitter to market your small business, you must make every tweet count. So, here are ten tips to help you get the most out of every tweet.
1. Create a Recognizable Profile
A Twitter profile needs to be easy to find and instantly recognizable as belonging to your brand. So, use a Twitter handle that relates to your business name, is relatively short, and is easy to remember. If possible, use the same username across all the various social media platforms.
It is generally best for businesses to use their logo as their Twitter profile picture. You should brand the header image at the top of your Twitter page, too. You might want to get more creative with the header image. You could, for example, promote a special offer in that space. Even so, your logo and business name should appear in that space, too.
Complete all the available fields in the User bio section, including location, full business name, and the 160-character bio. Try to get relevant keywords into the bio description but avoid keyword or hashtag stuffing in that space.
2. Set Goals and a Posting Schedule
Twitter might appear to be a throwaway medium. But a Twitter marketing campaign works best when it is planned and properly thought out. So, first, define what you want to achieve with Twitter, and then design and schedule your tweets for the next few months.
Of course, your use of Twitter will develop over time. You may change your mind about content, and you may change your approach when you see which tweets generate the most engagement. But it would be best to set out with a clear objective in mind, whether that goal is generating leads, brand awareness, creating sales, or a mixture of those objectives.
3. Listen as Well as Talk
Use Twitter as a tool for market research as well as a platform to broadcast messages to your target audience. For example, check what your competitors are doing on Twitter before you launch your campaign, and listen to what your target audience is talking about and discover what issues concern them.
Understanding what is being said will help you pitch your messages with the right tone, and it will help you focus on what is most likely to attract attention. It will also be helpful to know what people are saying about your brand.
4. Take Your Time Composing Tweets
As mentioned in the introduction, it’s easy to fire off a tweet. However, try not to allow the platform’s simplicity to tempt you into posting ill-considered tweets in haste. Instead, take your time composing tweets to ensure that you get the right message across, and think about the brand personality you want to portray when writing tweets.
You will see lots of advice about the importance of tweeting often. However, quality always wins over quantity. So, avoid posting tweets for the sake of tweeting.
A tweet might contain a company announcement, helpful information, or a sales message. Either way, every tweet should offer something of value to readers, even if the value is nothing more than putting a smile on someone’s face.
5. Find the Peak Time for Posting Tweets
There are certain times when your target audience is most active on Twitter, and, as already mentioned, tweets have a limited lifespan. So, it would help if you found the optimum times for posting tweets.
It has been found that the best days of the week to post are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and afternoons and early evenings are generally the best times of the day. However, the best times to reach your target audience may differ from the general peak times. So, do some online research to find the most active times for your audience, and monitor the engagement with your tweets to get the timing right.
6. Use Hashtags Sparingly
Using relevant hashtags can increase engagement by as much as twofold. However, overusing hashtags can reduce engagement. So, it is critical that you only use appropriate hashtags and use them sparingly. Surveys have suggested that the optimum number of hashtags per tweet is two.
You can find appropriate hashtags by searching on Twitter for topics related to your niche. Tools like Hashtagify and RiteTag will also help you find popular hashtags related to your keywords.
7. Add Images and Videos to Tweets
The effect of adding an image to a tweet is quite remarkable. This one simple Twitter marketing trick is likely to increase likes and retweets by as much as 90%. However, images need to be high-quality, relevant, and engaging.
Try to make the images you use as interesting as possible. A product being used by a customer, for example, is way more interesting than a picture of a product against a plain white background. A photo of an employee working on something interesting will be more engaging than a posed headshot.
Videos increase engagement even more than images. So, consider creating some branded informative video content to go with your tweets. Video content can also be reused on other platforms and your website, so you get an excellent return on investment from marketing videos.
8. Ask for Feedback
Like all social media platforms, Twitter comes to life when you have a conversation. So, post tweets that are likely to generate comments, likes, and retweets, and encourage people to get involved in the conversation by asking them to comment on your tweets.
You can also increase engagement by posting things like polls, surveys, and quizzes, and competitions with prizes also generally go down well. Remember, the purpose of social media marketing is not to sell, sell, sell. Social media is all about engaging with your audience, providing value, and creating a buzz. The sales will come as a by-product of the interaction with your target audience.
9. Don’t Forget the CTAs
While you are busy entertaining and engaging, though, don’t forget the objectives you set. The primary purpose of Twitter marketing will be to generate leads, sales, or traffic to your website. So, you will need to include calls to action (CTAs) in some or all your tweets.
The CTAs you use on Twitter will need to follow the same rules as CTAs on a website. Calls to action are best worded using commanding phrases like “visit our site,” “subscribe now,” or “shop now.” Although space is limited on a tweet, it would be best also to try to make CTAs stand out. You could capitalize CTAs, for example, and place them where they can be easily seen.
10. Evaluate and Adjust
Finally, you will need to monitor and evaluate the results of each tweet to gauge what type of content works best. In this respect, Twitter marketing is no different from any other marketing strategy.
Track the engagement levels by monitoring comments, retweets, and likes. Observe the end results, too, such as click-throughs to your website, orders placed, or new subscribers to your newsletter. Then, adjust your strategy as appropriate to achieve the best results. But don’t repeat what you have done before. Instead, use the concepts of what was successful in creating new engaging content.
So, even though tweets must be brief, there is a great deal of scope for marketing a small business on the platform. But you need to set out with well-defined objectives. And you need to monitor the results and adjust your strategy as appropriate. Most crucially, remember that Twitter is a place for discussions, not a hard sell. So, tweet content that offers value. And that value could be entertainment value, helpful information, or monetary value.