Twitter is well established as a social media platform for entertainment, sport, news and everyday online content sharing. It’s also an important place for your business to have a presence – helping you to connect and communicate with your customer audience.
Twitter’s unique selling point is the brevity of it’s posts, or ‘tweets’. Each tweet can only contain 280 characters, so this acts as a self-imposed limitation on the length of your posts. Twitter forces you to be short, concise and to get to the point – and that can be a really useful driver when it comes to communicating with your followers.
But what use is Twitter from a marketing perspective? Let’s look at some of the dos and don’ts when it comes to marketing your business through this platform.
Key details for Twitter
One of the most important things to understand when using Twitter for business is that it’s not intended as a direct sales channel. Unlike channels such as Facebook Business or Instagram, Twitter isn’t primarily designed as a platform to sell from. So, spending time building a Twitter following isn’t so much about generating sales, but more about building relationships.
As a social media channel, it’s best to think of Twitter as a ‘microblogging site’. Somewhere to post company news, react to customer questions or to share images, videos and memes that will engage with your chosen audience. While there are ways to advertise your goods and services, this isn’t at the heart of the Twitter offering.
These are the important ways to get more from Twitter as a business user:
- Create a company account – your starting point is to create a Twitter account for your business. Upload your logo and share a short description of what your business is about. Add a link to your website or main online platform too. You’ll also need to start following people (so their tweets appear in your timeline) and it’s a good idea to follow influential people in your sector or industry, and to follow your competitors too. This company account will be the place to post your tweets re company news, industry updates or comment on what’s going on in your niche, but keep it light and remember that your aim is to post fun and interesting content that will help you build up a following.
- Get your team to sign up as individuals – having a central Twitter account is a good start, but it’s important for the key people in your team to also join as individuals. This has two key benefits:
- 1) it helps to make your people more visible, to amplify their voice and to make them more human and approachable,
- 2) it allows your team to retweet (share) and comment on your posts, greatly increasing the reach of your tweets.
- Tweet regularly and be visible – as with all social media marketing, if you’re going to be present on Twitter then you need to tweet regularly. Frequent posts help to keep you present on your followers’ timelines, increasing the interactions, retweets and replies you’re likely to receive. Tweets don’t have to just be text-based, of course. You can share pics of your team or products, or videos from your latest community event. You can even link back to your other digital marketing assets, such as blog posts, free guides or news updates on your website.
- Interact with your followers – communication and interaction are the real bedrock of making Twitter work for you. There’s no point just ‘lurking’ on the timeline and not tweeting or replying. Follow people back, comment on industry news and post the company’s thoughts on the latest business topics or memes. The more you tweet, chat and interact, the more you’ll get out of the whole experience.
- Be smart with your use of hashtags – hashtags use the # symbol to create a tag or reference, so other Twitter users can find certain topics, themes or content. So, if you’re a building company, you might use the #construction hashtag in your tweets, so others in the industry can find your content. Using multiple hashtags in a tweet is a great way to target your content more closely and (fingers crossed) increase your reach and engagement as a business account.
- Explore Twitter’s Fleets and Spaces – recently, Twitter has expanded it’s basic microblogging offering to include new ways of interacting through the platform. Fleets are very similar to Instagram Stories and allow you to post short videos, messages or stories that disappear after 24 hours. Spaces is Twitter’s answer to audio-based social media platforms like Clubhouse. In Spaces, you can hold an audio conversation, either one-to-one or with a larger group of followers. Experiment with Fleets and Spaces and get creative with these channels.
- Create Twitter ads – so, you remember I said that Twitter isn’t a sales platform…well, it can be, to a degree. Twitter ads allow you to create target advertising to promote your products, services or campaigns, with the ads targeted as your chosen demographics. It’s certainly not the primary reason to join Twitter, but it can be a way to bolster your product awareness and generate a few more sales enquiries.
- Make use of Twitter Analytics – as with all social media platforms for business, you’ll get a much better return on your investment if you track, review and take feedback from your analytics. Twitter Analytics shows you the engagement levels, tweet mentions and profile visits over the past month, allowing you to measure your return on investment (ROI) and make informed decisions on your Twitter marketing activity.
Start exploring the benefits of Twitter for your business
At base level, all social media platforms aim to help you connect more closely with your customers and prospects. And Twitter is very much an established channel for building up an external following, raising awareness of your brand and interacting closely with your followers.
It’s not a platform that will instantly revolutionise your sales pipeline, but it does provide an essential communications channel for engaging with your audience and building a more rounded and human perspective on your company, products and team.