Getting Your Business Started on Twitter 2018

Twitter is a social media platform that has recorded some pretty monumental world events. Whenever big news breaks then Twitter is the first port of call for many. For years it was known as the quick, concise way to show the world what you thought without boring them to tears. 140 characters was its selling point and it took skill to engage, inform and excite in just a few words. You have quite a challenge regarding time and patience on Twitter 2018.

It’s time for Twitter to regain the prefect badge

When it first arrived it was seen as a great way to have a conversation, and communicate. It was smokin’ hot and great fun. But hey, adolescents grow up and over time it all got, well, a bit spammy If we’re honest. Anyway, everyone started to see it as Facebook’s poor relation. But every dog has its day and now with Facebook standing in the naughty corner (we knew what was happening a long time ago it’s just now they got caught out) it’s time for Twitter to regain the prefect’s badge. It’s new algorithm goes some way towards this.

This doesn’t come as any surprise to the 330 million active users. They love it. Once you catch the Twitter bug it becomes part of your life. Personally I can’t be bothered with Facebook. If I want to know what’s now I turn to Twitter every time.

The problem is I have got the measure of Twitter

I’ve undertaken loads of campaigns and know what works but where are the Twitter experts? It’s funny but Twitter is a tough nut to crack and businesses will insist on piling up the urls instead of just being there, being sociable and adding value. It seems that without an url a tweet isn’t doing its job. I suggest otherwise. The problem is the big corps find it very hard to come down from their pedestal and talk to the people. Being a big company and being personable is a bit of an anathema it appears.

Twitter just stays put and slowly builds its advocates

Facebook makes the news and Snapchat has been the poster boy but Twitter simply gets on with it. They have developed some great advertising options, they have a lovely dashboard and actually you can track everything easily. So, if you haven’t been convinced perhaps now is the time.

Of course much has changed in Twitter 2018

You have another 100 characters to fool around with. That’s changed the personality of Twitter. In fact, every time Jack Dorsey CEO sanctions a change the hashtag ‘twitter is dead’ emerges. However, the moment something big happens and especially with famous presidents espousing just how to use Twitter then its future is assured.

This guide to Twitter 2018 will help you become more successful

However, if you have been thinking you need to make a start on Twitter but don’t know how, this guide will see you through those initial stages. It’s hard to start on Twitter. It doesn’t seem very intuitive. Businesses also don’t know what they can say about their products, brand or service on such a fast moving news platform. Read this guide and you’ll never be stuck for words again.

Twitter is essentially a news platform

It’s all about what is happening now. I mean, right now. Therefore it makes sense that no one would post anything that wasn’t about what you should know, feel, think, and understand at this moment. As a writer, if I am ever stuck for ideas about what is trending right now and what people are talking about I use Twitter. That is a great starting point. Check thought leaders in your niche and see what is exorcising them today. Look at what’s trending. Explore hashtags and you’ll soon see what’s new in each category.

Pay your dues on Twitter

That takes me to my first point – pay your dues on Twitter before you start giving it the “big I am”. Set up your account and start following people who have something to say in your industry. Like what they say, then re tweet what they say. If you find something brand new they may not have heard and it’s super relevant tag them. Be helpful, be friendly, be sociable. It’s social first, media second and marketing third. Don’t forget that.

The level playing field has been skewed

If you’ve been struggling with Facebook and bemoaning the fact it’s almost impossible to get any organic reach then Twitter may well be the platform you’ve been looking for in your business. After all, with Facebook running put of space for ads you can imagine what that’s going to do to ad prices. We are back to the eye watering costs of advertising in national newspapers back in the day.

The thing about Twitter is that it’s fab for local businesses and engaging with loyal local audiences. In my world I have hooked up with some pretty important people and got to speak with just about everyone I’ve wanted to reach out to in the past.

Loyal tweeters get to know the people in their local area and that locality can be county wide. They are dead loyal and bearing in mind that right now they are not necessarily getting everything they need from brands you are looking at an opportunity. Isn’t it time you retuned the dial and started to listen to just what is being said in your local area?

Let’s get down to some tips and tricks to help you nail Twitter in 2018

What about the Timeline?

You now have a timeline in three principle sections

  1. Ranked tweets
  2. “In case you missed it”
  3. Remaining tweets in revers-chronological order

When you get Twitter open the algorithm kicks in and casts its “eye” over accounts you are following. These tweets are given a relevance score. There are a few factors that affect this relevance score:

It examines the tweet and decides how recent it is, whether it has an image, gif, video and of course the reaction, time spend reading it and engagement it garners.

As an author you will gain an element of kudo. Also the past interactions with the author, the origin of your relationship and also your connection. So you see, you need to be social –sorry!

What’s the point? Well it’s like loss leaders in a supermarket. You can see straight away what’s important before you go into the more serious stuff.

When the algorithm has sorted its relevancy etc. you’ll find them in two sections: ranked tweets and ‘In case you missed it.’ Now you know.

  • The tweet’s author: your past interactions with this author, the strength of your connection to them, and the origin of your relationship
  • You:tweets you found engaging in the past, how often and how heavily you use Twitter

Then, Twitter will put the tweets that it thinks would be engaging to you in the first two sections — ranked tweets and “In case you missed it”.

Remember that People power Twitter

What the latest Facebook shock demonstrated is that users are at the mercy of Facebook. Of course they are. How on earth was Zuckerberg every going to pay for the server space alone?

On Twitter it feels quite different. It really feels like Twitter needs its people. Hence why there’s always so much comment when anything changes. Remember it’s the people who invented the hashtag to tie up tweets on the same topic. They put together chats and hit that RT button to help with virality. Tweeters are wordsmiths, have a wicked sense of humour, and are irreverent and fun. They learned to be when crafting 140 characters back along. Now they have come into their own with video programming.

Using Video Programming on Twitter

OK, who wants to watch vids on Twitter? It’s yawnsome. But think about it we watch TV about people watching TV. How lame is that? Well, it’s not. We love to hear what our favourite characters think about a programme we might have watched. We love their commentary. So what we are getting is two for the price of one. We get the programme and we get the commentary too. That adds to the fun and it all happens in real time. That is always why Twitter nails the big event.

It’s time for you to create something new for business on Twitter

Twitter users are full of ideas and you should be too. Think about what your business has to offer, what people are looking for and what they need. Then find the way to fulfil those needs. Be entertaining, informative, fun, knowledgeable, first off the blocks, always exciting, creative, different and there. First steps are to make good use of advanced searches and don’t forget it’s all about what you are doing right now. Break the news, be irreverent and also have lots of fun. People always remember how you made them feel. Just be human, something people forgot on social media ironically.

Advanced Twitter Search

This is cool. Did you know you could set up a stream showing every chat that has been had within a five-mile radius of your postcode? Well, not everything obviously but maybe any conversation around cake decorating, things to do with kids over the holidays, vacuum cleaner repairs,  florists or even pizza.

You might be amazed at how many times certain terms are being used. Reach out to those who are using the keywords and start a conversation, maybe solve their issue. If someone has a question like ‘where’s the best place in Cornwall for a vegetarian meal and that’s your niche why not contact them and even offer a free dessert if they eat with you. You come to their rescue and look like you really are wearing your pants over your tights! You can search for words, people, places, dates that all relate to your specific business. It is priceless information and all collated by Twitter’s algorithm.

Treat your customers and potential customers like they are humans

Well, that’s pretty revolutionary bearing in mind so many bots hijacked Twitter in the early days. I remember seeing profiles that had tweeted once and had tens of thousands of followers. Gosh, that’s a pretty magnetic personality or a shed load of followers bought for a few dollars. But Twitter is brilliant for customer service. I’ve complained on countless occasions about late trains, poor service, shoddy meals and general disappointments. Some organisations absolutely have this sussed. People expect immediate responses to complaints and they take to Twitter to do this. We give companies about twenty minutes before we fire off another tweet. The best companies know this and they come rushing with fire hose to douse the flames of outrage. It’s wonderful to experience such service. Not enough people understand the power of contemporary word of mouth that is amplified exponentially.

I remember having to complain to a florist about some dodgy flowers they’d sent and they were full of apologies and sent a replacement immediately. Some months later they were running a Valentine’s campaign on Twitter. The roses looked wonderful and I told them so, re tweeted the tweet and added’ I love these roses, pity there’s no one to send me some’. They direct messaged me, asked for my postal address and sent me a red rose in a vase. I still have their marketing card, which I keep safe and have never forgotten the name: Appleyard Flowers in case you wondered.

The Twitter Algorithm

It is obvious that any Twitter algorithm was never going to upend the user experience. When you are a news site people need to see what’s new; it makes sense. We are all there to discover what’s new and we mean anything. So it makes sense to make your business tweets timely and note worthy. I don’t mean ‘latest sale’ either.

How does the new algorithm affect what you do to promote your business on Twitter?

The thing to remember is you won’t see a long list of latest tweets in chronological order. Twitter ‘curates’ what you see and it does that because it knows what floats your boat. The tweets are ranked but they are still “newsy”. There is also a ‘lucky dip’ element too as Twitter often wedges in a tweet from someone you don’t know and don’t follow. Who knows what gems might turn up. So be aware your tweets might end up surprising someone unexpected too – be warned.

There’s another concept called ‘In case you missed it’

This helps to offer up a flavour of what’s been going on whilst you were elsewhere. Once again it’s ranked according to your passions and what’s relevant. It’s a way to capture attention as none of us keep scrolling until the crack of doom.

How do you make your tweets noticed by Twitter’s algorithm?

It’s a news site so time is important. Therefore to stand any chance of being featured by the algorithm tweet a lot, tweet regularly and do it when you know your followers are around. This is where you can use tools to suss out what your audience is up to and when. Try Tweriod or ManageFlitter

What you need to clear from your head is that twitter is about scheduling. Make some effort, be engaging, be creative, be exciting, be proactive and watch the difference.

Using user interests

There’s no point trawling through tweets that hold no interest. Twitter knows exactly what you like so guess what? You need to ensure your audience is relevant and sharing your interests. Without this no one will engage and without engagement you can hardly been seen as relevant. Twitter Analytics will definitely help and even suggest subject matter that will appeal. If you know what people like, you can serve it up: simple.

Do people believe you? Be credible

If your account does what it says on the tin, if you are consistent and if you tweet quality what’s not to like? First off make sure people can check you out. Fill in everything Twitter suggest like profile photos, location, images, bio etc. As @AndrewAndPete suggest:

Because Twitter attracts users’ attention to lists in the interface (lists appear with your metrics for Tweets, Tweets & Replies, and Likes), Andrew believes that using follower lists boosts your profile’s credibility, too.

Credibility can be compromised by some basic errors. We all hate automated Direct Messages – don’t do it. In all my Twitter days I have NEVER acted on an automated DM – sorry. You invade my personal space and are anything but personal. DO NOT DO THIS. It’s the equivalent of spam and will hurt your reputation.

Be there, be relevant and be engaging

As I said at the beginning of this minibook social comes first, then media then marketing. So why be on a social platform and fail to engage? Madness. The longer you stay anywhere the more likely you’ll buy or sell. If you spend longer on Twitter the more likely you’ll get to see their ads and this makes them money. Why can’t your ads appear in other people’s timelines? Think about it.

So , you need to be engaging and it pays to be engaging. If people engage with your tweets your users will see these tweets. If it strikes a chord you’ll get the comments and Retweets, likes and replies. If you are engaging you will get more reach. It’s just like a party…think about it! If you get a comment your tweet hangs around longer – so it all depends what happens when it’s first posted. The first few hours are crucial. If you are struggling to create engaging tweets there are plenty of professionals that can help you; don’t struggle.

What about people you used to know?

I’m sure you have loads of Tweeps you used to talk to but have almost forgotten about. Go back, find them, engage, start a conversation, send them a video. It’s all about relationships, communication, conversation. Be original, make use of emoticons creatively, videos, gifs. Mix it up. Get some help, find a creative to work with and transform your Twitter marketing today.

Further Reading

How to maximise Twitter for business in 2018

Your brand vs social algortihms

Differences between Instagram, Facebook and Twitter’s Algorithms

Using Twitter for Business

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