10 Twitter Tips for Small Business Success

It’s easy for small business owners to become frustrated with lack of growth or engagement on Twitter. Without the right approach this is almost certainly what will happen.

No matter how many relevant hashtags or meaningful articles you share, if you don’t adopt an appropriate Twitter marketing strategy it is simply a scattergun approach.

A Twitter marketing strategy is not as complicated as it may sound.

In fact, yours could really be quite simple. Just consider your strengths and unique value to customers.

As a small business owner you’re well-positioned to become a local influencer. Trust is built far more quickly through positive and personalised customer experiences. This is something a big brand in your industry might not necessarily be able to offer.

So how do you become a local influencer? Where do you start?

By sharing the right mix of content. You can build this trust effectively, become a pillar within your local Twitter community, reach a larger audience, generate more leads and become the go-to source when customers are ready to buy by doing this.

You’ll need to be committed, have patience (which we appreciate is probably wearing thin at this stage) and use some initiative from time to time. Here are 10 Twitter tips for small businesses to get you started…

10 Twitter Tips for Small Business Success

1) Make sure you know the basics

Do you have a relevant Twitter name? Do you know how to structure your Tweets? Do you know how to research and use hashtags effectively?

You need to ask yourself these questions before you start to roll out your new Twitter marketing strategy.

Your Twitter name, for instance, holds power and influence on search engine optimisation (SEO), which translates to how close to the top of search results you appear in search engines like Google. So if you’re a business, it might make sense to use a valuable keyword as or within your Twitter name.

Hashtags are often used in overabundance or at the start of a Tweet. This can be a big turn-off for your followers. Keep them relevant and down to a minimum. You can research appropriate hashtags for you with tools like Hashtagify (see below).

2) Set clear, achievable goals

Your objectives should be clear from the outset and realistic too. Don’t set targets you won’t be able to meet. Small, achievable goals are key.

3) Mix up your content

The biggest mistake most small businesses make is failing to post non-profitable content. Only 40% of what you tweet should be sales-funnelled content. The rest should be: partner content, relevant news, images and trivia. A mixture of content is more likely to grab your followers’ attention and generate more engagement. The more your followers engage, the more impressions your tweets will receive in the future.

4) Be engaging

Growing your profile requires meaningful engagement. This requires some cognitive thought, as opposed to mindless re-tweets and likes of tweets that appear vaguely relevant to your brand based on a hashtag.

If a tweet grabs your interest that means it’s a well-crafted tweet. Firstly, you can learn from that. Secondly, you should click, read more, think of something constructive to say and then engage with the Tweeter. A thoughtful response to a piece of content is priceless. You should also take the time to thank people who re-tweet your content.

5) Target local influencers

Who are currently the leading influencers? What are the Twitter communities in which you’d like influential? These are the people you need to engage with on a regular basis. Get to know them and be generous with your re-tweeting, commenting and ‘liking’. Pretty soon they will start returning the favour, helping to raise your profile.

How do you identify these influencers? Easy. Simply use a tool such as Hashtagify, which not only allows you to track the use of relevant hashtags but also who is using them. This post on Social Media Examiner explains exactly how to use it.

Alternatively you could just use Twitter’s own Advanced Search tool, which allows you to filter by exact phrases, broad-match phrases, hashtags, language, location, date, users and sequence.

6) Create lists

By using tools like Hashtagify, you can begin to create Twitter Lists, where you can closely monitor Tweeters that have expressed a direct or indirect interest in your product. These are your prospects and can generate potential leads.

To add users to a private list, go to their Twitter profile, click on the cog icon on the right side of the page and select Add or Remove From Lists. You can add users to an existing list or create a new one. By default, Twitter lists are public, meaning anyone on Twitter can access them. Since this is a client list, you might want to select the Private option button so nobody will be able to see the list but you. To access your lists, click on the gear icon on your profile and select Lists from the drop-down menu.

Now you can target prospects by engaging with them. Answer their questions; comment on a status update; make suggestions etc. Just don’t scare them away with sales talk.

7) Use a scheduling tool

More SMEs are beginning to recognise the value in third-party tools that enable you to schedule tweets at times when your audience is most active. Tweetdeck, Buffer and Hootsuite are the most popular choices, and best of all they are free. However, if you’d like to take advantage of their advanced analytics features you’ll have to upgrade to premium.

Twitonomy is another great free tool you can use to monitor the output of your followers and who you follow. It’s important to keep within an active, engaged Twitter community. Users who tweet once a month aren’t worth following, while followers who tweet often are worth your time.

8) Consider Mobile Users

Mobile traffic has now overtaken desktop traffic as the number one medium for web browsing. Thus, this is something you can’t afford to ignore.

First of all, you’ll need a responsive website that mobile users will enjoy. If that isn’t in place then you’re losing a great deal of business. Secondly, Twitter can – and should – be adapted to mobile users. Mobile users are far less patient and are therefore more likely to respond to shorter, punchier messaging. Make your landing page mobile-optimised and add location data to your tweet (this will also let users click on the location marker see where your business is located).

9) Consider Twitter Advertising

Depending on the size of your budget, you may want to trial a Twitter advertising campaign. It’s worth doing if you’re finding that organic marketing just isn’t generating enough conversions.

Twitter Ads target people who have an established interest in your niche. This is achieved through highly focussed demographics-based information like location, age and gender. This page tells you all you need to know about Twitter advertising.

10) Be kind and spontaneous

An act of unexpected kindness goes an awfully long way. Taking the time to click, read and tweet a follower’s blog post with a thoughtful and insightful comment (and @tag to let them know) will really make that follower feel valued. They won’t forget in a hurry and will likely extend the same favour to you.

You could even take the conversation offline in a totally original way. This week, for example, here at VKN Digital we have sent a special parcel to a follower of one of the Twitter accounts we manage. It’s a long story, but essentially we went from discussing sleep deprivation to the healing powers of marshmallows and Oreo Dairy Milk chocolate bars. Thus, that is what we have provided…

We don’t just send chocolate and marshmallows to everyone who asks us. In this case we saw the opportunity to wow somebody with our customer service. If all goes well, this lucky boy will become a brand advocate by sharing his story online.

Hopefully he should receive the parcel before Christmas! Over to you Mr Postman!

Suggested Further Reading:

Are you a small business owner? Were these Twitter tips for small business success helpful to you? If so, please tweet this article! 🙂

Vivienne K Neale Digital is a digital marketing agency in Hertfordshire, UK. We aim to help SMEs overcome marketing hurdles and create compelling digital content that drives results. If you need a leg-up with your content marketing or social media, get in touch via our contact page for a free Skype consultation.

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