Twitter marketing tips for small businesses

As a small business owner or freelancer, managing marketing alongside your core activities can be tricky.

A great option for many smaller businesses is social media. It’s free to get started and gives you access to a huge global market.

However, putting yourself out there on social media can be daunting, especially when you’re the face of your brand.

We’ve created a new infographic series to help you manage some of the most popular social channels for small businesses, without it having to take hours out of your day!

Here’s how you can get started with Twitter marketing!

3 things you should know about Twitter before you begin

Understanding that every social channel is different is key to making sure that you achieve the right tone and style in your communications.

Twitter can be a great way to build your network, let people know more about what you do and generate a buzz about your brand. But before you get started you should be aware of these three things:

  1. Twitter requires a lot of attention. To really build and engage with your following, it’s recommended to be tweeting several times a day. Of course, scheduling can help with this, but the other great thing about Twitter is that the personal and informal style make it easy to find things to post about, and with a 280 character limit you shouldn’t have to spend long pulling a tweet together.
  2. Pushing content out on Twitter is only half the battle. To be successful you have to constantly engage with other people and invest some time in serious community management. This is where a lot of businesses fail, as they’re pushing out some great content but it’s not getting noticed by the right people.
  3. Be prepare to let people see the real you. While your personality and brand should come across no matter what social platform you’re using, it’s particularly important on Twitter. People want to be able to relate to you and your content, so don’t expect to be able to hide behind a logo here!

With these in mind, you can get started driving the engagement you need from Twitter.


Building a relevant community

In the early stages of your Twitter push, you need to focus as much on building a relevant community as you do on creating content.

Of course, if you’re regularly pushing out great content a following should begin to grow organically, but the key thing is getting in front of the people who matter.

Start by following your existing clients. Depending on what you do, it may be possible to upsell or generate repeat custom from them in the future, and this will be easier if they are used to seeing and engaging with you brand.

Even if it’s unlikely that they’ll be repeat customer, existing clients are more likely to engage with and advocate your brand as they’ve already bought into it. It’s also more likely that, as they define your target market, their own followers on Twitter will fall into your target market as well.

As well as following existing customers, search for relevant conversations you can get involved with and influential people in your space that you want to connect with.

Keep your conversations genuine when you do this. Liking everything that an influencer posts because you want them to cover your product can come across as spammy. You’ll do better to contribute genuinely useful insights and advice on their posts that are relevant to you.


Posting relevant content

Alongside building your following, you want to make sure you’re posting the right content to engage new prospects.

In the beginning, the ratio of sales content you post should be no more than 20%, although you can possibly raise this slightly as you become more established.

Try and keep your posts relatable and useful to your target audience. Make them fun and interactive, use imagery, ask questions and talk about your own “story”.

Some examples of the content you might want to post are:

  • Tips/guides
  • Anecdotes
  • Industry news (best if you can include an opinion)
  • Images and Gifs (humour works well on Twitter)
  • Blogs
  • Infographics
  • Inspiration
  • Thought provoking questions

In general, a good guide to posting on Twitter is talking about the things that interest you. If you’re passionate about something, it should be easy to talk about.

Some people can find it awkward when they start posting to Twitter.

A good trick is to think of Twitter in the same way you might think about messaging a good friend in your industry. If you were sending them an article you’d read and loved, would you just send them the link, or would you add a line about what you took from it? Just remember to keep it professional, and this can be a great way to get your personality across on Twitter.


Make the most of the tools Twitter offers

There are several features in Twitter that you should be using to make the most of the platform. Hashtags is an obvious one that you should be using whenever it’s relevant.

Twitter also offers a feature called Twitter Cards, which are a great way to increase your link clicks by presenting them in a more graphic format.

There are a number of cards you can use, from photo gallery cards, app cards that include a direct download link, and product cards to showcase items your selling.


Pay attention to Trends

When you look at your homepage, there’s a handy little column on the right hand side titled ‘Trends for you’. This is where Twitter will show you various topics and hashtags that it thinks may interest you and are generating a lot of engagement at that point.

These are great inspiration for ideas to tweet about, as your content is likely to get viewed by more people.

Just be sure that what you’re tweeting about is relevant to your business. Posting three tweets a day about the football game you saw last night might attract followers, but will they really be relevant to your business?

Also, make sure you’re aware of why a certain phrase or name is trending before you weigh in. These trends often relate to breaking news, so jumping in without doing your research could range from embarrassing to catastrophic for your brand.


Use Twitter Analytics

In the Twitter menu, navigate to ‘More’ > ‘Analytics’. There are loads of really useful insights in here about what’s working on your channel.

In the home tab, you can see some general statistics that paint a picture of how well your channel is performing month by month. You can also track your followers and mentions over time to see if your efforts are paying off.

In the Tweets tab you’ll be able to see what types of content are performing well, and what sort of engagement they are generating. You can see if there’s a day of the week where you tend to get more or less traction on your tweets.

The audience tab can give you a snapshot of the type of followers you are attracting. Some of the Interests are very generic and apply to almost all audiences (who on Twitter doesn’t have an interest in dogs?!) but others can give you an idea about the types of things your audience are looking at on Twitter. However, features like location and gender could be key to your target demographic, so if these aren’t what you’d expect to see that could indicate a problem.

Further insights that can be found in Analytics include trending events that you may want to get involved with, insight into videos posted or apps you’re promoting, and conversion tracking which can be set up with the Twitter pixel if you want to track online conversions.

Have you found this information useful? Why not share our infographic to help other small business achieve their marketing goals!

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