Twitter is one of the most popular social media channels to market a business’s products or services. Yet many small business owners are unsure how to use Twitter’s 140-character micro-blog to reach potential customers online.
Learning to use the platform will help you reach Twitter users interested in your products and services.
In this Manta Academy class, you will learn:
- Why Twitter is important for business
- How to set up a Twitter account
- What Twitter name you should use
- How to write a Twitter bio
- How Twitter hashtags work
- How to get Twitter followers
- What to tweet and when to tweet it
Ready to get your small business started on Twitter? Need to improve your use of the social media platform? This is the class for you! Start by watching the video above.
Getting Started with Twitter
Twitter is one of the most popular social media channels around—it’s currently ranked No. 2 based on monthly unique visitors. Yet many small business owners are wary of the 140-character micro-blog phenomenon.
There’s no denying that the never-ending stream of retweets and hashtags can be a bit intimidating. It takes some time to learn to navigate the Twitter waters. But increasing your understanding will help you feel at ease about taking the Twitter plunge and expanding your business’ digital marketing strategy one tweet at a time.
Let’s start with the basics.
What’s in a name? A lot, as it turns out. We hope we’re stating the obvious, but use the name of your business as your username (or “handle”) on Twitter. In the event that it’s already taken, get as close to it as you can, but avoid using underscores and hyphens. It just doesn’t look good.
If your business is called Blinky’s Bakery, but that handle is already taken, add your state’s abbreviation at the end to signify your location. You just don’t want to be too far from the real name of the business.
Example: @blinkysbakeryoh or @blinkysbakeryohio
Don’t be shy. If you haven’t written your Twitter bio, please do. You get 160 characters to showcase your business—use it! This little nutshell of information will help you gain followers, and here’s why: If you follow someone and you don’t have a bio, they don’t know who you are or what you’re all about. You may look like a spam account and are therefore less likely to get a follow back. Take a few minutes to complete your bio to give everyone the lowdown on your business.
Example: Blinky’s #Bakery, specializing in #dogbiscuits, #dogtreats and #dogicecream. Bringing canines joy across the #Buckeye State since 2014. www.blinkysbakery.com
Make sure to use pertinent hashtags within your bio—this helps other Twitter users find your account—and don’t forget to add a link to your website or blog. Bios with links get more attention than those without.
#hashtags: What past generations called the pound sign or number sign is now more commonly called a hashtag, and it wields a lot of power. These are keywords that can be used anywhere in your tweet. They help people find you if they’re searching for that particular topic, and they help categorize your tweets. Hashtags can be one word or a series, just make sure not to use spaces.
Example: #BlinkysPies or #pies
Say cheese! Use a photo of yourself, your logo or your business for your profile. Leaving image fields blank is like stepping over found money, and it’s a turn-off to potential followers. Utilize all of the free advertising Twitter gives you.
It’s a banner day! The same holds true for the giant (1,500 x 1,500 pixels) banner image on top of your profile page. Don’t think of it as static content—mix it up as often as you need or want. Celebrate the seasons, a sale, an event—whatever speaks to who you are and what you tweet about.
Lead and they will follow. Now that you have your profile looking good, it’s time to find people to follow. Look for people you know, customers, vendors, peers in your industry and those with similar interests and goals. Many times, taking the lead and following someone will entice them to return the follow.
What do you say? It’s often a challenge for people new to Twitter to come up with things to tweet about. Don’t let your social media marketing be stifled by a brain cramp—plan ahead. Spend a few hours a month setting up a calendar of topics. Having a plan makes it easier to write content. Once you have your calendar in order, spend 10 to 15 minutes each day looking for opportunities to share and converse, then check in later for responses and messages.
Timing is everything. According to Karen Swim, CEO at Words For Hire, find out when your audience is most active on Twitter. “While you can tweet at various times of the day you want to prioritize key messages for the optimal time of day. Share consistently and at various times to discover what works for you.”
Short and sweet. In order to make the best use of your 140-character limit, tighten up those long URLs. With every post, include a link to your article, website or blog (this is how you can gain traffic to your site), but use a URL shortener like Bitly or Google to maximize your available space.
A picture’s worth 1,000 tweets. OK, it may not be worth quite that many, but using imagery in your tweets will attract more attention.
Spending a little extra time to set your account and content plan should make it easier to dive into the Twitter stream and bring a few more followers your way. #goodluck!
Academy Checklist: Follow these steps to make sure you’re ready to tweet.
- Make your business name your handle.
- Create a complete bio that includes hashtags.
- Add a profile image and banner image.
- Follow a few new people every day.
- Take a moment to set up a strategy calendar.
- Watch and listen to learn when the best tweeting times are for your audience.
- Try out different URL shorteners to see what you like best.
Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.