Having a Twitter account is an important part of any business's promotional strategy. Now that you have setup your twitter account, it's time to spread the word and get your tweets noticed. People follow you on Twitter because they find you interesting and like what you tweet about but it's up to you to get those tweets in front of the right people. We're going to look at ways to not only make your tweets better, but also show you how to build engagement and expand your audience.
1. Avoid Auto Sending Posts
Your Twitter account has the ability to automatically post your tweets to your Facebook profile. On the surface, this seems like a great idea because it's going to save you time by not having to post on two separate site. Well, the problem with this is that Twitter and Facebook require very different approaches. Twitter requires a lot of short quick messages throughout the day, and having those same messages posted to Facebook page comes off kind of spammy and may alienate your audience.
You really want to build both a Twitter AND Facebook audience, whether it's the same group of people or not. You need to provide unique and interesting content using each networks strengths. If they can read all your Tweets on Facebook, why should they follow you on Twitter?
2. Don't Protect your Tweets
There's an option that allows you protect your tweets on Twitter. Unless there's someone you really don't want to read your tweets, it's best not to use this option.
3. Post your Twitter URL Everywhere
Get your Twitter noticed by posting it everywhere. Add it to your business cards, add it to your email newsletters and include it as part of your email signature. Be sure to add a 'Follow Us' button to your website, to target your regular audience as well. There's a few different types of Twitter buttons to choose from.
4. Check your Spelling and Avoid Text Speak
Double-check your tweets for spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors before sending them out. You've only got 140 characters available to you, so it's important that your message is clear and understandable.
Having so few characters to work with may tempt you to try using text speak to cram more into a sentence. This comes off looking unprofessional and there's always a chance that your audience may not understand your message.
5. Leave Enough Space for Re-Tweets
If you want your followers to re-tweet your content, make sure that you leave enough space in your tweet so that RT@YOURUSERNAME can be added to it. Aim to make your tweets about 120 characters, which will leave the re-tweeter about 20 characters to format their re-tweet correctly.
6. Don't Exceed the Tweet Limit
Avoid going over the 140 character limit with your tweets and having it split up into multiple tweets. This makes it tough for your followers to keep track of, especially if they have a busy Twitter feed. If you absolutely must create a longer tweet, you can use services like Twitlonger or PasteBin to keep your longer tweets contains in a single tweet.
7. Shorten Links
Always shorten links when linking out to sites on Twitter. You can use a service like bit.ly, which will save you lots of space to better shape your message. In most cases, Twitter will do this for you automatically. A word of caution, always check that the links you post are working. A single broken link can cause customers to avoid clicking your links from then onwards.
8. Balance out your Tweets, Replies and Re-Tweets
Make sure you even out the number of tweets, replies (@) and re-tweets (RT) when using Twitter. Over-promotion on Twitter will lose you followers and hinder the growth of your audience. It may seem counter-intuitive to be promoting others tweets, but it helps to get reciprocal re-tweets when you are promoting something.
9. Share Photos and Videos
Share some of your favorite photos of your product or of your holiday online. It's a nice change to view photos on Twitter but make sure you post photos that your followers will find interesting.
In January 2013, Twitter launched a new app called Vine which lets you publish a short looping video of up to 6 seconds on Twitter. This is a great way to add some fresh, creative content to your Twitter feed that your followers will surely find interesting. Vine is currently available for iPhone and iPod with versions for other operating systems being developed.
10. Don't Post Too Often
You want to post consistently but not to the point of spamming your followers. Tweeting every minute of the day will surely annoy your followers. Try not to post more than 2 or 3 times an hour. You should work on creating quality tweets as opposed to a large number of uninspired one's.
11. Use Hashtags Properly
You should use #hashtags to group similar tweets or tweets that are on the same topic. The top trending hashtags can be found on Twitter's homepage and can easily be searched for. Tweets which include hashtag are much more likely to be found and read. You should limit the number of hashtags you use on your tweets to a maximum of two. Having too many hashtags per tweet is confusing for followers.
Avoid using very long hashtags in your tweets. Short one's work best and are much easier to read. Try capitalising the first letter of each word in your hashtag to make it significantly easier for your followers to read, e.g. #NewCar instead of #newcar
12. Maintain your Brands Voice
Give your brand it's own personality when replying to tweets and keep it consistent. Your replies should be helpful, positive and inspiring. Using your tweets to complain will negatively affect your business image and hinder the growth of your audience.
13. Become an Authority Figure
If you can do something well, it's time to show it off to your followers and other Twitter users. You can become an authority figure in your chosen niche while promoting your business at the same time.
14. Use Some Keywords
When writing your tweet, use keywords that best describe the business that you're doing as it helps people using the search function to find your tweets. Using keywords and hashtags in your content will mean that it's more likely to appear in Google's search results as well, providing yet another way of getting your tweets noticed.
15. Share Links to Interesting Content
If you want to grow your number of followers, you're going to have send out tweets that link to useful and interesting content – whether it's your content or someone else's. You can use Google Alerts to be notified whenever fresh content is posted and you can use the "Tweet This" button to quickly get your tweet posted. It's always a good idea to read the content properly before tweeting it, as an article that comes off rude or biased could ruin your image or upset your followers.
16. Tweet Your Best Content Many Times
Twitter feeds always have new content being posted by second and as people check their feeds at different times of the day, a lot of people will miss your tweets unless you post it several time a day. Use different guises to repost the same content at different times of the day to ensure that it's read by a larger audience. The speed at which information is shared on Twitter means that people are less likely to notice when content has been tweet multiple times.
17. Have Multiple Tweeters
Get others from your company involved on your Twitter account as well. It's nice to have multiple tweeters as account will benefit from varied tweets which could spark interest in different groups of people, expanding your audience. Be sure to add a 'sign off' signature after each tweet so that people know who they're communicating with.
18. Short Direct Tweets
You should also try a very short impactful tweet every now and again. Tweet a powerful short phrase for impact. These are more likely to get retweeted and spread around Twitter.
19. Twitter Etiquette
Avoid using any abusive or harsh words on Twitter. Whether it's directed at someone or just random ranting, it will damage your business's reputation. Another bad practice is re-tweeting yourself. It's much better to tweet interesting content that people want to share than spamming your followers with your own re-tweets.
20. Using @ in Tweets
Whenever you use the @ symbol at the beginning of a tweet (@JohnSmith), it will only appear in the feeds of people that follow both you and the person your responding to. Instead, if you place it in the middle of a sentence, all your followers will be able to see it. You can use this method to separate which tweets you want to be seen by everyone and which you don't.
21. Don't use Automated Software
The whole goal of Twitter is to provide share useful, interesting content in short bursts. In order to differentiate as to what is interesting and what's not, you need to be actively involved in tweeting the content. Using automated posters that post from RSS feeds doesn't provide anything useful to your followers and they will start unfollowing you.
22. Use the Search Function and Discover Tool
Make use of Twitter's Search function and the 'Who to Follow' option which can be found under the Discover link to help find people that are interested in your business. You should search for keywords associated with you business to find the problems people are tweeting about. If you have a solution to a specific problem, it's a good idea to tweet about it. You'll also find people that are searching for help on Twitter, so you can use your keywords to find these people and tweet solutions to them.
23. Save your Twitter Searches
Use the 'Save Search, feature to quickly access searches that you regularly make, like your business name, etc.
To save a search on Twitter, simply type the keywords you're targeting into the search box and hit return. Now click the gear icon and choose Save Search from the drop down menu.
To revisit a saved search, you simply need to click anywhere inside the search box. A list of your saved searches will now appear below the search box and you can simply click your chosen one to quickly jump to it.
24. Ask Question on Twitter
I've mentioned that there are a lot of people asking questions on Twitter. This means that there are also a lot of people answering questions as well. Take advantage of this by asking some questions yourself, perhaps some of these people will have some great ideas for your expanding your business.
25. Favoriting Tweets and Rewarding Followers
Reward your followers by retweeting posts that they make about you. You could even include their tweets in a blog post or testimonial on your website. Be sure to thank those that leave positive messages about your business which you can do easily with an @reply.
You can favorite tweets by clicking the 'favorite' link below it. This is an easy way to organise your customer testimonials. If a customers sends you a message and you're not sure how to reply, simply favorite it to give yourself time to think up an appropriate response. In this way, it won't get lost in the Twittersphere.
26. Thank New Followers
Whenever someone new follows, it's a good idea to @reply to them to initiate a conversation. Don't use auto-thank you tools and never try sending new followers promotional material as it makes a terrible first impression. Thank them with a quick shoutout and try to engage them into continuing the conversation: "Hey @followersname, thanks for following! How are you doing today? Sherwin"
27. Encourage Sharing
If your receive a tweet from a happy customer, encourage them to share photos or videos of the product or service your provided. In this way, you'll get some free advertising of your product along with a testimonial – plus it's always nice to get some feedback on your service.
28. Run a Competition
Holding a competition on Twitter is a powerful way to drive views to your page or link. The entry requirement for the competition can be something as simple as asking your followers to re-tweet something that you've written or @replying to a question. Never ask people to direct message (DM) you an answer when running a competition as it's shuts off promotion to other users that won't find their tweets using the search function.
29. Twitter Coupons
You can offer your Twitter followers special coupons to bring visitors to your page. You can measure the sales you've made specifically from Twitter by tweeting custom tracking codes (TWEET01) that followers will need to enter when purchasing a product.
30. Use Twitter for Taking Orders
If you're providing a service, you could take orders over Twitter. If you'd like to keep your Twitter page neat and tidy, you could always create a separate Twitter page and use it exclusively for taking orders or bookings.
31. Following Influential Twitter Users
Find people that are very influential in your specific niche and follow them. In this way, you are able to see what they tweet about and share with their followers, and what you need to do to build that kind of audience. You can use Twitter directories like Justtweetit or Twellow to easily find the most influential tweeters.
32. Don't use "Get Followers" Services
There are lots of sites that will offer to get you hundreds of Twitter followers in a matter of days or even hours. Their sales pitch may be tempting but you'll only end up with hundreds of random strangers and not people that truly interested in what you have to offer. It's better to have a small group of 50 engaged followers than an army of people that will never engage with you or your tweets.
33. Poach Customers from your Competition
Search for tweets that mention both your name and the name of your local competitor. Now simply reply to customers tweets to get your business noticed by them. Don't try to sell to them, but rather try to be as helpful as possible, making it less obvious that you're piggybacking on their activity. You might want to wait a good day or two before you make a play.
34. Live Events with your Followers
Go a step further than everyone else and host live events where you can meet your Twitter followers face-to-face. At these events you can use a big screen to display the events #hashtagged tweets. This can be easily done using services like visibletweets.com or twitterfall.com. It's also a good idea to send out some tweets yourself during the event, to be shown on the screen as well as for your followers that could not make it.
35. Host a Twitter Event
Set a date, time and specific hashtag and encourage your followers to get a chat going. This kind of event is easy to setup and if the conversation is interesting and insightful, you may end up adding more followers to your account.
36. Embeddable Tweets
You can use embeddable tweets to take a Twitter conversation and include it on your website or blog. It's a great way to share your Twitter conversation and it's very easy to do.
a) Firstly, find the tweet that your want to embed
b) Hover over the tweet and click the word Expand
c) Next click Details
d) Click Embed this Tweet
e) Now click inside the HTML box to highlight the code and copy it using the shortcut Ctrl+c and paste it as an HTML element into your site.
Cool Ways to Take Advantage of Embedded Tweets
a) If you host lots of business events on your website, embed the invitation tweet in your list of upcoming events.
b) Embed others tweets into your blog posts to allow your audience to connect with new people and join a conversation from within your blog.
c) Embed a part of a Twitter conversation, that inspired a specific blog post, into your blog. It's sure to gain some attention and reach more people.
d) Embed a tweet of some positive feedback you've received or of an upcoming event, in your email signature to promote your activity.
37. Respond to Messages Quickly
Whenever some @mentions your company, respond to the tweet as soon as possible. Bigger companies don't bother to do this and it damages their credibility in the long run. You should also respond to your direct messages in a timely manner. You also want to keep an eye out for negative tweets and respond to these as quickly as possible. When these kinds of tweets are ignored, it looks like the company doesn't care about its customers.
38. Use your Personal Twitter for Certain Matters
If one of your customer's requires some special attention, it's a good idea to use your personal account to deal with them. It not only shows that customer that you really care about them but you also protect your brand from any negative impact should things go badly.
39. Use direct messages for Multiple Replies
If you've got a lot of people asking you the same question on Twitter is a short space of time about a specific problem, it's a good idea to reply to them using a direct messages and thus prevent filling your news feed with @replies with the exact same message. To avoid garnering negative tweets, you should also post one public to explaining the situation on your news feed.
40. Blocking Users
If you're receiving abuse from a certain Twitter user, you can block them to protect your company's reputation. You should only do this if the user's comments are unjust. But if you go around blocking everyone that has a problem with your services, you're going to get a bad reputation.
41. Admit your Mistakes
If you make a mistake, admit to it and apologize. Ignoring your mistakes will not make them disappear and this is especially true on Twitter. Word travels fast and if you're not upfront about things from the start, people will soon find out.