Twitter may limit your tweets to 140 characters, but you can still use the social media site to build your brand as well as become a resource in your industry. But with over 200 active users on Twitter, you need to find ways to stand out from the crowd and get your tweets in front of new followers. Follow these handy tips and you’ll be on the right track.
Interact With People Who Share Your Content
As with other social media sites, Twitter is about community. The whole point of the site isn’t to tweet and then walk away; rather, it’s about building relationships both with clients and industry partners. As such, keep an eye on your email alerts and Twitter interactions (by clicking on the @Connect header on Twitter) to see who is interacting with you. If someone is favoriting or retweeting your content, follow them back and share their content as well — as long as they’re not a competitor of yours. By showing your appreciation for them, you may even encourage them to become a brand ambassador of sorts for you.
Another way to interact within the community is to reply to tweets and keep the conversation going. If someone has a question about when they should replace their furnace, for example, you could lend your industry insider’s knowledge by offering some advice. Or, you can simply react to the news they’re tweeting, such as sharing their enthusiasm for a trip they recently booked. The possibilities for interacting with the community really are endless.
Monitor Who’s Talking About You
Part of building your community is seeing what other people are saying about you and your company. Every once in a while, do a Twitter search of your company name, your name and your website address. If someone is talking about you, respond. If it’s a positive tweet, a simple ‘thanks’ is often appreciated. If it’s something negative, you should still respond to show that you care about the issue they’re having. Always try to offer a solution to their problem, whether they’re looking for a refund or exchange for one of your products, for example.
Make It Easy to Find You
People can’t follow you if they can’t find you, and if they do, they want to know precisely who you are. As such, complete your profile in its entirety; that includes posting a photo, brief biography and a link to your website. Personalizing your Twitter background can also help you stand out.
Schedule Tweets, But Not on the Hour
Keep your social media editorial calendar streamlined by using desktop clients to schedule your tweets in advance. But don’t schedule them exactly on the hour. Rather, mix it up so that tweets appear during lunch times as well as a few minutes before or after the hour. This way you’ll have an easier time of catching people on their way to and from their desks.
Don’t Put a Twitter Handle at the Front of Your Tweet
One of the biggest mistake people and businesses alike make on Twitter is tweeting someone directly and using their Twitter handle as the first word of their tweet. When you do this, your tweet won’t appear in other people’s feeds — meaning, if you’re tweeting about something pertinent to other people, they won’t see it as easily. To get around this, add a period before the “@” symbol, followed by the person’s handle. That way, your tweet will appear in more people’s feeds.
Shorten Your URLs
This tip is short and sweet, because 140 characters isn’t much room. Save space by shortening your URLs using services like bit.ly so you don’t waste any space.
Hashtags are a great way to see what people in your community are talking about. While there are hashtags that are generally popular in the Twitter community, like #tbt (Throwback Thursday), there may also be hashtags that are more pertinent to your business industry. If you sell cell phones, for example, a hashtag like #android might be useful, not only to use in your tweets, but to search out other people in your industry and customers who are talking about androids so that you can follow them.
Offer Different Kinds of Content
Don’t talk about your products and services incessantly. This might cause people to view your account as spam and they won’t bother following you. Rather, be a resource in your industry. If your products include SOX compliance, you could tweet about news from the security world, such as links to an interview with an IT expert, as well as share stories about the latest viruses. Simple text only updates work just as well too. The key is to mix it up and then monitor what works best for your company; if a photo gets a lot of retweets, post more photos.
One hundred and forty characters might not be many, but there are plenty of ways you can use Twitter to grow your business.