We are big fans of Twitter. It's a fantastic way of promoting your business, reaching out to potential customers and engaging with the rest of your industry.
It works for companies of any size and there are some great tools to ensure your time on Twitter is productive and efficient. Here are some tips to building your presence on twitter and engaging with your potential audience.
1. Ensure your profile works for you
Your profile should succinctly identify your business strengths that you feel your potential customers will be interested in. Use your company logo or branding wherever possible to promote your business. Another option would be to use product images that relate to your business. Highlight the key aspects of your business and why it should be of interest to the twitter community. If you have developed an elevator pitch then you can use this as the basis for your profile text, don't be afraid to use appropriate hashtags (see item 4) in your profile text and make sure you include a link to your website.
Use the pin tweet functionality to highlight your business and enhance your profile.
If you need some inspiration you can view some examples here.
2. Pin one of your latest tweets that reflects what's going on with your business.
Twitter recently introduced functionality that enables you to pin a tweet to the top of your profile page. If you have an offer or a newsletter out then this would be a great way of promoting your latest news or offers to your audience, as it appears as the first tweet on your profile page.
Click on the more option (...) below the tweet you would like to pin. Click on the "Pin to your profile page" and you will then be asked to confirm the action. Only one tweet can be pinned to your profile so the current tweet replace the existing pinned tweet.
It is good practice to regularly (weekly or monthly) change the pinned tweet to reflect your latest business news and offers.
3. Use .@username for mentions
This only works when you mention a username in the first part of a tweet. Prefixing the username with a dot posts the tweet to your followers timeline and the followers of the account that you mention. Note: When you don't use the dot the tweet will only appear in the timeline of people who follow you and the account mentioned.
Here is an example:
— Mashable Business (@mashbusiness) January 6, 2015
4. Use #Hashtags
Using the pound sign (or hash) turns any word or group of words that directly follow (do not include spaces) it into a searchable link. This enables your tweet to appear in a user keyword search and helps in you engage in relevant conversations on Twitter. Your tweet would also appear in the list of tweets displayed when a user clicks on a hashtag included in your tweet.
By researching what hashtags are in regular use, look up hashtags or keywords related to your industry and offer your thoughts on a relevant topic. You can make up your own hashtags but they will be of limited use in building engagement with your potential audience. Searching hashtags can also help you engage and build your audience, as the hashtag search will display tweets from related twitter users.
Hashtags are useful for tweeting to geographical areas. Local businesses can use their town, city or county in a hashtag to tweet out to users specifically interested in a local or geographical area.
Note: Facebook has recently introduced hashtag functionality to Facebook posts.
5. Engage in relevant conversations
Twitter enables companies to create stronger relationships and associate their business with relevant conversations. As we discussed previously using hashtags can enable you to engage in relevant conversations and find your potential audience on twitter.
Engaging with specific customers, partners, businesses or industry leaders has never been easier on Twitter. Mobile notifications enable you to configure your account to receive notifications when specific users you follow tweet. To follow a specific user account, visit the account profile page, click on the gear wheel next to the following button and click on the "Turn on mobile notifications" option on the drop-down box. Notifications will appear on your mobile device each time the user account tweets.
Mobile notifications are a great way of engaging in relevant conversations to your business. Engaging in conversations illustrates your enthusiasm for your business and also your knowledge of the subject and/or industry.
6. Engage during local or business specific Twitter events
A great way of building your audience is to join online Twitter events such as #northantshour. This is a weekly online twitter event that enable Northants locals to discuss what is important to them. By appending the hashtag, #northantshour, you can join the conversation. It is a great place to promote your business to a local audience.
You can find out more about #northantshour here via their website.
It happens every Thursday from 8pm – 9pm and is “the popular hashtag that has grown to be one of the top 10 most talked about topics on Twitter!”
There are a variety of specialised twitter events that use #hashtags to enable people to meet online. Here are a few examples (Source: Northantshour):
#CharityTuesday: All Day. Support a cause or promote your cause every Tuesday on Twitter.
#JobHour: 10am to 11am. Community for employers & job seekers to fill or find vacancies.
#UKBizLunch: 12pm to 1pm. Tweeting while you’re eating! A great way to be productive through lunch
#BizHour: 2pm to 3pm. Daily general networking event for all types of businesses.
#B2BHour: 3pm to 4pm. Another general networking event. A chance to shout out your business.
Twitter is a must for businesses that want to build an online presence. Using these tips will ensure you make the most of your time spent on Twitter. Give it a go and I'm sure you will find your following grow and also find yourself having fun engaging with your new followers.