I have a confession to make … I am obsessed with Twitter. Admittedly, several years ago when I first got started with it I thought it was kind of pointless. It took me a few years to become a regular user, reaping the benefits of it and now I am addicted.
Twitter was created back in 2006 as a “microblogging” type of social media channel. In 140 characters or less, users can share their message, known as a tweet. Since inception, Twitter has become an invaluable source for news. I remember when the tragic Boston Bombings happened – Twitter gave me the most updated news, for example.
Today, Twitter has over 320 million users, as reported by Social Times in March. In working with a lot of small businesses, I have seen the positive effects Twitter can have on brand awareness and company revenue.
If you are thinking about using Twitter for business, here are few tips to set you up for success.
- Choose a username wisely.
Your username should be the name of your business or a variation of it. Twitter limits usernames to 15 characters. If your business name is already taken, you can try adding underscores to it or tagging it with your state’s name (assuming you are a local business).
- Upload a cover and profile image, ideally with people in them.
Oftentimes people forget that social media is supposed to be social. If possible, upload an engaging cover and profile image that has people in them. In my experience, I have seen that people sell. For example, if you sell purses, showing a photo of an attractive woman using one of your purses can make more of an impression vs. just showing the purse by itself. Since social media is always changing, when you are ready to upload your photos, double-check the size requirements. You never want to take small images and stretch them out – your images should be clear and fit the spaces accordingly. Adding photos with people is especially important if you run a small business and don’t have the luxury of taking high-end photos of really pretty products.
- Write an engaging bio that uses keywords.
When other Twitter users see your profile and are deciding whether or not they want to follow you, in addition to looking at your cover and profile photos, they will look at your bio in order to find out what you and/or your business is about. Twitter gives you 160 characters to make an impression. When possible, add some personality to your bio. Here’s an example of mine:
And here are some businesses I follow that did a good job with their bios:
Why add keywords? Because you want your profile to increase its likelihood of getting found. I am also a big fan of adding links to your bio – they could be links to your other social media channels, your blog, or a specific landing page, which could help generate leads.
- Practice selective Twitter outreach.
Some people will go crazy following any old account on Twitter. Don’t do this. If you go a little too crazy and start following too many people at one time, a red flag could be set off and Twitter could shut down your account. Follow people you find interesting or think could be good for business. In addition, engage the people you follow in conversation. Build relationships. Don’t worry about sales right away and instead make your efforts on getting to know other users. Use Twitter Advanced Search to see what’s being talked about around keywords that are relevant to your brand then engage users as applicable – I call this Twitter outreach.
These tips are the very basics, as everyone needs to start somewhere. If you’d to request a more advanced article on how to use Twitter for Business, please feel free to send me an email at email@example.com