Twitter is an ever expanding social media giant that has many benefits no matter the size of your business.
Twitter is an important tool to build an on-line presence, but knowing the best way to use it to the full potential of benefiting your business can be daunting.
For sites with a large audience, their Twitter audience is already built in and what they do or say is more likely to receive activity on Twitter. To give you an idea, here are the top ten Twitter accounts according to Twitaholic:
1. Lady Gaga – 31,316,237 Followers
2. Justin Beiber – 30,315,048 Followers
3. Katy Perry – 29,114,767 Followers
4. Rihanna – 26,742,949 Followers
5. Barack Obama – 23,452,902 Followers
6. Britney Spears – 21,927,452 Followers
7. Taylor Swift – 20,848,991 Followers
8. YouTube – 19,650,933 Followers
9. Shakira – 18,722,636 Followers
10. Kim Kardashian – 16,640,710 Followers
Twitter itself is ranked at 15. The point is not to gain as many followers as Lady Gaga, but to get your Twitter recognized, followed, and re-tweeted by customers, potential customers, and possible business partners. Chances are there will not be 31 million potential customers for your business but finding the potential customers that are out there is essential to building an on-line presence and expanding your brand.
1) Content and Setup
It is important to have interesting content and an eye catching, professional page set up before you seek out followers. After all, you want to give potential followers a reason to follow you back.
You will want to create an interesting and memorable Twitter handle. If your company name is not available try inserting a dash as we’ve done with our Twitter handle @Search_Pro this makes it easy for those seeking you out on Twitter to find you. It is also a good idea to use your company logo as your profile photo and/or as the background image. Twitter makes it easy to add in a background image and using your company logo helps to personalize your page and brand it as you would a website or blog.
The set up is the easy part but sometimes content can be harder to come up with and maintain. Your Twitter is like a 14o-character blog, you are representing your brand with every post. Going back to the examples of the Twitter accounts with the most followers someone like Lady Gaga is using Twitter to give her fans a personal touch. She received 3,167 responses and re-tweets by tweeting “What are you doing tonight?”
For a business Twitter you want to produce content that will gain responses but it is not as simple assuming your audience is not already built in. One way to find out what your audience wants to hear is to do a Twitter search. If you’re a local business search your location and area of expertise, there is a chance users have posted questions they have this will give you an idea for a blog post you can then link to your Twitter.
Once you have written the blog post, or 140 character Twitter response it is also wise to “@” respond to the user who had the question originally, this could earn you a re-tweet. Another way to come up with Twitter content is to find relevant articles on blogs or websites to share with your potential Twitter audience. Interesting articles gets activity going on your Twitter and other websites and blogs will appreciate the plug, “@” them whenever possible to get interactions going to create potential re-tweets and followers.
Once you have some content on your Twitter page, you’ll want followers to share the content with. “@” tagging all shared websites, blogs, and responses to other users always creates follow and re-tweet potential from the person you @.
2) Gain a Following
A good way to find users that might be interested in your business is to look up a similar business to yours and follow their followers. It sparks interest from users when someone follows them so most likely they will check out your page and, assuming they enjoy the content, you will get a follow back.
The best way to gain followers is by having people re-tweet your posts when you write an interesting article or blog post. Be sure to post every time new content you’ve written is available in hopes users will share it with their Twitter community.
Once you are following and have followers, it’s time to interact with them! Asking for help on Twitter is a great way to interact. Ask for advice on a new tool you are thinking of using for your company. When asking for help with something, it is also a good idea to ask for a re-tweet, this creates even more interaction and gives outreach to more possible followers.
Hash tagging is extremely important in your Twitter interactions as well. This is especially helpful if you are at an event or conference promoting your business, use the event hash tag. There are also Twitter chats you can participate in by hash tagging and following the chat hash tag. The SEO chat happens Thursdays at 7 PM and uses #SEOChat as the hash tag. This is a great opportunity to gain more followers and interact with others in your industry. Here is some advice on how to find Twitter chats and live tweet events in your given industry from Social Fresh.
The key to Twitter is to stay active and keep your content fresh. Take all possible opportunities to expand your audience and you’ll soon see the benefits of the social media medium!