You’ve thought about using Twitter, but not known where to start? Stop procrastinating. We are here to help in 7 easy steps!
1. Choose the right username
Your username, or “handle”, is outward facing and will be what the public uses to identify your business. Ideally, your business name will be available, but if not, you’ll want to come up with something that will still make sense to your followers (eg. For our UK tweets Constant Contact uses @ctctUK). You want it to be brief, around 10 – 15 characters max, so your customers can “mention” you without using too many of the 140 word limit for a tweet. Use this handy tool to check if your name is available.
2. Create a succinct bio
If you had just a few seconds (or in this case 140 characters) to explain your business to a complete stranger, what would you say? THAT will be your bio. Remember, Twitter is one of the most open social networks. Most of the communication takes place in front of people rather than on individual pages or groups, so many people finding you on Twitter will have no prior knowledge of who you are or what you do.
3. Upload a photo or image that others will remember
Please, please, don’t tweet until you have uploaded an image. For businesses, choose one that your customers already know—like your company logo. For individuals, you’ll want to use a close-up head shot with only you in the picture. (You can change your profile picture in the future, but wait until you’re well-established)
4. Find the right people to follow
Who you follow on Twitter dictates the type of content you have access to and the quality of your relationships. Look at businesses similar to yours that are doing well. Don’t mimic them, but pay attention to how they’re engaging and the type of content they share. Use Twitter’s “Who to Follow” feature (in the left column) for recommendations for people and businesses that fit your interests.
5. Tell your network you’re on Twitter
Before we go any further, you need to know this: growing your following on Twitter is not easy—especially if you’re starting from scratch. However, lucky you, your business already has a following! If someone has already joined your email list, they will likely want to connect with you on Twitter too. Send out an email to your contact list, inviting people to follow you on Twitter.
6. Lists and Searches
Twitter Lists are a cool feature to let you group the people you follow based on industry, relationship or expertise. Practice using them from the start, it’s much easier to keep your contacts organised from the beginning.
Similar to Lists, Saved Searches organises content by topic rather than by user. Simply search for a topic in Twitter’s “Discover” tab, and then save it. Good search topics include: your business name, your name, the city or town that you’re in, industry related topics and popular hashtags.
7. Tie your online marketing together
A recent study found that 80.5% of small business websites do not link to social media networks. Please do not make this mistake! You must have social media icons on your website AND in your newsletter with a strong call-to-action, “Follow us on Twitter”
I’m interested in helping small businesses and non-profits recognize their full-potential through marketing and social media. I want to hear your story and learn the creative and innovative ways that you’re marketing your business. I’ve worked in small businesses my entire life and now I’m excited to work with them!