How do you get started with your business on Twitter? How do you know what to post or when to post it? How do you get Twitter followers? How do you figure out what to do (or not to do)?
At Daly Media, we’ve compiled what we believe to be the Ultimate Tips for Twitter Business Marketing — the Dos and Don’ts (yes, we’ve chosen the Oxford spelling, but if you’d prefer, we present to you the “Do’s and Don’ts”) of Twitter for Business. These tips have been gathered from thousands of online digital marketers around the world, and represent the most commonly advised strategies for commencing and perfecting your Twitter campaign.
Here we go…
Branding with your @Name
Your name is the first thing that people will see on Twitter. Use the name you wish to represent your brand, and include an industry word (i.e. @AnlomeArtist, for example). It is easier for people to associate this user as an artist this way. Also, when people search ‘artist’, her name appears.
Optimize your profile.
Customize the header image in your profile. This is a great opportunity to not only stand out, but also to be able to provide more information on you, your website and your business, that doesn’t fit in the Bio section.
Include your URL in your Twitter bio, not just the URL field, to optimize for mobile users.
Use one or two #hashtags in your Bio to increase your search visibility.
Tweet smarter, not harder.
For example, when promoting this article, @DalyMediaCA would say:
Try to pick up one or two hashtags that most relate to the content of your tweet, and use those. Tweets that have a maximum of two hashtags are 21% more likely to be retweeted; using more than that actually drops the RT rate.
Post at least three times per day.
Make sure you are an active user by Tweeting a minimum of 3 times a day (all at different times of the day) and Tweet no more than 10 posts a day.
Your Twitter page, while a good place to include it, should not be a static page that is purely informational. What will encourage people to follow your company if you never offer any content? It doesn’t all have to be original content (blog posts, videos, etc.), don’t worry. It is strongly recommended to share content from others whose views align with yours.
For example, we sell Social Media services at Daly Media, and a portion of the articles we post to Twitter come from sources like Hubspot, another online marketing blog.
Another quick post idea? Motivational quotes. Easy for people to like and share — just make sure you know who it is you’re quoting (you don’t want to accidentally share something from Mein Kampf).
That being said, if you can’t find anything worth posting, don’t. Worse than posting less than once per day is posting garbage.
Schedule posts for times when you cannot do it manually.
There are several great resources out there, many of them with basic, but very useful free options. Our personal favourite (at the moment – social media is always evolving) is Buffer.
Buffer’s free option allows you to schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. The number of posts you can schedule is limited, but you can get a few days’ worth done. Buffer’s free account also offers limited analytics, and enables you to “re-Buffer” posts. Their browser extension makes it easy to share anything on the web as a Buffered post. The importance of this is in the link analytics.
Don’t post more than ten times per day unless the content is extremely valuable to your followers.
Which looks better?
Or this: http://buff.ly/1Obx5Sg ?
They both link to the same Daly Dish blog post, however the shorter URL is both easier to share, and as an added bonus, the buff.ly shortener is run by Buffer, and therefore provides link analytics with your Buffer account.
Read More: The Beginner’s Guide to URL Shorteners
Upload your images directly to Twitter.
Links leading elsewhere will not show up as images in your feed (i.e. sharing an Instagram photo on your Twitter will just show up as a link to Instagram, no one will see the picture directly in your feed).
Post “preview” or “cliffhanger” videos directly to Twitter.
The best way for videos to travel on Twitter is if they’re already uploaded to the site. Post snippets of your videos directly to your Twitter feed with links to the full videos and/or exclusive videos on your YouTube channel. If you do not have a YouTube account, but you find yourself posting videos, you need to consider signing up. Twitter wasn’t made for video — YouTube was.
Always remember your audience’s viewpoint:
“What does this have to do with me?”
For users to see or comment on your posts, they need reason other than “look at my ___” or “our latest ___”.
A good reason includes the user, at least intimates some benefit for them, and most importantly, gives them opportunities to respond or participate in your thread.
Post about your sourcing methods, your process, your broader mission as an entrepreneur, mistakes you’ve made and learned from, etc.
People like to learn, so why not learn from you?
Flatter your industry influencers.
Read More: What is Influence?
Particularly if they interest you or you’d like to know the Tweeter better. The best way to show people you care is to comment on or respond to their Tweets.
Post positive reviews or statements about influential brands or individuals in your space, and be sure to include their Twitter handle. People are far more likely to Retweet good things about themselves, for obvious reasons.
There are some etiquette rules, though, which are outlined in the “Don’ts” below.
Participate in Twitter chats for businesses or professionals in the same industry.
Most industries have two-hour windows once or twice a week where ‘Twitter Chats’ occur. A hashtag is defined by the chat creator, and users are encouraged to participate in “conversations” about particular topics using that hashtag.
For example, Buffer uses #Bufferchat to focus on a variety of topics for digital marketers.
If increasing the number of followers is one of your goals, then join a twitter chat regularly. You would notice a spike of “new followers” every time you are actively engaged in one, as engagement attracts followers.
Do a quick search on Twitter for #TwitterChat + (your industry) and you’ll see what we mean.
Hold Twitter contests and giveaways.
Twitter contests are a creative, fun way to attract more followers, engagement and shares on the platform.
Choose a prize that is highly relevant to your brand or related to your company or services in some way.
From Social Media Examiner:
Common Elements of Successful Twitter Contests
Use this checklist to give your contest the best chance of success:
- Schedule contest teaser tweets in advance to build interest.
- Include an image or visual to attract attention and increase engagement.
- Choose a single, clear call to action for best results.
- Post clear terms and conditions. Follow guidelines from Twitter if you don’t know where to start.
- Announce the winners and thank everyone for taking the time to enter when the contest ends.
Utilize Twitter’s analytics.
Use Twitter’s Analytics to monitor your success and adapt from results. These free analytics show you data about your weekly Tweet Impressions, Profile Visits, Mentions, Followers, and Tweets Linking to You.
There is other data available also — for free — but the best way to learn is to play around with it yourself (you can’t hurt anything – though “Promote” will always mean Twitter wants your money).
Sign up for a free Crowdfire account and use their automatic response feature ONLY to thank a person when they follow you.
Make sure you don’t include anything along the lines of, “buy our ___ here” — if you’ve set up your profile, people will already know where to go to buy your ____. Since you’re already being somewhat impersonal by automating a Thank You/Welcome message, you want to at least offer your new follower a reason to keep following you. You could offer a coupon code for a first-time purchase, or a free e-book download.
Oh, and make sure you actually say “Thank You”.
Encourage follower growth.
Use the search feature (with industry-related keywords) and follow people who are influencers in the your area or users who share similar interests. You can also look at your influencers’ “Following” lists to find people they find interesting.
Aim to follow 25 new people every day.
Keep your follower:following ratio proportional*.
*This is for when you surpass 100 followers.
Use Crowdfire to purge your list of people who you follow, but who are not following you. Try to keep in proportion the amount of followers to the amount of people you are following.
Create posts days or weeks ahead of time and schedule their releases using a site like Buffer or Hootsuite. This saves valuable time during your day-to-day, as you can schedule all of your posts at times when you’re not so busy.
Buffer and Hootsuite also analyze your data to suggest peak times for you to post, taking away the uncertainty of ensuring your awesome content reaches its sharing potential!
So we’ve covered the best things to make sure you do, but what about things you shouldn’t do?
Don’t make your tweets too long.
On average, tweets that contained 100 characters or less were 17% more likely to get retweeted. This is partly because short tweets are easier to read, and partly because short tweets are easier to RT in the old-fashioned way of copying a tweet’s text and reposting it with an RT and username in front of it.
Don’t ask people for money.
Never post anything that could be construed as a sales pitch – do not ask people for money. You’ll accomplish nothing more than establishing your tackiness.
If it’s for a charity event, that’s another story, but use your common sense. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer – what would you like to see from a business like yours?
Don’t spam or send mass messages (automated or otherwise) to groups of people. If you do send an announcement, invitation, or request to more than one person, make sure the reason you’re sending it has something to do with them. If you’re having an event, make an event page on Facebook and promote it on Twitter.
get too personal.
Don’t tweet personal information about yourself or other people. This is a networking tool and you are trying to develop relationships, not gossip. Do not ruin your reputation by revealing personal information and details about yourself or someone else.
This includes conversations —
Don’t use other people’s discussion threads to promote your business.
Shameless self-promotion is tacky. It won’t engage anyone, unless those threads closely relate in some way to your business, or your comment or promotion relates in a direct and significant way to the conversation.
Don’t talk about religion or politics. The no-brainer.
Steer clear of any “hot” topics — anything you’d consider inappropriate for business in the real world is also inappropriate for business online.
Now we want to hear from you!
Let us know in the comments what tactics have worked for your