7 Twitter Tips for Small Businesses

Twitter is a massively useful tool that allows you to interact directly with your audience in real-time, increase brand awareness, and share live updates. With Twitter, brands can share links and images, create polls, upload videos, “go live” as well as advertising to a targeted group of people beyond your brand’s existing followers.

54% of Twitter users reported that they have taken action after seeing a brand mentioned in a tweet, including visiting a brand’s website and searching for the brand. This makes it a great social channel for your small business to be active on.

Whether you are starting out on Twitter or consider yourself a seasoned pro, follow these 7 tips to get the most from Twitter in 2018 and beyond.

1. Post More Video

As with the other social channels, Twitter has become a lot more video friendly. Twitter videos have been found to receive 6x more re-tweets than photos. On top of this, 82% of Twitter users watch video on the mobile app.

Ensure that you are uploading videos directly to Twitter (i.e. attach them to your tweet) so that people can watch on the platform, instead of sending them to another site, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Of all branded videos on Twitter, only 31% are posted natively – but those account for 67% of total video engagement.

Video can be one of the most effective ways to be successful on Twitter. While video content can seem difficult and time-consuming to produce, the returns make it a very worthwhile medium to invest in, especially when you are building your business.

2. Use Twitter Analytics

Twitter analytics is a great way to track the performance of your content and what is resonating most with your audience. The stats you have access to on the platform are thorough and easy-to-understand.

You can see your top tweets based on the number of impressions and engagements, as well as profile visits, new followers, mentions, website clicks and audience insights. On top of that, you can dig deeper into the demographics of your followers and compare your Twitter performance month-on-month.

Keeping an eye on your analytics is crucial when putting together a successful social media strategy. Record the results each week or each month and use these insights to inform your upcoming content. Don’t forget to make a note of which posts are performing the best so that you can continue to improve your engagement.

3. Try Twitter Ads

A lot of small businesses think that Twitter Ads are for bigger companies with huge budgets. However, Twitter advertising is simply overshadowed by bigger, more popular marketing channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you have some room in your budget and aren’t averse to spending, don’t be afraid to explore Twitter Ads.

A big reason we love ads on Twitter is the targeting options that are available for smaller businesses. For example, keyword targeting allows you to target people who have used a specific word or hashtag in their tweets in the last seven days.

Tweet engager targeting is another way to reach an audience in a remarkably targeted way. With this form of advertising, you remarket to people who recently saw or engaged with your tweet.

4. Don’t Automate Twitter Greetings

The Direct Message (DM) section of Twitter is a great way to connect with users. Your DMs are the best way to take your public Twitter conversations private. For example, if a user wants to share an email or phone number with you.

A lot of brands and individuals use tools that allow them to send automated direct messages to new followers, as well as sending mass twitter DMs. It’s understandable that people are busy and that there’s a need to automate – we are big fans of automation at MarketTap! However, automating a true connection with another human being is near enough impossible.

If you met someone at a networking event, you wouldn’t ask them to download your e-Book without first introducing yourself. You would build a rapport, engage in a little small talk and then move on to the meatier subjects. The same goes for social media. Instead of sending a generic DM to everyone, take the time to reply to someone. Re-tweet one of their tweets. Share an article or news story with them. Be helpful in some way and above all, keep it human.

5. Take Advantage of 280 Characters

When Twitter doubled the character limit from 140 up to 280 in November 2017, there were mixed reactions. The decision was met with significant protest by some users since the shorter and simpler nature of tweets was a defining characteristic of the platform. Meanwhile, others welcomed the additional space to express themselves.

Whatever your personal feelings are toward the increased characters, we now have the ability to fit more into each tweet. Take advantage of this extra wiggle room to be creative and express what makes your business truly unique. However, be mindful of not saying too much or going overboard with your hashtags just because you can!

While hashtags are a great way to increase reach, a lot of brands are making the mistake of using too many. Research from Buddy Media found that the volume of hashtags is important, as using more than two hashtags leads to a drop-in engagement rate of 17%. However, tweets with 1-2 hashtags receive 2x more engagement than those without hashtags. So, find that sweet spot!

6. Engage in Conversations

Supporting and enabling conversation is Twitter’s superpower. The platform gives people around the world the ability to engage directly with the most important people in their areas of interest. On Twitter, people can connect with politicians, get customer service from large corporations that are otherwise unreachable, and even interact with celebrities.

So, what does this mean for brands? On the surface, having stand-alone conversations appears to be totally unscalable for small business. But the reality is that it can be a lot more effective than a regular tweet that gets lost in the Twittersphere.

There are a couple of ways you can start conversations on Twitter. Firstly, you can piggyback on a conversation that is already in progress. Be sure to actually contribute something to the conversation when you do this or otherwise the other people involved may ignore you.

Secondly, you can mention or reply to someone on Twitter. The difference between a mention and a reply here is important. A reply is a response in the form of a post to another user, usually to answer a question or in reaction to an idea that has been posted. A mention is not necessarily a direct response to another user and is mostly applied as an FYI. It is placed anywhere in the body of the tweet, not at the beginning, i.e. “It’s a great day today @JohnSmith.”

Finally, a great way to get your conversations off the ground is to ask questions. Q&A sessions on Twitter are an effective way to start a conversation and provide the opportunity for other users to ask questions and hear responses directly from the host. Here is a great article on how to host a Twitter Q&A session.

7. Post Frequently

It’s hard to provide an exact number of posts per day, but we recommend posting around 2-3 times. Frequent, daily posting is key on Twitter. The more active you are, the more your engagement will grow. If you can post something awesome multiple times a day, go for it!

Ultimately, your audience will tell you if frequent tweeting is working or not. As we have mentioned, keep an eye on your Twitter analytics as you go and this will enable you to see if your strategy is helping or hurting your profile

Takeaways

Like every social channel, Twitter requires a tailored strategy that takes into consideration it’s unique features and format. Given that Twitter drives the third most referral traffic of any social network, it’s definitely worth investing the time to get this strategy right. Use all of the tips listed above to put your small business in a position to succeed on Twitter in 2018!

Need Some Help with Twitter?

We can help you learn how to establish great practices for marketing on Twitter at MarketTap. We offer a la carte services, including social media advertising, social media management, and copywriting.

With our services, your journey to successfully leveraging social networks like Twitter doesn’t have to be a solo trip. If you’re a little unsure where to begin or which area of business you need assistance with, we offer free personal marketing consultations through our website to help you determine which service could be right for you. Simply book a call with one of our marketers today – it’s completely free!