Jenni here, and I have a confession to make. In the past I haven't always focused on Twitter. As the "creative brain" here at Prim'd Marketing, I placed more emphasis on the visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. But this past spring when we launched Prim'd, I realized I needed to get more serious about Twitter. I’ve had an account since 2008, but sometimes I felt like a lot of our clients do: like I was shouting into roaring river of tweets, and I’d often ask myself, “Is anyone even listening to me?"
A couple of months ago I sat down with Sophie, who not only has a huge following herself, but also has built large followings for brands in the past. We started to sketch out some plans for Twitter, both for my personal account, as well as for our Prim'd Twitter account (since we're now building our following from scratch).
I was surprised how easily and quickly I started seeing growth once I put our plans into place. But more than that, I was astonished by how much I actually loved Tweeting. I didn't realize how easily Twitter allows you to easily strike up conversations with just about anyone — and the feeling I got the first time I was re-tweeted by an established expert made me realize how indifferent I'd been to one of the most powerful business tools out there.
So, now that I'm brushing up on my Twitter skills, here a couple of things that I've learned or read along the way that have been helpful:
1. Stop Sub Tweeting
This was a term that I learned a couple of months ago, and it’s something that we see a lot when our clients first start on Twitter. Sub-tweeting is when you find a great article or video, and share it on Twitter, but you don’t credit or mention the author:
The issue with this, is not just about giving acknowledgement those who deserve it, but you’re also limiting your chances of engagement. How is that person supposed to know you like their article if you don’t get their attention in some way? Often times authors will favorite or re-tweet which can mean lots of new potential followers seeing your post, checking your profile and following you. So, stop sub-tweeting, and start use phrases like "cc" or "via," or "by @twitterhandlename” to boost engagement:
2. Don't Be Shy - Connect
When you first start to build a Twitter following for your business, try to respond to every person who engages with you. If they re-tweet or follow you, direct message (or DM) them and thank them. At some point in your growth, you will want to analyze and refine your following based on target demographics. But in the beginning stages you're trying to build momentum, so the focus should be on creating the highest number of quality interactions as possible.
Time Saving Tip: Participate in #followfriday (or #ff). On Fridays, you can welcome any new followers who have joined you that week by tweeting "#FF" and then tagging their names in your post:
3. Follow Users and Tweets Relevant to your Business
Favorite articles and follow users that relate to your area of expertise. For example, my business helps other business owners with social media, blogging and company newsletters. I spent some time looking for people who are marketing experts, or experts in our client's industries. Each week I will retweet or favorite articles that are relevant to my own customers as well as other people who are in my industry. This type of interaction helps build a community of relevant experts and like-minded business owners who can become potential brand partners or customers.
Time Saving Tip: I use Pocket as a way of storing posts, and schedule them later in my Twitter feed. That allows me to "save up" that time, so I can focus for a couple of hours on a Monday or Tuesday instead of trying to do it sporadically throughout the week.
4. Have a great Twitter Profile
When I come to your page I want to know who you are and how you relate to me and my business. Could you be a potential partner? A resource? A customer? A business that I might be interested in? Have a great description and a profile picture with your logo that tells me you're communicating as a corporate entity, or a great headshot that lets me know that you're an individual tweeting for a business.
Your profile should have: a great picture of you (if it's a personal account), a description with key topics followers can expect to talk with you about, and a link to your website.
5. Use Twitter as Your Business's "Grand Central Station"
Out of all the social media platforms out there, Twitter's stream by far moves the fastest. Scroll down your feed and you'll see hundreds of tweets, all posted within the last twenty minutes. It's easy to get lost in all of the other things going on. But the upside is that your business can tweet once an hour or even once every half hour without turning people off. We recommend that businesses use Twitter as their "Grand Central station" and include all of the updates, posts, images, or articles that also go through their Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Add in a couple of relevant hashtags to allow people to discover your tweet or track a campaign, and you'll be maximizing your businesses opportunities to widen your audience and connect with the people you're after.
What is the hardest part of using Twitter for your business? Any tips you've learned along the way?
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