If you use Twitter the wrong way or ignore Twitter it can harm your brand and cost your small business customers and sales.
However, if you apply the Twitter tips and tools in this post I am certain you can significantly accelerate the success of your business on Twitter!
The key to successful Twitter marketing is to focus on building strong relationships with your customers and prospects.
Rather than just trying to sell and promote seek to help and engage and you will build a network of people who want to learn more about you and will choose to do business with you above the competition.
The best way to get new followers for your Business and get your business started on Twitter is to follow the people and businesses you already know. If these accounts are active on Twitter there is a great chance that they will follow you back.
Once you follow people you already know the next step is to follow highly relevant people to your business.
These people that are most relevant to you are the most likely to follow you back and to re-tweet you. Don’t be afraid to search Twitter and engage with people who are already talking about your business and topics that matter to you.
From my experience managing Twitter accounts for several different businesses I can say without a doubt that there is a correlation between the amount of personality a Twitter brand has and the success it achieves.
People simply connect better with other people than they do with brands, so make sure it is apparent who the people are who are tweeting on behalf of your brand.
Twitter Tips to Help Small Business Owners
1. Use Twitter Directories to Promote Your Business & Network
Add your business to categories related to your niche and find other people to network with in your niche.
2. Optimize Your Avatar
Many business owners want to use the business logo as their Twitter avatar, and this is understandable, but you should consider using a picture of your team or of the person managing the account and including the logo in the corner of the image.
3. Customize your Twitter Background
Include pictures of the person or people who manage the account on your background. The more personal you can make your Twitter brand, the better.
A cool free tool for creating custom Twitter backgrounds is Themelon by Colour Lovers.
4. Use Twitter Marketing Software
Rapidly build a targeted network of followers by using the tool TweetAdder. With TweetAdder you can build connections with people based on specific keywords in their bios, keywords they have tweeted, location, and several other .
Although following people is a great strategy for creating new connections you don’t want to follow more people than follow you. One way you can avoid this is by using the tool Manage Flitter to remove inactive accounts (users who have not tweeted in 30 days) by up to 100 people at a time. See the image below for a better idea of how this app works.
5. Integrate Twitter with Linkedin
Twitter and Linkedin recently reached a deal so that Twitter tweets could be imported as a Linkedin status and tweets can be exported to Twitter from Linkedin.
Updating Twitter from Linkedin is simple.
Once you click the Twitter link from your profile you can setup a Twitter account in a few steps. After this you will be able to click the more tab, then Tweets and that will take you to a page that displays your twitter feed and has the status box (pictured above) which you can use to send a tweet. By checking the box above the “Update Twitter” button you can also assign a tweet as your linkedin status.
Updating Linkedin from Twitter
Making this connection is simple. All you need to do is specify on the Twitter settings page of Linkedin if you want to either import all tweets, or only the tweets that contain the hashtag #in.
6. Check out the Twitter Business Portal
Business.twitter.com is a newly developed resource guide for businesses getting started on twitter.
This resource is essentially a 101 guide that seeks to answer many of the common questions business owners may have about Twitter.
Topics discussed include:
- So how does it work?
- So how do businesses use Twitter?
- So what does Twitter do for businesses?
- Getting Started
- Increasing Sales
- Connecting with customers
7. Build Rapport with Retweets
Especially when trying to network with influencers you will have a greater chance of getting a response if you first retweet some of their content first.
Use classic style retweets (ie: RT @username) rather than the new style because this will get you into the mention stream of the person you are retweeting which means they have a better chance of noticing you.
If you have retweeted someone a few times before you try to engage them in a conversation there is a better chance that they will respond since they don’t want to risk alienating you and not getting any more retweets in the future.
8. Time Your Tweets for Maximum Effect
Focusing the timing of your tweets on Twitter is a great way to increase your reach, and get more traffic to the links you share.
Check out this post to learn the stats about peak twitter times and my best strategies about timing your tweets for maximum reach.
9. Get More Twitter Followers
The more followers you have the easier it will be to spread the word about your business far and wide.
If you want more followers there are plenty of options, check out this post I wrote with 50 tips about how to get more followers if you want to discover my best follower getting secrets.
For those interested in investing in more Twitter followers I recommend the service Grow My Twitter Network.
10. Search for Terms Related to Your Biz
I recommend using a Twitter management application such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite so that in addition to viewing your new mentons you can also scan live tweets about terms that matter to your business.
The name of your business is one search term to keep on your radar, and monitoring keywords that are related to your niche is important as well.
There are free Twitter tools such as tweetbeep and nutshell mail that can send you daily updates so that you are always in the loop about tweets that matter to your biz.
11. Tweet Photos
Pictures get great engagement and retweets on Twitter and they humanize you brand.
Some cool tools to consider using are listed below. My favorite tools are emboldened:
- TwitPic - TwitPic lets you share photos on Twitter
- FlickToTwitt - Post a photo to flickr and announce it right away on Twitter
- Twitsig - Your tweets as images
- Twiddeo - Twitter with video
- Flittr - Picture your words
- Twi.tt – Anything and everything
- TwitnGo - Quick photo posts to Twitter
- TwitImg - Keep everyone up to date by using your latest Twitter status, displayed in the form of an appealing image
- Twitgoo - Share your pictures on Twitter
- SnapTweet - Send your Flickr photos to Twitter
- 2Tweet - Tweet multiple photos and videos
- Zannel - Instantly share your pics, videos and text to Twitter
- ScreenTweet - ScreenTweet shares videos, pictures, screen shots, and images on Twitter
- Greetter - Share photos and videos on Twitter
- img.ly – Photo sharing service for Twitter
- Instagram – iPhone photo sharing service. Won app of the year from Apple.
- Tweetphoto - Photo sharing made simple
- TweetMojo - Share your videos, webcam, photos, docs and more on Twitter
- Twittergram - Send your Flickr pix to Twitter and show people what you’re up to
- Twitpickr - an easy way to upload your TwitPic images to Flickr
- Yfrog - Share your images and videos on Twitter
12. Don’t Bother With DM’s
Personally my DM inbox is 90% spam so I don’t bother checking it for days at a time. Many people don’t check their DM inbox at all so if you send someone a direct message there is a terrible way to connect.
Use @ mentions to spark conversation, or send a message to the person on Facebook. These ways your chance of getting a response is significantly better.
13. Analyze Your Progress
There are several powerful free Twitter Analytics tools that can help you measure the progress you are making on Twitter.
When you analyse and visualize your activity on Twitter you can get a better idea of what is working and what is not so that you can optimize your actions to create a bigger network and a more engaged following.
14. Engage the Influencers in Your Niche
The largest twitter directory wefollow organizes people from most to least followed. You can use this organization to identify the people in your niche with the largest followings.
By focusing your networking activities on engaging with people who have large networks you stand to benefit from their reach as they engage with you as well.
Wefollow allows you to add yourself to up to five interest categories in their directory. By strategically choosing and adding yourself to long tail terms that have members with fewer followers than you, you will be seen as an influencer in that niche by everyone else who checks out that directory category.
15. Leverage Twitter Lists
If you include someone on a Twitter list this is far more effective for getting their attention than simply following them.
Even if you create a simple list called “cool people” or something like that, which is not subject specific, the fact that you took a few extra moments to include someone in that list shows them that you have them on your radar.
Listing people is also a great way to get listed since some people feel inclined to return the favour.
If tweeting in a team use cotags to identify who it is that is doing the tweeting. Cotags are initials that identify who is tweeting when multiple people manage one account. For example, if I was tweeting as part of a tweet I would end every tweet with my initials like so: ^GK.
For best results include pictures with names and cotags of the different people who tweet for the account on the Twitter page background for that account.
Next Level Twitter Tips
Sign up for my free Twitter eCourse for some of my most powerful Twitter tips, free updates, and a free .pdf!
How do you use Twitter in Your Small Business?
Let us know how you use Twitter in your business in the comments below!