Since Twitter came about in 2006, it’s been an effective tool to bring businesses closer to their customers. With over 200 million active users, the need for businesses to be on Twitter cannot be overemphasized. One of the biggest attractions of this social media craze is its competitive advantage. As a powerhouse in such a large market, Twitter is simply too big to just ignore.
According to the survey conducted by Twitter on the benefits businesses gain from their presence on the site, 85% agree that they feel more connected to a business after they ‘follow’ them. Based on these stats, it’s safe to say that Twitter followers are active in driving recommendations, sales and a broader customer reach. That’s all very well though – if you have followers.
Obtaining followers (and I don’t just mean a small handful of your friends and colleagues) can be challenging. It’s not about how many people you have on your list, but more about how they relate to your industry, how they can help promote it, and what you can learn from them. Getting the right followers means optimizing your Twitter page the right way. We check out 6 tips to help you create an ideal business Twitter page.
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Before starting a Twitter business page you need to define your purpose – why are you using Twitter? Maybe you want to generate leads, establish better relationships with customers, or perhaps you just simply want to build your brand. Some people use Twitter to follow the news, whereas others use it to share ideas and articles. By defining your purpose, you’ll know what information you want to share.
Along with purpose comes passion. Like with any social media, it’s easy to get lost in the noise. And with thousands of tweets being sent out, you’re going to need the right focus. By tweeting ideas, articles or news that surrounds your passion, they’re more likely going to stand out. Passion shines through stronger than tweeting because you’re scheduled too and will help reveal your business’s personality. This article provides some great tips on the best way to do this.
2. Perfecting Your Business Bio, @Name and Images
Your @name, also known as the Twitter handle, should be the most significant and above anything – make sense. The safest (and smartest) bet would be to go with your company name. If your company name is lengthy though, you’ll have to get creative and think of a recognizable abbreviation as the Twitter handle can only be 15 characters.
Your bio and images should also reflect your brand and business purpose. The words you use on your Twitter bio will help your name show up in Twitter search results so it’s essential you include the right search terms you want to be associated with. Again, the 160 character limit can be restricting so aim to spark someone’s attention in as few words as possible. Ideally, you want just enough information to direct people to your website for more. On that note, don’t forget to include your location and link to website under your business bio!
There’s no point in a great looking Twitter page if the right people can’t find you. Keywords are the ‘themes’ that will help tap into existing traffic and amplify your exposure, thus it’s absolutely crucial you put research into which ones fit your brand best.
The Google Keyword Planner is the best place to start and identifies what keywords make up your industry. Once you’ve found these, do the same with #hashtags. Effective use of hashtags allows Twitter to tap into conversations and get your brand out there. Look for trending hashtag conversations and decide which ones you want associated with your business. Then include yourself in the conversations and use the relevant hashtags. This will help you connect with potential followers who have similar interests too. This is a great site to find which hashtags are popular, and alternatively the Twitter toolbar will point you in the right direction. You should only use 1-3 hashtags in your tweets – this way you won’t bombard people!
Your followers are the people that are going to help drive your brand and build your network. Thus, it requires a little more effort than getting your friends and colleagues to lift your followers’ numbers up. The most common (and easiest) way to gain followers is the follow-first rule. By following someone first, you can then assume that they will look at your profile and follow you back – hopefully.
It goes without saying then that it’s essential you follow people that fit with your purpose, passion and product. Once your followers begin to grow however, so does the ‘noise’ and this is when the use of lists becomes your best friend. Choosing lists will allow you to listen to relevant conversations and identify the influences you want to connect with, without the rest of the busyness.
Now you have followers, communication is essential in continuing to build your network. Keep your Twitter profile loaded with fresh, real-time content that fits your purpose, passion and product. Perhaps its industry news, ground-breaking research or a summary of great content you want to share.
Tweets have a 140 character limit so opening your tweets with a bang is important to get attention. Be short, sweet and link out to relevant content. If you’re retweeting, retweet with a different angle or quote something from the content to show you’re actually interested in what you’ve read.
Now you have your Twitter profile ready, getting it out there for everyone to see (and potentially follow you) is crucial! Feature your Twitter handle (@name) on your own site, any marketing materials you distribute and your email signature. This way, you’ll encourage prospects and industry influences to connect with you.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson who writes for White Chalk Road – a specialized SEO and Online Marketing company in Perth. You can catch the White Chalk Road team on Twitter to discuss this piece.