Twitter Marketing

Grow Your Small Business with Twitter

Table of Contents

Introduction

How to Grow Your Small Business with Twitter

Can Twitter actually be used to bring in more leads, opportunities, and sales to your business? The answer is a resounding YES! With over 330 million active users, Twitter is an essential social network for finding and connecting with people, instantly, around the world.

According to Twitter’s own researchTwitter users shop 6.9 times in a month. Talk about a golden opportunity!

The purpose of this guide is to give any business a strong foundation on the Twitter platform. As with anything, you want to get started on the right foot to get the most value out of your efforts – or be sure you’re doing the right things, even if you’ve been on Twitter for a while.

In this free guide from MeetEdgar, we’ll cover topics like:

  • What, when, and how often you should Tweet
  • How to find new followers and customers who are looking for your business
  • Why Twitter-specific marketing is different from other social media marketing

Along with simple, actionable tips you can put to use right away, we’ll connect you with more articles and resources throughout this guide that will introduce you to – and help you master – intermediate and advanced Twitter marketing tactics.

So grab hold of one of Edgar’s eight tentacles – you’re about to learn how to become a Twitter marketing pro!

Chapter 1: How to create Twitter content your customers will actually love

What kind of content should I post to Twitter?

The same kind of content you’d like to see! Everyone enjoys compelling, humorous, and interesting stuff that sounds like it’s coming from a real person — on Twitter or elsewhere!

Your Twitter feed is a great place to show off your personality. A common mistake entrepreneurs make is only tweeting links to products or deals, which gets super boring, super fast. People will learn quickly to skip over your Tweets if you come across like an infomercial – that is, if they don’t unfollow you first!

That doesn’t mean you should NEVER post about product updates or special offers! But Twitter is best used to share genuine, personable, short-and-sweet content with your followers.

So ask questions of your followers, run polls (Twitter makes that super easy to do), curate content through Quoted Tweets – and don’t forget to include relevant hashtags!

 

 
 

Twitter Tip

Did you know that images can help increase visibility and shares of your Tweets? Read this post about the types of Twitter images are massively popular.

 

 

 
 

Is there an ideal number of Tweets and responses I should send every day?

By engaging with people yourself! When you leave meaningful comments on your followers’ tweets, even share their content, you’re putting in motion what’s called the law of reciprocity — a simple psychological technique. 

It means when you do something nice for others, they feel the urge to return. For instance, when you leave comments, lots of your followers will feel the need to return those comments. 

But before you go about leaving comments on your followers or prospective buyers’ content, make sure you write engaging tweets. You can learn about this in our handy guide that shows you how to write Tweets that engage your followers – and drive people from Twitter to your website. The super-basic rundown of our guide is as follows:

  1. Make people curious. Tweet stuff that piques your followers’ interest, but doesn’t give away the whole story upfront.
  2. Share things… even reshare them. A large number of tweets are made every second of the day, which means each tweet’s audience is teeny-tiny. So you can always reshare tweets. Bonus points for tweaking the content a bit!
  3. Make Twitter one part of your overall content strategy – not the only part! The potential for reaching customers on Twitter is awesome, but to be as effective as possible on social media means you’ve got to diversify. (And make sure your fans are on Twitter in the first place!)
 
 

Twitter Tip

The MeetEdgar blog tracks and deciphers the latest Twitter updates and strategies. Check out the latest Twitter marketing tips by clicking here

 

 

 
 

How do I say what I want to say in 280 characters?

Savvy marketers know that in our miniscule-attention-span world, content has to be smart and short to attract attention. So think of Twitter’s “limitation” as a way to optimize your content – and develop new ways to entice customers to click!

If that’s not enough, adding images and videos to your Tweets is always a good idea. They catch the eye and illustrate (or emphasize) the point you’re making. Here are some of the most popular image types you can test out with your followers.

If that’s still not enough, Twitter’s Website Cards give you not only the usual amount of space, but also an image, and the text in the automatic link preview. Check it out:

 

When is it okay to take a Twitter conversation to Direct Messages?

If a conversation would be better completed in private, then a switch from a Twitter conversation (which anyone can see) to DMs (which are between you and one other person). This can happen for many reasons: The 280 character limit doesn’t provide enough information, or perhaps a customer would rather not over-saturate their personal Twitter Timeline with business matters.

As long as you’re following the customer and they’re following you, you can either request the customer to send you a DM or you can simply embed a “send private message” link in a Tweet:

 

Tweet on Twitter to send private message
 

Chapter 2: How To Find and Use Twitter Hashtags

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a word or a small phrase with a pound # sign in front of it. It’s clickable. This means all the tweets including a specific hashtag are listed when you click on the hashtag. Think of it like this: if Twitter were a library, hashtags would be the shelves that categorize different tweets according to their mood, theme, topic, event, you name it!

On Twitter, you’ll find hashtags in three specific areas:

  1. Tweet updates
  2. Trending topics
  3. Twitter chats

Using relevant hashtags, you can easily join in on convos – like talk about a trending event or join a twitter chat.

Do hashtags help on Twitter?

They absolutely do! Hashtags index similar content. This can help you in two ways:

Firstly, you get more eyeballs on your tweets and, sometimes, more followers too! This is how it works: someone clicks on the hashtag and views your tweet. Like we’ve been emphasizing, if that tweet is interesting, this person may become intrigued enough to click ‘follow.’ High-five!

Secondly, you can find more content by clicking a hashtagged word or by typing a hashtag in Twitter’s explore tab. This way, you can keep a pulse on what’s happening in your industry and what your target audience is rumbling about.

What’s more, using relevant hashtags, you can easily join in on conversations. For example, talk about a trending event or jump into a twitter chat. You can also connect with others on your topics of interest, say #writing or #singing (even #bathroomsinging), events and conferences such as #NewYear, holidays or celebrations such as #WorldBookDay, and more.

 

Each week of the day has some popular hashtags too such as #MondayMotivation, #TuesdayThoughts, #WednedsayWisdom, and so on.

 

 

 
 
 

Twitter Tip

Create a branded hashtag that’s unique to your business! You can encourage your clients and customers to use your branded hashtag to start conversations so you can connect with your community.

 

 

 
 

How to find hashtags on Twitter

 This doesn’t take a ton of work, really. Hunt down a good list that curates all these popular hashtags or use hashtag finding tools likeHashtagify,RiteTag, andTagdef. Better yet – hop on to the Twitter app on your phone and start typing a hashtag on your mind.

The search will immediately show you what’s trending.

And while you’re at it, click on the search icon in your phone app and note down the Trends for you. Press See More to get a longer list of trends. You can get the same from your desktop app too.

 

How to personalize hashtags on Twitter

Simply click on the setting icon at the top right of your trends list and make adjustments. When you untick the box, ‘Personalize trends based on your location and who you follow,’ you’ll get the option to change your location. Pick your audience’s location from there or stick with worldwide.

Want another tip to personalize your Twitter? Click on each trend to assign a quality:

Twitter will adjust hashtags accordingly so you can hang out right in the middle of your target audience.

 

 

 
 

Twitter Tip

Test out using Twitter’s advanced search tool for a more targeted search. With Twitter’s Advanced Search, you can search for tweets with specific words and phrases, from certain accounts, near certain locations, published on certain dates, etc.

 

 

 
 

How to use hashtags on Twitter

Edgar loves using them. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do so. So, foremost of all, we suggest you use Twitter hashtags only when they fit in naturally in your tweets. It shows when you squeeze them in for the sake of it – something the cool kids over at Twitter don’t appreciate.

Next, use hashtags only when they’re relevant. You don’t need to hashtag every few words in your tweets or, even, in your bio, thinking it’d give you discoverability superpowers. Nope. That’s only gonna backfire as people see you lust after being found.

And one more thing, it’s best you play it safe and don’t try to add a hashtag phrase. Such a phrase, let’s say #tootiredtoworkagainonfriday, is long-winded, confusing, and ugly-looking too. It may even fall flat.  

 

 

How many hashtags should I use on Twitter?

1-2 in a tweet. Although Twitter doesn’t limit you from using as many hashtags as you want, going overboard with hashtags simply looks eww to the eye. So, be it a tweet or your Twitter bio, make sure you add hashtags to a bare minimum.

 

 

 
 

Twitter Tip

Don’t overwhelm your tweets with hashtags. It’s tempting to want to squeeze as many in as possible but it’s a surefire way to show your audience that you’re only interested in reach! Prioritize engagement over reach on Twitter.

 

What are the best practices for using Twitter hashtags?

First off, keep your hashtag short. A hashtag with several words is confusing. Best of all – find and use only prevalent hashtags.

Secondly, never add punctuation or spaces to your hashtags. That’ll break your hashtag, rendering it unclickable.

Lastly, don’t write a hashtag in capital unless it’s an abbreviation. In the digital world, ALL CAPS means you’re shouting.

Chapter 3: How To Grow Your Twitter Following

What kind of content should I post to Twitter?

Edgar is all about growing your followers by making genuine relationships and offering people good reasons to follow you. This takes work. And time too. But if you stick with the steps we share below, you’ll see your follower count grow steadily.

Kick things up by increasing the number of tweets you send

If you’re currently making two tweets in a day, make it four. If you’re at 3, double it to 6 tweets. Because tweeting more increases your chances of being discovered by your audience.

And, because, there’s a lot of noise on Twitter – about 8,900 tweets per second. Tweeting more can help you cut through all that noise.

However, make sure every tweet packs value. Which brings us to sharing only good stuff — another good tip to grow your followers.

Make sure you share good stuff only

When you share good stuff, you give people a solid reason to follow you. But what sort of content is that? That’s valuable information, some personality-showing tweets, a bit of behind the scenes content with a few product/service updates mixed in. 

But mainly, tweets that get you followers are tweets that share lots and lots of audience-relevant information. That’s what makes you an informer on Twitter, those who have twice the followers than me-formers or people who only talk about themselves.

Does that mean you shouldn’t talk about yourself at all? Nope. That means you talk about yourself, but only to an extent.

Nobody wants to be friends with someone who’s self-obsessed. But if you listen, share valuable information, and talk a bit about yourself, you’re the person everyone wants to talk to (or follow in this case)! In short, it’s best to be a living, breathing, and sometimes vulnerable human being on Twitter.

Next, be consistent

You want to tweet consistently so you can stay on top of your followers’ minds. Tweeting on Monday and disappearing the next day, only to tweet again on Thursday is a meh thing to do.

But how many times is consistent tweeting? The sweet spot is anywhere between three to seven tweets per day. To start off, go with five tweets daily. 

And space them.

It’s important you don’t tweet in bursts – one too many tweets in a short duration. That can annoy your followers so much they can unfollow you. Of course, Edgar understands you don’t mean to annoy your followers, that’s why he helps you schedule tweets.

 

 

 
 

Twitter Tip

Use a scheduling tool like Edgar to keep you consistent! You can set your schedule to post when your audience is active and Edgar will make sure content always goes out at those set times.

 

 

 
 

Also, tweet content that gets shared

Another tip that’s gonna help you is sharing the content your audience loves to consume. What’s that? Drum rolls, please – visuals!

Interestingly, people pay attention to information-packed images. In fact, they spend more time looking at such images than reading through text. This gives you a good opportunity to share information in a medium that Twitteratis love.

Tweet interesting GIFs, memes, animated graphics, and even infographics – anything that your audience can relate to.

 

 

And wait, there’s more – adding photos to your tweets increases retweets by 35%. Infographics take home the trophy though – they’re shared three times more than any other type of images. Here’s the fun bit: the more the retweets, the more followers you’ll get.

 

 

 
 

Twitter Tip

Make sure your images and videos are properly sized for Twitter! The recommended image size is 1024 x 512. Videos can either be square (720 x 720), landscape (1280 x 720)  or portrait (720 x 1280).

 

 

 
 

Don’t forget to tweet engaging videos

Surprisingly, watching videos is the third reason why people go to Twitter, second only to getting news and viewing photos. And here’s more – straight from the horse’s mouth – Tweets with videos see ten times more engagement than those without. Woah!

Like the smart person that you’re, you must have already figured your next move – tee up engaging videos.

But we’ve some bitter news too: Twitter gets over 2 billion video views daily. So how can you make sure you get your audience’s attention?

Don’t worry. Edgar’s got your back with some great tips:

  • Make short videos – ideally 45 seconds long
  • Add captions. Most people watch videos without sound on so you need subtitles to keep them hooked
  • Tell your viewer what to do. Do you want them to follow you? Leave comments? Tell them

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Twitter Tip

You don’t have to create videos just for Twitter, either! Try repurposing past live streams or editing past videos into 30-45 second snippets

 

 
 

Lastly, join Twitter chats

This one’s Edgar’s favorite tip for building strong relationships. In fact, Edgar organized its very own Twitter chat – the #SoloBizChat too. It was one heck of a party! 

So, the basics – Twitter chats are conversations around a topic in a Q&A format, usually hosted by one host who may or may not invite a guest. All participants join in using the specific hashtag at a specified time and day.

These convos are about an hour long. But it’s an hour full of fun, engaged conversations, making new connections, and getting and giving lots of value.

When you join a Twitter chat, be yourself. It’s okay to be a little nervous. We all are! But you’ll get a hang of it (and might even become a bit addicted) sooner than you know it. 

Just be prepared to share what you know and talk to people – like really having a convo with someone at your local grocery store around a topic of interest.

When you interact with people (and have a good time doing so), they’re likely to follow you themselves or follow you back when you follow them. 

Ready to be the star that you are? Find Twitter chats relevant to your business and hop on to make friends and followers!

Chapter 4: Looking good, tweeting better: A Twitter marketing strategy primer

Did you know that 69% of people following a small business on Twitter later went on to purchase from them? That’s a BIG online marketing opportunity!

Whether you’re brand new to Twitter, or you feel like you’ve tried everything, here are a few tips that will help you lay a solid foundation for successfully marketing your business on Twitter.

 

First thing’s first: Personalize your Twitter account

 

If you’re a “solopreneur,” we recommend using a picture of yourself over a logo – for a more personalized Twitter experience for your fans and followers! (You can use a business logo or graphic for your Twitter banner, if you like.)

If you’re a small business, however, definitely showcase your logo! Make sure any image file you use is high quality, so your logo looks amazing whether you’re on web or mobile.

In either case, you can use your Twitter banner to show what you do or share more details of what your business does. 

Next, spiff up your bio! A compelling Twitter bio is a key factor when someone’s deciding whether to follow you. Tell your followers what you do, what you tweet about, or what your mission is. Even share personal details like a hobby or two. This way, you can show your business’s human side — helping your followers relate with you better. 

But here’s the catch: Twitter makes you keep your bio short, so think carefully and don’t be afraid to write a couple of versions and ask people you trust what they think. (Don’t forget to include a link to your website or blog. And pop in a hashtag or two, too, so your potential customers can find you!)

 

Twitter Tip

Browse the bios of brands and people you follow and admire – what stands out about them? Do you notice trends in the bios of your favorite Twitter accounts? Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from creative, catchy brand bios!

 

 
 
 
Once your profile picture, banner, and bio are set, it’s time to start tweeting to your fans!

 

How to engage with your fans and customers on Twitter

 

First, let your current mailing list know you’re on Twitter. If you use any other social channel, tell your followers there that they can connect with you on Twitter as well. That will give you a good base of potentially interested followers.

From there, simply start tweeting! We know – it sounds too easy, right? But it’s just like riding a bike – you’ve got to start pedaling in order to keep moving!

You can tweet about things happening in your industry, cool things you’ve learned, conferences you’ve attended, resources you use and love, or about any number of relatable things that happened to you throughout your day.

People will show more interest in your business if they feel a connection to you, so be your best self, be kind, be helpful, and have fun!

There’s really no wrong way to get started, as long as you remember that tweeting is just another way to have conversations with your followers and customers.

You can even use Twitter as an outlet for customer service – allowing you to respond to issues quickly and in real time. 

 

How to find more Twitter followers

 

Start by searching for relevant accounts and hashtags. Follow other companies/profiles whose products, services, or interests relate to your own – without being direct competitors. These accounts will be more likely to be interested in what you tweet… and also in following you back! (Psst. Never follow more than 400 accounts in a day. Twitter doesn’t appreciate that)

Then, be sure to Retweet and @mention fans of your business and the accounts that you follow. An added benefit of following like-minded accounts is that you’ll have plenty of material to Retweet to your own followers – so you don’t always have to come up with brand-new talking points.

Better yet, retweet tweets with a comment. Simply retweeting is good, but retweeting with a comment is better. And for good reasons. One, it tells the person you retweeted the content from that you’re interested in their content. This makes them likely to check you and follow you back (remember the law of reciprocity we talked about above?). 

Two, adding your thoughts when retweeting shows you as someone authoritative in their field. And, three, your comment adds more value for those already following you. That’s three birds with one stone. Woo hoo! 🙌

Just be sure to only retweet things that are relevant to your followers and your business. 

Want more followers? Edgar’s got you covered with more tips to grow your Twitter followers in the next chapter. 

 

How to keep your fans coming back for more

 

We researched some of the key stumbling blocks to building a strong Twitter presence. You can read all about them in more detail here. Basically, here’s what we figured out:

  1. The majority of your followers don’t check Twitter on a daily basis.
  2. The ones that DO average just 60 seconds on the platform each day!
  3. The “half-life” of a Tweet is incredibly short, and most people won’t see it – even your biggest fans!

If you’re feeling discouraged… stop! There’s a TON of opportunity to make a splash on Twitter, you just have to follow a few simple rules to make the most of your Tweets:

  1. Figure out when YOUR best times for posting are using Twitter Analytics. (It’s free!)
  2. Write your Tweets in advance. This saves time and builds a library of content you can use quickly.
  3. Be sure to engage with followers in real time, and don’t be afraid to start conversations!

 

 

Twitter Tip

Keep your @mentions to a minimum to avoid unintentionally “spamming” people with your Tweets. Unwanted @mentions can turn people off and lead to them reporting you, so stick to writing a Tweet with useful/funny/interesting/inspiring content first and foremost!

 

Should I have separate business and personal Twitter accounts?

 

No. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of having multiple Twitter accounts, then struggle to keep up or figure out which update to post to which account. Managing multiple accounts can easily become a headache and a hassle. Plus, Twitter is cracking down on people who post the same things from multiple Twitter accounts.

So start with one Twitter account, and then if you feel that you have the time and energy for the upkeep of a second account, you can always add one later.

 
 

Twitter Tip

You’ll generally have a much easier time amassing followers as a person, not a brand, so consider and develop your Twitter persona carefully before you get started.

 
 

How do I get people to go from Twitter to my website?

 

Strategy is gonna be your differentiator. Driving traffic from Twitter to your site takes both great content and a lot of persistence – both of which require planning and dedication on your part!

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to maximize your chances of being seen. Here are two easy-to-follow guides we put together that show you how to avoid common Twitter marketing pitfalls. As you can see, we love backing this stuff up mathematically!

 

Is Twitter useful for B2B marketing?

 

Yes, but it’s a little different from B2C marketing! For B2B, Twitter is most useful for staying in touch with prospects, previous clients, and referral sources – even some sales. But, not the immediate, flying off the shelves kinda sales. More like slow-selling that focuses on building relationships first, selling second. 

In most B2B scenarios, you don’t need to amass tons of Twitter followers. Instead, use Twitter to stay on the radar of those who refer you work or potential partners. Think of it like a networking tool as opposed to direct marketing or sales.

Chapter 5: A selection of the most common questions we get about Twitter

How many times a day should I update Twitter?

There’s no “perfect” answer for how many Tweets you should send out every day. 

Some say you should send out at least 5 tweets daily, while others think the ideal number depends on the industry you’re in. While the latter is true, we suggest you focus on quality over anything else along with being consistent on Twitter. Your volume could seem high or low depending on the thousands of other people that your followers are also reading.

Simply put, if it’s only 3 tweets in a day, but those are of the I-want-more quality, you’re well on your way to Twitter success.  

In general, you can never send out too many @mentions. Mentions are the main tool for conversation on Twitter, and the more conversation, the better. (We recommend against adding dozens of @mentions to random Tweets, though or @mentioning a handful of people on repeat — that could get annoying. Opps.)

As far as regular Tweets or status updates, three to five times a day is great — any amount is generally fine, as long as you’re consistent. 

 

What is the best time of day to post to Twitter?

There’s no hard and fast answer to this question. Users tweet every millisecond of every day, from all around the world!

The simplest answer? Your Twitter schedule should reflect the behaviors of your specific audience. Once you start tweeting more frequently, you’ll get to know how best to craft your own Twitter schedule.

 

Should I automate my Tweets?

Sometimes it’s hard to be on Twitter consistently. Most people tend to be more active one day and then off Twitter entirely for several days or weeks at a time. On days like these, automating your Tweets can help. This way your updates are automatic and you only need to log in to check your notifications, get back to comments and DMs, and engage with your followers. 

The best you can do is schedule a limited amount of tweets that go out daily while also spending some time on the platform. Twitter doesn’t shun automation as such, but insists you don’t break its rules. 

The one thing that you should never automate though is an introductory message in a person’s DM — like when someone follows you and an automated DM goes their way telling them the service you sell. That annoys people (read: spams them). And ruins your impression even before it’s made.

 

Does Twitter offer paid promotion?

Besides the free tips listed above, Twitter also offers paid promotion.

Just like with Facebook, Twitter lets you set a budget and runs promoted Tweets for a set amount of time. You can tailor who sees the Tweets by targeting users by keywords in their timeline, interests, geography, gender, and similarity to existing followers.

 

What are Twitter Trends and should I follow them?

trending on Twitter

Twitter Trends — sometimes referred to as Trending Topics — show you what major conversations are happening on Twitter, as they’re happening.

For example, when a big sporting event is on, you might see the Trends list dominated by the official hashtag for the event, player names, or even memorable phrases from coaches!

You can click on a Trending Topic to see Tweets about that topic from who you’re following and the millions of others talking about the same thing. Sometimes tweeting about a Trending Topic — especially if it’s a shared experience or event — is a great way to pick up new followers!

  

Should I use Twitter for customer support?

Many, many companies already do! Why? Twitter is a way for customers to connect with you in real time – whether that’s to alert you that your site is down or for an urgent matter that needs attention from your customer support team.

In fact, a whopping majority, that’s 83%, expect brands to get back to their queries within a day or less. Some 38% expect responses within an hour. So if you get back to queries quickly, you’ll give people another reason to like you and, even, refer you.

Twitter’s also a great place to receive feedback and collect accolades – after all, what better social proof is there than hundreds or thousands of happy customers, sharing their experiences with their followers!

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