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 313 million users, Twitter is one of the “big three” essential online tools (along with Facebook and LinkedIn) for finding and connecting with people, instantly, around the world.
According to Twitter’s own research, 94% of customers plan to buy from the small businesses they follow on Twitter. 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 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!
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!
Is there an ideal number of Tweets and responses I should send every day?
Nope! However, a recent Twitter study shows that the way you interact with others on Twitter can actually make a significant, direct, and measurable influence on your bottom line. Responding on Twitter literally helps you make more money, so being consistent and vigilant is tangibly important to your business!
How do I get people to respond to my Tweets?
You can check out 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:
- Make people curious. Tweet stuff that piques your followers’ interest, but doesn’t give away the whole story up front.
- Don’t be afraid to share more than once. About 6,000 Tweets are posted every second of the day. If you want to improve a Tweet’s odds of being seen, don’t settle for sharing it just once.
- 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!)
How do I say what I want to say in just 140 characters?
Savvy marketers know that in our miniscule-attention-span world, content has to be smart and short to get 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 to your Tweets is always a good idea. They catch they 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:
Most dog owners don’t need a scientific study to know their pets understand them—but now there’s evidence https://t.co/HTiFO7HVLC
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) April 18, 2017
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 140 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 send you a DM or you can simply embed a “send private message” link in a Tweet:
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 an 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 small 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 new 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.
Next, spiff up your bio! A compelling Twitter bio is a key factor when someone’s deciding whether to follow you. Twitter makes you keep it 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, too, so your potential customers can find you!)
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. That will give you a good base of potentially interested followers.
From there, simply start tweeting! We know – it’s 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. (Studies show that people prefer Twitter to email, live chat, phone calls, and even in-person customer service!)
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!
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.
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:
- The majority of your followers don’t check Twitter on a daily basis.
- The ones that DO average just 60 seconds on the platform each day!
- 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:
- Figure out when YOUR best times for posting are using Twitter Analytics. (It’s free!)
- Write your Tweets in advance. This saves time and builds a library of content you can use quickly.
- Repeat them from time to time (because most people don’t see it the first time) – you can do this using a smart automation tool like Edgar!
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.
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.
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!
- Driving Traffic from Twitter to Your Website, According to Math
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 – not so much for generating sales.
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 your work or potential partners. Think of it like a networking tool as opposed to direct marketing or sales.
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. Your volume could seem high or low depending on the thousands of other people that your followers are also reading.
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.)
As far as regular Tweets or status updates, one-to-three times a day is great — any amount is generally fine, as long as you’re consistent. If you can’t sign on to Twitter every day, no biggie! You can automate your Tweets using intelligent sharing software — like Edgar!
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. Check out our Twitter and Facebook Posting Guide for all the tricks and tools you’ll need to craft your personalized 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. One of the things people like best about Twitter is that you can hop on or off, guilt-free.
But even when you’re posting consistently on Twitter, your Tweets are only seen by a fraction of your audience. Re-posting your best Tweets is critical in addition to interacting on Twitter in real time. (Meaning, you don’t want to automate your entire Twitter persona!)
Using “smart” social media management tools like Edgar to schedule out a selection of your best Tweets — like whenever you have an idea or come across a link or resource that you want to share — is a great idea, and will help your Tweets get seen.
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?
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.
It’s also a great way for you 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!