Twitter 101: 10 Basic Tips for Businesses

The word ‘twitter’ is defined as “a short burst of inconsequential information”, although since the social media website’s creation 14 years ago, it has proven to be much more than this.  

It is nearly essential at this point in time to own a Twitter account, especially for your business/brand. With 330+ million monthly active users, this is arguably the most “shareable” platform, where tweets can go viral and shared with hundreds of thousands of people all within the time it takes to eat your lunch. It is incredible how easy it is to access information, receive live updates, and have access to customer service all located in one place for your convenience.  

It can be quite intimidating to start from scratch and try to build a following for your business. My first tip would be to establish your brand BEFORE creating your account. My talented peers have already written several blogs on how to achieve this.  (http://ucommunicate.org/developing-your-social-media-brand/)  Your “brand” can be defined somewhat as your personality and how you wish to be perceived by your audience. This can mean anything from a specific color scheme you’ll utilize throughout your content to a certain controversial topic you may be passionate about. Once you have that underway, you can begin the curation of your feed. I’ve created a basic guideline of rules (in no particular order) to follow to hopefully make this process less overwhelming: 

  • Follow a lot of accounts, especially accounts that are similar to your brand to help curate your feed. 
  • When someone follows you, send them a quick DM (direct message) to thank them for the follow! 
  • Try not to retweet too much as it can come off as “spammy” to your followers when it appears on their timeline. An alternative would be to Retweet With Comment so you’re still sharing the tweet but also adding your original comments. There should be a decent ratio of original tweets to retweets to replies. 
  • Be sure to practice a lot of Social Listening to your OWN profile as well as others. Act as if you were someone else seeing your feed for the first time. It should be informative while remaining interesting/entertaining. You don’t want it to come across as one large advertisement for your business — nobody wants to follow that.  
  • PEOPLE CAN SEE WHAT YOU LIKE. Do not like inappropriate tweets, not only can people go through every tweet you’ve ever liked, but oftentimes a tweet will pop up as a “suggested tweet” to your follower’s timeline if you like it. 
  • Your bio is very important. It is everyone’s first impression of who you are and what you’re representing. Steer clear of full sentences, a list of what you do will work just fine followed by some of your branded hashtags. 
  • Tag similar accounts in your media or important tweets so they are more likely to share it. (You will find more success with this if you tag accounts that already follow you back, and do the same for them to create a mutually beneficial relationship.) 
  • Engage with your audience! Reply to them, DM them, and provide customer service if appropriate to your business. Use the “poll” feature to get a sense of what your audience enjoys seeing. Develop giveaways or contests so your followers are more inclined to share your content.  
  • Map out your Twitter marketing strategy and stick to a content calendar. What kind of things will you tweet? How will you reach and grow your audience? Will you create certain tweets on certain days of the week?  There is a dominating young demographic on Twitter, so keep this in mind when tweeting. Implementing the use of emojis and viral ‘memes’ may do well (see @TacoBell, @ChipotleTweets, and @Wendys for examples of successful, light hearted feeds).  
  • Use Twitter Analytics and the “impressions” tool to see the exact number of Twitter users who saw your tweet (this is different from retweets/likes). Use these numbers to decipher what tweets did/didn’t do well so you can improve in the future. Studies show the optimal times to tweet are during the traditional “break” times throughout the week: 12pm, 3pm, and between 5-6pm. (https://www.mentionlytics.com/blog/best-times-to-post-on-social-media-2018/)  

Remember to have fun with your Twitter. I love this platform because it’s more “free” than a lot of the other socials seem to be. This website has come a long way in 14 years and is showing no signs of slowing down, I hope to see your business growing along with it. Happy tweeting! 

Featured photo by Chase Prather

Hayley Hawkins 

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