At our last Lunch and Learn event, in April, we welcomed 10 business owners around the table to discuss how they use Twitter for their business. Twitter is a powerful conversation tool, and the number of active users has grown significantly over the past few years. Twitter can be used by businesses to generate conversations with other businesses and with customers. It’s a double-edged sword. In recent years the success stories for businesses on Twitter are as numerous as the PR failures. For big corporate companies, the relationship between business and customer was a relatively private affair, usually conducted via letter, email or telephone conversation. Nowadays, the advancement of social media sees many more interactions between business and customer being played out in the public domain – so for businesses it’s as important as ever to deliver good quality, genuine customer service. That way, social media only helps to enhance the reputation of the business, as customers will have positive things to tell their friends about.
For our small business owners, we wanted to share some top tips and hints that can help them become more confident in using Twitter to interact with other businesses and their customers. And here are some of the things we talked about!
1. Engage with people
Twitter is about creating conversation. That means finding conversation and joining in, or creating your own. Engage with businesses and people who have influence in your industry and reply to things they post. If you’re looking to sell your services, don’t use Twitter to flood potential customers with replies and retweets as it will put people off.
2. Follow people
Following businesses and people on Twitter is the easiest way to help get your business noticed. But it should be meaningful. So follow people on Twitter who are in your market, or other businesses who are local to you. That way you help to forge partnerships in your local area and your business can find it’s voice on social media.
3. Thank people on Twitter
If your business is lucky enough to get interaction from other businesses or customers – either in the form of a follow from another business, or a mention from a customer, take time to thank them. It costs you nothing to say ‘thank you’ and it helps to personalise your business.
4. Make yourself searchable
Make sure your profile is up-to-date with all the relevant information about your business. And if you’re comfortable using hashtags, use them. Hashtags are searchable keyword terms and might help your business get noticed.
If you’re familiar with hashtags, you’ll understand the relevance they can have in business. They are quite simply searchable keyword terms that enable other Twitter users to find conversations about that word. It’s a great way for your business to find out what other people are saying about topics relevant to your industry.
6. Use images
Tweets with images gain 18% more engagement. Use images where you can to help customers visualise who you are and what you do.
7. Get involved in #hashtaghour
A #hashtaghour is usually a one-hour window of time, once a week, when businesses engage in conversation, relevant to either their industry or their location. #northantshour is a popular choice between 8-9pm on a Thursday.
8. Use Twitter lists
You can create a list of the businesses that you want to engage with more often. This helps you focus your time by seeing what others in either your industry or location are talking about and engaging with them.
9. Use Twitter Analytics
Twitter Analytics is a useful tool for analysing what level of engagement your tweets are getting. If you are regularly posting content on Twitter, you’ll want to know whether it’s worth your while. Use Twitter Analytics to get a summary of the key stats.
10. Schedule Tweets
You don’t have to be tweeting every minute of the day. If you want to say something at 9pm on Twitter, but you don’t want to be on your phone or computer doing it at 9pm, you can schedule Tweets to be sent out. There are many tools available to help you do just that.
This list is not exhaustive. There is a huge amount of opportunity on Twitter and many tips and tricks that can help your business become more widely recognised on social media. The main purpose of engaging on Twitter is to help increase your brand and reputation. If your business is seeking to increase its brand or reputation, why not come along to one of our Lunch and Learn events? Call through to the office, on 01604 779 035, for details.
Author: Tom Jullings
I work with clients to improve the digital marketing experience they present to their customers – from web design and SEO to outreach marketing and social media.
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