Twitter can be a difficult platform to master. It is fast-paced, requires near constant monitoring, and has its own language. Businesses who are just beginning to move online may find it challenging to jump into the conversation.
Getting started on Twitter is relatively straightforward. The platform will walk you through setting up a user name and selecting people and organizations to follow. Try to follow as many as you can. The more of the conversation you see, the more you will be able to participate in.
That brings us to our second point. Consider using a platform like Hootsuite. While there are paying options, there are also free options that allow you to use your Twitter account and other social media platforms simultaneously. We do, however, caution against using third party platforms for Facebook, because it can actually lower your posts’ rankings. For Twitter, however, they work well and can be an excellent way to monitor the conversation.
On Twitter you want to send out ‘tweets’ daily. These are little 140 character sound bites that give information to your audience. Many businesses, especially B2C businesses, make the mistake of using Twitter largely as a microphone to broadcast their sales lines. Twitter was designed to be a conversational platform, and that is how users want it to be. If you continually just broadcast your message, people are going to start ignoring you.
Instead, use Twitter as a way to communicate with your consumer base. Send out informal tweets as well as professional tweets. Monitor the Twitter conversation for mentions of your company name as well as for subjects that deal with your industry. If you are on Hootsuite, it is very simple to set up streams to watch for certain topic keywords. If you do see something relevant come up, jump into the conversation and respond to the person in question.
Twitter offers the excellent opportunity to communicate directly with the people you are trying to market to, so take advantage of it. Find out what they feel is missing the in industry. Protect your brand’s reputation by addressing any concerns that arise with customers. Offer select deals and discounts to followers to encourage people to connect.
When Twitter is used correctly by small businesses it has enormous potential. The trick is getting over the hesitancy and diving into the conversation.