Twitter marketing can feel overwhelming for a new user, but don’t give up on it too soon! It’s worth the effort to learn how social marketing with Twitter works because it can benefit your business in a number of ways:
- Updates are fast. Tweets (Twitter posts) are limited to 140 characters, so most take only a few seconds to write.
- An active Twitter profile builds credibility. When clients are able to connect with you on Twitter and other social media sites, it creates a sense of transparency and accessibility. Accessibility leads to trust, which leads to brand loyalty.
- You can participate in conversations with others in your industry to demonstrate your expertise.
- Twitter is free to use. You could never get the targeted exposure you can get with Twitter using traditional media.
- Your Twitter profile improves your search engine optimization, making it easier for people to find you online.
- Twitter will help you refine your brand. You have control over what is being said about you and your company.
Once you decide to get started, you’ll need to set up your Twitter profile. Just go to the Twitter website, and sign up. You should include your location, bio, image and a personalized background. Don’t skip this part. Your bio and location are prime opportunities to add keywords to your profile. How do you want to be found? What do you want to be known for? Include those words in your bio.
Your background and image are a way to continue your visual branding from your website. If you have a picture on your About page, you can use it for your image on Twitter; otherwise, use your company logo.
Choose a handle for your Twitter profile that’s easy to remember; your handle is basically your username on Twitter. Ideally, you’ll use your company name or your own name. You want something that makes a statement about who you are and helps your followers remember you.
Learning the Twitter Marketing Lingo
There are some features unique to Twitter marketing that can overwhelm new users. Learning how to use them can make your Twitter experience easier. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the main features that can be confusing at first:
- @ Replies and Mentions: On Twitter, when you mention another user, you use the “@” symbol before the username. This will alert the user to the fact that you’ve mentioned them. For example, you could post a tweet that says, “Great blog post @username!” and the user will see your update. If you want to reply to someone in particular, just hit “reply” under their tweet and your update will automatically begin with “@username.” For example, if you liked someone’s blog post, you could reply “@username Great post!” When someone wants to tweet to you directly they’ll also use an @ reply or mention. These tweets will show up under mentions and interactions (log into the Twitter website and click on the “@Connect” to see these). Remember, you may be interacting with one person specifically, but all your followers will see the message in their streams.
- Direct Messages (DMs): If you want to interact with someone privately, you can send them a DM. Twitter allows you to send a private message to anyone who follows you, but this doesn’t mean you should automatically DM new followers. It’s a big turnoff and can make you look unprofessional. Focus on building authentic connections with your fellow Twitter users to get the best results.
- Hash Tags: A hashtag is a way for people to search for tweets on a common topic. If you want to find out what people are saying about the new iPhone, search for tweets with the hash tag #iPhone5. Or better yet, tweet using the #iPhone5 hash tag so others can find what you’re saying. You can use a resource like Hashtag.org to find popular hashtags related to your niche or type keywords into Twitter search to see what hashtags are being used.
- Retweets (RTs): When someone tweets an article or comment that you think would be helpful or interesting to your followers, retweet it. The link or comment will appear in your followers streams marked with RT. When you receive a retweet from someone else, be sure to thank them for sharing your update! RTs are viewable from your Twitter profile homepage under the “@Connect” tab.
Twitter’s short and sweet posting makes it a fast and easy way to update your customers and clients. There may be a learning curve, but the benefits to your brand are worth the time spent upfront!
Do you still have questions about using Twitter for your business marketing? If so, leave them in the comments below.
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