How To Use Twitter for Business
When Twitter first launched in 2006, many people were confused by the concept of microblogging. They viewed Twitter as a glorified Facebook status update.
Oh, how wrong they were!
Twitter is more than just 280-character tweets. It’s a way to connect with your target audience and engage with news the moment it happens. This is why the social media platform has steadily grown to 192 million monetizable active users each day—from presidents to brands to everyday people.1 Twitter lets you see what’s going on in the world, hear what others have to say about it, and then join the conversation.
Wondering how to use Twitter effectively? Here’s what you need to know for your digital marketing strategy or social media management agency.
Benefits of Twitter for Business
Twitter is free to use. For businesses with budgetary restrictions, that’s a big deal.
Although there are paid sponsorships and branded partnerships available, you can grow your twitter business account without ever spending a dime. With a Twitter profile, you can:
- Reach a new audience – You can reconnect with a current customer or reach a potential customer. Twitter is both an opportunity to listen to your users and make your brand voice heard.
- Stay up-to-date – Twitter helps you stay in touch with what’s happening around the world. You can monitor your community, industry updates, and larger trends going on around you.
- Freely promote your business – By establishing your brand voice and joining the conversation, you can position yourself as an authority and a business worth listening to. Then, you can talk with twitter followers, conduct polls, or promote a new product or service.
- Provide customer service – Customers can mention you with issues, questions, or complaints. By providing speedy and helpful responses—in a public setting that other potential customers will see—you can bolster customer loyalty.
- Monitor the competition – Keep tabs on your fiercest competitors to see what they’re doing well and where they could improve. This gives you a chance to find areas of competitive advantage.
Setting Up a Business Twitter Account—An Effective One!
Before you start crafting content and building social media marketing strategies, you need a Twitter account—without first finding your voice, it won’t matter that you know what you want to say.
Before you do anything else, you need to set up a twitter profile by following these steps:
#1 Register an account – Go to the Twitter homepage and hit the “Sign up” button. From there, you’ll be asked to:
- Create a username and Twitter handle tied to your company
- Provide your business email and phone number
- Verify your date of birth
- Agree to the terms and conditions of service
#2 Verify your account – After you’ve completed the registration process, Twitter will send a verification email or text. Enter the provided code to proceed.
#3 Create a password – Be sure to create a password that is safe and secure. In the past, hackers have found ways to infiltrate major figures and brands that failed to protect their accounts.
After you’ve registered, you’ll need to fully flesh out your profile. Don’t take shortcuts with this step—it’s as important as building your brand identity or your website. A profile that stands out will set your twitter presence up for success. This includes:
- Uploading a profile pic – Most brands use a high-quality version of their company’s logo in a 400×400 pixel format. You can always get creative by switching up your profile logo to match the season, ongoing promotions, or changes in your brand’s identity.
- Adding a bio – You have 160 characters to tell the world what you do and why they should care. Even established brands take time to fully flesh this out. Slack provides a good example: “On a mission to make your working life simpler, more pleasant and more productive. Need help? Send us a tweet! For updates on status, follow @SlackStatus.”
- Choosing your interests – Twitter will prompt you to select your areas of interest so it can suggest users to follow. As a personal trainer, for example, you’ll want to select categories like “health” and “fitness.”
- Selecting users to follow – After choosing your interests, you’ll get a curated list of popular Twitter accounts related to your interests. As a brand, you should focus on people that are relevant to your company and industry, and can help you grow.
- Uploading a cover pic – Further establish your uniqueness by incorporating branded imagery as your profile’s backdrop. It could be a photo, graphic, or tagline. Ideally, the social media image sizes you upload should be in a 1500×500 pixel format.
Twitter Best Practices: How to Promote Your Business on Twitter
So, you’ve built a profile. What now?
It’s time to start Tweeting. But there are several things to keep in mind, which can help you build a twitter business profile and retain an audience.
#1 Hashtags Matter
Twitter was the very first social media platform to use hashtags—searchable identifying words or phrases that group tweets together. When users look for those words, they’ll receive a twitter list of all the relevant tweets.
For brands, it’s helpful to latch on to a trending branded hashtag and trending topic, then add your voice to the conversation, particularly when they’re relevant to your industry. You can also create your own branded hashtag and try to get it trending by promoting a dialogue around that subject.
Use hashtags sparingly and strategically. When a post has too many, it feels inorganic. Users might automatically assume that it’s a spam post. Similarly, you should limit your number of tweets each day to avoid clogging up your customers’ feeds. A few well-crafted, well-positioned, highly relevant tweets will do much more for your brand than spam-tweeting poor-quality content.
And on that note…
#2 Create Value-Adding Content
Just like with other indirect marketing channels, your primary goal isn’t to sell something but to provide value to your followers. While your underlying goal is always to drive traffic and increase conversions, the content is all about engaging with your target audience.
Ideally, your tweets should accomplish one of three things:
- Advance an idea
If you can manage to fit all three in a single 280-character tweet, power to you. But nailing at least one is still a major success. It should help inspire a conversation and keep your audience coming back for more.
#3 Engage Your Audience
Twitter is a fun, informal way to interact with your customer base. Tagging them in posts, responding to comments, and conducting polls are all easy ways to spark and encourage conversation and, ultimately, build a community.
To that end, your Twitter-based marketing strategy should encompass much more than just new ad campaigns and promotions. The effort has to be ongoing, as a largely inactive account may cause more harm than good if customers feel like their concerns (or even praises!) are being ignored.
It’s also important to remember that listening is as essential as speaking. By paying attention to the conversations going on, you can discover what others think about your brand or products. Over time, this will help you refine your messaging and proactively address pain points.
#4 Establish Your Voice
Every brand has its own unique voice and messaging. What’s yours?
If you don’t know yet, that’s okay. You have the chance to create and refine your voice. Just remember to:
- Be original – Your customers need a reason to keep following you—something your account offers that others don’t. Post unique opinions and brand-specific content. If you want to reshare something, quote it and add your own take. Even “plagiarizing” yourself across all of your various marketing channels can feel a bit stale. The more you can do to distinguish your company’s personality and voice, the better.
- Be clever – People reward ingenuity and humor. They may be more willing to follow a brand if they know it’s funny, inspiring, or thought-provoking.
- Avoid being “corporate” – Twitter is the platform of the masses. Of all the places to step away from impersonal, sterilized corporate lingo and become “one of them,” Twitter is the easiest and most effective channel for it. People embrace brands that embrace their real, genuine selves.
Along these lines, expand your horizons beyond simple text blurbs. Incorporate polls, gifs, memes, photos, videos, and other media to give your posts some zest.
#5 Advertise on Twitter
Twitter is free to use, but you can also pay money to promote your brand if interested in how to get more twitter engagement. There are three primary ways that Twitter helps boost a brand’s voice:2
- Promoted tweets – Just like on Facebook, Instagram, or even Google, you can inconscpicuously promote ads that look almost exactly like regular tweets in a user’s feed. The only difference is they have a “promoted” label at the bottom.
- Promoted accounts – You can promote your account across Twitter, including in the “who to follow” sections on a user’s homepage, feed, and search results page. Promoted accounts target users whose interests align with your brand.
- Promoted trends – These appear at the top of the trending topics but are clearly labeled as “promoted.” These are visible to all users, which allows you to target a wider audience.
The cost of these services depends on your business. But the ROI can be significant.
Twitter has established itself as the go-to place for starting conversations. For businesses, it’s a free opportunity to grow your network, influence, and voice.
Once you’ve created an account, keep these best practices in mind. If you’re a smaller company, growth likely won’t happen overnight. But if you work at it—if you hone your voice and build a community—you’ll be amazed by how quickly things can change.
So, what are you waiting for? Those 280 characters aren’t going to type themselves. Check out TikTok for brands as another social media platform for your growing business!
- Statista. Number of monetizable daily active Twitter users worldwide from 1st quarter 2017 to 4th quarter 2020. https://www.statista.com/statistics/970920/monetizable-daily-active-twitter-users-worldwide/
- Twitter. Advertising. https://business.twitter.com/en/advertising.html