Social Marketing: 5 Twitter Tips for Businesses

Since it came online, Twitter has revolutionized social media 140 characters at a time. It’s an instantaneous way to let followers know your latest news or stay connected with you. Its compact bursts of information and ease of re-tweeting make Twitter the ideal vehicle for businesses that want to stay firmly fixed in their customers and prospects’ minds, but not every company maximizes the power of this media channel. Here are five essentials for making every tweet count.

1. Fill in All the Blanks

Like any social media channel, Twitter allows its users to create profiles. Your Twitter profile should give visitors the clearest and most complete image possible of your company. The first blank you need to fill is your Twitter handle. Choose one that’s memorable and easily linked to your business. Ideally, your business name can double as your account name, but if your company’s name is an acronym or common family name, you may have to play with the possibilities until you and your marketing company find a good fit. Keep it short whenever possible to make it easy to type on smartphones and other mobile devices. People use Twitter on the go, so short is sweet.

Under the Account Settings tab, your marketing team can build a detailed profile that includes key information such as your location, links to your site and a biography section. Don’t feel limited by the descriptions on the page; you can also use the bio area to share your corporate philosophy or describe your goals.

2. Aim for High Visibility

You only have 140 characters in each message you send, but the images you choose for your Twitter page are worth a thousand tweets. A high-impact, instantly recognizable company logo distinguishes you from the competition and helps your followers identify you at a glance. You can also customize your background image, giving your business story a vivid illustration. Everything on your Twitter site is an online extension of your company, so work with your marketing team to find an image that expresses your brand identity while still remaining legible.

3. Build Your Brand Daily

Creating and maintaining a strong brand identity takes regular effort, but Twitter makes brand-building feel effortless. Tweets are short, epigrammatic messages; they don’t cost you a great deal of time to compose or distribute, so it’s easy to do regularly. In the process of building your brand, tweets are the smallest and most numerous blocks. Reach Marketing incorporates daily tweets as part of an overall social media strategy that reinforces larger, less frequent communications with regular updates and links.

Some businesses ignore tweets as too small to be useful, but they’re just the right length to impart some bite-sized wisdom to your Twitter followers. Sites such as Bitly and condense long URLs into easy-to-tweet versions, and you don’t need much space to invite customers to see your latest product line. Frequency, not length, matters more for social media.

4. Follow and Get Followed

Twitter works best when you’re fully plugged into it, and that means building a following. To build a follower base, become an active follower yourself. Follow some of your top customers, your vendors, contractors and even competitors. Area businesses are also good choices to follow; they help you build a local reputation, and localization is a key to growth.

You’ll also need content worth tweeting and re-tweeting to build your follower base. Multi-media tweets keep followers interested by giving them a steady stream of novel content from videos and podcasts to feature article links. Don’t be ashamed to ask for re-tweets, either. Including a few simple calls to action such as “please RT” can increase your circulation. Smart use of hashtags, those ubiquitous titles that start with a “#” sign, will also boost your visibility.

5. Open Both Sides of the Communication Street

One of the biggest mistakes many companies make with Twitter is using it solely as an ad platform. Put the sociability back in social media by communicating about more than just your latest offer. Respond to your customers’ questions, share a tidbit of industry news or celebrate a company milestone using Twitter so your followers get something more than a steady diet of ads. Establish a dialogue instead of a monologue to maintain the higher visibility you earn by following the previous guidelines for more effective tweets.

Twitter is an incredibly useful tool, but like all tools, it needs direction and foresight to work as intended. Making your Twitter account part of an overarching social media strategy turns a simple communication channel into a brand-building powerhouse.

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