Just like Facebook, Twitter is a popular social media platform that’s used by individuals and businesses alike. Twitter is a real time information network which connects users from across the globe, people communicate through ‘tweets’ – a tweet is simply a message which has a limit of 140 characters.
Businesses and individuals comment on the latest news stories, new ideas, opinions and other random elements they find interesting. Within a tweet you don’t have to include text alone, you can also add photos, videos and conversations directly in tweets so you can see the whole story at a glance.
Choosing a Username
Just like having a .com or .co.uk website address, your twitter username is the address (URL) that your audience will have to know in order to find you, it’s extremely important that you consider other usernames you may have to keep your branding consistent between platforms and websites. The majority of companies and sales professionals use their brand name as their username, it’s important that any name is memorable, short and simple. For example: www.twitter.com/YourUsername
I always recommend that your username is the same as your website address and/or Facebook page URL, otherwise it can’t be extremely easier for your customers to get confused with different addresses.
The Correct Way:
The Wrong Way:
As you can see from the examples above it can easily be confusing and unprofessional for any customers wishing to visit and view your content.
The Name Box and Website Link
When you sign up to Twitter you have the option to enter your real name this is so people can recognise you, for a personal profile this would be entirely correct, however for a business page it’s always better to place your brand or business name within this field. Instead of your real name appearing ‘John Smith’ – your business name will appear right at the top of your twitter profile page in big and bold lettering.
Equally Twitter will also give you the option of including a clickable link to your website within the ‘bio’ section – if you don’t have a working website (.com or .co.uk) you can simply put in another page such as your Facebook page or YouTube Channel.
Optimising The Bio Section
Typically Twitter will allow you to complete a biography section (bio) for your profile, this bio box allows you to have up to 150 characters where you can tell the world exactly who you are and what you do.
As a lot of people are limited on time this is the perfect section to grab your target audience’s attention, if you have several members managing your businesses Twitter account then it may be a good idea to list their real names here, for example ‘This Twitter account is managed by Mark James, Sally Smith and Claire Wright’.
Equally it can also be a great idea to sign posts so your customers know which person has responded to their tweet or enquiry, in this case Mark James would simply sign a post MJ, Sally Smith, SS and Claire Wright, CW.
Profile Image and Twitter Header Image
Similar to Facebook, Twitter features the ability to upload a profile image and a header image to every profile on the platform. Before uploading your first profile image you should see the default ‘egg’ image – generally it’s recommended that your profile image represents your company or product as this will be the first element a customer is most likely to see, thus they identify more easily if you upload a recognisable image such as a company logo.
Twitter recommends that your profile image should be uploaded at 400 x 400 pixels, it’s very simple to edit and replace the profile image, simply click on the ‘edit profile’ button and then to ‘change your profile photo’.
There was a major update to Twitter in 2014 as they introduced a header image which spans a massive 1500 x 1500 pixels, this can be ultised in an array of different measures, as a large banner fills the whole width of the top of the page – it can be great for highlighting new products, promotions and discounts.
How to Compose The Perfect Tweet
When using Twitter as a business related page it’s extremely important to be professional at all times, avoid ‘text’ speaking or shorten of words, ‘wot do u mean?”, “hi, is tha product alrite?”.
It can be tempting and hard to fit everything you want to say within the 140 characters limit, but it’s always recommended to write in the same way you would a letter, check your grammar, punctuation and spelling. If necessary you can always end a tweet with the following text 1/2, this clearly indicates to a customer there should be another message to follow, finish the second message with 2/2.
Generally, it’s recommended that you keep everything you want to say in one single tweet, rather than across multiple tweets, however on some occasions this isn’t possible, so if this occurs use your judgment and act accordingly. The perfect tweet won’t ‘waffle’ or ‘divert’ from the question asked, it will be clear, simple and to the point, never avoid a question even if it’s hard to answer. Always act in the same manner you would when on the phone or in person.
Equally some people believe that posting every second of the day makes their company or brand appear more on trend and in line with their customers needs, this simply isn’t the case, if a customer is ‘following’ your page they will quickly get annoyed by your constant tweets and you’ll soon find you have been removed from their profile. Remember it’s quality over quantity, if you have a high engagement rate with customers try to keep tweets to one an hour, unless it’s urgent.
Sometimes it’s hard to get noticed on Twitter, that’s why its important to fully understand and implement the use of effective hashtags to your campaign, here’s a list which should help you on your way:
1) It’s widely accepted in marketing circles that the highest one of hashtags should be three (3) per tweet, no more! Using four or more hashtags can overwhelm and confuse your target audience and they will simply switch off and click onto another tweet.
2) The whole point of hashtags is to gain exposure, don’t be general and simply say #football or #clothing – that’s going to do nothing for you. It’s recommended that you target conversations that you know are already taking place, some people fall into the trap of creating their own hashtag for example #MyBusinessName – which if used on all promotional activity is a great strategy, however if the initial coverage isn’t there and it doesn’t ‘sink’ into your target audience’s minds, then it will simply have no real effect.
In general, with the right campaign a custom hashtag can be really effective, however you need to bring together many aspects of a business to make it work, it needs to be branded on all literature from letters to emails, social media, websites, vans, lorries, products, packaging and so on.
You really need to push that custom hashtag ‘out there’ – it’s always a good idea to do a ‘pre search’ and see if anybody else is using your custom hashtag or a similar tag, so you don’t waste time, effort or money into something which is doomed to fail from the outset. As each industry is different, the results will vary so experiment and track what your market response to and plan accordingly.
3) Equally you should attempt to stay away from ‘popular’ hashtags, it may be tempting to jump on the bandwagon but if you’re tweet isn’t relevant to the hashtag in the first place, there’s simply no point as nobody will click on it.
4) It’s important that you attempt to keep hashtags short and sweet, there’s no point in #CreatingReallyLongHashTagsThatNobodyWillRead – firstly you have 140 characters don’t waste this space, secondly you’re going to confuse people, remember it’s always better keep your hashtags #clean, #easy and too the #point.
Twitter is mobile centric, it’s built for people who are quickly ‘surfing’ and don’t have a lot of time or Patience. They say an image is worth a thousand words and ultising images within your tweets can be a fantastic way of reaching your target audience with relevant and engaging content. It’s also worth noting that tweets featuring images are far more likely to get ‘re-tweeted’ compared to others, for maximum exposure make sure your image is at least 440 by 222 pixels, otherwise it will appear as a link.
Adapt your Appeal
When using twitter as a professional business it can easy to fall into the ‘corporate mode’, i.e., your tweets lack any real emotion or any elements which a regular human can relate to. Generally, it can be a great idea to adapt your language so you gain more interest from your target audience,
Before tweeting think about why somebody would click on your link or share your post with their friends and family, for example:
“Buy our latest heath drink! – only £2.99!” – so what?
“Do you want to lose weight? Read Sally’s slimming story, she went from heavy drinking to healthy drinking!”
As you can see from the example above, the idea is to ‘prompt’ somebody into taking action, you need to appeal to their inner curiosity and their own ambition for self-improvement – with the correct tone of language this can be accomplished with ease.
Tweet on Weekends
Even if your business is nine till five that doesn’t mean your customers stop looking after you have turned the lights off, from my experience tweeting on a weekend has a much higher CTR (Click-through rate) compared to weekdays.
If you start tweeting on weekends remember not to ‘over do it’ – don’t spam your target audience simply communicate with them, answer questions, mention people and generally attempt to form a real relationship.
Use the Period Before an @ Sign
Many people are unaware that starting a tweet with an @ sign will only be seen by people who follow both yourself and the person your tweeting to. It won’t be seen by everybody and it won’t appear in their feeds. You can easily solve this problem by using a period before the @ sign like so “,@Name” instead of “@Name”.
Extra Twitter Tips
1) Don’t just follow people – re-tweet and favourite
2) Analyse your audience and post your content at relevant times TO THEM, not relevant times for you.
3) If you haven’t established a large following yet, that’s OK – simply find people’s questions in your niche or industry and simply answer there questions. This can be a great opportunity to market your business and ‘win over’ any potential customers with you knowledge and expertise.
4) Remember you can’t run twitter successful with an egg avatar – get an appealing display photo!
5) When operating a professional account – answer all messages and tweets no matter how trivial.
6) Disconnect your twitter account on your smart-phone when going to a party with ALCOHOL!
7) If you’re out of ideas for new content – its OK to look at your rivals and simply DO IT BETTER
8) Don’t just sell products – the idea of social media is to connect and share value with others, build relationships with your target audience and watch it blossom.
9) Look at your profile and ask yourself one basic question – would you follow it?
10) Find people who you might enjoy following using keywords
11) In other marketing literature always mention your twitter profile whenever there’s the possibility to do so!
12) Always say THANK YOU for every share, reweet or mention – without exceptions!
13) Be aware of auto-correct – some fantastic tweets have been ruined by not being alert!
14) Don’t overuse #hashtags