Twitter can be intimidating for small business owners or SMB marketers new to the network. It can be incredibly noisy and it might seem like your competitors are already well established. The benefits are great, though, so you’re going to give it a shot.
You’ve created and optimized your account, chosen the perfect cover image and started following people and businesses. How can you build a loyal, relevant following for your own business Twitter account?
Start by practicing these 5 Twitter habits:
1. Retweet and engage the accounts you follow. Retweeting shares another user’s tweet with your audience. This is a great way to diversify the tweets you’re sending out so you’re not talking about your own business all the time, but also shows the people you follow that you’re engaged. They’ll see a notification with your username and profile image each time you retweet. Watch for opportunities to respond to a question, make a comment, compliment a person on share, etc. Each interaction is an opportunity to have your own tweets reshared with the networks of others.
2. Get visual. We know that people love images in social media, but did you know that tweets with images get twice the engagement? In fact, Twitter recently studied over 2 million tweets and found that adding pictures to tweets gives users a bump in retweets. Tweets with photos earned 35% more retweets than those without. Images autoexpand in tweets, making them really eye catching in a user’s feed:Think of the creative visual content you could share with your customers and prospects. A picture worth 1000 words is even more valuable when you only have 140 characters to get your point across!
3. Switch it up. If you’re bored with the content you’re sharing on Twitter, imagine how your followers feel! It can be difficult for SMBs, entrepreneurs or the self-employed to come up with a steady stream of interesting, engaging content. In the study above, Twitter also found that tweets with hashtags, videos, quotes and digits get retweeted more often. See just how much more effective your content can be:
4. Save room for retweets. Sure, you can use up to 140 characters, but if you do, your tweet may be too long for easy retweeting. The average Twitter username and “RT” text uses 20 characters, therefore your tweets should be under 120 characters to optimize for sharing.
5. Integrate Twitter’s web marketing tools. Add Twitter buttons to your website and embed Twitter on your website to enable website visitors to simply follow your account and add real-time, engaging conversation to your site. Embedded tweets act just like regular tweets, allowing people to interact and respond right from your site, so make it a habit to use them in your blog posts where it makes sense. Embedded tweets look and act like this:
— SMB Marketing Tips (@SMBMktgTips) March 30, 2014
Twitter’s web marketing tools are not difficult to implement – learn more from Twitter about embedded tweets and timelines, Twitter cards and the follow/tweet buttons.
Building a targeted, relevant and receptive audience for your small or mid-sized business doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Remember, everyone was new to Twitter at one point! Start practicing these 5 Twitter habits to get in front of the right people and attract an engaged audience.
Homepage image credit: Lockstockb, SXC.hu