Tips and Advice

Using Twitter to climb the business ladder

People go to Twitter to find out what’s happening in the world right then and there. A way to share information instantly and connect with people and businesses around the globe, Twitter is a fun and useful marketing tool small businesses can utilise and benefit from.

With hundreds of millions of users and almost 500 million Tweets being sent each day, Twitter offers a great opportunity to reach a global audience of new (66% of users have discovered SME’s on Twitter) and existing customers. But building meaningful connections with the relevant audience takes some practice. Here’s a few points to get you started.

Setting up a twitter-worthy profile

Each element of your profile should reflect your business indentity.

There are five parts to a Twitter profile, starting with your username. Also known as your handle, this is how people can find your business, so make it easy.

Next, choose your profile picture. Because it appears not just on your profile, but also in all your tweets, make sure it represents your brand and fits into a small space. A logo is a good shout here.

With your bio, you have 160 characters to tell people why you’re special and why they should follow you. Pop in here useful info such as opening hours and website.

The long horizontal picture along the back is called your header image, and is like a billboard for your business. This is like a shop front so upload images of promotions, events, news etc.

Finally, pin a tweet to the top of youe timelime. Choose something important as it’s the first tweet users will see on your profile, such as a promotion. If you need image sizes or further information on setting up, Twitter has a great walkthrough.

Tools to manage tweeting

Try to manage your Twitter account like you manage your business. Use TweetDeck or Hootsuite to organise how you find people, set up a column based on geographical location and include keywords for the type of business you run. Both sites have great help sections that will explain how to get started.

So, if you’re a hairdresser in Manchester, you can set up a column that searches for people in Manchester who tweet about ‘hair’, ‘highlights’ or ‘haircuts’. Then you can tweet them with special offers if they’re talking about needing a new hairdo.

What can you tweet?

Naomi Timperley, director at Enterprise Lab has some more wise words of advice, ‘If you use Twitter, think about who your audience are – are you thinking about following strategically? Give an insight to your audience about your business or you. Thank people for sharing and RT’ing your tweets. Conversations are in real-time, so join in. But remember, social media is called social for a reason, so make sure you are!’

If you need inspiration on what to tweet, we’ve got some quick advice to get you started. Firstly, keep it short and succunt to grab attention. To make a bigger statement, use an image or even a GIF as people are three times more likely to engage with tweets that contain video or photos. If you want to reach out to your audience, you can ask questions and run polls.

You can also run competitions on Twitter to spread the word about your business. Offer a prize for people who retweet your message, and include a link to your website – for example going back to the Mancunian hairdresser, you could get people to tweet; ‘I want to win free highlights for six months with Liza’s Hair, Manchester! – RT to win.’

Along with celebrity culture and popular global events, you can tap into any conversation (so long as it’s relevant), and contact everyone from Kim Kardashian to Joe Bloggs down the road, advertising your business with just a few taps of the keyboard. Last year it was recorded that 94% of customers planned to purchase from the small businesses they were following on Twitter, that alone is a good reason to get involved, right? Make sure you follow us on Twitter too: @printed_com

About the author

Caitlin is our Social Media guru and lover of all things food and travel. When she's not scrolling through TikTok you'll find her meticulously planning her next adventure abroad.

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