According to Wikipedia, twitter is an online news and social networking service where users post and interact with messages, known as “tweets.” These messages were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, the limit was doubled to 280 characters for all languages except Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Registered users can post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface, Short Message Service (SMS) or mobile device application software (“app”).
In the social media world, Twitter falls into the category of microblogging tools because of the short, disconnected messages it distributes. Other microblogging tools include Tumblr, FriendFeed and Plurk. Twitter shares some features with the most common social media tools (Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube). However, the differences really define Twitter. Twitter is where people connect with their passions, share their opinions, and find out what’s happening in the world right now. Because people are in a discovery mindset when they’re on Twitter, they’re open to interacting with new businesses and new people.
Ways to leverage on twitter according to twitter
- Discover what’s happening right now
Twitter gives you access to what’s going on in your industry, community, and around the world at that very moment. Use Twitter search to listen to the relevant conversations that are happening and jump in where you can add value.
- Grow your brand awareness
Increase your impact by using Twitter to regularly communicate with your followers and attract new followers. Extend your reach even further with Twitter Ads.
- Provide timely customer service
People often talk about the products they use on Twitter, so it’s a natural place to provide customer service. In fact, 85% of SMB Twitter users said that it’s important that businesses provide customer support on Twitter. Use Twitter’s customer service features to quickly and easily respond to people. That will help you develop a good reputation and strong relationships with customers.
- Connect with potential customers, brand advocates, and influencers
Twitter allows you to follow and interact with people outside of your personal network and discover new circles that you never knew existed. Use Twitter to join, or even start, discussions with influencers and industry experts to raise your profile and build valuable connections.
The anatomy of a Tweet
Get started by learning our terminology:
A Tweet is an update posted on Twitter. It can contain text, photos, links, GIFs, and videos.
Click ‘reply’ to respond to a Tweet. Replying to a Tweet shows that you’re listening and engaged in the topic.
A Retweet shares someone else’s Tweet with the people who follow you. Click the “Retweet” button twice to share the Tweet as is. Or click once and add a comment to give the Retweet context, which is a “Quote Tweet”.
A like is a simple way to positively acknowledge a Tweet. It can also be useful to use as a bookmarking tool if you want to easily find a Tweet again. Tap the heart icon to like a Tweet and the author will see that you appreciate it.
A hashtag is any word, or phrase without spaces, beginning with the “#” symbol. People add hashtags to Tweets to link all the content related to a given topic. Click on a hashtag to go directly to the search results for that term. Hashtags that become very popular are often “Trending Topics”.
Bring a Tweet to another person’s attention by including their @name in your message. You could use it to ask someone a question, to thank them, or simply to highlight a piece of content. Use can also Direct Message Tweets directly to people on Twitter.
Using Twitter for your business
According to Social Squandron, twitter for business involves the following:
- Twitter Bio
This is mentioned number 1 because your Twitter bio is the first thing a new potential follower is going to look at next to the second tip to follow.
Don’t make your bio boring.
Standout and give someone a reason to want to follow you. You can be humorous, share your company mantra, be personal (my favorite), highlight your accomplishments and many other ideas. Make sure to tell a story and don’t just stuff your Twitter bio with keywords associated to your business.
Lastly a bio does NOT need to have hashtags.
Seriously, you look like a Hash-Hole by sticking them in your bio and it does you absolutely no good. If you’re doing it because you see other people doing it, don’t.
- Twitter Profile Picture
You’re a local business and your face is part of the community.
People don’t care about that pretty logo that you spent all your time having created.
People like to do business with people they know, like and trust…..so show your beautiful self.
- Twitter Cover Photo
Your Twitter cover photo should be a great clear picture that either represents your local community or preferably your business.
If you have a team of employees, get them together for a group shot at work. Even better is to take a photo somewhere local that’s popular so everyone looking at your Twitter cover who’s local will connect with you immediately.
One of my favorite tools for making a Twitter cover is Canva.
Canva is free to use and has the exact dimensions set for a Twitter cover to fit perfectly.
Lastly make it easy for people to contact you by including your company contact information in the corner of your cover nicely. If creating graphics isn’t your thing, consider jumping over to Fiverr and having a Twitter cover done for $5. It’s a great site for quick work.
- Location, Location, Location
Fill out your geographic location in your Twitter profile for 2 reasons.
First though to do this simply go to under your Twitter bio on your profile home page and in the location area fill that out. As you type in your location Twitter will help you by either targeting it to the state or your city (which I recommend).
The reason you want to do this is it’s searchable on Twitter and if you have it blank (which many do) you won’t come up in the search results all the time.
The second reason to do this is that when you have time and you’re on Twitter you can just click your location if Twitter identifies it and you’ll see all tweets going on locally in your geographic area.
This is HUGE and such an amazing opportunity for you as a local business owner to jump in and have a discussion if relevant (don’t be creepy).
For instance if you’re a local restaurant with a happy hour special and see people talking about where to go, jump in and offer them your deal. Any business can do this locally because tons of discussions are going on live in your area all day that can be applicable to your business.
- Twitter Pinned Tweet
You should have the 1 tweet you want everyone to look at pinned to the top of your Twitter profile.
When people visit your profile they look at your Twitter bio, your profile picture, your cover photo, location and then they start looking at your Tweets.
You have the power to show them what you want them to see first, so make it something amazing.
You can make it a coupon offer for your service, coupon for your store, eBook offer and so much more.
Be creative and test different pinned tweets regularly.
This will probably be one of your most retweeted tweets and you can change it as often as you like.
To pin a tweet simply look at any of your Tweets you’d like to include and next to where you see how many times you’ve been retweeted or favorited are 3 little dots. Just click on those 3 dots and in the short drop down you’ll see an option to “Pin to your profile page”. That’s it you’re done.
This one Tweet below, pinned last month by us, has had almost 450,000 impressions, over 140 clicks on the link to our free guide and as you can see over 100 retweets at the time of this post.
Each Tweet you make you can view it’s activity by clicking on the 3 bars next to the number of retweets and favorites you see when you’re signed into your own Twitter account. Make sure to look at these numbers regularly as the data will tell you what is resonating with people and what isn’t.
Social media is an important tool for any business owner, no matter the size and scope of the business. Learning to communicate with your demographic, albeit in 140 characters, can be useful when working with your customers. Learning more about Twitter can only benefit your business.
Twitter is one of the top websites in the world, and is currently ranked No. 8 domestically and globally, according to Internet analytics company Alexa. It has more than 313 million active monthly users, per the company, and 82 percent of those users are active on mobile platforms.
Having Twitter as part of your social media toolbox can propel your business’s legitimacy.
“There are many reasons why a small business needs a social media presence. The most practical reasons have to do with your credibility and discoverability,” Leah Paul, director of marketing at Mediabistro said to Business News Daily in another piece. “It’s important because it’s expected, like having a website, a phone number and an email address.”
Tools of Twitter
Keeping your account(s) organized needs to be a priority. There are a number of native and third-party clients you can use to manage your tweets.
- TweetDeck: TweetDeck is free to use and has a sleek user interface with customizable columns where you can organize lists, notifications and your own feed. You can also track hashtags in their own separate columns, schedule tweets in advance (something you can’t do on the Twitter website or mobile apps) and add multiple Twitter accounts to manage several users at once. TweetDeck is browser-based and is accessed via the web.
- Hootsuite: Hootsuite, which lets you manage other social media accounts besides just Twitter, operates similarly to TweetDeck. However, it is arguably not as sleek or simple as TweetDeck’s layout, as Hootsuite uses tabs for each profile you connect to it. Hootsuite offers a free version as well as a pro version for $9.99 per month (with a free, 30-day trial). Hootsuite also allows users to schedule tweets in a similar manner to TweetDeck. Like TweetDeck, Hootsuite is browser-based, but it does not currently have a desktop version available for PCs or Macs.
Twitter and Hootsuite have mobile apps for use on your smartphone or tablet, and allow you to add multiple user accounts at once.
Put Twitter to work
Social media plays multiple roles when it comes to business, including yours. There is a place for it in any size business, as it can reach multiple demographics and spread your company’s message. As a business owner, you should carefully consider how Twitter will fit into your overall marketing plan.
Twitter offers tools specifically for marketing and your business.
If you’re working out what is important and works on Twitter (especially in marketing) consider hashtags. These words or phrases gives users the chance to tag an identifying word that groups hundreds (or thousands) of tweets together. Hashtags are searchable and offer the perfect companion for live events.
Hashtags are a great way to make the content you share on the platform visible to users beyond your own followers. There are many highly popular hashtags that generally all active Twitter users are familiar with, like #FollowFriday or #ff, which encourages your followers to reach out to other users you admire or work with, and #ThrowbackThursday or #tbt, with which many users post attention to your vintage or childhood photos and memories. You can also create your own hashtags to draw brand or to events you may be throwing, though it comes with the possibility it may not catch on. Many brands latch on to already trending topics to contribute to the conversation or sell their product.
It’s important to make sure you use hashtags that are relevant – for example, if you were tweeting about starting a business and it happened to be a Friday, you might use the hashtag #entrepreneurship, but using the #FF hashtag would be inappropriate.
Be wary of how many you use, the more hashtags you use, the less likely people are to interact with your content, because they’ll find your posts spam-like.
Hashtags or phrases can trend. Trending topics means people are talking about something at a very high rate. Often, these topics are identifiable with hashtags, but they can also be words or phrases related to the subject. As previously mentioned, you can see the current trending topics on your Twitter home page in the trends box on the left-hand side.
For brands, latching on to trending topics is a good way to garner interest and possibly a few followers – just make sure you do it the right way. Only use trending topics in your tweets if those topics are relevant to your brand, and make sure you use them appropriately.
If you’re not sure why a certain topic is trending, do some research to ensure that you don’t do something to offend your audience, like making light of a serious situation or saying something politically incorrect. Users typically identify disingenuous marketing if brands are just tweeting to tweet.
It should be noted that it’s best to stay away from breaking news stories surrounding tragedy, including celebrity deaths, or major tragic historical events (like 9/11). Use your best judgement, and always choose tact when deciding to integrate marketing with trending topics.
This feature will expand the storytelling experience for brands and businesses.
“Visual assets are core to how a brand tells its story, and it’s no secret that marketers are giving video more importance in their creative asset mix and shifting dollars from traditional TV to digital video,” Sofia Hernandez, executive vice president at MRY creative agency told Business News Daily.
“For businesses which rely on strictly organic posts, this feature will allow them to tell their story over two minutes,” added Jenny Marder, director of social media at Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners in the same article.
These videos can be useful for product demonstrations and a more thorough explanation of product benefits and functionality, Hernandez said. Videos such as beauty tutorials and tech gadget demonstrations will drive users to purchase, she said.
Marder emphasized the importance of providing a call to action, in either the video or the tweet, to give users a reason to interact or share the content, thus increasing brands’ views and engagement.
Direct messages have evolved and changed over the years, which is especially true for brands. The way you interreact with your clients is important for troubleshooting issues and handling problems at multiple locations of your business.
Direct messages (DM) allow you to privately chat with someone one on one. If a customer has a question, they can ask via a DM. There is no character limit on DMs, which gives you the freedom to explain and help in as many characters as you need.
By default, only users you follow can send you DMs. Now, you can set up your Twitter account to receive messages from anyone, making it easier for all customers to contact you. Simply go to your Privacy Settings and enable “Receive Direct Messages from Anyone.”
Twitter has also launched a new feature that filters messages from users you don’t follow into a separate Requests inbox. This lets you choose and prioritize which users to engage with first and helps keep your messages organized.
DMs also include location services. if a customer has an issue, he or she can share their location with the business. The customer can reference a location even if they’re not physically there – which would be helpful in the case of making reservations or placing a to-go order at a restaurant, for instance, the article said.
Even if you do not run a restaurant or takeout business, the use of the location tool may be helpful when learning of outages, issues at the certain location or other location-based issues that need to be solved.
The feature is also available through Twitter’s Direct Messages API, currently in private beta, and is powered by Foursquare’s location data.
Photos, gifs and polls
Twitter allows the user to add up to four photos to their posts. You can create graphics if you’d like to support what you’re posting. Not a whiz on Photoshop? It’s okay, there are numerous tools online that help you create what you need.
Being relatable through photos and gifs is a great way to connect with followers. Twitter has a built-in gif keyboard. Search a keyword and choose a clip that best suits your tweet.
Engaging with followers is imperative on Twitter to keep people interested in you brand. A fun way to do so is interacting with a poll. Craft a question and select responses for your followers.
Live tweeting is another way to get topics trending on Twitter. Essentially, live tweeting is when a user tweets his or her reactions to a live event as it is happening, whether that is breaking news or entertainment-related. When brands throw events and want their attendees to live tweet while they’re there, the brand will often create its own individual hashtag to use and share with the invite list so that others can follow around.
Live tweeting most commonly occurs with TV shows and televised events. It’s not uncommon during events such as these to see the trends box filled with related topics – for example, in the case of the Oscars, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the official awards show hashtag along with the names of celebrities and films that win major awards.
Another way to engage followers or get a topic trending is by hosting a Twitter chat. Twitter chats are straightforward, but they do require a relatively large and active follower base to be successful.
A Twitter chat happens when several Twitter users discuss a specific topic simultaneously using a shared hashtag.
Usually, one Twitter user will host a chat at a specific time and prepare specific questions and discussion points. The host will tweet out the questions, often with “Q1” or “Q2” (numbers vary depending on how many questions you’re asking) preceding the questions, and other participants will respond with “A1″ or A2” and their thoughts.
Twitter chats usually last about an hour. They are a great way to show how active you are on social media and to get your followers (and their followers) engaged and asking questions or sharing their advice.
Twitter offers its users the ability to make lists of other users they find interesting. With lists, you don’t have to be following the users you include to see their posts regularly.
Lists can help you organize your following list. For example, you might make a list of celebrities and other users that you admire and label it “Influential People.” If you had an interest in something like photography or writing and want to track users who tweet about those things, you could make lists of “NYC Writers” or “NYC Photographers” to do so.
Advertising on Twitter
Using Twitter is free, but if you’d like to pay to promote your account on the platform, there are plenty of advertising options at your disposal.
- Promoted Tweets: These ads are just like regular tweets, and they appear in a user’s Twitter feed along with posts from people the user follows. Promoted Tweets are a way for advertisers to increase engagement and expand their reach to a wider group of users beyond their follower base. These tweets are labeled “promoted” across the bottom of the ad, above the reply, retweet and like buttons. You can read more details about Promoted Tweets on Twitter.
- Promoted Accounts: Promoted Accounts are designed to help brands become more discoverable and grow their follower counts. These ads are displayed in multiple locations on Twitter, including the Who to Follow box on the home page, your home page’s Twitter feed and search results. Promoted Accounts ads target Twitter users who have interests relevant to the advertiser’s brand so that brands can gain followers who are more likely to interact with their content. All of the ads are labeled as “Promoted” just like Promoted Tweets are, so users can distinguish them from other content on their feeds. To learn more about Promoted Accounts, go here.
- Promoted Trends: Promoted Trends appear at the top of the trending topics list in the trends box on Twitter and, like other Twitter ads, are clearly labeled as “Promoted.” These ads look exactly like other trending topics, and users can interact with them in the same ways. While Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts target specific users, Promoted Trends are visible to all users when the trends are being promoted. They’re also visible on Twitter’s mobile apps. If you’re looking to get people talking about your business using a specific hashtag, Promoted Trends are a good way to do so. For more-detailed information on Promoted Trends, head to Twitter.