Twitter For Small Businesses – 5 Steps To Success

by Emm McAndrew on April 30, 2013

Twitter for Small Business

Whilst many brands utilise a social media agency to set up and manage Twitter profiles, this isn’t always a financially viable option for some smaller businesses. In light of this, here are my top five steps to Twitter success.

1. Know your audience:

As with any marketing campaign, spend time researching the target audience, then create a solid plan for the content to be published. A great place to start is with the overall demographics of the audience – are you planning on reaching out to the tech mature, or to young people who are looking to buy a first home? Since you already have a growing business, you will already have collected some of this data, making the task of identifying the type of user to reach out to a little easier.

If you’re new to Twitter, it’s also worthwhile researching the language that the community uses. For example, learning the difference between an @reply and @mention, knowing why some users address their followers as ‘tweeps’, and being able to join in conversations about the Fail Whale

2. Presentation is everything:

The way you present your business or brand on Twitter can have a huge influence on whether users choose to follow you or not. Using an appropriate avatar and background signals to users what the business is about, and what they can expect from you by way of updates and content.

For example, the Sony Xperia Twitter profile lets us know “this is the place to be for updates on all of our latest smartphones” – users know exactly what to expect from this brand page from the offset. Try to match this big brand example with tailored content for your own Twitter profile.

Ensure that your background image, profile photo and header image are correctly sized (you can find a cheat sheet for this here), it can be quite undermining of your credentials, and harmful to a business’ social identity if users are greeted with pixelated imagery. It’s crucial when choosing supporting imagery that it is all:

  1. Appropriate/on brand.
  2. Correctly sized.
  3. Unambiguous.

Finally, triple check all grammar and spelling of profile biography information. Then check it again.

3. Harness the tools of the trade:

Learn how to use hashtags, including what the current best practice use is (you don’t want to appear to be spamming). Hashtags are used to highlight keywords in tweets, for example, recently tweeted “Nothing but you, a #FerrariEnzo & the open road“.

Users who search for FerrariEnzo will find this tweet in search results. Additionally, users can also click on hashtags to perform the same search automatically. Once you are familiar with their use, create some  hashtags relevant to your business. For example, if you are a retailer, product hashtags are a great place to start (#dress, #teapot, and #kitchen). Hashtags are great for a #flashsale or #livechat, so learn what works for your business by experimenting.

The retweet feature allows users to share any public tweet with their own followers. Users often retweet content as a public endorsement of what is being said. For example, you may tweet “50% off on shoes today!” and others may spread the word about this amazing deal by retweeting.

Finally, it’s worth noting that tweets with photos attached receive twice the response as text only updates. You can add a photo, video or link to any tweet you wish, but as with any marketing activity, first consider that the content fits in with the image you are trying to project.

twitter for business example

4. What about Vine?

Vine is a relatively new offering from Twitter, that allows users to upload short videos (up to six seconds in length) from a mobile device to both Twitter and Facebook. Why should businesses use it? Vine inspires creativity because of the restriction in length, so, it has great potential as a viral content tool and can also showcase your business services and products, celebrate national holiday relevant to your target audience, or simply show the fun side of office antics to demonstrate the human side of an SME.

5. Measure & react:

Finally, don’t forget to measure your efforts. Track links, monitor engagement, and tailor content to your new audience. React quickly to replies on tweets, and take time to engage with other users to encourage acquisition and awareness of your brand.

Happy tweeting!


Article by Emm McAndrew

Emm is a search and social media account manager for Punch Communications – an integrated social media, PR, and SEO agency with a global client base. To find out what Punch can do for your business, call (00) 4 (0)1858 411600. You can find Emm on Twitter: @twit_brit

Emm has written 1 awesome articles for this blog.

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Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing May 8, 2013 at 9:29 am

Twitter is meant to be a social medium, not one-way. After you post you need to check in to see if there was any activity and respond to any questions or concerns. It’s not just another place to advertise. May 10, 2013 at 2:11 am

I still don’t believe that micro blogging website like twitter can bring some growth to your exiting business.

Evan May 15, 2013 at 5:24 am

No doubts, Twitter gives to a small business owner more possibilities to grow..
Determining the return on investment of social networking can be a real challenge, especially for smaller businesses that don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to complex analytics. Desjarlais says free tools are available to make that task just a bit easier.

Webdesign Dubai June 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Twitter has become a so famous platform for social media where people are getting very socialize within the community members to share their ideas or point on particular subject. I am with the point that promoting your business through Twitter surely helps to get more advantage in real time marketing and promotion of small business.

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