Social media for business – Twitter

| March 5, 2018

In my recent articles on social media I have discussed why social media is important for business and analysed the use of Facebook and LinkedIn as the primary social media platforms for Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) respectively.

In addition to Facebook and LinkedIn I recommend also using Twitter as a secondary platform. Here’s why you should use Twitter for business.

Everyone else is – from big business to the corner shop as well as your neighbour and the parent at school drop-off. Let’s face it – Twitter is hot at the moment and if nothing else it demonstrates that your business is ‘with-it’ and a business your customer should be dealing with.

Instant communication – Twitter is a fast way of getting your message out. You can’t write an expose with 140 characters. It also enables two-way communication with your customers. If you’ve watched Q&A on TV you will see tweets appearing on the screen as the discussion on the program progresses. Then the host picks out a tweet and asks the panel the question from Twitter.

People love talking directly to a business too and Twitter is easy to use and instant – they are not having to go home and compose an email or find a phone number and hope they get the right person when they call.

Expand your network – it enables you to interact with others that you may not know and discover new circles and networks you didn’t know existed. You can join discussions with influencers and industry experts

Attract, educate, support and delight your potential customers – Twitter like other social media platforms is a form of content marketing and therefore you can utilise the same inbound marketing practices as with websites and blogs.

Spying
– yes, it’s easy to find out what your competitors are doing and also find out what your customers and potential customers like or dislike about your business, how they feel about your brand, what suggestions they have for improvement, what their favourite products are and why… all kinds of nuggets that you can use to make your business more successful. You can also find out who is following your competitors and start following their followers, or the followers of complementary businesses.

Once you’re up and going on Twitter how do you get leverage and create effective tweets?

Keep it short and sweet – you have 140 (or 280) characters so keep each tweet to a single message rather than multiple topics. Add a link to a blog, an article, or a website if you have a message that requires a longer message.

Remember that people read with their eyes – make your message visual with photos, videos, or gifs. People are three times more likely to engage with your tweet if it contains a visual element. You can also add up to four photos to a single tweet.

Use #Hashtags – including hashtags in the tweet expands who will see your tweet to those that are following a particular conversation e.g. if you included the hashtag #metoo you would be joining to conversation that was discussing issues around #metoo. Limit hashtags to only a couple per tweet.

Offer questions and polls – these are ways to draw people into a conversation. Use open-ended questions to keep the conversation going. It also helps you understand other’s opinions on a topic.

Curate your followers and audience – by this I mean make sure you do what you would like your followers to do. Reweet, comment, like and reply to tweets in your news feed. Curating will maintain and enhance your presence on Twitter and make all those potential customers start to get to know your business.

And now a challenge for you. Connect with me and First5000 on our Twitter handles (@byronvaleadvise and @First5000) and continue the discussion on social media for business, or how to #RunYourBusinessBetter. Tell us what you think of different social media platforms for your business, ask questions and contribute to discussions. Ask me how some tips on how to set up your business profile on Twitter.

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Stephen Barnes

Stephen Barnes is the principal of management consultancy Byronvale Advisors and the author of ‘Run Your Business Better’. He has spent over 20 years advising clients from start-ups to publicly listed companies and prides himself on understanding their issues and producing pragmatic solutions.