It is no secret that Twitter has become a crucial marketing tool for large corporations and small businesses alike. For a small business, Twitter can be essential for promoting, gaining new customers, connecting with current customers, and creating a positive buzz in the twitter-sphere.
When executed correctly those 140 characters can go from a blimp on a newsfeed to a real added value to the brand's image. On the other hand, it can also go virally wrong. Here are 5 best practices for small business twitter accounts to follow to ensure that you are on the right track.
1.) Optimize Your Profile
Remember the old adage that your first impression could be your last? This is just as true for your online presence as it is in real life. Every detail counts! Your picture, background image, description, and location should all directly reflect the brand image of your business. Confusion about who you are and what you do is a hard mistake to correct so leave nothing to the viewer's imagination.
Best Practice Example: Make the company logo the picture. This will not only reinforce the name of your company as well as create a visual association of your business and logo.
2.) Tweet With Purpose
140 characters can be more powerful than you think. It is important that every tweet is written with a purpose or goal in mind. Are you tweeting for a promotion that you are hosting? Perhaps you are giving a shout out to a new follower? Are you making a meaningful connection between your follower's problems and what your business can offer them? If so make sure that what you're tweeting can be associated with that purpose.
Best Practice Example: If I were a clothing retailer and winter is right around the corner, I would tweet about an item from my winter line with a picture and a description that will link an emotional response and functional need for the purpose of gaining sales from it.
Tweets to avoid would be negative comments about the upcoming season or items from the previous season unless you are having a sale.
3.) Retweet - Because Sharing is Caring
Retweeting can be an effective way of associating your business with companies that share a similar brand message or offer comparable or complementary products or services. This is a great way to reinforce your own brand image to your followers as well as keeping them interested and tapping into their needs beyond what you can offer. It can also work as a domino effect. If you retweet or give a shout out to another business on Twitter, they might be more likely to retweet something of yours. This can further establish a brand connection between companies and can lead their followers to your page and in turn following you as well.
Best Practice Example: If I were a small business tradesmen such as an electrician, it would be smart to retweet from a page that is promoting LED light bulbs. Although my followers will not need me to install the light bulbs for them, they now know that my company values innovative energy saving products that are better for the Earth. This brings positivity to my brand image as well as the possibility of gaining environmentally conscience followers.
Avoid retweeting personal interest or humor pages that do not create a positive or purposeful connection with your website. This can lead to disgruntled customers, loss of followers, or viral backlash.
4.) Don't Leave Your Personality at The Door
With so much pressure to make all of these effective tweets it is easy to lose a sense of personality for your business. You do not have to be boring or bland to be effective. One of the easiest ways to establish a positive connection with someone is through humor. Make sure that your tweets do not read like an instruction manual but as a conversation or advice to a friend.
Best Practice Example: Throw in a lighthearted joke pertaining to your business or industry. Be mindful of general humor jokes, as they can be perceived as insulting or inappropriate.
5.) Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
Stating the obvious that repeating tweets can be, well, repetitive! What must be kept in mind is that our followers are all different. Followers do not read their feed at the same time every day, which leaves the chance of a missed opportunity to get noticed. To lower this risk it is important to repeat your most important tweets. The tweet does not have to have the same 140 characters as the last but should be comparable version.
Best Practice Example: If I am a bakery and we are highlighting a special pie flavor it would be good of me to mention it a few times for the duration that we will be supplying this one flavor of pie. If it is for one day then tweet about it the day before, when you open, and mid day when followers might be on their lunch break and glancing at their feed.
What To Do With All This?
Get on Twitter! There is no question that Twitter can be of great value to all businesses, large and small. It is an effective and low cost tool that can be utilized if due diligence is done and practiced correctly. For those who already have a twitter account, it might be time to do an audit of your current content to make sure that you are following our best practices. If your business does not currently have a Twitter account it is strongly recommended.
Visit our Responsive Inbound Marketing Twitter to cross reference and see how it's done.
We would love to hear about how your small business needs could be met using Twitter and help you get started!
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