Twitter can be a powerful marketing tool for small businesses – if you know how to use it. The problem is, Twitter, of all the social media tools available for small business marketing, seems to be the most misunderstood.
Maybe that’s because we have celebrities like Donald Trump using Twitter as his own personal pulpit and 50 Cent engaging in (very public) arguments with his estranged son. But there is a more serious – and professional – side to Twitter, and for businesses that know how to use it, it can be a highly effective avenue for expanding your influence and building your brand.
Here is how small businesses and startups can grow their brand and their influence using Twitter.
Start with your Target Audience
This is always the first step of any Marketing strategy. And for Twitter, having a million Twitter followers who will never buy from you, refer you or partner with you is a waste of time. So be mindful and selective when growing your Twitter audience.
NEVER buy Twitter followers
An argument can be made that the more followers you have the broader your sphere of influence. However, if your millions of followers have no interest in your business whatsoever, what have you really accomplished? These days, no one is impressed by a tiny business with five million followers and ten tweets. It’s obvious they were bought and if anything, it hurts your credibility.
Get the Right Twitter followers
You want potential clients, referral and strategic partners and influencers to follow your tweets. These are the people who can help your business grow. The trick is to find and follow people on Twitter who are either potential clients or who share your target audience. They will usually follow back, but even if they don’t this helps for my next tip…
Follow people who follow your competitors, partners and industry thought leaders
Search for competitors and thought leaders in your industry and click on “followers” to see who follows them, go through the list and follow the people who are in your target audience. Repeat this every few months to find new people to follow. Remember, most will follow you back.
Refresh your Twitter “following” list
Twitter will freeze your account and not let you follow any more people if the ratio of followers to followed gets too high. It’s a good practice to go through your list at least once a month and unfollow the ones who did not follow you back. This keeps your follow list tidy and it always looks better to have more people follow you than people you follow.
Follow and unfollow to get attention
For the people and businesses on your Twitter followed list that you really want to notice you, but haven’t followed you back, click “unfollow” and then “follow” again. This puts your name on their notifications list as someone who just started following them. Maybe they missed you the first time. This practice also puts you on the top of their list of followers, so if someone is searching through their list for people to follow, they are more likely to see you.
Post great content and use #hashtags!
As with any marketing strategy, it all starts with great content. You will get more followers by tweeting content that is helpful and relevant to them. You can also take advantage of #TrendingTopics that are listed to the left; create tweets that are relevant and use the trending topics hashtag (for more information about using hashtags, read “”How to Strengthen Your Marketing with Hashtags“). Photos, quotes and memes with #hashtags are also highly effective.
Twitter, like any social media marketing campaign requires strategy, focus, accountability and patience. If you would like help developing a Twitter, or a more robust social media strategy for your small business, a marketing consultant, like Fortune Marketing can help. Contact us now for a consultation.