How to use Twitter for business

Twitter has earned its spot as a leading social media platform over the past fourteen years. Those 140-character snippets can provide tons of organic growth, engagement, and brand recognition for businesses of all sizes. Users latch on to the conversational and up-to-the-minute nature of the platform. If you’re running a small business, incorporating Twitter into your marketing plan is a wise and cost-effective idea.

Twitter is an amazing resource for small businesses. Learning how to use Twitter for business is critical before posting your first tweet - make sure you understand the platform and what its implications are for enhancing your online presence and brand awareness.

Here, we’ll review how to use Twitter for business in five essential steps. You'll get your Twitter for Business account up and running, and most importantly, start generating the positive results you want. Use these tips to get your business on Twitter as quickly as possible.

  • Create a business profile
  • Promote your profile
  • Set Twitter-specific goals
  • Establish a posting schedule
  • Connect with your audience

1. Create a business profile

First things first: select your username (also known as a 'handle'). If you have other social media presences, such as a Facebook page, Instagram account, or LinkedIn page, check to see if those handles are available on Twitter. If so, claim that name immediately. Consistency across platforms is incredibly important for establishing brand equity and authenticity. However, if your perfect match is already taken, iterate and find a username that's as close as possible to your other usernames.

Tip:
Usernames are limited to 15 characters, so you may have to shorten your existing social media handle to make it fit Twitter’s requirements.

Once you have a username, the next step is to fill out your profile. There are three critical pieces of your profile that must be completed before you start tweeting: your profile picture, bio, and header image. Much like your username, utilize as many of the same components from other social profiles into your Twitter profile. Upload the same profile and header images, and include similar bio text, along with a link to your business website to maintain a consistent online presence.

After you’ve checked these boxes, you can start tweeting.

2. Promote your profile

Now that you have an active profile, you need followers! Add social media widgets or icons everywhere so it's easy for people to find and follow your Twitter account. On your website, include links to each social media account in the header or footer area. If you have a business blog, position your social media icons in a prominent location so they can’t be missed.

You should also insert a Twitter icon into your email marketing campaigns. These emails are going to your existing audience, and giving them direct access to your growing social presence is a great way to add followers and gain exposure.

3. Set Twitter-specific goals

Creating goals for your social media helps keep your efforts focused on larger marketing objectives. These goals will also allow you to evaluate your campaigns in an impartial way. Pick a few metrics that matter to you, such as a percentage increase in followers or engagement rate. Monitor them monthly to see what’s working and what’s falling short. Having a clear idea why you are engaging on this platform enables you to create content and discussions that work toward your goals.

4. Establish a posting schedule

Posting consistently helps build your online presence and establish credibility, so decide on a schedule that feels manageable for your small business. Select specific times for your posts, such as 8am, 11am, 3pm, and 9pm, so that your followers come to expect new content around those hours. If you're a team of one, using a social media management tool will let you schedule posts in advance - ultimately saving you time.

Tip:
Twitter is a platform where posting quantities are high, so feel free to tweet between 7 and 20 times per day.

Once a schedule is set, develop a tweet template. The most effective tweets contain a short caption, a visual component, a linked URL, and two to four relevant hashtags. It’s great to jump into trending topics and use those hashtags, but having one standard hashtag you use for the majority of your tweets will help catalog your posts and build your online reputation.

Varying your tweet content is the key to keeping your audience engaged. Of course, you should tweet your original content and promote your products and services. However, asking questions, running polls, and retweeting and replying to accounts you follow adds depth to your Twitter feed. This recipe for tweeting provides a nice balance between promotional content from your small business and useful information from other trusted sources.

When in doubt, remember the 80/20 rule: for every one post about your business, you should publish four posts that feature external content. Think, influencers, celebrities, related businesses, and beloved brands. Social media is all about give-and-take, and adhering to this kind of tweet schedule will garner the greatest engagement for your account.

5. Connect with your audience

Lastly, to show that you've mastered how to use Twitter for business, make sure to engage with your audience as much as possible. Users are responsive and real-time conversations are the norm. Thank your customers for sharing your content, like their posts, and reply to all messages, either tweeted or through DM (direct message) in a timely and professional manner.

The best way to manage your followers’ expectations is to be transparent and communicate proactively. Include information regarding support availability within your profile: direct users to DM you via Twitter, include a bitly link to an inquiry form in your bio, or pin a tweet to the top of your timeline that includes a designated customer service email address. Being honest, friendly, and open to conversations will help grow your brand’s awareness and humanize your organization, which are all wins for any small business that’s getting started on Twitter.

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