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Small Business: 5 Steps To Build Your Twitter From The Ground Up
Posted on September 23rd 2012
I’ve found a few common themes among small business owners and their perception of social media. Typically, their excuse for little to no online presence revolves around one or all of the following:
- A lack of time.
- Fear based in the overwhelming nature of social media.
- The inability to get their account off the ground without advertising.
A majority of the time, small businesses end up hiring a consultant to help manage their social media because they can’t get past the two first problems. This post is designed to help the business owners who want to take a crack at it themselves!
Step #1 - Make Your Profile Attractive
Though this sounds relatively obvious, many small business owners skip over the “design” function in the settings of Twitter. It is crucial that your Twitter brand follows suit with your brand outside of social media. Utilize your ability to change the background, header, and link color to match the images, media, and colors your business regularly associates with. It’s also important to consider the fact that the goal is to get visitors to scroll through your tweets and potentially engage, so make sure everything is easy on the eyes and inviting.
Step #2 - Tweet With Purpose
People often forget that you need to provide your followers with something they can consume. As a small business you need to rarely tweet about your product. For example, if you look at Gatorade’s Twitter feed you will see tweets referencing relevant information about sports, training, and their athletes. This is a perfect model to build your new social brand. Users will engage and follow if your tweets can make their day better!
Step #3 - Mention Other Brands And People
When starting out with basically nothing, but a few random auto-follows, it can be a little intimidating to jump into conversations or fire off tweets that no one will most likely see. Don’t be afraid to get in the mix! Do some research as to what brands and people in your industry actually engage with users. There are many Twitter top dogs who regularly engage with people that mention them or ask them questions. This is huge when you’re starting out. Obviously if you’re still in business it’s because you specialize in something that people care about. Use your knowledge and experience to get involved in conversations, treating the space similarly to an online forum. For every mention or retweet you get from a big user your Twitter’s stock grows immediately.
Step #4 - Use #Hashtags…But In The Right Way
Most companies and active Twitter users create search streams that they check regularly based on certain hashtags they follow. It’s easy to find out what hashtags are used most commonly on Twitter. Search terms that are associated with your business and take a look down the results to see what hashtags seem to pop up more often. Mix it up and send tweets with a variety of hashtags to get your tweets in front of a variety of audiences that may be interested in your profile.
I say use hastags in the right way for one specific reason. Please don’t include them in the middle of your tweet! It makes it harder to read message and users are likely to get annoyed or simply skip over your tweet. You can put as many hashtags in a tweet as long as they are after the actual text and link you post.
Step #5 - Alert Your Customers
Make a banner at your store and tell your customers your active on Twitter. You can even create an incentive for your customers to follow you and engage. Offer discounts and promotions that they can only redeem on Twitter. Not only does this drive people to your account, but it also gives your customers a positive feeling to associate with your Twitter brand.