Posted: Thu 16th Jul 2015
Twitter can be an amazing tool that small business owners can use to build relationships with prospective customers. Jonathan Pollinger shares 10 tips on how to raise awareness of your company with engaging tweets.
As a small business owner, your biggest priority is to grow your company by acquiring more customers and increasing sales. By using social media you can build a large following of people who are not only aware of your products or services, but who are also interested in them. When the time comes to buy, yours will hopefully be the company they choose to do business with.
So how do you build a large group of advocates for your business? The answer is to publish content that is engaging enough to be shared or at least remembered. On Twitter, quality tweets will be retweeted which can help spread the word about your business. For example, if five people with 200 followers share your tweet that's potentially an audience of 1000 more people.
So here are 10 ideas on creating engaging tweets:
1. It's about your audience, not you: Whatever you tweet, put your followers first. What type of content will they find useful? For example, if you own a wine shop, then information around vineyards and recommendations of appropriate wines for food dishes could work well. Use a tool like Smart Survey to obtain feedback from your followers and Twitter Analytics to see which of your tweets are most engaging.
2. Tweet a question: Posing a question is a simple tactic that works equally well in a social or business setting and on Twitter, as it's human nature to want to answer a question. You could ask your audience for their views on a new product or service or tweet a link to a blog post and ask for their opinion.
3. Tweet a photo: A quick look at Twitter Analytics will show you that tweets with photos generate more favourites, retweets and clicks than text only tweets. Make sure your photo is optimised by editing and applying filters using Twitter mobile apps. Your photo needs to be in landscape style and preferably 1024 x 512 pixels, otherwise you risk removing the heads of subjects, like Vogue have done with BeyoncÃ© below! A really useful tool to ensure you have the right dimensions for tweets is Canva.
4. Tweet quotes as images: Inspirational quotes work well on Twitter but quotes tweeted as images work best. Choose a good background and add the quote plus its author. Using an app like Word Swag makes this quick and easy and the resulting designs eye-catching.
5. Tweet video: The Twitter app on mobile devices allows you to shoot up to 30 seconds of video which you can upload in a tweet. As videos autoplay in timelines, it's hard to avoid watching, so they can be hugely engaging. You could film behind the scenes footage, short instructional videos or quick interviews.
6. Broadcast live video: In March, Twitter launched Periscope, an app for live streaming video. When you start broadcasting, a link is automatically tweeted which attracts viewers who can engage with you by typing comments. In addition to the suggestions in point five, you could cover an event or run a live Q and A session.
7. Show personality: People like to do business with other people, so show something of your personality. Tweet about the sort of day you're having. Don't tweet what you had for breakfast but pics and reports from a conference, show or network meeting would work well. Feature your employees or customers. For example, stories about your team and testimonials from customers (don't forget point four) can demonstrate your company's culture.
8. Answer questions: Twitter is an excellent channel for answering customer services questions like 'what time do you open?' Keep an eye on your Notifications tab to pick up such questions.
9. Link into Twitter trends: Increase awareness of your business by tying into trends which can are displayed on your home page. Twitter calls this 'moment marketing' and it can be really powerful. For example, when Zayn Malik left One Direction, Lidl tweeted that you could now get a fifth off their One Direction Easter egg. Join in popular conversations and use trending #hashtags to get yourself noticed.
10. Ask for engagement: Ask people to engage with you. These 'calls to action' should be concise and straight to the point. For example, 'subscribe to our newsletter' or 'tweet us your thoughts'. Occasionally, it's worth asking for retweets too.
Finally, a bonus. Post consistently and regularly to build up awareness - people will become familiar with your content and style. You should aim for at least four or five tweets per day. Buffer is a great tool for scheduling and managing your tweets.
Jonathan Pollinger is founder of social media consultancy Intranet Future.
Jonathan is also a Pro-Member of Enterprise Nation. Find information about Pro-Membership and the benefits it can bring your advisory business here.