twitter-top-tips-for-smes

1. Choose a handle

Preferably a version of your name or company. Your handle starts with an @ and is how people contact you on Twitter. Choose a shortened version if you have a very long name as it will be counted in the number of characters when people tweet you. You can add your actual name as well, which will appear on your profile. 

2. Interests

Tell Twitter what you are interested in. It will make for a more relevant experience.

3. Profile photo

Add a profile photo – either your logo or a professional head shot.

4. Header photo

Choose a header photo which shows your followers what you do e.g. your product, or pictures of your recent successes. Panoramas work well. 1500px x 500px is the recommended size. Ensure nothing is hidden behind your profile photo. Check on different devices as it will look different on laptop, tablet and phone.

5. Your bio

Write a short bio of 160 characters explaining what you or your company does. Here’s a useful guide from Buffer.

6. Theme colour

Change your theme colour to that of your brand. If it isn’t one of those offered get your Hex colour code from your designer.

7. Location

Add your location. Twitter will suggest one for you, but you can change it to be more specific e.g. Surbiton, or more generic e.g. Planet Earth, depending on your target market.

8. Website

Link your website – after all this is really where you want people to visit.

9. Start following:

a.      Follow your clients, contacts and colleagues.

b.      Follow your competitors and those people your competitors are following.

c.       Follow influencers. The people who are at the top of their game in your profession and have a big Twitter following.

d.      Search for people in your sector by using a hashtag e.g. #stylist #fashion #property #flowers #copywriting #weddings.

e.      Search for businesses in your local community by using a geographical hashtag #Kingston #Wimbledon #Surbiton.

f.        Twitter will email you suggestions for accounts to follow based on the info you have given to it. Go through these and choose relevant followers.

10.  Notifications

Turn on notifications for key contacts that you wish to engage regularly with. This means you will get push notifications to your mobile when they tweet and allow you to interact with them more easily.

11.  Follow people back

a.      You will get notifications when people follow you. Look at their bio and recent tweets to see if they are relevant and/or interesting.

b.      Twitter is reciprocal – if you follow people they are more than likely to follow you back.

c.       There are those who follow you to build up their followings and then unfollow you once you have followed them, so you may see your follower numbers going down as well as up.

d.      Every user can follow 5000 people total. Once you’ve followed 5000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow: this limit is different for every user and is based on your ratio of followers to following.

12.  Start tweeting…eek!

a.      The first time is scary – what the @#@# is it all about and what is a http://bit.ly/1Vi6rNB, but you’ll get the hang of it very quickly. 310 million active Twitter users per month can't be wrong! You have 140 characters to get your message across.

b.      If you want to mention someone or tweet directly to them use their handle starting @ at the beginning of your tweet. If you want this to be shown on your feed then precede it with a .@

c.       People search for subjects on Twitter using hashtags, so to help them find your tweet prefix keywords with a #

d.      Add photo or video – you can get a 150% increase in retweets just by including images (Source: Buffer).

e.      Add links to interesting articles (especially ones on your website). Twitter will shorten the link to 23 characters using t.co or you can add these by using bit.ly or ow.ly. You just paste the url then click copy and paste it into your tweet.

f.        Using photos and links will reduce the number of characters you can type but Twitter will tell you how many you have to go. Add the photos or links first then you know how many characters you have to play with.

g.       Adding “Please retweet” to the end of your tweet increases retweets by 4 x more.

13.  Retweet…and you will be retweeted!

a.      If you engage with other companies they will reciprocate, so if you read something interesting on someone else’s feed, retweet it with a comment and let them know.

b.      You have to build relationships on Twitter as you would do person to person.

c.       You can retweet without adding a comment if you don’t have anything to add, but think it will be of interest to your followers.

d.      It’s an opportunity to add additional hashtags to broaden the reach of the tweet and hence your profile.

e.      Adding a comment allows you to voice your knowledge and opinions.

14.  Create a buzz!

a.      Tweet at any events you attend

b.      Engage other people that are there

c.       Tag them in photos – you can tag up to 10 people in a photo and it doesn’t affect your tweet character limit.

d.      Use the # for the event. Most event organisers create a # for their event.

e.      Look at what is trending and include those # in your tweets e.g. #MondayMotivation #WednesdayWisdom

f.        When you type # Twitter will give you suggestions based on the first characters e.g. #wom offers you #womenonair #womenintech #womeninspire

15. Popular in your network

In settings ensure you turn on Popular in your network email notifications, then you will receive emails on the highlights from your network each day. This is especially useful if you don't have time to trawl through your whole feed.

16.  Likes

You can like the tweets of people you know rather than retweeting to show them your support. Likes don’t appear on your profile like retweets do.

17.  Direct messages

Once someone has followed you, you can message them privately. Many accounts set up automated Direct Messages to go out to new followers. Many feel this is bordering on spam. If you do intend to do it, then try to make it original and/or funny, rather than just a request for an email address or Facebook like.

18.  Twitter hour

Join a Twitter hour. There are lots about, so find one that is relevant to you. It’s a good way of extending your reach. Try #ukbchour on Mondays from 8pm and #surreychat on Saturdays from 9am. They are both very friendly!

19.  Be bold!

Be brave and tweet to people you don’t know, but who are key in your market. The worst they can do is ignore you! But you may get a retweet or a reply.

20. Analytics

Log in to https://analytics.twitter.com to analyse your tweets and see what is working for you. As with any marketing you need to see your ROI and change your behaviour to what helps to grow your brand awareness.

Enjoy your adventures in Twitter! Tweet us @BusinessClan - we look forward to engaging with you.

Nicolle AndersonBusiness Development Director