12 August 2013

8 tips for making the most out of twitter

Twitter is a great way of getting people talking about your business and building up your brand identity.

But while many start-ups and small businesses have a Twitter profile, entrepreneurs do not necessarily know how best to use the site.

Here are our top tips on using Twitter to help your business:

1.      Keep tweets positive

When you’re writing tweets, resist the urge to make negative comments or complain about things that are affecting your business. Potential customers respond better to positivity and do not want to read about your problems, no matter how much they are annoying you. A study carried out by Georgia Tech and the University of Michigan showed that expressing negative emotions and opinions was a factor which prevented people and businesses gaining more followers.

2.      Tweet regularly

If you’re the owner of a small or start-up business then it goes without saying that you’re very busy. Many entrepreneurs know they need to go on Twitter, so set up an account but don’t actually make time to use it. Set yourself the target of writing at least one tweet a day to keep in touch with your followers and spread the name of your business.

3.      Use hashtags sparingly

Many people use hashtags because they think they will help them recruit followers. Perhaps surprisingly, the academic study found that using too many of them actually puts people off. People would rather read tweets containing relevant and interesting information than messages containing pointless hashtags.

4.      Avoid talking about yourself

If you’re on Twitter to promote your business, don’t use it to talk about yourself. Telling your followers about every detail of your life like what you’re watching on television gives your company an unprofessional image and will not interest your followers. If you want to talk about yourself, save it for your personal Twitter account.

5.      Run Twitter-only promotions

Offering discounts and special offers to your Twitter followers or running competitions gives people an incentive to follow you and spread the word about your business.

6.      Give your followers a peek behind the scenes

People on Twitter want to see things which are unique. Posting pictures or videos from behind the scenes at your business can be an effective way of interesting your followers. It can also give your customers an insight into how your company works. For example, a retailer could tweet pictures of a delivery of new stock or a manufacturer could post a video of one of its products being made.

7.      Spread good news

Tweet positive news stories about your business and highlight any press coverage you receive by tweeting links to the article online. It is also a good idea to retweet good news about your industry in general, your commercial premises or the community you belong to.

8.      Plan ahead

Keep a diary with ideas for tweets and how you can use them in relation to forthcoming events and dates on the calendar. Planning tweets for the future will help you stay organised and make sure you are using Twitter consistently and regularly to keep in touch with your followers.

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