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A beginner’s guide to using Twitter for business

Akanksha Chauhan
23rd Aug 2016
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“The Internet has turned what used to be a controlled, one-way message into a real-time dialogue with millions.” – Danille Sacks, Journalist and former Senior Writer at Fast Company Magazine

So you are small business owner trying to make a big impact in the cluttered world of social media? Twitter is a very tempting platform – it is not only the quickest way to engage with a community of likeminded people but also a great way to share great content, tips and tricks that your followers would enjoy.

2 twitter

Twitter showcases our need to ‘impulse-communicate’. If you wish to share a long post with your friends, you use Facebook, but if you wish to update about a quick incident or your thoughts, Twitter is the way to go. Short, fast and live.

So every time you share a tweet or shoot a post on Twitter, you always wish your followers would like, share and retweet the same. Have you ever wondered what you could do to make it work better?

As a business or social media influencer, you should have a strong presence on Twitter.

Here are some quick pointers you can use:

Use trending hashtags

Twitter is all about trending hashtags. Using these hashtags is the best way to play with your content to boost visibility. A single tweet can bring about a new take on a recent event. For instance, sharing a meme on a trending event or an opinion can attract a lot of retweets and followers.

Tweet with images

Words bear a lot of importance on Twitter, but a tweet that links itself to a picture has a higher rate of engagement than a regular tweet. According to a study that analysed follower engagement, it was found that tweets with images got an average of 35 per cent boost in retweets. While adding images might be an easy task, it is crucial to figure out the ones that interest your audience. It can be a simple picture, a quote, an info graphic or something else.

Shorten those links

You can use portals like Bitly that provide shorter, optimised and branded URLs. This will help you save characters, and what’s more, you can even customise your shortened links. Bitly also helps you gain insights, track performance and gather and measure your audience’s intelligence.

Include short videos

All rejoice! Twitter now allows video feeds. You can loop in a six second video into your tweet for better engagement. Many brands use vines as a way to showcase ‘Behind The Scenes’ (BTS) footage to their followers.

Headlines matter

Your followers need a very good reason to click on a link. Remember, at any given time, your reader has multiple options to choose from and a lot of information to process. Also, things move fast – Twitter feeds refresh themselves every few seconds. So, decide if you are willing to sell your product or sell great content. If interesting enough, your content will automatically sell your product or idea. Your headline should make someone go “Hey! This is cool, let me take a look!”

Grammar please!

Twitter is an informal platform. However, if you are a brand or an influencer in your circle, you might not want to sound like one. Customise your language to fit the audience you are addressing or the brand you are representing.

Limit those hashtags

While we did suggest using hashtags, it’s necessary to understand that anything more than two hashtags is considered spam. Stick with only highly searched and targeted hashtags. Let’s say you are going to organise the next TEDx conference in Bengaluru. A simple #TEDx hashtag may get lesser views and engagement than a #TEDxBengaluru. Always use hashtags that are relevant to your industry.

Avoid lingos

Typing out ‘TGIF’ instead of ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ will help you save on those precious characters, but it is of no use if your followers have no idea what it means. So use abbreviations sparingly.

Use a standard format for your tweet

Your tweet can either carry a standard formula or a distinctive style that is unique to your brand. Your formula could be something like:

Call to action (20 characters), link (20 characters) and message (70 characters)

Use twitter adverts

It is great news that twitter ad support is available for India. With twitter ads you can create a buzz about upcoming products, hold contests on twitter and attract people to your account, create trending hashtags and promote trends and introduce your products.Twitter ads allow you to customise your ad card with images, promotional text and a link to your website. The platform also allows you analyse performance, scale and optimise your campaigns.

End your tweet to start a conversation

Instead of simply being a content-bot, be a little human with your interactions on Twitter. Your tweets should start conversations. You could ask for feedback if you are creating a new product. Brainstorm for ideas and ask for opinions. This shows you are interested in knowing more from others and value their opinions. Ask questions also helps. When you ask your followers questions, they tend to respond, especially if they are relevant ones.

Twitter is supposed to be live and fun. Having to follow too many rules can be a hard and putting off. However, if you wish to really leverage your followers for your brand’s success, you will have to put in a little effort. Once you see your tweets making a sound impression on your audience, it will all be worth it.

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