In the past decade countless social media websites and apps have popped onto the scene, allowing people to share their lives with friends, family, and even strangers. First there was MySpace, followed by Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and many others. However, these tools aren’t just for personal use. In fact, this onslaught of social media has made it necessary for businesses to create a digital presence beyond their company website as customers now use this as a factor to determine whether a company is legitimate or not.

While creating and managing social media accounts may take some extra effort on the part of the business, doing so is worth it as it creates new opportunities. Social media afford businesses new ways to raise brand awareness, connect with customers, and market their products and services.

When it comes to Twitter specifically, businesses have the opportunity to extend their visibility, provide quick customer support, network, get customer feedback, announce company updates, gain leads, and grow their brand through posting valuable content. To help businesses utilize Twitter successfully, we’ve rounded up the top 10 things companies should do on Twitter, with information on how to do those things effectively, which we will post in a 2-part series. Check out the first 5 tips below.

1. Make Your Profile Representative of your Brand

Just as you would never create a company website that doesn’t fit with the branding of your company, you should set up your profile with your brand in mind. This means matching your profile colors to your brand colors. In addition, use an image for your background that is representative of your company. You may even want to create a custom graphic with additional information about your company, such as other company Twitter handles or your slogan. Also, be sure to use an on-brand profile picture, such as your logo or a photo of you, if you’re the driving force of your business. Above all, be sure to use a Twitter handle that is easy to find and associate with your company. Your handle should be as close to your actual business name as possible.

Next, make your bio count by including these 3 key elements: an explanation of what your company does, a value proposition that details how you benefit others, and a display of personality or passion. In brief form, your bio should inform and intrigue.

Correspondingly, to help other find your Twitter account, be sure to place your handle everywhere. There should be a link to your Twitter on your website and in your email signature. Additionally, print your handle on your business cards and place a physical sign within your brick-and-mortar store or office.

2. Set Goals that Align with Your Overall Marketing Strategy

Before you begin posting, create a strategy for your Twitter that is inline with your overall marketing and content strategy. Along with this, you should create a SMART goal for your Twitter efforts. A SMART goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. For example, your goal may be to increase your Twitter following by 50% within 2 months.

3. Make Your Tweets Timely

Using analytics and third-party tools, you can track when your Twitter followers are most active. There are also many articles online that will tell you when the best time to Tweet is based on your industry and if you want Likes, Retweets, or Impressions. Use this information to determine your peak times. Then, tweet during those hours for higher visibility.

In addition to this, plan your tweets around popular events, holidays, and hot topics such as the Super Bowl, Christmas, or winter storms. By tweeting about these events and topics, you can ensure your tweets will be relevant. You can also join the conversation on Twitter by using a trending hashtag (for example: #PearlHarborRemembranceDay). This will tie your tweet to that topic, make it searchable, and increase your visibility. You can find trending topics on the left side of your home page.

With that said, it’s important to tweet year-round, not just when there is a popular event being discussed or you have a sale to promote or campaign to run. If you become inactive for long periods of time, you’ll lose followers and visibility.

4. Consider Your Audience

When Tweeting, think about who you want to read your tweets. To reach these people successfully, use wording that speaks to them and tweet about topics they’d search for. You can also use an accompanying hashtag.

To engage with others in your industry, retweet their content. This shows that you value what they have to say and creates unity. It also provides diversity in your content and value to your followers as they can now find similar people to follow in addition to you. It is also a good idea to pinpoint those who retweet a lot and follow them. This increases the chances of them retweeting you, thus increasing your visibility and expanding your reach.

If you’d like to target a specific audience beyond what your wording, hashtags, and retweets can provide, you can also utilize Twitter Ads. This service promotes your tweets and allows you to select a specific audience based on interests, geography, device, gender, or similarity to your followers.

5. Utilize Lists

Twitter has a feature called Lists. Using whichever factors are important to you, you can organize users, making it easier for you to find tweets of a specific type and engage with others who have something in common. For example, you can create a list of experts in your industry to make it easier to find useful information and give you content to retweet. Your followers may find this useful to have, as well. If others have a similar list, you can add yourself to it to proclaim yourself as an industry expert. Another common practice is to create a list of people who frequently retweet you. This makes it easier for you to find the people you need to engage with. Some companies also find it helpful to create a list of clients so that they can keep themselves up-to-date on their clients’ activity. Depending on your industry, it may be best to keep this kind of list private rather than public.

In today’s world, social media is an important part of any company’s marketing plan. Make your efforts on Twitter more effective by applying these 5 techniques to your company account. Then, check back later for the next 5 tips for using Twitter for your small business. Alternatively, if you’re a small business and you’d rather let a group of marketing professionals handle your social media while you focus on your specialty, contact Marketeering Group today.

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