Twitter can be a really useful tool to promote your small business and connect with your clients, both current and potential. However, due to the fact that you have a very small number of characters to use to communicate with your customers it can also be challenging. While most people will see your tweets in their feed, when people look at your Twitter page it’s important to have a header graphic and icon that is professional and represents your brand. Do not use the Twitter defaults, it makes it appear as though your account is not real! If graphic design is not your skillset, then you can get a freelancer for less on websites such as Fiverr. There are also a few other things you need to be conscientious of, so let’s take a look at some of the basics.
Tweet: Is a picture, video, or text message of 140 characters or less.
Hashtag: Kind of like a blog tag, you use the ‘#’ symbol before a word or phrases to denote that this is something you would like your tweet sorted by. When somebody searches for that word or phrase, or looks at a List for that word or phrase your tweet will show up. In the lefthand side of your screen you will see trending hashtags. A lot of businesses will tweet something regarding the trending hashtag to get seen by a large number of people. It’s a good strategy if the hashtag is relevant to what you do and you have something of value to contribute to the conversation. As with on all social media, do not spam. Nobody likes that.
Retweet: Underneath the tweets you will see three symbols, ‘reply’, ‘retweet’, and ‘Favorite’. A retweet is when you repost somebody else’s tweet to your timeline so that your followers can see it. Why would you do this? Maybe they said something complimentary about your business, or recommended that people use you for your particular service or product. It’s always effective to show testimonials from your customers to help reel in potentials.
Reply: You would want to use this feature to respond if somebody asked a question, and it’s always nice to say thank you for some positive feedback. It’s also a good idea to respond to negative feedback, provided that you do so in a constructive and professional manner.
Mention: Sometimes you want to send a tweet to a user, you can do so by typing @username (replacing ‘username’ with whatever their Twitter handle is) and then your message. They will be notified that you mentioned them in a tweet and it will show up in their timeline.
As with all social media, it’s really only useful for your business if you plan on keeping it updated and actively engaging with the community and your current/potential clients. A Twitter feed with only a few tweets from a year ago does not look professional, and does not inspire people to follow you or look further into your business.
As I briefly mentioned above, dealing with negative feedback or tweets gracefully is very important. There are a lot of stories out there about how social media went very, very wrong for business owners when they said something careless, or responded defensively when a customer gave them negative feedback. Think before you tweet, keep it strictly professional, and don’t be rude to people even if they are rude to you first. Remember that these words are out there for the whole world to see and judge your business by.