Twitter can be a low-cost, but extremely valuable way to build your business. It is a place where you can form new relationships and gain visibility for your personal brand or product.
However, simply setting up your account and waiting for customers to fall in to your lap is not a realistic business strategy. In order to gain attention in the Twittersphere, you need to put a few simple steps in to place.
Building Your Business with Twitter
1. Optimize Your Bio
There are many ways to optimize your Twitter profile, but it is your bio or “about” section which provides multiple opportunities.
It is the first thing anyone visiting your profile will read and is indexed based on your keyords. This makes your Twitter bio a very powerful marketing tool. Take the time to determine how to capitalize on this brief, albeit weighty word count.
Business vs. Personal
While it is important to add essential details about your business, business does not make up 100% of your life. Use the 160 characters Twitter allots to inject fun tidbits about who you are personally and those things that matter most to you. What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? For example, my bio includes my love of coffee, sunshine and my two dogs. Those are three things that make me smile.
Let people peek in to your life outside of the office. Consumers, past clients and peers want to get to know you, so let them.
Twitter Bio Tips:
- You have 160 characters of space as opposed to the 140 you are limited to in a tweet. Make the most of it!
- People connect with people they know, like and trust. Do not inflate your stats or enhance accomplishments. People can sniff out a lie and eventually it will end up hurting your credibility and eventually losing any trust they have placed in you.
- Topics that interest you and the details that make you unique help others feel like they know you better. Like I said above, have fun with your bio and allow organic conversations with like-minded individuals to start taking place!
- The words you use in your bio are searchable keywords so keep them specific to what you want to be found for. (e.g. your hometown, company name and industry or category)
- Add additional ways followers can connect with you including your company website (make sure it reads like this: http:// and not www) or Twitter profile (e.g. @xyzcompany)
2. Use Twitter Lists
Twitter lists are a way to group users together by some common thread. For example, you might create a list of people who tweet about a topic that you want to follow on a daily basis, such as social media. The idea is to make these tweets easily accessible. This allows you to keep up with certain tweeters without the hassle of searching for them every time.
Twitter List Ideas:
- People included in a group that you belong to
- People that are tweeting regularly about a #hashtag that you follow
- Twitter followers that are part of your local area (city, state or community)
- Your favorite authors or celebrities
- Travel tweets that help you plan your next vacation
- Local businesses (e.g. coffee shop, restaurant, etc)
3. Follow people with similar interests
- Find people to follow and connect via Twitter directories such as Twellow and WeFollow. Both sites can introduce you to Twitter users that have the same interests as yours.
- If you belong to industry specific groups, pay attention to who is actively participating. Read through their bio to determine whether or not you share common interests.
- Follow people that your influencers follow. Again, check their bio to determine if there is a fit or not. Staying focused on your niche will make it easy for you to build a community centered around similar interests.
4. Get in the conversation
One you follow, begin to engage. Retweet their content, comment on a tweet or share your thoughts on their latest blog post. You will figure out very quickly who is on Twitter to interact and who is simply using it as a one-way bullhorn to build their business. The more conversation you can create, the quicker you will find your own voice and posting rhythm.
5. Share content and update your status daily
The biggest struggle is always centered around content. The question is where to find tweetable content, what to talk about and how to best curate it. My answer is always the same. More than likely, you have an immense amount of content right at your fingertips and you just don’t realize it. Here are a few ideas on where you might have content hiding and how to share it.
- Dependent on your target audience, you can share anything from customer photos to your weekly product special. People tend to forget that you can share photos on Twitter as well as Facebook
- Links to your latest blog post
- Details about an upcoming event you are promoting or a local charity that you support
- Insider tips that help your customer through the buying process
- Customer testimonials
- Q&A using questions frequently asked about your business or service
Think through what content you have on your website, blog and already created on your current marketing materials such as flyers or newsletters. Re-purposing your content is the name of the game. Do not feel compelled to reinvent the wheel.
6. Integrate Twitter with other social networks
Integrate your social networks into your website and blog through social plugins and the Facebook LIKE box. When you post to your blog, make sure you tweet it out to your followers and not just once. Tweet it out throughout the week, but change up the verbiage and monitor your results.
What additional ways are using Twitter to build your business?