Last week I published a post called “Why Small Business Leaders Should Give Twitter a Chance” where I covered many ways Twitter can be beneficial to both individuals and businesses. Unfortunately, Twitter is not as straight-forward as some of the other social networks. This is why it’s often times misunderstood. When done right, Twitter can help you generate more leads and drive more traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, connect and build relationships with customers and industry influencers, etc. etc.
This post is meant to help you get started on Twitter and hopefully fall in love with it. We will cover how to set up your profile and what information to include to maximize your efforts, what content to share and where to find it, how to engage with current and prospective customers and influencers and what tools to use in order to save time.
How Do I Get Started on Twitter?
Don’t Be an Egg
When setting up a new Twitter profile, the profile picture defaults to an egg. The egg avatar signifies the ‘unhatched’ state of a new profile. The birth of the account involves adding a real profile picture, which leaves behind the egg.
In order to look professional, adding a profile picture or a company logo is not enough. I have picked one of my favorite social media companies to use as an example of a great Twitter profile:
1. Background Picture
2. Company Name
This is especially important in case you were not lucky enough to secure a Twitter handle with your company name, Ex. @Nimble
Use this section to summarize what your products and services are about. Don’t forget that all links and Twitter handles are clickable, so take advantage of it 🙂
Make sure that your Twitter profile visitor know what you want them to do. Do you want them sign up for a free trial of your product? Include a link!
Let people know where you are located.
6. Website Link
You have one more option to direct people to your website or a certain page of your website. As you can see on the screenshot above, Hootsuite is directing traffic to their company blog.
Be a Resource
You have successfully set up your Twitter account. Congratulations! Now it’s time to start sharing some updates. It is more than ok to promote your brand and your content, but talking just about yourself could put people off. It’s much better idea to mix your content with content created by others. At Nimble, we use the 80-20 rule which means that 80% of the updates we share are not directly mentioning our company and only 20% are.
Focus on sharing educational and inspirational content that is relevant to what you do. In our case, we post anything related to sales, marketing, technology, social media, etc. Below, you can see a list of some of the types of content we share with our social media community:
There’s so many great podcasters out there who produce amazing shows. One easy way to find them is to explore the categories on iTunes:
- Industry News Sites
- Blogs of Influencers/Industry Thought Leaders
- Statistics or Market Data
— Nimble (@Nimble) March 6, 2017
- Something Fun, Like Cartoons
8 types of innovation: pic.twitter.com/Zjv9bTB7rk
— Nimble (@Nimble) March 5, 2017
- Share Great Original Content (Created by You)
This can be content from your company’s blog or articles created by you that were originally published on LinkedIn Publisher, Medium or anywhere else. Share them with appropriate pictures and hashtags with your Twitter community!
Use Content Scheduling Tools
There’s no need to spend all day on Twitter when we have technology helping us for free! Use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your posts in advance. Don’t forget to download their browser extensions so you can grab content as you see it (Buffer Chrome App, Hootsuite’s Hootlet). If you have some money to spend on social media tools, take a look at Edgar. This awesome tool not only allows you to schedule content ahead of time, but it also stores it for you and reshares periodically saving you a lot of time.
When scheduling content, don’t forget to include the following:
A picture says a thousand words and a tweet with pictures stands out thousand times more on Twitter. If the post you want to share does not include an image, use a free tool like Canva to create your own!
Go out there and start following accounts you like. Retweet or like tweets that you think your followers will also find interesting and valuable. If you see somebody asking questions, answer. Add you two cents. This is the best approach to get people following you back and interested in what you do.
Don’t know who to engage with? Try other people’s Twitter lists! Ex. Nimble’s , , etc.
Here’s an article that explains (not only) how you can run a Google search for relevant Twitter lists, check it out!
A great way to grow your following and build relationships with like-minded people and generation leads on Twitter is to attend Twitter chats. If you are not familiar with what Twitter chats are or how to participate, go through this excellent resource our friends over at Buffer put together.