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Get Social: Adding Twitter to your Social Strategy

April 20, 2016  - Tips for Small Business
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In this third blog of our Get Social series for SMBs, we'll look at how your business can engage, market and communicate through short "tweets," @ and # symbols to build a robust social strategy.

Twitter offers a great opportunity to expand and reach a global audience, or focus on local customers and prospects. It's all in the way you design, build and execute your content strategy. Twitter stats show 23% of online adults use Twitter, and 38% of those do so on a daily basis.

When people are on Twitter, they are in discovery mode; learning new things, seeking opinions and exploring the world around them. That mind set opens the doors for prospective customers to find you and want to learn more. With Twitter's short-form posts, you will need a place to link people in order to learn more about your product or service, which is why we discussed, in an earlier post in this series, the importance of establishing an online presence first.

Does your business have a Twitter account? Are you maximizing its usefulness to drive social engagements? Here are some tips and best practices:

Create your Twitter Account. Since you've built a LinkedIn profile (or we hope so), you've probably collected much of what is needed for your Twitter profile. For starters, create a Twitter handle: @businessusername. These can be up to 15 characters, using upper and lower case for ease of readability. For a business profile, you'll also need a 160-character tagline or description of what makes your business special, as well as a profile photo and an eye-catching header photo.

Understand a Tweet's Building Blocks. Now that your account is established you can start Tweeting. Before you post, you should understand the language and anatomy of a tweet. Along with your text, a tweet can contain photos, videos and links as long as they are within 140 characters. Links and media are automatically condensed or truncated. A carefully crafted tweet should also contain relevant Hashtags (#) to make your message more findable for location, topic or business type such as #Boston or #trucksales. Lastly, it's important to understand and use Mentions, or the @ symbol before the username or business, such as @truckzilla or @netruckshow. The @ acts as a tag for the person or business.

Engage with Relevancy. You'll find with Twitter and other social networks that it's not always about selling – it's better to engage. Your tweets should be a mix of topics; deliver relevant information, fun facts, retweet interesting posts from others, ask questions and share visuals. Relevant tweets engage people interested in your subject matter and encourage interactions. And, interactions build relationships with your business.

Design your Content Strategy. Know your audience and when it's best to reach them. Design a Twitter plan that:
  • Incorporates the right number of hashtags. A study showed you don't want to stuff your tweets with #'s, but instead select 1-3 relevant ones.
  • Spaces tweets out during the day, based on when your target users have free time. Office-based workers may spend their lunch break reading tweets, while a store owner might be online before the store opens, or after it closes for the day.
  • Remembers size does matter. Tweets between 100 and 115 characters are 34% more likely to be re-tweeted than tweets outside of that range.
  • Includes mixed media. Tweets with video and/or images receive increased likes and retweets.
Grow your Followers. Relevant, engaging tweets as described above gain followers for your business, but there are other ways as well. Proactively follow others that engage with you, or find interesting people to follow and you will get follows back. Interactions like retweeting other's tweets will gain people's attention and they'll want to stay connected. Be sure to also promote your Twitter account through links on your website, other social channels and on communications like emails to your subscriber base.

Now you're ready to start tweeting to the world. It's time to turn to your friends to help make viral social connections so, in our next post, we'll explore the opportunities Facebook provides for your business.

Don't want to miss a post in our Get Social series? Click here to subscribe for email updates. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter!

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Ascentium Capital offers a wide variety of business financing programs, including leasing and short-term loan options for anything from new computers or software to equipment that can help you with your move to social.

Contact us today to learn more about how we help small businesses like yours.
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