Twitter Tips for Small Businesses

Originally published on the Generations FCU Blog

When it comes to Twitter and small businesses, there are usually two distinct trends: lack of content strategy or dedicated time to properly nurture and grow Twitter. Think of Twitter as a newsfeed with small bits of content constantly streaming. Most people will read content on Twitter as part of their morning news read, at lunch or in the evening when they are at home. Because Twitter is like a newsfeed, you need to be constantly feeding it with content. In the beginning, you can post 2-3 times per day and scale up after you get more comfortable.

Let’s talk content strategy. At its very core, all social media platforms are centered around content. Before you leap into social media, whether it’s Twitter or any other platform, you need to think about how you’re going to create content and carve a niche out to differentiate your business.

1. Why are you using Twitter? – You need to answer this question and set a few goals before determining your strategy. Many businesses need to build awareness of their services and products. Twitter is the perfect platform for small businesses to utilize to showcase their expertise and provide tips and information to existing customers and potential customers.

2. Set your Strategy – If driving awareness is one of your main goals, then a strategy could be to simply use Twitter to increase website traffic and utilize as a lead generation tool for new customers. Be focused in your content once you know your strategy.

3. Competitors – Before you go-live, take a few weeks to search and listen to your competitors. This will help you determine how to further differentiate your offering. Be memorable, and don’t limit yourself to industry players. Think outside of the box.

4. Define Your Target Audience – In order to have a strong content strategy, you need to define who your business is targeting and what topics are important to them. What types of conversations are they having? Are there patterns of content or interactions they prefer? Spend time thinking about your target audience so that you can tailor your content to be relevant to them.

5. Identify Content Opportunities – What assets do you currently have (website, advertising, informational brochures) that can leveraged? Take an inventory of what you already have today, and determine if you can repurpose to answer questions on Twitter or provide tips to your audience.

6. Tools – Use publishing tools to post your content. Do not post directly to any social media platforms because you’ll miss grammatical errors. HootSuite  and TweetDeck are free publishing tools that help you not only monitor but listen as well.

Set your goals, create a strategy and figure out your content plan – this will ensure success as you use Twitter to promote your business. Don’t forget to integrate your social media efforts with other marketing programs and always remember to set the same time aside every day to manage what you are doing in social media. Social media takes time and nurturing. It can be a very powerful tool, if you invest in it.