By Ana Chevalier
(or Everything You Wanted To Know About Using Twitter For Business To Grow Your Brand But Were Afraid To Ask)
Despite what you may think, there’s no one social media platform that’s perfect for every brand or business. Social media platforms are unique, and each one comes with its own set of unique assets and disadvantages. In addition, each platform serves a unique and distinct purpose.
Instagram, for example, is phenomenal when it comes to brand-building, audience reach and engagement. On the other hand, Facebook is an ideal platform when it comes to establishing a fixed social media presence. Pinterest was made for eCommerce selling. YouTube is a natural extension of your existing content marketing reach.
But what about Twitter for growing your business?
Twitter can seem vague and ambiguous to brands who aren’t sure how to leverage it to grow their brand or business in meaningful ways that resonate with their ideal audience. The result: too often, brands and organizations linger in the “Twitter marketing beginner stage” for longer than necessary. Or worse, get stuck there. But the good news is that Twitter can deliver real value to your marketing strategies once you understand how to use it.
In this blog post, we’ll share with you our tips on how to get the most out of Twitter for business. We’ll look for ways to incorporate Twitter into your marketing strategy to grow your brand in three easy stages successfully.
Twitter For Business Growth Strategies
Using Twitter for business growth strategies boils down to three basic steps that will help you boost brand recognition, grow your followers, and expand your client base. And each of these three steps contains unique tips to help you reach your business goals for each step.
Step 1: Optimize Your Business’ Twitter Profile
You need a strong Twitter profile for your business before you can begin to take steps to grow your brand. Your Twitter profile is often the first thing people see when they visit your page, so having a professional, clean, organized, and detailed profile will help establish your authority. It will also help separate you from your competitors who do not have a strong Twitter presence.
What makes a strong Twitter profile?
High-Quality Branded Visuals Are A Must
Twitter is a visual platform, and your visuals matter. A lot. And visuals are even more crucial since Twitter’s latest interface upgrade last fall.
Your Twitter Profile Picture
Choose the same photo for your Twitter profile that you use on all other branded accounts. This helps you look professional while boosting brand recognition. You’ll also want to ensure you keep your brand name consistent across all social media accounts. A logo can be an excellent choice for many businesses, including small businesses.
It’s also essential to choose high-quality, branded Twitter cover photo. Your Twitter header is prime social media real estate, and it’s a great space to help boost your brand. Choose images of your product, industry-relevant graphics, stock photos, or photo/text combos to promote a specific service or product like I’ve done above (hint: the pink flowers are cherry blossoms, called Sakura, in Japan).
What To Include In Your Twitter Card (aka the “About” Section)
Twitter gives you a short section where you can share location details and brag about what you do.
You must complete every section in the Twitter Card, ensuring that it directs people to either your website home page or dedicated landing page. Don’t forget to highlight your value and explain why people need to follow you.
Pinned Tweet: Choose A Tweet That Represents Your Brand
Pinned Tweets are a simply fantastic way to promote high-quality content you want to gain maximum exposure and visibility. Do you have an eBook, infographic, or another resource you’re proud of? Did a specific Tweet go viral (or semi-viral)? What about a Tweet promoting a recent release or service? These are all examples of good Pinned Tweet options.
My personal Twitter account has a Pinned Tweet that features a current article and provides information about an upcoming/ ongoing project. For example, I recently came out of “journalism retirement” to cover an upcoming trial with the United States District Court (for the Southern District of New York). This Tweet explains what I do to people in an instant — and they can follow the link if they want more information.
Twitter Verification: Apply for the little blue checkmark
Is there anything more desirable than the little blue checkmark? It’s literally the mark of professionalism. It’s Twitter’s way of letting everyone on their platform know that they’ve verified and authenticated the account. It means the account is legit and a massive boost to your brand.
Twitter verification is a straightforward process worth considering. You can find out the specifics of Twitter’s verification program on their website.
Step 2: Create Valuable, Audience-Centric Content
With your tip-top profile in place, it’s now time to begin laying the foundation for your profile with strategic content that will resonate with your ideal audience.
How do you determine what your ideal audience wants to see?
Start by looking at high-performing content in your niche or vertical. Who are your direct—or indirect—competitors that are hitting it out of the ballpark when it comes to connecting with their target audience? What are they promoting? This can be especially beneficial if you’re refocusing your strategy with a more brand-focused approach to business growth.
Look at brand profiles with audiences similar to your ideal audience and scroll through their Tweets.
- What hashtags do they use?
- What topics are they focusing on?
- What content are they putting out that’s getting the best results—especially comments and retweets?
Pro-tip: Comments and retweets are the number one indicator of content resonating with any audience!!
Share Original Insights, Resources, and Value-Add Information.
If you want people to come to you, it’s important to share information and resources that offer real value.
Check out the post above from John Lincoln.
John is an excellent example of a marketer who frequently shares valuable information on Twitter. The more you can offer valuable content, the more shares you’ll get—and that’s massive when it comes to building your brand.
Twitter Analytics: Find Your Top-Performing Content
Once you begin sharing original and increased value content from your account regularly, keep track of your Twitter Analytics. Twitter Analytics is free for accounts, and it’s invaluable for determining which posts are getting the most engagement, along with noting the different types of engagement (i.e., comments, retweets, shares, etc.).
I recommend looking at two main things in analytics: visibility and shares.
- Which content generates more visibility?
- Which content generates more shares?
Are your Twitter-thread-based resources getting more comments compared to your other Tweets? Conversely, does tagging other brands help you generate more retweets and visibility? Combining the “best of both worlds” is a powerful marketing choice, especially if you look at Twitter as your personal brand research platform.
Step 3: Boost Brand Recognition Means Focus on Tweet Engagement & Reach
You’ve got a great profile and a ton of solid, value-add content filling up for your feed. Now it’s time to take Twitter to the next level and up your engagement and reach strategies. This allows you to connect with more users while developing standout brand recognition.
How To Improve Engagement and Reach
Host a Twitter Chat
Twitter chats are fun, and they come with a built-in potential to quickly pick up a lot of momentum. Your brand hosts the chat by posting numbered questions (1,2,3, etc.) which users then can respond to, generating a conversation.
Create a specific hashtag for your chat and ask guests to include the hashtag in all of their responses
Promote Your Twitter Chat in advance
This can be uniquely effective if you plan to host a regular weekly or monthly chat. Talk about different topics or newsworthy issues in your field. You can expect to attract followers who will tune in and soon become regulars!
#BookMarketingChat by @BadRedHeadMedia and co-hosted by @MelissaFlicks is always worth checking out!
Twitter Live Video
Twitter loves live video, and because not as many brands are using live video (compared to Instagram or Facebook, for example), you get to stand out and get a bump in brand visibility. Media, including live video, will always attract more users than plain-text Tweets.
Some ideas for live broadcasts include
- Brand announcements
- Live tutorials (this is especially useful when users can ask questions live)
- Interviews with influencers.
- Trending topics (Twitter loves sound-bite content on trending topics!)
Team Up With Other Brands
It’s always a win-win social media marketing strategy when you work with other brands whose audience overlaps with your ideal audience. It not only helps you extend your reach to an audience who otherwise be unfamiliar with you, but it also gives both brands a trustworthiness boost because you’re vouching for one another.
Some ideas for co-creative Twitter events include,
- Hosting a joint contest
- Jointly create a resource you both cross-promote
- Each brand shares content from the other with its audience, tagging them.
Use The Right Hashtags
Hashtag use should be strategic. That’s why so many businesses focus on growing their brand. So carefully research and choose two (or three, maximum) hashtags to include in their Tweet.
The right hashtag can help put your brand in front of your ideal audience.
Trending hashtags are always a good choice for including your Tweet—provided your content is relevant.
Some industries have special hashtags that automatically boost engagement. “BookTwitter” so called because of its focus on the writing community, has a #WritersLift hashtag. The sole purpose of this hashtag to encourage engagement and boost reach.
Host A Twitter Contest
A Twitter contest is a marvelous way to get a significant influx of new impressions while giving your engagement and reach a significant bump.
Twitter contests are short-lived, but they can deliver long-term results.
Simple Twitter contests can ask followers to retweet, follow, and comment on a specific Tweet with a winner (or several) chosen randomly.
Additional, Twitter contest ideas can include asking followers to
- Sign up via a dedicated contest landing page
- Share user-generated content (USG),
- Caption a picture you provide
- Give “wrong answers only” to a question.
Twitter For Business Conclusion
Twitter for business may not be your first choice, but countless brands have joined—and stayed with—the platform because of the great results they’ve garnered.
For a quick boost, Twitter ads are an option that gets more eyes on your content. Twitter ads are similar to Facebook ads, providing you with a choice of Tweets you can promote to your ideal audience’s feeds. However, Twitter ads aren’t free, and they can have an opposite effect depending on your audience.
By incorporating these effective Twitter for business strategies into your current marketing efforts, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to drive your business forward, increasing visibility, improving engagement, and boosting brand recognition.
Now get out there and start (strategically) Tweeting!
Ana Chevalier is an award-winning writer and strategic content marketer specializing in business, law, technology, and marketing writing. She works from her home office in Maine with husband, three dogs.