Tweet your way to success with these effective tips for marketing and promoting your brand on Twitter

By Neil Okun

In a little over 10 years, Twitter has taken the social media world by storm. With more than 500 million tweets sent each day by 310 million active users each month, Twitter has become part of our lives. Whether it’s for entertainment or getting the latest breaking news, contacting customer support or sharing your daily thoughts, following your favorite celebrity or getting advice and answers from users more knowledgeable than you, Twitter has something for everyone, even when it comes to businesses.

Regardless if your business is already established or just starting out, Twitter should be part of your marketing strategy. With Twitter, you have the potential to reach a huge audience in 140 characters or less. Marketing can’t really get any easier! But using Twitter for marketing still requires effort beyond simply sending out a tweet, so here are four ways Twitter can help you market and grow your small business.

1. Find your target audience.

Do you know who your target audience is? If you do, then Twitter is an excellent way to find that audience and build relationships with them. Search hashtags related to your industry to find experts and influencers who already have a following. Follow them, interact with them, and make conversation with them. Don’t focus on selling, just focus on growing your audience and getting on their radar. This builds trust, which translates to more followers and ultimately more business.

2. Engage with your followers.

It’s great to have followers, but if you don’t engage with them, they’ll be quick to unfollow, which means you’ve lost a potential customer. It’s important to personally interact with your followers in order to build valuable relationships with them. Respond to both praise and complaints. Ask for feedback about your products or services. Post content and then participate in the conversation. When your followers see that you’re encouraging their engagement and are interacting right back, they’ll be more apt not only to engage with your brand but also to become loyal customers.

3. Keep your customers updated.

If someone tries to search for information about your business but can’t find any recent updates, they’re probably going to end up going to another business for their needs. People want to know what’s going on at their favorite places and being active on social media, specifically Twitter, is an important way to keep your customers informed. Tell your customers about specials, sales, and events. Was your business featured somewhere or did you get great news? Share it! The more your customers are in the loop, the more traffic and business they’ll drive your way.

4. Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags.

If you want to grow your followers and get people to read your content, you need to get on their radar by using hashtags. Hashtags make your posts accessible to everyone, regardless of whether they’re following you, by using clickable and searchable keywords and phrases. When you attach hashtags to your post, users with similar interests can then easily find your content. For this particular blog, #smallbusiness and #marketing will connect us to anyone searching for those topics. Need to know which hashtags to use? Tools like Hashtagify, Keyhole, and others will help with your hashtag research to optimize your tweets.

5. Engage with influencers.

One of the best Twitter marketing strategies is to engage and build relationships with influencers in your industry. Influencers, as the name suggests, have a lot of influence over their followers –  your potential customers – and can really make an impact for you and your business. Getting started with influencers can be as simple as liking, retweeting, or replying to their tweets. From there, you can build on these interactions by featuring influencers in your content, sharing their content, and reaching out to them directly. By engaging with influencers in your industry, you’ll  be on your way to making lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.

6. Check out your competitors’ audiences.

As you’re building your own audience on Twitter, you should look at your competition’s audience to see if you can get their followers to become your followers. Start by paying attention to your competition to see how they engage with their followers and grow their audience. Then, use their tactics as inspiration for your own approach to grow your Twitter following. If your competition gets a lot of activity from a blog post or a caption contest, do something similar to encourage engagement. Additionally, you can analyze your competition’s following using a tool like Tweepi so you can determine who their most active followers are. Once you have this information, you can target these followers so they’ll join your audience, too.

7. Pin your tweets.

When a new person visits your Twitter profile page, they look at your bio, your cover photo, and your latest tweets, starting at the top of your feed. So if visitors are checking out the tweets closest to the top, wouldn’t it be great if you could curate which tweets people see right away? That’s where pinned tweets come into play. Depending on your business goals and how you’re using Twitter to achieve those goals, you can pin specific tweets to the top of your Twitter feed and visitors will read them first. What types of tweets should you be pinning? Pinned tweets could include branding, calls to action, website conversion and traffic, awareness, current promotions or campaigns, important announcements, great photos, content links, or whatever you think will make a lasting first impression on your visitors.

8. Use Twitter analytics.

In this day and age, we can measure everything, and yes, that includes your Twitter account. You can look at your Twitter Analytics to get insight on your tweets and your following. You have access to a tweet activity dashboard that tracks the number of views, likes, retweets, and replies for every tweet. This can show you the types of tweets that perform better than others, which you can then use when planning future tweets. You also have an audience insights dashboard that tracks your follower growth and provides you with pertinent information about your followers’ demographics and interests. With this detailed information, you can become a better, more effective tweeter which will only help build your business.

These are just eight of the many ways Twitter can build brand awareness, broaden your audience, and grow your small business, so give them a try today and start tweeting your way to success.

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