Marketing in 280 Characters: Twitter for Small Businesses
Have you noticed how big enterprises and small businesses slowly replaced phone numbers with social media handles on their billboards?
There’s a logical explanation for that, of course. As technology gets more advanced and affordable, more people depend on social media for information and media consumption.
One of the companies that rode the tech wave of the century is Twitter.
Twitter’s Brief History and Stats
Founded in 2006, Twttr (yup, that’s how the brand was originally spelled) was meant to be an SMS-based communication platform. Since SMS had a character limit protocol of 140 characters, Twitter used this to market their website as a channel to post quick updates. However, in 2017, Twitter doubled the character limit to 280 because the 140-character limit was “no longer relevant in the smartphone age.”
Right now, Twitter is among the top 3 social media platforms with the most active users. According to DataReportal, there are 436.4 million Twitter users as of October 2021. The number has only grown since then.
Among the millions of Twitter accounts, 38.5% are 25-34 years old, while ages 18-24 amount to 17.1% of the Twitter population. Even Moms and Dads are pretty active on the platform, with the 35-49 age group making up 20.7% of Twitter. (Statista 2022)
For most small businesses, the products and services offered are targeted towards people ages 18 and up, making Twitter a great marketing tool.
However, when we think of Twitter marketing, what comes to mind most often are multi-million-dollar companies with big blue checks next to their Twitter handles. This makes the small, blue bird, Larry (yup, that’s his name), intimidating for small businesses and start-ups.
The good thing about Twitter, though, is its users are found to be more open-minded, more likely to discover new things, and more likely to try new products. According to this study by Twitter itself, people on Twitter are natural explorers.
So, in this blog, we will be talking about ways to maximize your presence on Twitter to get more sales and create a better brand on the web. Let’s go!
7 WAYS TWITTER CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS
1. Increase Sales and Revenue
Twitter can be a free public portal where you can air announcements and promotions. As we now know that the Twitter community is more open to new experiences, promos like “10% DISCOUNT EXCLUSIVE TO OUR TWITTER FOLLOWERS” will definitely attract new customers.
Also, if you haven’t noticed, people tweet about EVERYTHING. Your friend lost her phone? Tweet. She booked a trip to Thailand? Tweet. She tried a new brand of artisan chocolate? Tweet.
Small businesses can take advantage of this free word-of-mouth marketing by encouraging their customers to tweet about their purchases and tag their Twitter handles.
2. Customer Support Channel
People on Twitter are honest. This fact is a double-edged sword for any business or enterprise. Of course, we only want to welcome positive feedback, but we cannot control our customers’ perception of our products. More often than not, some pent-up frustrations end up on the information highway of Twitter and can get more traction than they ought to.
But, it’s not the end of the world yet when this happens. Remember, Twitter is perceived as the most human-like among all social media platforms. So, a prompt apology and a promise of action to solve the problem will go a long way.
With great communication skills, responding directly via Twitter will make your brand be seen as hands-on and caring. Also, through Twitter, you can personally thank your customers for their business and receive suggestions for free!
3. Boost Brand Awareness
The nature of Twitter is fast-paced, short, and snappy. Because of this, the Twitter algorithm favors the accounts that are consistently getting traction. Breaking the code of the algorithm can be pretty difficult for many reasons. Lucky for you, here are tips to gain relevance and remain relevant on Twitter.
Tip #1: Consistency is key. If your business has a Twitter account but you rarely Tweet, you will most likely be buried in the algorithm. You should post every day to leave a mark on the platform.
Tip #2: Do not over-tweet. 2-3 tweets a day will suffice. You don’t have to tweet every 5 minutes. You’ll lose more followers that way.
Tip #3: Time your tweets. If you know your target audience well, you will have a great idea of what time of the day they will be online to read your tweets. If you don’t know this yet, experiment. Tweet at different times of the day and take note of the window of hours when you get the most interaction with your audience.
Tip #4: RT your followers’ tweets. RT stands for retweet. Getting a retweet from a brand, whether a big company or a mom-and-pop shop, is heartwarming. Retweeting (valuable) tweets can help you build a more intimate relationship with your audience.
4. Track Industry Trends
To put it more simply, you can use Twitter to spy on your competitors. You can check what type of content they publish, their new projects, and how they communicate with their audience. Of course, it is not advisable that you directly copy their brand voice, but using their content as an inspiration is completely legal and ethical.
You can also observe how your audience behaves and speaks online. That’s free search engine optimization for you! Use the most common words as keywords for your website content and make your webpage more searchable and native sounding to your customers.
5. Promote Your Website
This applies to all social media platforms. The challenge and opportunity in Twitter are that you have to maximize 280 characters (minus the link) to grab your audience’s attention and get that sweet redirect click to your websites. You can promote your website’s content such as blogs, industry news, announcements, videos, etc.
6. Conduct Surveys and Get Feedback
Twitter polls are one the easiest surveys to participate in. It’s just a short question, followed by 2 or more options. Once you answer, you’ll see which one (by percentage) is winning. Polls are a very effective tool to increase your audience’s engagement with your Twitter page.
You can use Twitter polls to ask your audience anything from lighthearted questions (such as their favorite pizza topping) to more serious ones (like what type of content they consume the most).
Even before the poll feature on Twitter existed, people had already been conducting surveys on the platform by using Retweet for A, and Favorite for B. To know more about Twitter polls, you can check an article from Larry the Bird himself here.
7. Influencer Marketing
It’s 2022. We cannot deny the marketing power of influencers. How can you take advantage of this? Part of your brand research is making a list of influencers or those with many followers on social media. Reach out to them via Twitter, tag them on your posts, or send them PR Packages. When influencers give their feedback to your product, their audience perceives it as an honest recommendation. This can build affinity between you and your audience.
What type of content should you be posting?
Now that we know why Twitter is important for your business, let’s talk about the how.
Coming up with tweets is surely no walk in the park. Even the most creative marketers struggle at writing dozens of tweets in one sitting. Fortunately, you don’t always have to come up with new ideas.
There are generally two types of content found on Twitter: created and curated.
Created content are the ones that are brand new and original. This is the type of content industry front liners and thought leaders make.
Content creation takes more time and resources than curation; but, when done properly, can bring exponential growth for your brand. Original content builds credibility and authority.
On the other hand, content curation is the act of gathering great materials for your audience. It necessitates deep research into what your audience likes and doesn’t like. Then, getting content from other creators and reuploading them on your channel, given that no copyright is infringed and credits are properly attributed.
Ultimately, a blend of both is best for your Twitter page.
The Pareto principle, more commonly known as the 80/20 principle, applies to your content too. You should keep your audience in mind 80% of the time and market your services just 20%.
This means that 4 out of 5 tweets (more if you can) must provide value to your audience. Suppose you only tweet statements that serve your business. In that case, you will most likely lose your followers faster than you gain customers.
So, are you ready to conquer Twitter?
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