How to embrace Twitter for 2017
Its a new year so I thought I’d take this opportunity to take a look at Twitter and ask the question – Does Twitter still work for small businesses?
With the growth in Twitter over the last few years businesses now have to work even harder to generate engagement and get their brand noticed. Competition is fierce, user feeds are much larger and therefore harder to grab their attention. Tweeting great content and ensuring your Twitter profile is complete just won’t cut the mustard. So what can you do?
Here’s a few tips to consider in 2017…
Host a Twitter Chat
Research potential interest and see if you could host a Twitter Chat – these can work great if you focus on a particular subject and encourage engagement with the posting of thought-provoking questions that can generate engagement. To promote the Twitter chat create a #hashtag for the event.
Work with influencers
Consider partnering up with an influencers in your industry for a social media ‘takeover’ or a Q&A session.
Use Twitter to reach out to people directly using their @username, rather than only as a generic tweet to broadcast your message to everyone. It may seem forward but you might be surprised at how many people respond. Focused tweets are more likely to get noticed than a generic tweet, which can potentially get lost in the sea of tweets a user might receive.
Embrace Twitter’s Algorithm
You may have noticed a while ago that Twitter switched the way it displays tweets in a followers feed from reverse chronological order to the tweets they’re more likely to care about first. So you should focus on getting engagement though your tweets – the more engagement you can get the more likely you are to show up in their feed when they first open the app.
Use Twitter Video
Don’t underestimate the power of Twitter Video. Did you know that on average 82% of Twitter users watch video on the app. Vine has gone but embrace the native Twitter video – you’ve up to 140 seconds to grab your followers attention. Promote a product or service in action or even consider replying directly to a followers question or comment – a feature that’s becoming very popular!
Back in the early days you’d send one tweet promoting your latest blog/news post and wouldn’t post again. Those days are long gone! Tweets no longer have the same reach as they used to especially when followers may have hundreds if not thousands of accounts they follow. For more important tweets consider tweeting the message multiple times in a week or month to have more chance of being seen. If you’re worried of tweeting exactly the same tweet you could vary the text content, image and see what works best. Also remember to research local/national events, holidays or tv events and build an editorial calendar for the year that you can use to ensure you have scheduled targeted tweets surrounding these key times.
If you have an E-commerce site (or if you don’t) why not consider a ‘flash sale’ for your product or service – these are normally 1 day or 1 hour sales. Tease the up-coming sale and then on the day use a promo code that customers can use on your website or get them to post a photo tweet at your shop to get the discount.
Twitter, like Facebook, has it’s own paid advertising platform called Twitter Ads. While it’s generally slightly more expensive than Facebook it can offer great rewards for small businesses with the ability to target followers based on the geographical location, likes, interests and who they follow.
Tweet, tweet, tweet
As I’ve said before people are following more accounts than ever before so being seen and getting engagement becomes even more important. 2017 is likely to require you to tweet more often. Now that doesn’t mean that you want to be tweeting the same message every 15 minutes but find a time frame that works best for you and post engaging quality content. It’s quality not quantity – Use Twitter Analytics to see if it’s working or not and adjust your strategy accordingly.
There’s no getting around the fact that managing your social media is much more time consuming than it used to be. Twitter drives the third most referral traffic of any social network so it still has something to offer businesses if you’re willing to invest time in it and consider expanding your Twitter horizons.