Whilst the uptake of Twitter in Australia is low compared to the US and the UK, Twitter is about to open an office in Sydney this year to increase its presence here. Who knows, this could be the turning point for Twitter, as more small businesses jump on the social media bandwagon. It may be time to rethink you strategy for Twitter and assess if there's an opportunity for your business to capitalise on it before others do - but you have to act fast if you're up for it.
In my previous post, I blogged about how Twitter can easily be resource intensive, so it's important to have the right strategy in place. In this post, I'd like to share some of my experience and tips in making Twitter more effective for your business.
Tip #2: Resist temptations
Don't be tempted to tweet about your business all the time. Just because you're passionate about the value your business brings, it doesn't mean your followers are always receptive to your tweets. Even the best intentions can easily be misconstrued if we're not careful. The last thing you want to do is spam your followers. Twitter is about connecting and sharing information, ideas, and occasionally, inspirations on what your business offers. If your follower finds value in your tweets, they'll be intrigued enough to look you up anyway.
Tip #3: Have the right attitude
Having the right attitude will propel your business forward, but the wrong motivation and expectations can set you in the wrong path altogether. The right approach will enable to build meaningful relationships, whereas careless self-promotion could suggest you're desperate for sales. On the other hand, patience and persistence will hold you in good stead. Although I’ll talk a little about tools later in this post, the message is simple –
Making Twitter work well for your business is not always about the tools,
but the way you engage and build your brand with your audience.
Tip #4: Get organised
Planning ahead can significantly improve your experience with Twitter. Work out why and how you're going to use Twitter. Work out your key messages, the tools will you need, how much time and how often will you be spending on Twitter. Ensure you have a sound process internally for converting Twitter leads into actual customers. As Micha Wotton, our Head of Web Development at SavvySME often quotes, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well."
Tip #5: Get your house in order
So first thing's first, get your Twitter header page in order. It’s the landing page for your Twitter audience, so it should reflect what your business is about, not just pictures of your cat or your Lamborghini. It pays to spruce it up and take advantage of the new customisable header page. I found a great resource, which you may find helpful: Tips on designing Twitter custom header page
Tip #6: Sort out who's who
In my view, setting up Twitter lists is essential to help save time and focus on tweets that matter. It's virtually impossible to keep track of all your connections, and do so well. Twitter list helps you to group regular customers, influencers, suppliers and partners - even your competitors. Don't spend too much time analysing the list on day one. As your connections grow, you can always add them to the lists.
Tip #7: Make use of available Twitter tools
Tools can really help you focus and save time. For instance, I use HootSuite to manage all my social networks. I love simplicity of smart designs and its easy-to-use dashboard makes managing conversations a breeze. Hootlet makes it easy for me to share web pages to one or all of my social networks at the same time. TweetDeck is another good option. In fact, we had a recent related Q&A What automated platforms or tools can you recommend for social media activities? There are many Twitter tools out there to choose from. Here's a list of tools you may find useful, thanks to Matt Antonino at High on SEO.
Tip #8: Cut out the noise
I use HootSuite to create streams around search phrases, hashtags, mentions, locations, and any other filters I choose to use. This helps to cut out the noise whilst keeping my ears on the ground on what’s happening in real time. To keep track of my followers, I use SocialBro – a powerful analytical tool to manage all my connections, reporting and audience analysis.
Tip #9: Analyse topics and conversations
I use Topsy.com frequently to search on who is talking about SavvySME or any other topics that I’m interested to find out in the social world real-time. It’s an incredibly powerful search and automatic alert tool. Another tool worth mentioning is Bitly, which doubles as a URL shortener but also an analytics tool to see how many of your audience click on the links in your tweets.
Tip #10: Follow through when you tweet
Be careful not to leave your account unattended for days on end. A staggering 56% of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. Responding to interests or questions is just as important as the initial tweet that generated those interests. The key is plan and get into a rhythm you're comfortable with so that potential leads are not left out in the cold.
Tip #11: Be yourself
While it is reasonable to expect that your tweets are business related, remember Twitter remains very much a conversational tool. It’s important to be yourself. Let your personality shine through your tweets. Relax and enjoy yourself. It’s a whole lot more fun this way. :)
Tip #12: Keep at it
In summary, making Twitter effective for your business requires a combination of the right mindset, knowledge, tools, discipline and patience. Twitter may be a good fit for your business but you’ll obviously need a sound strategy and commit to it!
So do you have any tips or tools you'd like to share with the community too? We'd love to hear from you.
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