Quick Tips

Quick Tip: Boosting Your Small Business with Twitter

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

This month, our Windstream Small Business team is bringing you deep dives of social media channels and how they can help your small business grow. And today, we’re exploring Twitter for small business.

First, let’s get an idea of who is using Twitter. In the first quarter of 2018, there were about 69 million monthly active Twitter users in the U.S., and that percentage accounts for just one-fifth of all the monthly active users worldwide.

Nearly three-fourths of all users prefer the social media network as a way to get news, and Twitter’s own statistics show that 40 percent of users follow small businesses to learn about new products.

It’s even more ideal for small businesses: more than 90 percent of those who follow a small business on Twitter plan to buy from that very company.

So how can you make your small business stand out from all the rest? Follow these five tips for social media success!

1. Conversation is key.

With a 280-character limit, Twitter forces your small business to really focus on the message you’re trying to relay to customers and potential leads. But you’re going to want to do more than try to sell your small business products or services. You’ll want to participate in Twitter chats with other like-minded people or businesses. Reply to your mentions and tweets in a timely manner, and maintain relationships that you foster through past interactions.

Remember that conversation is a two-way street. So, yes, you’ll be talking on Twitter, but you’ll also be listening. Social listening can let you see how users are talking about your brand, your competitors and other things that your company may be interested in. All that information can help you hone the messages you’re sending online.

2. Find new followers.

There are a number of ways to do this, but the first is obvious: tweet relevant content to your customers and potential leads. Research has also found that some tweets get more engagement because they include an image or even a hashtag. Another easy way is to follow your leads, who will often follow you back.

Another avenue that may help is optimizing your biography by using relevant keywords and keeping it professional. Other ways from Forbes’ 50 free ways to increase your followers list include mentioning users — especially your brand influencers, uploading your email contacts to Twitter to find people you already know and using the search function to find users who share your interests.

3. Get creative with content.

Diversify your content library and assets. Try out different types of media, from quizzes to live-streaming, to see what best catches the attention of your followers.

Building out your digital assets also means having paid advertisements or promotional posts, which can also help bring in more followers. With Twitter ads, you can set a budget, a schedule and target different audiences by things like follower look-alikes and use of keywords. Read more here about creating and optimizing your small business ads on Facebook.

4. Analyze your data.

Like Facebook, Twitter has its own analytics platform. Review your data on tweet activity, audience insights and campaigns regularly to see what material has helped your small business increase reach, engagement or even sales.

If you’re looking for more robust information than what Twitter offers, try using tracked links when leading users to another website and  using Google Analytics for further data inquiries.

5. Users expect customer service — and fast.

More than eight out of every 10 small business owners who use Twitter say that it’s important to provide customer service on that platform. Customer-service interactions on Twitter have increased, and it isn’t just enough to get around to it when you can.

The majority of consumers expect businesses to respond to tweets or direct messages within an hour, but average response times are a tad longer at 1 hour and 24 minutes, Twitter found. You may want to set expectations by listing in your profile when someone can be reached, so someone isn’t waiting around all weekend to hear from you.

The platform produced four best practices for customer-service interactions on Twitter, including being friendly and personal.

Try out these tips to improve your small business’ Twitter presence. And be sure to follow Windstream Small Business on Facebook for more deep dives into other social media platforms this month!

And while you’re working on honing your social media know-how, be sure to accelerate your small business with Kinetic Internet.