a cell phone open to twitter next to a coffee cup

A common question we’re asked is about ways a business can use Twitter better. We asked our in house experts along with a few others using Terkel what they would say. There are some interesting responses you’ll want to check out below:

  • Identify Your Twitter Following
  • Twitter Customer Support Team
  • Be Human
  • Two Separate Accounts Working in Tandem
  • Tweet Live
  • Identify and Engage with Influencers
  • Use Trending Hashtags Correctly
  • Network
  • Create a Community for Your Brand On Twitter
  • Don’t Underestimate the Value of Gifs
  • Experiment and Improve
  • Start a Twitter Chat

Identify Your Twitter Following

Business owners should identify who makes up their Twitter following. Twitter was designed to engage an audience that mostly consists of an account’s follower base. A business owner must know who they are tweeting at if they are to successfully engage with their followers. This means identifying the typical customer demographic of the company and posting content that is relevant to that group’s interests. A business owner will ideally have some overlap between their customer base and their following on social media. Business owners should post content on Twitter that is relevant to the interests of their followers and customers.

Sean Doherty, Box Genie

Twitter Customer Support Team

One way you can use Twitter successfully to your business’s advantage is its customer queries support feature. Unlike other platforms, you can have a constant stream of customers’ questions coming through one feed instead of having multiple chats open simultaneously. 

This feature is highly beneficial because it means you can have a more efficient customer service system that feels a little more personable than going onto a generic chatbot helpline. It also lets your team prioritize which replies to answer first and enables you to contextualize your replies before sending them out to the customer. Because Twitter happens in real-time, no matter where you are, it speaks to more effective communication between consumers and businesses, allowing you to build relationships with your audience quickly and productively.

Wendy Makinson, Joloda Hydraroll

Be Human

Twitter is one of the few platforms that has maintained its humanity. People mostly interact with other people (or they tweet at their favorite brands trying to get stuff or complain about stuff). It’s one of the few platforms where conversations are still happening and people are still sharing their less curated thoughts and opinions. For that reason, the brands that seem to do really well on Twitter are the ones that function more as an individual and less as a “brand.” Not that this is the vibe everyone wants to go for, but think about how Wendy’s just roasts other brands. That’s their whole shtick and people think it’s hilarious. Or even Chick-fil-A. A very different vibe but the majority of their tweets are just text tweets that are things a person would tweet that are relatable. 

To be successful on Twitter you have to follow the 80/20 rule to the max AND you have to recognize that what brings value on Twitter isn’t the same as what brings value on other platforms. Value on Twitter comes from conversations, relatable content, short quick takes/bits of information, and humor. 

As the wise Keith Habersberger once said all Twitter is “Blah blah blah. Joke joke joke. Commentary.”

Lauren Cumbie, Dogwood Media Solutions 

Two Separate Accounts Working in Tandem

Creating two separate Twitter profiles, your company and your personal account, can be the one-two punch in establishing a clear brand they will want to follow. Twitter users and potential customers to your product or service value authenticity. While you can share what your company posts, distinguish the accounts by portraying your character as the ideal representation of how you want your brand portrayed. If your company is a disruptor, your Twitter profile should have that confrontational voice. If your company has a social mission, your profile can serve as a signature voice on the issue. Use your Twitter account as an extension and enhancement to your company’s profile. If users are interested in your brand, they can follow your company’s Twitter page, and if interested in you, will want to hear what you have to say separate from the company.

Theresia Le Battistini, Fashion League

Tweet Live

Do live tweets. One piece of advice I’d share with other business owners is to tweet your reactions to an event. Live tweets can occur during company events, in response to breaking news, or even during a televised broadcast. The key is to go ahead with insights. The right people will see your live tweets and then share with their followers, expanding your customer base and network.

Christian Kjaer, ElleVet

Identify and Engage with Influencers

Influencers are instrumental aspects of the perfect Twitter marketing strategy. Connecting with influencers present valuable opportunities to increase engagement, website traffic, and followers. Influencers in your niche already have the audience you want, so building relationships with them is an excellent way to connect with people who share similar interests as you and your brand. First, interact naturally with an influencer’s content to capture their attention, and simultaneously bring more attention to your Twitter account. Then, after contacting them and building a rapport, determine whether they’ll add value to your business. After you’ve identified the right influencer (s) to promote your brand, pay them for strategic collaborations, and watch your follower base steadily grow.

Dan Gray, Kotn Supply

Use Trending Hashtags Correctly

Recently I read about a brand’s social media failure. They had started using a hashtag without knowing what it meant. The example was “#WhyIStayed” and it was about domestic violence, but a brand used it and didn’t check into it. They tweeted “#WhyIStayed You had pizza”. It made people very upset and was careless. Use Twitter better for your business by looking into trending hashtags before you try to jump in on them.

Jesse Jones, Dogwood Media Solutions

Network

Your Twitter experience is only as good as the people you follow. Only follow those who provide value, who you want to work with, who you respect. Like and share their tweets, adding commentary that is authentic. Be a good networker. Find spaces to join and meet other like-minded people. Network, network, network.

Debbie Elicksen, Digital Public Relations

Create a Community for Your Brand On Twitter

Nurturing a community on Twitter is the most effective way of successfully leveraging the platform to grow your business. Incorporate storytelling techniques into your Twitter strategy so that you’re able to create tweets that are relatable and that draw people in. If you do the storytelling right, your tweets may end up viral, and compel more people to follow you. Another essential part of community building is to reply to your followers’ comments, so as to drive the engagement even further. You should also take an interest in your followers’ posts by liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts that align with your brand values.

Andrew Cussens, FilmFolk

Don’t Underestimate the Value of Gifs

Use photos and GIFs to make your tweets more engaging. Twitter allows you to add up to four pictures per post, so take advantage of that perk. They also have a built-in GIF feature that you can use by just typing in keywords relevant to your post. Many Twitter users also use Instagram and Facebook, so they’re used to seeing photos, GIFs, memes, and more. Broaden your customer base by engaging with your followers in a way that they’re used to.

Michael Bell, Manukora

Experiment and Improve

It’s important to try out different types of content and tweet them to see what your audience responds to. Sharing the kind of material that excels on a given platform is essential because each one serves a unique function. Twitter excels in sharing concise thoughts and ideas. If you want to know what your followers are interested in and willing to retweet, just look at the content they’ve been sharing with us. When we see what kind of tweets people respond to the most, we make an effort to produce more of those.

Vincent Amodio, Icon Medical Centers

Start a Twitter Chat

In a Twitter chat, companies generally ask their audiences about a hot topic. Large companies like FedEx have successfully hosted their own Twitter chats to connect with audiences on an individual and more personal level. However, starting a Twitter chat or TweetChat requires a bit of planning. 

First, it’s important to monitor what similar companies are doing with their chats to see what’s working for them. Then you’ll need to choose a topic and make it the theme of your chat. Then, you can select a hashtag. This is arguably the most important step. Your hashtag is how people will find the chat and it should describe what the chat is about. Next, you’ll want to create a list of questions that will engage the audience. Finally, promoting your chat before it launches will help you get more people to participate. If you follow these steps, you can easily gain a larger Twitter following for your business.

Dustin Ray, IncFile

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