One in five Americans use Twitter. The luxury car industry recently reported a return of $17.80 for every dollar invested in Twitter marketing.
Yet three in ten small businesses have yet to join Twitter. And many more fail to use Twitter effectively.
If you want to stand out on Twitter, read on to find out what you need to know.
How to Make Your Twitter Followers Fall in Love With You
The more your followers engage with you on Twitter, the better their relationship with you, which gives them a positive impression of your brand. What can you do to make yourself lovable on Twitter?
Make your words re-tweetable. Dan Zarella of Hubspot has researched the 20 most retweetable words. Be sure to use them!
Avoid words that turn off followers. These include “bored”, “tired”, “sleep” and “watching”.
Be generous with the favorite button. Who doesn’t love to have their tweets favorited? Whenever you see a tweet you like, hit the favorite star. You’ll be asking your followers feel good.
Don’t be a Noisy Ned. Some people love the sound of their own voice – even on Twitter. If you’ve got lots to share, spread it out through the day. Using Twitter to splurge is a surefire way to lose followers.
Limit hashtags to two per tweet. Any more, and you’ll come across as a hashtag spammer.
Share lots of links. Around 20% of tweets contain a link. Yet over half of all retweets contain a link. Want to be retweeted? Share links!
Bonus Tips on Follower Engagement
Makes sure your posts are short enough to retweet. Can your posts be shared if your followers manually retweet them, and include your username?
Retweet your followers. When someone you follower shares something you like, pass it on to your own followers. It’s a simple way to share the love.
Let your followers see your @replies. Replies usually get hidden in the Twitter system. If you want everyone to see them, then start them with a period – the magic dot. So, if I was replying to myself, I’d start it with .@lorirtaylor.
Say thank you. When your followers retweet or favorite one of your tweets, drop them a line to say thanks. It’s only a few seconds of your time, but it will mean a lot to them.
How to Get New Followers
Follower-count isn’t everything, but you do need followers to get your tweets heard. Here’s what to do if you want to grow your follower count.
Follow people. Often when you follow others, they’ll follow you back. Hoping for a followback isn’t a great reason on its own to follow someone. But if you’re interested in a person’s profile – follow them. The more people you follow, the more engagement you’ll get on Twitter.
Share cool stuff. Getting replies and retweets on your tweets will bring attention to your profile. So make sure you’re tweeting stuff that your followers will want to shout about.
Join Twitter chats. You’ll meet a ton of interesting people and if you say some interesting things, it’s highly likely you’ll gain new followers.
Put your Twitter @username on your business cards. Meeting people in real life will almost always make for a stronger relationship than meeting on social media. So why not include your Twitter handle on your business card? That way you can grow your Twitter following at real life business events. Talking of events…
Tweet highlights from conferences. Attending a business conference? Why not share what you’ve learned? Be sure to use the conference hashtag in your tweets.
Make Sure Your Profile is Up to Speed
A weak Twitter profile could be your downfall. Here’s how to make it strong, so you stand out from the crowd.
Write your Twitter bio. Having no biography makes you effectively invisible. It’s only 160 characters, so there’s no excuse for not having one.
Make your biography keyword rich. What are your potential customers likely to search for on Twitter? Your Google Keyword research will help with knowing this. Put these keywords into your Twitter biography.
Use a real photo. Not your brand logo. Twitter is about being social and interacting with people. Got several employees who want to share on Twitter? Give them all their own Twitter accounts.
Smile! A good, close up picture as your avatar is a must on Twitter. Yes, it’s true, people judge on appearances, so make sure you’re looking your best.
Link to your website. There’s no point in putting hours of effort into engaging on Twitter if people can’t find out more about you, and check out your products or services.
Set Up Systems to Make Twitter Simple
Twitter doesn’t have to be a time drain. Most small businesses can do everything they need to on Twitter in just 15 minutes a day. Here’s where to start to streamline your tweeting.
Curate the best content. You don’t have to be original to draw a crowd, as long as you’re sharing good stuff. We recommend setting aside a couple of hours each week for content curation.
How to Connect with Twitter Influencers
Twitter power users aren’t afraid to rub shoulders with the good and the great. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons to use Twitter – there are no barriers to engaging with people at the top of the pyramid.
Follow influencers. It sounds simple, but it’s an important first step. They’ll receive a notification you’ve followed them, which puts you on their radar.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Find a range of influencers who can help you achieve your goals. Not all influencers are on Twitter to engage.
Retweet influencers. They’ll receive notifications about this too.
Reply to influencer tweets. This is particularly effective if they ask a question, but it’s also good to just jump in and start a conversation.
Join them on a Twitter chat. Look through their past tweets, and see if they use a hashtag from a Twitter chat session. If so, join the next Twitter chat with that hashtag – where they’ll be available to talk live.
What to Tweet About
Not sure how you’re going to keep up with Tweeting every day? Never fear! There’s plenty you can tweet about.
Ask questions. People love to be helpful. Questions are brilliant conversation starters. And they can help you get the information you need.
Don’t be shy of sharing your opinions. Controversy can help stoke up conversations. Plus it’s good to show you’ve got personality and soul.
Use the Google Keyword Planner to find out about the interests of your audience. Make sure you cover these interests in your tweets.
Find questions to answer, and answer them. Answering questions is a great way to be helpful and grow your fan base.
Share inspiring quotes. Try to be original and source your quotes from books and magazines rather than the internet.
Use Twitter to Gain Marketing Insights
Twitter is incredibly useful for getting insights into all your content marketing. Here are just a few things you can use Twitter for.
Use Twitter to generate content ideas. Want to know what to blog about? Come up with as many ideas as you can, then share each one in a tweet. The popular tweets are the ones you should blog about.
Test your headline writing skills. Headline writing is an art that can take years to master. Twitter is the ideal place to test headlines. Observe which tweets get the most favorites, retweets or clicks – and you’ll learn what gets attention from your audience.
Find out more about your customers. The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to create products and marketing messages that resonate with them. Following customers on Twitter providers a broad insight into your customers and their needs, likes and dislikes.
Track your Twitter metrics. Want to know what’s working and what’s not on your Twitter feed? The best way to do this is to track your metrics. There are plenty of tools available that make it simple – even if math isn’t your strong point.
The Mindset of a Twitter Power User
Being a Twitter power user isn’t only about the tactics we’ve outlined above. It’s also about adopting a mindset.
Remember, funny is money. This is one of our favorite aphorisms. Having fun doesn’t only lighten your own road. It also makes you more pleasant to be around.
Keep it simple. Twitter isn’t the place to show off your extensive vocabulary. Short words and sentences are the order of the day.
You don’t need thousands of followers. Being a Twitter power user isn’t about the number of followers you have. It’s about using Twitter to achieve your marketing goals. As long as you’re headed to the right destination, don’t get hung up on your follower count.
Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself. Unlike Facebook’s newsfeed, Twitter’s homepage is a live stream of fresh tweets. It’s a good idea to share the same content several times to make sure lots of your followers see it.
Give it time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was War and Peace written in a week. It takes time to become a Twitter power user. Be patient, and know your hard work will pay off in the end.