In this day and age, having a strong social media presence can have a huge impact on a business’s ability to identify and cultivate new customers while simultaneously staying in touch with repeat ones. Unlike other social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) who have clearly defined uses and best practices, Twitter tends to be something of an enigma to business owners. With only 140 characters to get your point across, does it even make sense for you to jump on the Twitter bandwagon, and if so, what is the best way to go about it?
When making the decision to start a Twitter account for your business, there are several things you must consider including:
- Target Audience: One of the keys to properly promoting your business is to be where your target demographic likes to hang out. According to a Pew Research Center (www.pewresearch.org) report, Twitter’s audience skews heavily towards the younger end of the spectrum with 40% of users being between the ages of 18 and 29. These percentages drop steadily as age increases with a mere 8% of 65+ year old utilizing the platform.
- Time Commitment: Twitter is considered a “micro-blogging” platform. This means that in lieu of a traditional blogging structure where one might share longer pieces of content several times a week, Twitter users share very short and concise pieces of content (tweets) several times a day. In order to properly utilize Twitter, you will have to commit to consistently making or sharing enough content to support multiple posts per day. While you can use a social media scheduling software to streamline and automate this process, you will still need to consider the additional time needed to create the content and schedule it out.
Additionally, Twitter is a very social form of “social media”. Unlike other platforms, Twitter is very much about the interaction between yourself and your audience. You should think of each tweet as an invitation to your followers to discuss the topic you’ve shared. Along with scheduling regular posts, you will also need to spend time responding and networking with your followers daily. The general rule of thumb is for every post plan to engage with users for at least fifteen minutes after posting.
- Content Creation: Creating content is not simply a matter of time, but topics. Are you passionate about your niche? Do you enjoy sharing about your day? Is connecting with your customers on a daily basis important to you? If so, then Twitter is a great way to do all of these things. Making sure that you have enough to say about your company specifically, and your niche at large is crucial to becoming a successful Tweeter.
Assuming that Twitter is the proper platform for you and your business, the next step is to put a strategy into place that will maximize your effectiveness:
- Develop Your Voice: Before getting started with account setup, image creation, or your first tweet. Decide what sort of voice you’d like to project. Do you want to be seen as an innovative thought leader, a place that customers go for serious information, or maybe taking a fun and playful approach is more your style? Consider your product and the demographics you’re trying to reach. There is no right answer for this, but as with any aspect of your business, consistency is key. Once you’ve decided on a voice stick with it.
- Setting Up Your Account: Now that you’ve established a tone, remember you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure that your username, header image, profile image, and 140 character bio reflect your brand properly.
- Have a Good Content Mix: While having original content to share on Twitter is essential, the great thing about social media is there is also a plethora of information already out there. This means that you do not have to continually recreate the wheel. Sharing pertinent information from other sources is completely fine, and helps you to save time by not having to create the content. However, be sure that you are using a good mix of content. Most experts recommend your tweets consist of 30% original content (images you’ve created, links to articles you’ve written, simple text-only tweets), 60% shared content (retweets, other people’s images, links to outside articles), and 10% promotional information (sales, giveaways, product launch info). This helps you to balance your need to promote your business, with your followers’ desire for new or relevant information from you.
- Be Consistently Active: As mentioned previously, Twitter is very much about the immediate exchange of ideas and stream of consciousness. This means that to get the most of the platform you must be involved. Follow other brands, experts, and influencers who are tapped into your demographic, interact with your followers, research and use hashtags that are relevant to your business and niche, and respond to mentions and messages in a timely manner.
According to Twitter’s own research into its users, on a whole, the tweeting universe tends to be full of trendsetters and early adopters from across the globe. This makes it the perfect place for Amazon sellers to connect with potential customers and get the word out about their products. While it might be more involved than other forms of social media, one thing is certain, the more you put into Twitter, the more you will get out of it!