I recently joined the regular Twitter Chat #sproutchat hosted by SproutSocial’s social marketing specialist Sarah Nagel.It’s a fast paced chat held live on Twitter every Wednesday at 2pm CDT (8pm BST) and you’ll always find a great crowd discussing and sharing knowledge, insight and wisdom around a central topic with curated questions and tons of great answers.
This week’s #sproutchat focused on Twitter best practice for small businesses, and since we’re launching our Twitter Power Marketing course very soon I thought I’d share 7 of the top Twitter best practice tips and takeaways New Rise Digital shared during this week’s chat
1) Why Should A Small (Or Medium Sized Business) Use Twitter?
It’s definitely a fast customer service channel that can connect you to existing customers quickly and keep them happy. However small businesses will also benefit from connecting with influencers in their market to extend their business networks further than they could on their own. Influencers will also help amplify and spread your content to their own following too. Twitter is also a great research tool for discovering customer conversations in your target market. Twitter search is very under used.
2) What Are The Benefits Of Using Twitter’s Ability To Openly Connect?
Twitter’s open connect culture breeds transparency. You can see very quickly if the person you’re connecting to has a spammy account. Make sure you are focusing on the quality of your followers rather than the quantity. Your small business will make more of an impact on Twitter if your tweets are highly relevant to a tightly focused audience.
3) How Can A Hashtag Campaign Help A Small Business?
Joining in other hashtags on Twitter is like virtual networking. It will bring in new focused followers from an existing tribe that know you’re interested in similar topics. Starting your own hashtag can take some time to gain traction but if it’s successful it can start a whole movement in itself. Hashtags are also a great way to research a topic or a theme by grouping conversations around topics for further analysis. See what your potential customers are asking for and talking about the most through hashtag segmentation.
4) What Is The Smartest Way To Grow Your Twitter Community Organically?
Be conversational in your tweets and be active daily on Twitter. Care about the conversation you’re having with your followers. The three things that will help build a loyal community on Twitter are honesty, authenticity and integrity. Remember to also keep your Twitter timeline current, Twitter is a fast moving medium and your followers expect to see fresh updates regularly.
5) What Are The Best Ways To Utilize Photos Or Video On Twitter?
One underused recent advance on Twitter is the support of animated gifs. Use a tool such as Licecap to create short product walkthroughs and short help videos that provide extra value for your customers. Share these regularly on your Twitter timeline. If you are producing video content on YouTube, embed the videos into your tweets and the videos will play directly from your Twitter timeline. Local small businesses could use Twitter image attachments to offer coupons for instore use too. How about asking your customers to take photos of themselves using your products in novel ways, and start a hashtag and sharing campaign around these pictures.
6) How Can You Qualititively Measure Your Twitter Progress?
Monitor whether your audience is becoming more supportive of your business. How many influencers are you gaining every week that will help you spread the word about your brand on their own Twitter timelines. Measuring sentiment for your brand is also a good Twitter metric to measure, even if it’s in a very simplistic way at first. Try tools such as Commun.IT to help understand these types of metrics.
7) What Tools Can I Use To Manage My Small Business Twitter Account?
Using a social media management tool such as TweetDeck or HootSuite is a good idea if you want to avoid the overwhelming amount of information that passes through Twitter on a daily basis. Commun.IT is a great small business tool for measuring your reach on Twitter. If you want to find and join in Twitter chats related to your business niche, then try searching Twubs.com for a relevant twitter chat, jump in and participate!
Thanks to Sarah Nagel for another fast paced chat this week, why not get involved in the next #sproutsocial Twitter Chat yourself, hopefully we’ll see you there!
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