Is your business on Twitter yet? Do you have a Twitter handle?
It should be. The Balance has a compelling, if sober, look at seven key advantages of Twitter for small businesses. (Don’t worry: Midsize businesses and enterprises can play too.)
Great Twitter Handles
Whole books have been written on effective business “Twittering,” but we won’t get too far into the weeds here. Just know that most successful business Twitter handles have these six straightforward attributes.
Your profile and cover photos provide back-to-back opportunities to put your company’s best visual foot forward. Use them wisely.
The best business Twitter photos celebrate well-known value propositions. For instance, Wendy’s Twitter handle’s profile picture is the company’s immediately recognizable mascot; its cover photo is a sequence of simple, unfiltered burger ingredient photos. The subtext: What you see is what you get.
Concise, Compelling Bio
Like the rest of the medium, Twitter bios are necessarily short and to the point. Don’t run away from this — embrace it.
Examples abound of effective Twitter business bios. Canadian e-commerce company Beyond the Rack’s Twitter handle reads, simply, “North America’s hottest online shopping club – up to 80% off on your favorite designer brands!”
That’s pretty much everything first-time BTR customers need to know upfront. For everything else, they can scroll through the company’s tweets or visit its website.
Targeted Twitter for Business Campaigns
Yes, Twitter makes money off Twitter for Business campaigns, but so can your business. Read the company’s advice on running a successful campaign, set your budget, and get ready to build bridges to customers new and old.
The TweetChat is an underutilized customer engagement mechanism that’s great for companies (and content publishers) looking to drill down on big issues. Use (and publicize in advance) a dedicated hashtag to organize responses, and make sure to save the whole mega-thread for posterity.
Your most sublime Twitter moments might happen off the cuff, but you can’t simply wait around for them to happen. Even if you have a dedicated social media manager, he or she likely has too much else on tap to babysit your company’s Twitter account in real time.
That’s why it’s so important to schedule and promote Tweets using a third-party app. Hootsuite is a great choice with free and premium options. Twitter’s own TweetDeck feature is great for companies aiming to manage and schedule multiple accounts from one dashboard.
Interactions With Influencers and Customers
The best Twitter users don’t just talk to themselves. They opportunistically engage in conversation with:
- Their fans and followers
- Influencers dominant in their niche
- Peer businesses (including competitors, good-naturedly)
- Non-competitor accounts with high follower counts
These conversations take many different forms. They ultimately come down to the personalities of those managing your account and the overall vibe you want your account to project. A buttoned-up business account probably isn’t going to engage in snarky back-and-forth with another well-known brand, for instance. An account looking to burnish its reputation for edginess probably will.
Regardless of personality, though, you’ll want to keep one thing constant: your responsiveness to customers. Make sure you respond to and promptly address all good-faith complaints. If your company fields lots of complaints, it may be better to silo responsibility in a dedicated PR or customer support handle.
No matter what line of business your company is in, it can’t rely on Twitter alone and claim to have anything resembling a comprehensive social media strategy.
In fact, Twitter is just the tip of the iceberg: necessary to your social media outreach efforts, but by no means the linchpin of the operation. Depending on your niche, you’ll need to devote considerable resources to some or all of the following: LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and perhaps others.
You know what you need to do.