Twitter is a gift to small businesses, but some effort is required to realise its potential. We’re a small London digital agency and one of the services we offer alongside web design is branding, so we know all too well how important Twitter can be for your brand. Here are four simple rules to follow.
1. Tweet regularly
In a small business, this is easier said than done. You are your own social media team and you are busy doing other things. But if you’re going to use Twitter to build your brand, you have to set aside time to do it regularly. Aim to tweet several times every day, and set yourself reminders. If you can't find time each day to do this, consider using a social media management platform like Buffer, where you can schedule social media posts in advance.
2. Work those tweets
Repetition is your friend on Twitter, so feel free to send out the same Tweet several times over the day. Because Twitter operates in real time, there’s a good chance any individual tweet will be swamped in followers’ timelines, and not be seen. So send that tweet out and then, a few hours later, send it again.
3. Don't become a sales bore
No matter how tempting it is to go for the hard-sell with every tweet, please don't – that's just spamming. Use 75 per cent of your posts to educate, inspire and entertain, and no more than 25 per cent to sell. Pictures, videos – in fact anything eye-catching – will raise the chances that your tweets get noticed. And do try to find a genuine niche. For example, if you're running a bakery, tweeting about baking is not going to differentiate you from the competition. Pick a detail, and focus on that as often as possible eg gluten-free baking, baking as art, celebs and their sandwiches.
4. Use scheduling tools
It is often easier to prepare a week's worth of tweets in advance, using a scheduler to time their publication. There is plenty of choice when it comes to schedulers – options include Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Twuffer or Twittimer. But it's important to be ready to pull scheduled tweets if, for example, they've been rendered inappropriate or out-of-date by a breaking news story.