From the new President of the United States to astronauts on board the International Space Station orbiting 250 miles above the earth, anyone who’s anyone is on Twitter these days. But how can you make your start-up’s Twitter feed stand out from the approximately 500 million Tweets sent daily, and how can you be sure to look professional in an increasingly casual world?
One of the keys to making Twitter work for your business is establishing a solid brand identity within your feed. Everything from the image you choose for your account to the messages you send out should be a well-thought-out reflection of how you want your business to be seen. You don’t have to stick to dry, business-only Tweets, but if you do put out something casual with a humorous edge make sure that it’s still relevant to the interests of your followers – nothing is more off-putting than personal beliefs aired via a business account.
Don’t know what to Tweet? Think outside the box. If you run a fitness start-up, for example, you can Tweet about anything from hot new exercise trends to the latest healthy eating fads. Photos and videos work well attached to Tweets, too, and links can drive followers directly to your business. Research suggests that URLs placed in the middle of a Tweet have the best results – and you can use a shortening tool like Bitly to maximise the amount of characters available before and after your link.
Hashtags are also an important part of Twitter, and here’s how to get the most out of them. Try to come up with a term that incorporates relevant keywords, and don’t forget to use the search tool to make sure that no one else is using it. Once you’ve got your hashtag, aim to include it in your Tweet in the most natural way possible. Evidence has shown that Tweets with just one hashtag perform better than those with multiples, so don’t be tempted to overpopulate your content with unnecessary words.
Next, the key is to build as many followers as possible. Your followers act as a ready-made audience willing to hear whatever you have to say, and the more you have the more attractive you will seem to potential new customers. To build your fanbase, try searching for hashtags and keywords that are relevant to your business, and using them to engage key industry figures. You can also encourage Retweets by running special offers or competitions that reward your followers for sharing your content.
Finally, keep track of what is and what isn’t working for you on Twitter by employing Twitter’s analytics tool. It will tell you which Tweets have reached the most followers, as well as keep you informed about who is following you – allowing you to develop effective strategies for the future.