Twitter is an information network that instantly connects users with the latest stories, ideas and news that other users find interesting. Users share short bursts of information through 140-character “tweets.”
Twitter connects your business with your fans in real time, meaning as soon as you post a tweet, they will be able to see it. It can help you build relationships with your customers and partners.
Since you only have 140 characters (letters, numbers or symbols) to use, Tweets need to be short and sweet. They are a great way to link to your website or to an article that you find relevant for your followers, or to ask your customers questions and start a conversation. While you can attach links for photos, Twitter is a more text-heavy interface than Facebook, and photos probably are better placed there or on Pinterest.
Since there is no character limit (unlike Twitter), you can say what you’d like, in full-length, complete sentences. You can attach photos or links to your posts, or share posts from other users on Facebook to start a conversation.
Your Twitter handle is the short name you choose that – when you write it – begins with @. For example, we go by @LSMGuide on Twitter. However, when you’re choosing a handle, you don’t have to type in or include the “@” symbol as part of your name – Twitter automatically adds it for you.
On Twitter, your handle, or username, is your identity. It will appear before each tweet you send out, so, if you can, sign up for Twitter by using your company’s name, or a variation of it as your handle. This will make it easy for your followers to identify you.
Hashtags are the secret weapon of Twitter and knowing how to use them will make your tweets that much more findable.
Hashtags (otherwise know as the “#” symbol) are used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet. For instance, if you want to promote the new shipment of Virginia wine your restaurant just received, you could add “#VAwine” to the end of your tweet. Users (whether they are following you or not) that are interested in learning about Virginia wine (and search Twitter via that hashtag) will find you and your tweet. We recommend that you include 1 – 2 hashtags per tweet. Use any more than that, and your tweet will look more like spam.
What Should I Tweet?
- Promotions or news from your business
- Re-tweet (“RT”) relevant tweets from people or businesses that you follow
- Link to articles or websites that you find relevant to your business / industry
- Tweet the same message (“We’re having a sale!”) in a few different ways
- Questions to engage with your followers
Our Top Tips for Twitter:
- Use 1 – 2 relevant hashtags in each tweet. Not sure which to use? Search Twitter for keywords by signing into Twitter, and typing words that you think are relevant to your business in the search field (located in the upper right-hand corner). If you’re a retail store, try #retailmarketing or just #retail or #accessories. If you’re a franchisee, you could try #franchisee or #burger or #fastcasual. See which hashtags seems to be the most popular – if they appear several times an hour for most of the day, chances are that they are relevant for your business and your fans and people are looking for news on these topics. Keywords that don’t produce any results, or show up 1 – 2 times a day are probably not the best fit for you.
- When possible / appropriate, include Twitter handles for vendors, your Chamber of Commerce, business neighbors and fans in your tweets. This way, your message is spread to their social networks, as well.
- Use short links when referencing websites in your tweets.
- Use a social media dashboard (like Hootsuite) to schedule tweets and easily keep an eye on what’s happening in your Twitter universe.
For more information on using Twitter for your business visit: http://business.twitter.com
Also, check out our Tweet, Post and Pin article on how to Tweet with the best of them!
See the Social Media Guide for the comprehensive approach to this topic.