With almost a decade of history to its name, Twitter has proven to be a social media powerhouse unlike anything else. Restricting its users to 150 characters or less and linking its community through the use of hashtags and the at sign, it has allowed for open and immediate communication between companies, users and new business that has forced a shift in how businesses promote themselves and how they interact with their customer base.
For those new to the social media scene looking to promote their small business or otherwise build a following, Twitter can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. So long as you follow some basic steps when it comes to setting up your Twitter profile, you’ll have no problem growing the audience you want.
Step One: The Profile
First and foremost, you need a Twitter handle. Ideally, you’ll want the company name to take this spot. That way, users will have no problem finding you. Start-ups that try to be cute by going with a tag that’s different from their brand name tend to miss out on a lot of traffic.
Now that you’ve determined your handle, it’s time to customize your page and your profile picture. Keep in mind that these two are similar but different in their purposes. Your page will only be seen by those that visit your main twitter page directly while your profile picture is something that will be seen across Twitter any time you make a tweet. Think of it as one being a home you invite people to and one being the face you present when you travel to other people’s homes. In the best case scenario, you’ll want a dedicated color scheme that matches your logo. Most companies have a fancy design for their main Twitter page and a smaller but easily recognized copy for their Twitter profile picture. These two combined paint a clear picture of what your new business is visually, however, it’s the tweets that will determine who your company is as a functioning entity.
Step Two: The Network
Twitter tracks three major stats – total number of tweets, total number of Twitter profiles you follow and total number of Twitter users that follow you. The larger the last number, the more people see your tweets. Therefore, if you want to spread your brand, you need to increase this number, but how do you increase your number of followers if you don’t have anyone watching you in the first place?
The big secret is to simply start populating your page with tweets. These tweets should be a mixture of information relating directly to your company as well as tweets that reach out to others. By doing this, you start putting together an interesting profile for visitors to read through when they first visit your Twitter page. Provided you have some interesting content, they’ll be more likely to follow you over a page with nothing on it.
In regards to the types of tweets, each one is there to serve a specific purpose. Your company tweets are there to inform your followers and promote your brand. Things like upcoming sales, customer service interactions and appreciation tweets are always great to have as they underline the fact that your company is not stagnant. Tweets to others are there to promote your brand on other Twitter pages, garner the attention of others you respect and show that you understand how to use this social media medium correctly.
Step 3: The Growth
With an active page, you’re virtually guaranteed followers, but the rate you increase this number by is very much reliant on your active participation within the community. The more you reach out to and interact with the Twitter community at large, the more people are exposed to your Twitter handle thereby increasing the number of people that could potentially follow you.
One of the best ways to do this is through Twitter chats. All this requires is you scheduling a block of time where you’ll interact with people making comments and asking questions while using an agreed upon hashtag. It’s a great way to be present for your current audience while prompting them to spread the word about your new business. If it gets big enough, it could even hit the trending charts, resulting in unprecedented growth for your new company.
Considering a Twitter chat? Take a look at these tips and questions to help you decide the best Twitter chat format for you.