Social media tips for SMEs: Twitter

Social media is a great tool for connecting with clients and promoting your brand. But are you utilising online platforms to the best of their ability?

Having previously worked with Brother UK, Microsoft, Vodafone and BT, Marketing Director, James Lawton-Hill, sat down with us to discuss his top social media tips for businesses.

In the first of our series, we focus on tips on using Twitter for your business:

Don’t be afraid to get involved with trending topics

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Trending topics can spread like wildfire, and if it works, there’s no harm jumping on the hashtag bandwagon, as it can increase engagement and followers. However, make sure you know what the trend is about, especially if it has come from overseas. Companies like Celeb Boutique and fashion designer Kenneth Cole learnt this the hard way, and managed to tarnish their brand in one misguided tweet.

Get organised with a social media content schedule

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Planning what you tweet through the week will not only save time, but allow you to concentrate on pushing a particular theme or concept continuously, so it doesn’t get lost or forgotten about by Friday. If you go down this route, keep an eye on what’s happening in the news to avoid any badly timed tweets.

Evaluate your social media analytics

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Monitoring your Twitter analytics can show you how well your account is performing each week, so you can quickly change strategy if the results are not what you were aiming for. Don’t just concentrate on how many followers you have gained, also look at the most engaging tweets and impressions – this will give you an indication of what content is working and what isn’t with your audience.

Use different forms of content and be creative

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Using your 140 characters for just text can make your Twitter page look boring. Tweets with images get 18% more clicks, 89% more favourites and 150% more retweets. Also, try using videos, infographics and gifs to make your content more engaging and exciting. Make sure as much content is unique and relevant to your brand, but don’t be afraid to be as creative as you would with any other marketing channel.

Interact with your followers

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As well as posting content, replying to followers’ comments and getting involved with their discussions will build up a great personal connection and show your interest. Also look out for any mentions on Twitter about topics related to your business, or customer service queries from customers who may not necessarily follow you.

Don’t overdo your hash-tagging

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#Hashtags are #great, but too many can be #annoying and #messy. Using hashtags on key topics can help you connect with users who were never intending to look for you, but had been searching the topic. Having too many hashtags in your tweets may lead people into thinking its spam and they’ll disregard it.

Link back to your website and original content

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It would be a good idea to use your Twitter to link back to other platforms you have, such as a website. This will help drive more traffic to your site and reach a wider audience.

Follow influencers in your industry

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Following influencers in your industry will help you keep up-to-date with current news in your sector. Retweeting relevant content will also highlight your awareness and interest for what is happening and create discussion on your feed.

Use social media tools

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As a busy business owner you won’t always have time to tweet to your audience, but you need to keep your account active. Tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck allow you to schedule tweets ahead of time, so your profile keeps a steady flow of activity and you can use your time more wisely.

Target your audience

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Releasing content which doesn’t appeal to your audience is pointless, so it’s vital you know what works for your followers. Find out what they enjoy reading, the format they prefer and what engages them on social media.

Don’t use Twitter? Keep a look out for the next part in our series where we will focus on tips for using Facebook.

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