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marketing on twitterTwitter has certainly grown from the humble micro-blogging website it began as just seven years ago. Not only is Twitter a household name these days, but you can’t talk about online marketing without it coming up. If you need proof that you should be marketing your business on Twitter, take a look at these numbers:

  • Twitter currently has 190 million unique monthly visitors with 35,000 new users signing up every day.
  • Roughly 58 million tweets go out every day with 9,100 tweets going out every second.
  • Users send 2.1 billion Twitter search engine queries every day.

As you can see, Twitter is always buzzing with activity, making it a great place for brands to engage their customers and gain new fans. Here are fifteen ways to use Twitter to rock your marketing efforts:

Set up your profile

Your profile is your calling card on Twitter. Upload a picture of yourself, not a company brand or logo. Unless yours is a large and well-known brand, it’s best to be personable on Twitter. Think up a clever bio to use. “President of Gensoft and air guitar extraordinaire” is perfectly acceptable on a platform like this. Just avoid inappropriate language. Try to include keywords related to your industry and company to make it easily locatable in search. Also include a link to your website.

Follow wisely

When you join Twitter, you will find that a lot of seemingly random people will start to follow you. However, you don’t have to follow everyone back. You want to keep your Twitter stream full of relevant, interesting, and somewhat coherent content. Follow influential people in your field, and retweet their tweets if you think your followers will find them interesting, funny or helpful. Influencers also appreciate when others retweet their stuff.

Keep tweeting

Twitter moves at a faster pace than, say, Facebook or LinkedIn, so a constant stream of tweets is necessary to hold people’s interest. Try to tweet no more than two to three times per hour. You can tweet links to your recent and popular blog posts and articles. Share what events you will be attending. Tweet your current promotions. Don’t be all business, though. Interact with followers and others who are relevant to your line of work. Being personable is just as important as being business-oriented on Twitter.

Stay helpful and relevant

Anyone can appreciate being helped when they need it. Answer questions on your timeline that you have answers to, and give feedback and comments where they’re relevant. Try to keep the conversation going, especially when it represents a chance for you to be helpful or insightful.

Promote your profile

Now that you have a proper Twitter profile with proper tweets throughout, promote your profile wherever you can. List your @ Twitter handle on your business website or blog, on your business cards, in your bio, and wherever else you deem appropriate.

Twitter chats

A great way to generate customer engagement is via Twitter chats. This is when a person or business schedules a chat around a particular hashtag that anyone can participate in. The hashtag (e.g., #carchat) serves as a way to cross reference tweets, so anyone who searches for this hashtag will see all Tweets that contain it. For example, blogger Mark Collier has built a considerable following by hosting #blogchat every Sunday. Twitter chats are also a great way to network with others who have similar interests.

Hashtag campaigns

Hashtag campaigns are a great way to generate interest around your brand. Here are a just a few ways you can use a hashtag campaign to promote your business:

  • Create buzz by using a hashtag in print or online media.
  • Include one in a TV spot with a storyline that gets people talking about it.
  • Spark a conversation around a conversational hashtag like #ThingsMyMomHates or #BestNightEver
  • Run a contest where the entrants must use a certain hashtag to enter.

Make content on your website shareable

This doesn’t just apply to Twitter, but to all social networks. Use social share buttons that visitors can easily find, or even install a social plugin like TwitThis that lets people Tweet directly from your web pages.

Use social media management tools

Tools like TweetDeck or Hootsuite let you do a number of things like manage multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts, track new followers, monitor mentions, and schedule tweets. A note about scheduled tweets: It’s best not to completely – or even mostly – automate your social media. It appears robotic and will quickly turn your followers off.

Post exclusive offers and coupons for your Twitter followers

Use coupons and promotional codes to thank your followers for supporting your business.

Reply to mentions right away

Stay interactive with the people who mention you. Thank the people who offer positive feedback, and try to resolve negative mentions as quickly as possible.

Track your links

If you share a link via Twitter, it helps to know how it’s performing. Use or tinyurl to shorten your links and also to set up link tracking.

Ask for feedback

As with other communication avenues, it’s okay to ask your followers for feedback to find out what’s working and what’s not. This is a good way to find out how best to spend your time on Twitter.

Sponsored tweets and promoted hash tags

A sponsored tweet is a tweet that shows up in the Twitter stream of people who fit your target demographics. Sponsored hashtags show up in the list of Twitter “trends,” which is the list of popular topics that people are discussing the most at any given time. Paid advertising on Twitter can run you a pretty penny, and so it’s usually something only larger organizations do. However, if your company can afford it, you’ll be reaching a very large audience by taking advantage of these services.

Get mobile

About 43% of Twitter users access the site from their mobile phones, so hop on the mobile bandwagon yourself! Download the Twitter app and set up your account so that you can tweet via text message. You should also encourage your followers to sign up to receive your tweets via text.
Bear in mind that although Twitter is on virtually everyone’s lips, that doesn’t mean that it will work for your company overnight. Consistency is key when it comes to social media engagement. Find out what works for your company and keep doing it, and you’ll see Twitter yield positive returns for your company in good time.

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