“The best time to start a Twitter account was one year ago. The second best time is today.”
People spent months convincing you to get a Twitter account, and you finally gave in. You signed up, wrote a few tweets and even changed your egg pic to something non-egg related. Yet here you are, three months later, and you’ve garnered a measly 34 followers (26 if you don’t count family members or employees). Today, things change. Before I go into the tips, you have to understand one thing: Twitter is a living, breathing entity. You will never reap the benefits until you spend the time and effort to become part of this unique, yet powerful community. These next 5 tips should help you in your journey to become part of this community.
1. Break Away From Your Twitter Shell
Creating your brand on Twitter involves more than just changing your profile picture. Take advantage of the extra real estate they give you by uploading both a personal header and a background picture. This may take a few tries to get it just right, but when you do, your profile will be instantly recognizable by your followers. If you stay with the default background and header, people will see you as absent and not willing to interact on social media. As Twitter takes over as the new medium for customer service, this can take away from your ability to resonate with the tech generation.
2. Stop Posting About Yourself
This may seem counterintuitive, but it has been proven to work by hundreds of SMBs. People visit Twitter to find information. They want interesting articles and unique content, not a pitch about today’s 10% off sale. Twitter users are as top-of-funnel as they come. They are not ready to buy. Learn to develop a trust relationship with them so they see you as a source of quality industry information. When they’re ready to buy, there’s a good chance they’ll turn to you.
In general, use the 80/20 rule to post to any social media. 80% relevant industry info. 20% about your own company. You will stand out from the crowd using this simple rule.
3. Know Your Hashtags
Hashtags are one of the most widely used, yet least understood aspects of social media. Most people use them as funny quips at the end of their posts to get their point across, but they are really a way to categorize, or tag your posts so that other people interested in those topics can follow along. Large companies now hire social media teams to follow relevant (and profitable) hashtags. Using them as satirical categorizations can be ok once in a while, especially if you have a laid back reputation. Always remember the true purpose behind hashtags, and use them to their full potential. If you’re not sure what to use, search for your industry’s hashtags on Google and you’ll find an abundance of blogs dedicated to them.
Below are examples of both good and bad utilization of hashtags for business.
Google announces acquisition of Nest for $3.2b www.url.com #businessnews #energyefficiency #greenbiz
Google announced acquisition of Nest for $3.2b www.url.com #donaldtrumpstatus #pocketchange #buymybusinessnext
4. Post Directly to Twitter
Above is a picture of a Tweet that showed up on my feed the other day. No words, no hashtags. Just a shortened link. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of URL, it’s a link posted to Twitter via Facebook. This has to be one of the easiest ways to lose followers. It looks spammy and there is nothing legible. You can be pretty sure that no one is clicking that link. While this is an extreme example, posting from other social media platforms usually doesn’t translate. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ have very distinct purposes and all four deserve individualized attention to their inherent nuances.
5. Don’t Post To An Empty Audience
Every social media platform has hourly and daily peaks in traffic and engagement. Since you want to get your posts in front of as many eyes as possible, you need to be fully aware of good and bad times to post your content. The infographic in the following blog article is the resource I use for deciding when to post. I would recommend printing out a copy to always have it on-hand.
As you’ll see, Twitter traffic is at its peak from 1pm – 3pm, most notably Monday – Thursday. You can pretty much count on little to no engagement posting on Fridays at 3pm (we all know everyone is thinking about the weekend). If you Tweet content daily, I wouldn’t be overly concerned about your daily posts. But if you do have a big announcement or major article to share, I wouldn’t wait until the weekend for post it.