“No, I’m NOT going to have a Twitter account!"
This was my bold assertion back in September 2013 when I first launched my small business. One and a half years down the line I'm now a Twitter evangelist and I'd like to explain to you just why you should consider using Twitter as part of your small business marketing strategy.
WHY USE TWITTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS?
Twitter is fast-moving.
Responses are almost immediate and results are fast.
To start with I was just dipping my toe in the Twitter ‘pool’ to see if it was okay to jump in.
I was amazed with the results.
But first, why should you use Twitter for your Small Business?
"B2B marketers with Twitter accounts generate twice as many leads than those marketers who don’t have an account."
[Source: Social Media Today]
Can you afford NOT to use Twitter for business if it can help you generate so many leads?
And what about your competitors, what are they doing?
"Twitter is the 2nd most used social network (85 percent) by B2B marketers"
[Source: Flip Creator]
As a small business your top priorities should be:-
- Creating awareness in your brand online;
- Building on that awareness by generating interest;
- Attracting the attention of prospective customers; and
- Enticing them back to your website.
Twitter will help you achieve these goals.
If used correctly, it's a fabulous platform on which to build business relationships and generate a sense of trust in your brand, which is essential if you're going to convert new business leads into paying customers and brand ambassadors.
GET SET UP FOR BUSINESS ON TWITTER!
As I mentioned above, one of your priorities is to make your brand highly visible online so you can generate awareness and attract prospective customers.
One of the first places to start is your Twitter header, the large image that goes right at the top of your profile.
Last year Twitter increased the size of its profile 'header' so that it provides a fantastic visual platform from which to project the personality and nature of your business.
(1) Twitter Header
Take a look at my live Twitter header at Virtuoso Assistant by way of example.
When creating your header you need to include some key ingredients:-
➣ Company logo
➣ Company URL
➣ Contact information
There are no clickable links within the header (that comes in the Bio section) but at the very least the information is visible to customers if they want to get in touch with you.
You'll want to bear in mind that some areas of the header are perfectly visible on a laptop but may not be seen on an iPhone, for instance. Find out what works best for you but ensure you keep all the essential information where it can be seen.
Feel free to use this free guide for your own use: just click the image to download.
Alternatively, you can use the pre-formatted template provided by Canva to create your header.
(2) Twitter Profile Photo
Don't be dull and corporate with your profile photo.
It's perfectly all right to use your company logo here but always bear in mind what first impressions you want to make with potential clients or customers.
What do you want them to see when they click on your profile?
Bryan Kramer wrote a book called, "It's not B2B or B2C: it's Human to Human #H2H". The point he makes is that people don't buy from impersonal brands; they buy from people they know and can communicate with.
"47% of Twitter users who follow a business are more likely to visit their website. So making a great first impression is essential."
[Source: Bryan Kramer]
You are the face of your business so, instead of using a company logo, upload a professionally-taken, head & shoulders shot for your profile photo. If you can't afford this expense, ask a friend to take your photo against a neutral background, if possible. Make sure the photo is engaging, friendly, and you have a smile on your face. You want people to get in touch with you so don't put them off with a Passport style photo! Take a look at Bryan Kramer's own Twitter profile & learn from an expert.
(3) Twitter Bio
You only have 160 characters to play when writing your Twitter Bio so think carefully about how you’re going to word it to attract the right audience.
Because Twitter Bios now appear in Google searches, you can make your profile searchable by including:-
➣ Links to relevant pages.
Take a look at Ian Anderson Gray's Twitter bio below -
Ian has included various keywords relevant to his business as a blogger and founder of Seriously Social.
Ian has also linked another Twitter profile he's involved with (1.) and has added the only clickable link to his website (2.)
how to CREATE AWARENESS & INTEREST in your business
Twitter is a very busy, noisy place.
It's not easy to stand out from the constant stream of information. Approximately 500 million tweets are sent per day, so what's going to make yours stand out?
There's nothing wrong with text-only tweets.
However, consider the following:-
● Humans are hard-wired to digest information in visual format (think about primitive drawings discovered in caves, Egyptian hieroglyphics, etc.)
● 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual [Source: Visualistan]
● Images convey messages incredibly quickly and succinctly, crucial for our busy lifestyles.
With this in mind try to include as much visual content with your tweets as possible.
(a) Static Images
Use the pre-formatted template provided by Canva to create your own, unique and branded business images.
Bear in mind that when uploading any file into a tweet you'll be using approximately 22 out of your 140 characters so be concise with any text ... or continue the message through into your image!
Read this handy article if you're unsure how to upload photos or videos onto Twitter.
Video marketing is red hot this year!
It's an incredibly engaging way to connect with your customers and, as I mentioned at the beginning, a perfect way to break down barriers and put a human face on what would otherwise be an impersonal brand.
You can easily upload videos onto Twitter -
● Direct from YouTube using the share link provided. Twitter will automatically pull through a thumbnail image from your video to enhance your tweet.
● Using Twitter's own native video app (available both for iOS and Android)
Over the past few months Twitter has introduced its own live-streaming video app, Periscope, onto the market. If you don't like Periscope take a look at the alternative app, Meerkat, which made quite a splash at this year's Social Media Marketing World 2015.
Top IMAGE & VIDEO EDITING APPS FOR TWITTER
There's a whole list of exciting new apps you can use to edit your images and videos. Have a bit of fun and experiment with the different filters, overlays and text options. Make your videos fun, compelling, or just plain different.
Stand out from the crowd!
Why not take a look at the following:-
- Afterlight (for iOS, Android and Windows 8.1)
Make use of a huge range of filters, textures, frames and other editing tools to create a beautiful image in just a few minutes. Choose from 3 image dimensions; save and share directly to social media platforms as well as send via email or save to your gallery.
- iMovie (iOS only)
So simple to use with some incredible editing tools; everything you need to make your video unique and eye-catching.
- Lapse It (iOS and Android)
Have a go at making intriguing and professional looking time-lapse videos with tools like Lapse it. All you need is a smartphone!
- Over (iOS and Android)
If you want to keep things simple and would prefer to add beautiful text overlays to a photo, have a look at what you can create with Over.
Whatever you decide to do on Twitter, you need to keep uppermost in your mind the fact that, as a small business, you need to make an impact online in order to be seen and heard!
Visual content is a powerful tool you should be using so ensure it's a part of your marketing strategy, not just on Twitter but on all the social media platforms you use.
Images for business not only need to be unique and engaging, they also have to be branded for a consistent, professional look.
Don't worry if you're unsure how to do this. I'd like to invite you to sign up for a course of FREE tutorials, after which time you will know exactly how to create branded images for use on social media, on your website and blog.
You'll be able to work through the tutorials at your own speed, go back and re-watch them as many times as you like.
After midnight on Sunday 17th May the tutorials will cost £100.00 to access.
Make the most of this opportunity and sign up for FREE. I'd love you to join my group!
See you soon!