How to use Twitter to promote your business

Posted on: 20/08/2014

Twitter Fails

Every business wants to have a Twitter account with millions of loyal followers, who instinctively move for the retweet button whenever you tweet. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple.

It takes strategy, dedication, time and most of all content to build up a Twitter following. A simple mistake many companies make is to follow similar companies to themselves. I recently read the quote, “It’s a terrible business strategy to try to sell to your competitors”. This sounds very obvious but for example, many writers will follow loads of other writers to try to promote their books to. Whilst many people in the same boat will retweet and comment, you need to approach your target audience, and not your competitors.

Other mistakes companies make is repeating the same message repeatedly. Whilst a certain amount of repetition is needed, as people miss tweets, you need to find different ways to get your message across. Try including images as it makes your tweets stand out. Find a great image for every blog post and include this on your tweet. You’ll have to make sure it is under 5 MB.

‘Content is king’ is one of those sound-bites that I hate, but it is true. People always want to read new and interesting content, or even if they don’t, they want to retweet it for their followers. For instance I recently interviewed the talented Gail Porter, and I, of course, wrote an article about it for our blog. Due to her profile this received strong reading numbers.

Work out who are the main thought leaders in your area and follow them. Don’t leave it at that, tweet directly to them asking for their advice. Retweet their best tweets and occasionally tweet your links to them directly. You’d be amazed by how many industry leaders will enter into a discussion with you. When you get these people retweeting you, you’re on the right path. Find the best blogs that offer content around your industry and become a regular commenter on them, encouraging them to return the favour. In the unlikely event of entering into a discussion you don’t want to be in, here’s how to get out of it.

Ask people to retweet. I read that writing “please retweet” makes it 4 times more likely to be retweeted. Still, without having something interesting to say, you won’t get many retweets. Try to create fresh and interesting content on a daily basis. For instance, this blog posts new articles every day and always at 9am. It is important that when people start to read you, they know when and where to come for a new post. Around 50% of retweets have links on them, and it’s important to include links to your best and newest content. Our recent blog post was about a film shoot we did a vehicle livery company called Media Fleet. As you can see we included several images, and offered a personal touch by talking about Diesel, their tired dog. We’re also editing a short video to use to promote the blog post and the client.

Twitter only gives you 140 characters and you need to make them count. Rewrite tweets several times to get info across as succinctly as possible. Also, try to be a little under 140 characters. This will give people room to add a comment if they decide to retweet. For instance, “brilliant blog…” and then your tweet. Try tweeting your links directly to several people at once. Although this is less personal, it allows you to reach multiple people in one tweet. Create a list of all of the people who retweet your content. It’s as simple as creating a list and adding each person to it when they retweet you. You just click on someone’s profile, hit the button to bring up options, and then click on “Add or remove from lists” and then set up a new list. This will allow you to look through the list and send tweets to the people who are most likely to interact. You’ll be amazed at how quickly this list builds up if you’re tweeting new content daily.

If you follow this advice, you’ll be impressed by how many interactions and retweets you’ll start to receive and you’ll be on your way to becoming a thought leader in your industry.

A nice tip for a blog post is to ask people to share it on social media and comment. So please share this post on social media below and do comment.

Written by Martin Stocks | @Stocks1986