phone with social media icons floating above it
Using Twitter for your business opens up new opportunities to raise brand awareness and communicate with your customer base. — Getty Images/CASEZY

Twitter is a great tool for sharing links and images, getting customer feedback and interacting with followers to spread the word about your brand. It’s also a proven way for small business owners to reach potential new customers. According to a combined study from Twitter and Research Now, 93% of people who follow small businesses on Twitter plan to purchase from those businesses. Here are a few easy tips to help you master Twitter marketing.

Speak to your customers

Perhaps the biggest and best way to use Twitter is to engage in conversation with your potential customers. As a customer service tool, the platform gives you the opportunity to listen to what people like or dislike about your company, ask for suggestions and get ideas for new products or services. It’s instant, free feedback you can use to make your business more successful.

To make the most of your customer engagement on Twitter, choose to participate in the conversation, be proactive in responding and retweeting, and manage the conversation by moving to direct message if necessary.

[For a full social media guide, see: Marketing Your Business Using Social Media.]

Use a social monitoring tool

Following different hashtags or competitors on Twitter can give you a way to anticipate the needs of your customer base. Social monitoring tools like Hootsuite, Brandwatch Analytics, and Twazzup can help your business use Twitter to find new sales leads, check in on customer sentiment, or keep an eye on the competition, and are great options for small businesses looking to get a handle on the Twitter landscape.

According to research by Twitter, businesses that use hashtags get a 50% increase in engagement compared to businesses that don’t use hashtags.

Create a profile that leads to your sales goal

Make sure there’s a way for your Twitter page to lead to a completed sale. Set up your Twitter profile to include a “Shop Now” link, or pin a tweet with a specific call to action at the top of your feed. Add a cover photo and profile picture that are consistent with the rest of your branding, and make it easy for people to find your website.

By some estimates, 47% of users who follow a brand on Twitter are more likely to visit that company’s website; so make sure your website link is prominently displayed for anyone seeking it.

Have a hashtag strategy

Hashtags are very relevant and important when participating on Twitter. Savvy business owners use hashtags to build their brand, boost a marketing campaign or find new customers.

According to research by Twitter, businesses that use hashtags get a 50% increase in engagement compared to businesses that don’t use hashtags.

Build a hashtag strategy that helps you tap into communities of potential customers through repeated use. Look at what hashtags the influencers in your niche are using, or see what’s trending and piggyback off existing traffic. There are a number of tools, like Hashtagify.me, which can help you find the best hashtags to use.

Host a contest on Twitter

A great way to boost engagement on Twitter is to run a contest for your followers. Social media experts ShortStack say Twitter contests work because “people are sometimes a little more willing to hit that retweet button than they would be to share a post on other platforms.” As a result, your brand can get lots of exposure, quickly, without spending a lot of money to do so.

Set a goal for your contest, such as engagement, sales or gaining followers, and then design a contest that ladders up to the goal. Voting or submission-based contests generally work best for lead generation, while asking users to retweet or submit content is good for improving your brand awareness. No matter what style contest you choose, make sure to engage with consumers along the way.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Published May 21, 2019