Many small businesses struggle with Twitter. There is a misconception that customers will magically find your account and frantically retweet your updates. It doesn’t work like that. You need to let customers know you’ve gone social and give them a good reason to follow you before you start thinking about complicated growth strategies.
1. Tweet like you’re really, really popular
This might sound ridiculous to Twitter newcomers but there’s nothing sadder than an inactive account. Would you follow somebody who never tweeted? The answer is no unless you want a very quiet timeline. As such, update your Twitter regularly (aim for at least once a day). It doesn’t matter if you have no followers. When someone finally tracks you down, they’re going to look at your brilliant tweets and click the follow button.
2. Add the Twitter button to your website
Once you’ve got the hang of Twitter and feel confident that your updates are interesting, informative and professional, it’s time to let your customers know where to find you. A good starting point is embedding the Twitter button on your website, which takes customers straight to your account. This is a safe first-step for businesses taking a soft approach to social media and, most likely, probably won’t result in a flood of new followers.
3. Update your signature
It might sound like a no-brainer but one of the easiest ways of letting people know you’re on Twitter is adding your handle to your email signature. This ensures all stakeholders in your business know how to find you.
4. Send an email or newsletter
By now you’ve covered the basics. You’re regularly updating your Twitter account, have attracted a few followers from your website button and email signature – now it’s time to get more proactive. Most small businesses indulge in email marketing or send out an electronic newsletter. Make sure you let customers know you’re on Twitter – with a working link directly to your account – the next time you send one. If someone has taken the time to open your eDM, chances are they’re interested enough in your business to see what you have to say on Twitter.
5. Run a competition
Everyone likes free stuff. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of this universal truth by running a competition. Simply stipulate that a customer needs to follow you on Twitter to enter and watch your number of followers rise. And you don’t need to give away a car or a trip to Bali. Many small businesses do well by simply offering free movie tickets or a book. Just remember there are regulations surrounding competitions – make sure yours is a game of skill (make entrants answer a basic question), so you don’t have to apply for a licence.