Updated: Aug 3, 2021
As a business owner, there’s no doubt you understand the importance of having a social media presence, especially in these increasingly digital times. Over 70% of small-to-medium enterprises use Twitter for marketing their businesses, for example, yet a large majority have never had the time to develop a successful Twitter marketing strategy or have been using the platform for years without any significant success.
Twitter makes an invaluable addition to your business’s digital marketing strategy, and when utilized effectively, can bring successes such as generating leads, boosting brand awareness, increasing product or service sales, and building more authentic connections with customers.
If your business isn’t reaping these benefits, then thankfully, it isn’t too late to start. With this step-by-step guide to using Twitter to grow your business traffic and sales, you’ll no longer feel as though you’re in the dark. We’ll walk you from how to create a Twitter marketing strategy, all the way through to how to customize your profile, measure your performance, and more.
Follow these 10 steps to use Twitter to grow your business
Create a Twitter marketing strategy
Build and customize your Twitter profile
Create unique and engaging content
Engage actual users and followers
Create Twitter lists to manage your contacts
Create Twitter Ads campaigns
Provide quick customer service and support
Share media mentions
Promote your business’s events
Step 1. Create a Twitter marketing strategy
Before you start to use Twitter for business, as with any other social media strategy you will need to create and define a Twitter marketing strategy. As you can imagine, that's a very important passage as your overall strategy will ensure that you are targeting your audience efficiently, that your marketing efforts are fruitful and that your business goals are reached.
Here are the seven steps for developing a solid Twitter marketing strategy to build your presence on:
Audit your account
A Twitter audit is a check of your account to verify how well it’s working for you. It will check to see how it’s managing your goals, reaching your target audience, and the content quality. A good audit checks your tweets, followers, and profile.
To check your tweets, you’ll first want to export them into a spreadsheet. You can do this through the Dashboard tab. Once you do this, you can organize them by performance, mainly through impressions, responses, retweets, and potential reach. After you have them organized, you’ll be able to see what the common themes are in the tweets that do well and make note of them in the future.
To audit your Twitter followers, the first step is to look at your list of followers and determine if they’re in your target audience. If not, find out how to engage people who fit your buyer profile. You can perform an audit to check your followers and use Twitter Analytics to see your audience demographics. You’ll be able to see who is already interested in following you, as well as gain a better sense of who you ideally want to be following you. You also want to vet who you’re following, making sure that the pages you follow align with your company values and goals.
The last step is to audit your Twitter profile. You want to adjust your bio, profile photos, and pinned tweet, a single tweet that is pinned to the top of your personal page, so it’s the first one your profile visitors will see. Compare other brand’s bios, and make sure yours stands out while aligning it with your goals. The profile picture should be your company logo, as this is the photo your audience will see when your tweets appear in their timeline. You can use the cover photo for a little more personality, but it should still showcase what the company does and be appealing to your target audience. Pin a tweet that is relevant and popular, and change it up as new products or services become available.
Analyze your competition
Twitter is a great place to keep an eye on your competitors and the ways in which consumers are engaging with them —whether positive or negative. Perhaps customers are making public complaints about other companies within your industry. You can use these insights to determine how your business can overcome such shortfalls. Alternatively, it’s a great way to see what your competitors are doing that’s working well for them, and how your company can do even better.
Identify your target audience
Are your buyers currently studying or are they working full time? Do they live in a city or a rural area? Do they have certain interests or hobbies that would make them ideal buyers for you? Determining who your audience is will help you know who to create your tweets for, and you can then post at times of the day when your audience is most active.
Identifying your ideal target audience and knowing what are their main pain points will help you craft personalized and highly targeted content, promotions, or offers.
Set measurable goals
You don’t have to just tweet the first thing that comes to mind and hope for the best. Setting measurable goals will help grow your business with marketing strategies. Some examples of goals can include driving higher traffic to your website, generating email subscriptions, and networking with influencers to increase brand awareness.
As for any other social channel, you need to create a detailed social media style guide in order to stay consistent and uniform with your communication and avoid misunderstandings or mistakes, especially if you have new team members joining your organization.
Your style guide should be very specific on how to best use Twitter for marketing your business and should include information, such as:
Who your target personas are
The best time to post
How often to post
How to format links (Tweets that include links are 86% more likely to be retweeted than those that do not)
The branded hashtags to use, and how to use them
How and where to use CTAs
Your brand voice and tone. When you ensure the content you’re posting aligns with your brand voice, values, and identity, you’re also further increasing your brand recognition among users.
The maximum Tweet length allowed
Define your KPIs (key performance indicators)
Creating a social media calendar allows you to best organize and schedule your content ahead of time, bottom line it helps you save time, post consistently, and above all create higher quality content. That said, your content calendar doesn't need to be complicated, therefore you can easily start with some basic information, such as:
Date of publication
Time of publication
Sample of the copy
Link to assets
By who the post has been approved
The best times to post on Twitter
Now, when is the best time to post your business’ tweet? The answer is simple: when your audience is most active on the platform. There are Twitter analytics tools you can use to determine this data, but more on that a little later in this guide.
Of course, it’s always better to analyze your own audience to find out when they are most active, as this will largely depend on their location, and therefore, time zone. As a general rule, however, the latest research suggests posting at the following high-traffic times:
8:00 a.m. - 10.00 a.m during the daily work commute
Midday, during the lunch break
5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m when people are leaving work or settling back in at home
It has also been found that Thursday is the best day of the week to post for higher engagement.
Step 2. Build and customize your Twitter profile
A company’s Twitter profile can be customized to showcase its logo and color palette, as well as elements such as its bio, mission statement, history, team members, and more.
Write a strong profile bio to interest your readers. Make it creative and fun, or serious, depending on the tone you want to create for your brand. You have room to be creative and eye-catching. Remember, you can change it down the road if you develop an alternative brand identity.
When you customize your Twitter profile, you can:
Change your display name into your brand or business name
Write a strong profile bio to interest your readers. You have 160 characters at your disposal to describe your business, so make sure yours stands out while aligning it with your business goals. Don't forget to add a direct link to your website, your location, and your working hours if you are a brick-and-mortar business.
Choose a username that becomes your Twitter handle. The Twitter handle can only be 15 characters long and it will appear with @ in front of it and it will also be used for @mentions. A good practice is to choose the same as your other social accounts.
Upload a profile photo that represents your brand (typically it should be your logo) as it will be displayed on your profile as well as an icon on every Tweet you will post. You can use your header image for a little more personality, but it should still showcase what the company does and be appealing to your target audience.
Very important: Once you have created your account, it must get verified.
Getting the blue checkmark on your profile verifies your account is authentic and makes it look both authoritative and trustworthy. You have to apply to get verified, and Twitter will look into the size and key interests of your business before it verifies you, but it is well worth putting in the effort.
Hire a social media expert to set up your Twitter profile
Step 3. Create unique and engaging content
A whopping 75% of B2B businesses market their products and/or services on Twitter, as they understand the important role the platform plays in sharing company updates with their target audience. A lot of the time, people like to consume content on-the-go (such as when they’re commuting to or from work, for example) and find Twitter’s bite-size updates the most convenient way to receive news about their favorite brands or businesses, including the latest products/services, news, projects, achievements, surveys, and more.
Focus on followers’ interests and needs when creating content. Tweeting about the issues and interests of your audience will create value for your prospects and a continued desire to come back to your page.
Writing and sending a tweet is simple. On the top of your Home timeline, you’ll notice a trending box in which you can type or upload what you want to share. Then, simply click the Tweet button to post your content.
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind when writing your next Tweet:
Don’t overuse hashtags. Limit to no more than 1-2 hashtags per tweet, as using more appears ‘spammy’ and will drive potential followers away.
Be conversational and keep your copy within the allowed 280-character limit.
Use images and videos whenever possible. Tweets with photos have more impressions than those with only text, and those with videos receive six times more engagement than those without.
Step 4. Engage actual users and followers
While it might be easy to see your Twitter following as just a number, it’s important for you to remember that these are actual consumers interacting with your brand.
Ensure that you’re constantly engaging with these users by creating unique, valuable, and relevant content that will keep them coming back to your profile for more. Additionally, when users interact with your content, whether it be a like, comment, or retweet, show your appreciation by interacting with them back. This goes a long way in boosting your authenticity and authority.
Twitter is an excellent place to directly communicate with your audience and create a personal experience for your potential customers. Use the platform to field questions, but also to respond to those who mention your business. This will create brand loyalty and grow your following.
Step 5. Create Twitter lists to manage your contacts
To create a Twitter list (which is a curated group of Twitter accounts) you must simply log in on Twitter, click on "List" on the navigation bar, click the "Create new list" icon and then just choose a name (not longer than 25 characters), add a short description and then ultimately decide if you want your list to be public or private.
From a business point of view when you create a Twitter list you can enjoy several benefits, such as:
Monitor your competitors
Keep up with the latest news and trends
Connect and build a relationship with industry leaders
Connect with employees
Maintain customer relationships
Step 6. Create Twitter Ads campaigns
Depending on your campaign's goal, you can create different types of Twitter Ads.
If your goal is to:
Extend the reach of a specific Tweet, you can create a Quick Promote campaign
Build brand awareness, you can create reach campaigns
Build up your audience, you can create a followers campaign
Get more people to engage with your Tweets, you can create an engagements campaign
To drive traffic to your website, you can create a website clicks campaign
Get more people to install your app, you can create an app installs campaign
Get more people to take action in your app, you can create an app re engagements campaign
Get more people to watch your videos, you can create a video views campaign
Run targeted pre-roll ads before videos your customers are watching, you can create a pre-roll views campaign
To increase your Ads campaign search ability, use keywords that your target audience may search to find what your business is offering. You can also create relevant and memorable hashtags for your campaign. Tweets with hashtags receive double the engagement than those without hashtags. Hashtags are searchable, so they will increase your visibility and you can create unique hashtags for your business and events
.Step 7. Measure performance
Like other social media channels, Twitter has an in-built analytics tool that allows you to measure and boost your impact on the platform. Using the data presented in your analytics dashboard can be tricky, to help you get the most from your account and in turn, for your business, we’ve outlined the key elements of your Twitter analytics below.
Twitter engagement rate. Your Twitter Engagement Rate encompasses your tweet’s:
To work out the engagement rate of each tweet, simply divide the number of engagements by the number of impressions those tweets have made.
According to a recent study, the average Twitter engagement rate across business profiles is 0.46% regardless of size, type, or industry. You can locate this data within your Twitter Analytics dashboard from the Tweets tab.
Your engagement rate is helpful for determining which tweets are performing the best, then determining if there is a pattern among them to help direct your future Twitter content strategy.
Twitter impressions. We mentioned Twitter Impressions in the section above, but if you’re unfamiliar with this term, it refers to how many people have had your tweet appear on their feed. It doesn’t take into account if they engaged with it, however, but can still be a useful measurement for determining your business’s Twitter success.
In your Analytics dashboard, you will notice the impressions for each tweet have been noted, as well as another metric: Reach.
Typically, your tweet’s reach will be higher than its impressions, as it measures how many people, in total, have the potential to see your tweet. It doesn’t just take into consideration how many users follow you, but how many users follow someone who follows you. Put simply, reach suggests potential, whereas impressions reveal actual performance.
Tweet Activity is a section of your Analytics dashboard that allows you to see several metrics related to your tweets' performance, across a set period of time, all in convenient chart form. Again, this allows you to see what is working well, and not so well, helping you to tweak your marketing strategy accordingly for ultimate success.
Twitter Followers. In the Followers tab of your Twitter Analytics dashboard, you can gain valuable insights into the people who follow your business on the platform. These include things such as their:
Other followed accounts
Knowing your audience can have a significantly positive impact on your business’s success on the platform, especially as it allows you to understand what content you should be creating and sharing, as well as when you should share it for maximum engagement.
Twitter Ads. If you decide to experiment with paid promotions on Twitter, you can review associated data in your Twitter Analytics dashboard to see how effective they are. To locate this, navigate to the ‘Tweets’ tab, and you’ll find a chart providing an overview of both paid and organic tweet performance.
Underneath this chart, you can also click ‘Promoted’ to view your past and present Twitter Ads. It also shows you data such as the ad’s engagements and impressions, assisting you to determine which paid promotions are working well (and which ones aren't).
Twitter analytics tools you need to measure performance
There are plenty of tools that allow you to schedule, monitor, and analyze your Tweets performance.
TweetReach: Find out how far your URL, Twitter account name, or relevant keywords or hashtags have traveled with this tool, which offers both free and premium plans. Its reports will detail the number of accounts reached, impressions, Retweets, top contributors, and more.
Keyhole: This tool focuses on hashtags and topics, giving you an insight into the trending phrases you might consider creating a Twitter campaign around. With the free account, you can search and track these hashtags and trending topics, while a paid plan lets you monitor what users are saying about your brand, industry, event, and more.
Foller.me: Want to perform research on another Twitter account’s analytics, whether to monitor your competitor’s actions on the platform or learn about an account you wish to connect with? Foller.me offers data such as when they’re most active, what trending topics they post about, how much they reply to people, and more.
Mentionmapp: If you love representing data visually in a mind map, then you’ll love this tool. It allows you to map your network and the network of others, based on the people you’ve been engaging with. Discover new connections, audience groups, competitors, and more.
Step 8. Provide quick customer service and support
This may surprise you, but over half (60%) of users follow a brand to get customer service and support. Twitter, like most social media platforms, has a direct message feature, which allows customers to contact you directly with any queries or comments they have. This gives you a great opportunity to provide timely and professional customer service and support, which in turn, can do wonders for boosting brand loyalty and customer retention.
Users also enjoy the transparency Twitter offers with customer support, as it allows customers and brands to publicly interact with each other. One thing to bear in mind though is that almost half (41%) of customers expect a quick response in 24 hours or less.
Step 9. Share media mentions
If your business has been mentioned in the media, be sure to share it with your audience and direct them to the article, interview, or video, as this not only boosts your authority but also adds to the ‘social proof effect,’ where people copy the actions of others by also sharing these tweets. It’s a great way to share your brand’s successes with your audience and drive additional traffic over to the media outlet which was kind enough to mention your business. This boosts the likelihood of being featured over and over again
Step 10. Promote your business’s events
Remember how we mentioned that hashtags are a great way to make your content searchable by those interested in the same trending topics? Well, you can also create a unique hashtag for your business events, allowing others to gain access to content relating to the event, while also using the hashtag to share their own event-related posts, such as photos or commentary. This is a great way to promote an upcoming event too and allows important details such as where to sign up, how to participate, what to expect, etc. to be accessed all in one place.
Why you should use Twitter for marketing your business
As you can see, Twitter makes an invaluable addition to your business’s digital marketing strategy, and when utilized effectively, can bring successes such as generating leads, boosting brand awareness, increasing product or service sales, and building more authentic connections with your customers. It’s also a highly effective tool for customer service and support, as well as for monitoring your competitors, gaining valuable insights into your target audience, and so much more.
Creating and managing a business Twitter account isn't everyone's forté. It's an absolute skill and can often be somewhat time-consuming. Consider onboarding a skilled independent contractor to successfully build, manage, optimize, and analyze your Twitter account.
Almost three-quarters of businesses worldwide have already established a presence on the platform, so don’t let them gain the upper advantage. By ensuring your brand is active on Twitter and using the step-by-step strategies and advice on how to use Twitter for business and marketing outlined in this guide, you too can rise above the digital noise and become a social media success.