Twitter is a powerful part of your social media marketing plan. Not only can you use it to put your brand in front of targeted audiences, but you can also use Twitter to humanize your brand and build relationships that turn into word-of-mouth marketing, sales, and customer loyalty.
The key to making Twitter work for your small business is to start with a strategy based on your main goals. Do your research and learn what your competitors are doing.
Benchmark successful brands with similar audiences to yours and see what works for them.
Be prepared to test tactics and monitor your Twitter analytics so you can modify your Twitter marketing plan as needed.
To help you get started, below are answers to some of the most important questions small businesses have about Twitter marketing strategies.
Without a firm knowledge of the basics, your Twitter marketing success will be limited.
What Do I Post?
One of the biggest obstacles that businesses need to overcome when they get started with their small business Twitter marketing strategies is figuring out what to post.
First, think about why people use Twitter. Most people use it to share their own information or to share information they like and think others would be interested in.
Many people use Twitter to find information for entertainment or education. Some use Twitter just to rant or self-promote.
Bottom-line, there is no single way to use Twitter.
Next, think about your target audience.
Why do they use Twitter?
What information can you post and share with them that would be consistent with your brand promise and reputation and also interest and engage them?
Finally, think about using Twitter for communication and relationship-building. Follow the 80-20 rule where 20% or fewer of your posts are self-promotional and 80% or more are useful, interesting, meaningful, and relevant to your target audience.
No one wants to follow or engage with a continuous ad on Twitter, so be human first and promotional second.
Here are some types of posts you can publish on Twitter to build your following, strengthen your relationships with your existing followers, increase the chances that people will share your posts with their own audiences, and even motivate people to buy from your small business:
- Links to your useful blog posts
- Updates on company news
- Links to your own articles, videos, etc. that your target audience would be interested in and are consistent with your brand
- Retweets of your followers’ tweets
- Links to useful and meaningful content from across the web
- Videos and images
- Promotional tweets to share new products, sales, special offers, free ebooks, webinars, and so on
- Behind the scenes images and videos of your employees
- Customer, vendor, and media recognition, thank you posts, and shout outs
- Industry event news
- Teaser posts to get your audience excited for things that are coming
- Holiday-related content, promotions, and so on
- Open jobs, internships, etc.
- How relevant trending topics, news, or events affects your industry, business, or customers
The key to successfully executing on your small business Twitter marketing strategies is to be authentic in your activities. Don’t oversell. Instead, focus on engagement and long-term brand building.
When Do I Post?
CoSchedule aggregated multiple studies and came up with several “best” times to post tweets on Twitter. Based on the data, the best times are:
- B2C Companies: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- B2B Companies: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 6:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m.
According to HubSpot, it’s best for B2C companies to post tweets on weekends, but weekdays are better for B2B companies.
Research conducted by SproutSocial provides slightly different recommendations. According to its study, the best times and days to post on Twitter are:
- Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. and Friday at 9:00 a.m. are the best times overall
- Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days overall
- Saturday gets the least engagement overall
- Posts published every day from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. get the lowest engagement
- Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. is the safest timeframe to post
A study by HootSuite found that the best times to post on Twitter are 12:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m.
So with all of this different data, when should you post on Twitter to get the most engagement for your small business?
Your best strategy is to use the data as a place to start. Test different posting times, monitor your analytics and refine your schedule based on your learnings. Every business’ audience is different, so what works for someone else might not work for you.
Testing is the best way to build a strong Twitter posting schedule.
How Often Do I Post?
The lifetime of a tweet is very short – 18 minutes or less based on research. That means your tweet has just 18 minutes to be seen or it’s unlikely it ever will be.
With that said, you might think you should publish new content on Twitter continuously throughout the day so more people have a chance to see your tweets.
That’s not the case.
A study by SocialBakers found that engagement starts to drop off after the third tweet posted in a single day.
Most Twitter marketing experts recommend tweeting three to five times per day to get the most reward for your efforts.
How Do I Post?
There are two parts to the question, “How do I post to Twitter?”
First, you need to understand what to include in your tweets, and second, you need to know what tools are available to make tweeting and Twitter management easier for you.
Let’s start with what to include in your tweets.
A key part of Twitter for small businesses is using it to increase brand recognition, generate new leads by growing your audience and nurturing your audience to build relationships with them that lead to word-of-mouth marketing and sales.
To that end, make sure you take the time to like, comment on, and retweet other people’s content. Also, mention other people in your tweets using their Twitter handles.
All of these efforts help you get on their radar screens which builds your audience and keeps your brand top-of-mind.
In addition, use relevant hashtags in your tweets so it’s easy for people looking for content like yours to find it in searches.
It’s much easier to do all of this and monitor your Twitter activities when you use a social media management and monitoring tool. Some of the most popular and affordable options include:
Hootsuite offers a free account option while other tools typically offer a free trial period. Always test out your social media management tools before you pay for them to make sure they give you the features you want to streamline your processes.
Key Takeaways About Small Business Twitter Marketing Strategies
With hundreds of millions of users, Twitter is an important part of your small business social media marketing plan. Use the tips above to save time and money while increasing your efficiency, productivity, and results.