Let’s be real, it is 100% necessary for businesses to have a presence on social media today. When done correctly, brands can position themselves in front of customers and the impact is clear. According to a study conducted by Social Sprout, 9 out of 10 consumers will purchase products from a brand they follow on social media. This figure alone provides a strong argument for why a small business Twitter marketing strategy needs to be rock solid.
Developing a Twitter marketing strategy can be daunting, especially for a small business. While it does require a decent amount of planning, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming project.
This guide provides a 360° overview of how to create a Twitter marketing strategy for your small business to help you expand your reach, add to your branding efforts, and grow your overall business.
1. Research Your Current Customers & Target Your Ideal Customers
Before you start setting up a Twitter account for your business, you’ll want to figure out who you’re going to target.
Who are your existing customers? Who do you want to target with your Twitter marketing campaigns? Develop a sense of the demographic and psychographic details of your customer base.
This essentially involves market research. By conducting market research, figuring out your target market, and developing buyer personas, you can get a better sense of who your customers are. This market research will also help you gain a better idea of who you want to focus your efforts on.
For the sake of illustrating this and a handful of other points, let’s create a fictional business: Rye Brewery.
Rye Brewery is located in a quaint town along the New Hampshire coastline, populated mostly by wealthy families. Based on their market research, they’ve determined that their customers are primarily men between the ages of 35-45, who earn an average of $90,000 annually, live within 25 miles of the brewery, and are likely married with children.
Developing a Buyer Persona
Rye Brewery can use this information to create a persona, giving him a name and a background: Pete, a 38-year-old district manager of a regional grocery store chain. He’s married, has two young children, and lives roughly 15 miles from the brewery. He enjoys stopping by the brewery for a pint of his favorite pale ale with his friends after a long work week. He also takes his wife and children there for lunch or dinner on the weekend on occasion.
Rye Brewery could further flesh out additional information about Pete, such as his hobbies, favorite stores, social media preferences, and so on – the details are literally endless. The purpose of developing this persona is to provide the marketing team with a clear understanding of who they are targeting with their Twitter content.
2. Set Up Your Twitter Business Account
Now that you have an idea of who you will target with your Twitter account, it’s time to set it up!
Create Your Profile
Creating a business Twitter profile is pretty simple. Twitter even has a step-by-step guide on how to set up your profile.
Pick Your Username
In an ideal world, your username (aka Twitter handle) will be your business’s name or a close variation.
Try to get a handle as close as possible to the name of your business. For example, Rye Brewery would use @RyeBrewery as their handle. However, if @RyeBrewery is taken, they should select one with a minor wrinkle. Versions with slight wrinkles include @Rye_Brewery, @RyeBrew, and other such iterations. You want to ensure that your customers can find you easily and connect with you via Twitter.
Set Your Profile & Header Image
Your profile picture should be your logo, or a headshot if you’re a freelancer and provide a professional service.
Your header image has quite a bit of wiggle room. It’s also a great place to showcase your product or service in more detail. Twitter header images should be 1500 x 500 pixels. You can read more about adding your Twitter header here.
You can go beyond uploading a basic image as your Twitter header. Canva is a great tool that provides built-in templates that will help you design a unique Twitter header. They also have templates for other social media platforms too!
Find People to Follow
Who you choose to follow on Twitter will depend on your industry. For instance, Rye Brewery could follow other local businesses, key figures in the city, and influential brewery accounts. Oh yeah, they will definitely want to follow their customers!
If you’re struggling to find accounts to follow, you should check out this post.
3. Add Twitter Buttons to Your Website & Email Signature
You want to make it simple for people to find you on Twitter. You can do this by adding Twitter icons to your website/blog. Another way is to add links to your Twitter profile, or simply your Twitter handle, to any other social media accounts you already own. YOu can also add our Twitter handle or a Twitter button to your email signature.
4. Let Your Customers Know You’re on Twitter
In addition to adding Twitter buttons to your website and email signature, you’ll want to let your customers know that you’re on Twitter. This may seem obvious, but how else will they know to look for you and follow your account?!
You can do this by sharing your new account via your other social accounts. Another way is to mention your new Twitter account in a newsletter. Lastly, you can create in-store materials to let customers know when they visit your shop. If you include in-store signage, you’ll want to include a QR code and add it to all materials highlighting your new Twitter account. This makes it easy for your customers since they can scan the QR code and follow you with just a few taps of their thumb!
Promoting your new Twitter account via in-store materials is a great opportunity to run a promotion of some sort. For instance, you could ask your customers to follow you and retweet a post in exchange for a chance to win a 25% off coupon.
5. Start Tweeting
Now that you have everything set up and you’ve started to build your Twitter following, it’s time to start Tweeting! You’ll want to develop a strategy where you outline and plan what you’ll post and when you’ll post it.
Like Facebook, Twitter is a platform where you should post multiple types of content. A content strategy rich with variety is ideal and will help keep your followers interested and engaged. Here are a few types of content that you can post.
Naturally, Twitter is a great avenue through which you can provide updates to your customers. For instance, Rye Brewery could use Twitter to share information about what they’re serving up for the upcoming season.
Another major aspect of marketing your business via Twitter is positioning yourself as an authority within your industry. This means sharing information relevant to your industry by sharing articles, and news stories. and other content from industry thought leaders.
While Twitter isn’t Instagram, your followers will still love a healthy dose of photos. You can highlight your products via photos, which will help balance the text-rich nature of the Twitter platform. You can also highlight your loyal customers using products. Here’s a guide on how to encourage your followers to produce user-generated content (USG).
Like photos, videos are an awesome form of content to share via Twitter. This doesn’t mean that you have to shift to vlogging, but quick clips will add a little extra something to your Twitter feed.
Links to Your Blog
Twitter is an ideal place to share links to your blog. This serves the dual function of driving your followers to your website, while also positioning you as a thought leader in your industry.
6. Wrap Your Head Around Hashtags
Using hashtags to extend the visibility of your Twitter content is a must. That being said, you’ll need to have a firm understanding of how hashtags work. In short, a hashtag is a word or phrase proceeded by the pound symbol (#). This makes the word or phrase with the # a searchable link, which allows non-followers to find your content.
So, you’ll want to focus on determining what hashtags are relevant to your business and the content you post. Furthermore, you’ll want to learn how to use them correctly. Sites like Hashtagify will help you find clusters of similar hashtags that you can put to use. It might also be worthwhile to keep tabs on trending hashtags to see if any align with your content.
7. Drive Traffic to Your Site or Store
Developing a strong Twitter presence will help improve your overall brand image. However, the ultimate goal is to use the platform to grow your business. When all is said and done, this means driving users back to your website or into your store, so they can purchase your product or service.
This means that while most of your content should focus on building your brand, a healthy chunk should encourage your audience to take action – download an ebook, click through to your site, or physically visit your store.
8. Make Use of Twitter Lists
As you grow your following, you’ll also need to focus on growing who you follow. When you follow a variety of accounts on Twitter, you’ll come across great content that you can share with your followers, networking opportunities, and a plethora of potential customers.
As we just demonstrated, the accounts you follow will begin to divide themselves into categories. With Twitter’s list feature, you can divide the accounts you follow into categories. This not only makes your Twitter experience more organized, but it can also help certain content to certain people.
Twitter lists are ultimately what you make of them. They aren’t naturally marketing-focused, but they can prove useful for organizing your Twitter feed. This makes it easier to source content and keep tabs on your customers and competition.
9. Analyze, Refine & Adapt
It’s vital to understand that for a Twitter marketing strategy to work, you’ll need to constantly refine your process. This means that once you have an idea of what you want to create content-wise, you should also develop a plan to measure its success.
This means measuring how effective each type of content is, to keep track of which types of treats led to increased sales. You might find that while you thought your customers would love funny retweets, they’re actually more interested in photos of people using your products.
You’ll also want to keep track of how your Twitter marketing actually impacts sales. Without monitoring, you’ll never know how effective (or ineffective) your Twitter marketing really is.
You now have a high-level overview of how to use Twitter to market your small business. The world of Twitter marketing is vast, but following these steps should set you on the path to creating a marketing strategy and content that works for your small business.