5 Tips to Make Twitter Work for Your Business

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Digital marketing blogs and news outlets were all but trumpeting the same sentiment to the masses in 2016, whether it’s based in fact or not: “Twitter is dying.” A revolving door of execs, further tweaks to the algorithm that made feeds funkier and funkier, decreased user activity — all signs were pointing to inevitable doom for the once-beloved platform. Don’t even get me started on Vine (sort of) bowing out.

You have most likely decided, probably at the advice of that friend you deem a “social media guru,” that Twitter is most definitely not a place for your business to grow. I would humbly request that you take a step back off of that social media cliff and allow me to convince you that Twitter can do wonderful things for your business if you’re willing to give it a little bit of love and some fresh perspective. Opportunity can sometimes be found in unexpected forms, and Twitter is positively teeming with potential. Here are five piping hot takes to get started down the path to Twitter enlightenment in 2017.

1. Twitter is a conversation, not a bulletin board.

Social media is all about outreach and making people aware of your business and the products or services it offers. With Twitter, you have an open channel of communication with potential customers who either want to know more about your business or want to give you feedback or suggestions. Engaging in these types of conversations in an open and honest manner instills trust.

In addition to gaining that trust, you’re getting valuable feedback from customers who use your products or services. Even if it’s a simple “thank you,” always reach out to let your customers know you appreciate them and address any questions they may have.

2. Schedule tweets around local or national live events.

Sometimes life and the running of your business are more important than tweeting on a daily basis. There are great tools such as SproutSocial that can help you schedule out your tweets to alleviate some of that stress, but scheduling at the right time is just as crucial as the scheduling itself. I’ve started scheduling lots of tweets around local or national events, like football or basketball games, and have seen a nice uptick in engagement. Take the extra time to do the research for more effective scheduled tweets.

3. Please stop linking your Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts.

“Why not link my businesses Twitter account to our Instagram or Facebook accounts? It gets the same message across and saves me time!” is probably something you’ve thought, as we all have, at some point in time.

It is imperative to post independently to Twitter rather than link the accounts and have your Instagram or Facebook posts automatically push to Twitter. One of the most important reasons for this is that beautiful image of your amazing product will only show up as a link rather than just the image itself, meaning you’re requiring your fans take one extra step to see your content. That’s one step too many! Plus, let’s be honest, it looks sloppy and lazy. Your business is not sloppy and lazy!

4. Be a part of your local Twitter community.

Twitter isn’t just about connecting with fans; it’s also about connecting with local businesses and building a strong local Twitter community. Reaching out to other local businesses on Twitter shows your willingness to be a friendly, engaged professional who cares about where their community is headed. Those interactions with other local businesses can open your own business to a myriad of potential new fans, partnership opportunities, and lots of great engagement if you’re persistent in keeping up with what’s going on in your community.

It can be a little hard to keep up with Twitter’s algorithm and general pace, so you’d do well to create a list of businesses you enjoy interacting with to keep up with them and be ready for engagement opportunities. Don’t forget to turn those offline relationships into digital relationships that keep the referral cycle spinning.

5. Live tweeting is the lifeblood of Twitter.

Concerts, the World Cup, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Saturday Night Live — no matter what’s happening right now in your world, if it’s worthy of discussion, there will always be someone live tweeting about it. Live tweeting has the potential to really help out your engagement and get your brand involved in something other than selling a product or service.

Twitter’s Trends bar (left) makes it simple to keep up if you don’t feel like hunting down an event, or a simple flick through your feed should do the trick for finding that one event that matters to fans you’re following.

There is a wealth of customer insight and engagement to be had on the world’s most clever social media platform. Your business can say a lot with 140 characters if you’re willing to get out there and get involved with your fans and other businesses around you. Harness that potential in 2017 and get people talking about your business. Just take it easy on the memes.