Whether you work for a Fortune 500, mid-sized start-up, or play a starring role in a solo operation out of your basement, building a brand presence on Twitter is a must. Doing so can give your business access to a near endless pool of potential customers (360 million and counting) and the ability to tap into new markets with a single tweet.
However, I’m not here to debate the merits of Twitter with you. If you’re reading this post, I assume you’ve already come to your own conclusions about Twitter.
So, without further ado, here are nine tactics your brand can use to up its presence on Twitter.
Tactic # 1 Include industry key terms in your bio.
Don’t fill your bio with a bunch of corporate speak and generic mission statements. Instead, fill it with meat: contact details, sales pitches, and, most importantly, industry key terms. Use all of these details to tell your brand’s story in 160 characters or less. Doing this will increase your Twitter searchabilty and tells potential customers why they should care about your brand.
Tactic # 2 Make a custom background with contact info.
While you’re limited to only160 characters that the bio offers, your brand’s story isn’t. Create a customized Twitter background and give more information or pictures that can help tell the tale.
If you’re a pizza shop, include pictures of how the shop looked ten years ago and how it looks today. If you’re a shoe retailer, like zappos, include extra contact info such as your email address, Facebook page, or telephone number. And extra points for anyone who uses a QR code in their background, as @socialmouths does in their custom background.
Tactic # 3 Retweet the experts in your industry with @theirname.
This tactic is particularly useful for brands in the B2B space. When someone comes to your Twitter page, your bio and custom background aren’t the only things on display—visitors will also be paying a great deal of attention to your individual tweets.
Your tweets - the kind of information you provide, what types of relationships you've developed and how much you value customer feedback - tell a lot about what you value as a brand.
So when you tweet make sure to mention experts in your industry and include their @twittername. This not only shows visitors that you are knowledgeable in your field, but it also gets the attention of the experts—who will then retweet your tweets, essentially widening your engagement loop.
Tactic # 4 Include Images of your team and events in your tweets.
This is a new ability on Twitter, which may explain why it’s so underutilized. Adding images to your tweets is a great way to project a human element to your Twitter feed. Show company employees cutting lose at functions, show successes, show customer interactions.
All tweets that include pictures show up in the recent images tab, so if there’s an old picture you want to stay up there, you’ll have to keep retweeting it.
Also, one warning: don’t post one dimensional, “safe” pictures (i.e. just staged pictures or generic pictures). Your followers will sniff out the fake as soon as it’s up.
Tactic # 5 Find industry contacts through Follower Wonk.
Follower Wonk is amazing. Unlike the Twitter search box, which just searches recent tweets, Follower Wonk can dig through the millions and millions of Twitter user profiles, searching for relevant key terms listed in the bio.
If your brand is looking to connect with more people within the Advertising industry, just do a Follower Wonk search for “advertising”, or make it even more specific by searching for “IAB” (Interactive Advertising Bureau). And, best of all, you can follow all of these users in app (saving you a boat load of “loading time”), and you can sort the list by relevancy or follower/following ratio. It’s a quick way to find the social media influencers in your industry. A must have for B2B companies.
Tactic # 6 Find more experts/similar companies by following lists.
After locating an industry contact through Follower Wonk, check to see if they are on any relevant lists. More than likely other users have searched for the same type of social media influencers, and have created a list of similar Twitter accounts. For instance, if I were looking for a recruiter or job site’s with Twitter accounts, I would check out the lists that @CareerBuilder is listed on. And if I’m a distributor of ice cream hardware products, I would check out lists that @cherrygarcia (Ben and Jerry) is included on.
Tactic # 7 Join established industry chats…or start your own.
Of course, joining an established chat is a great way to network and establish your expertise within a given industry. Each chat is checked by using a hashtag (i.e #eventprofs), and those comments which include this feature are read by everyone participating in the chat. To find relevant chats within your industry, search for industry keywords on Hashtags.org.
Tactic # 8 Join WeFollow.
Want Tweeps to find you? WeFollow has a large network of Twitter people, expands across a number of categories, and is free for anyone to sign up. Many people use WeFollow to search for industry contacts, so sign up for this free service to increase your Twitter presence.
Tactic # 9 Create a Publishing Schedule through Hootsuite.
Having consistent content on your twitter feed increases the chances that customers will continue to return. And one way to do this is to schedule tweets through a publishing platform, such as Hootsuite. With Hootsuite, you can set-up tweets days, weeks, even months in advance, ensuring your feed is always filled with content. Industry related tips or quotes is a good piece of content to schedule out in this fashion, as I’ve done with @Exec_comm’s tweets in the picture above.
And for those worried about over flooding your followers feeds—don’t be. Read the study by Kiss Metrics for a full explanation. But as a general rule of thumb, schedule no more than 4 tweets per hour.
Any tips tactics that I missed? What has your company done to increase it’s presence on Twitter? Please let us know in the comments section.