I’ve been on Twitter since September of 2008. I’m embarrassed to say for over a year the platform totally uninterested me. Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest had my marketing heart and I let my Twitter presence slide. But there’s no doubt about it – Twitter is still growing and I made a decision to get re-engaged! In the spirit of sharing knowledge, I’d love to share the ways I’m using Twitter for my blog and business with you all.
1. Set Up Your Complete Profile
Basic, I know, but we have to start here. If your profile is incomplete, it makes you look uncommitted. And nobody wants to follow an uncommitted tweeter. Include a high quality photo as your profile picture, another photo as your cover image, fill out your bio (using all of your available characters!), add a relevant website URL and location.
2. Follow Industry Influencers
Who is your target market for your small business or blog? If you’re an independent coffee shop owner, follow relevant coffee industry leaders. These could be owners of other independent coffee shops in your area or in other cities (networking is always good!) In addition, follow your favourite customers or anyone who tweets about your product.
As a small business blogger, I follow other bloggers whose tweets inspire me! It’s a win-win. I stay on top of what’s happening in my industry and I’m inspired by what others are sharing. When you click “Follow” on a tweeter, Twitter will automatically suggest 3 more like-minded Twitter users to follow. This is a great way to find awesome people!
3. Tweet with Intention
According to Moz, the “shelf life” of a tweet is 18 minutes. Isn’t that crazy? Due to the overwhelming amount of information on Twitter, it’s treated more as a quick news update. Before I realized this, I was trying to read my entire Twitter feed everyday. That’s when Twitter became overwhelming to me and that’s why I quit trying temporarily. Twitter is not Instagram. I can’t read every one of my tweets and nobody can read all of yours. That’s okay.
In light of this, make a goal to tweet 3-10x a day. Starting out, it may even be a stretch to find content to tweet 3x a day, so start small. As you get more comfortable with the platform, you can stretch yourself to 8-10x a day. Currently, I aim for 4x a day and schedule my tweets using Buffer.
I aim to tweet a 50/50 mix of my own content and other’s content right now. Ideally, I’d like to have this ratio a bit more like 80/20 – sharing 80% of valuable content written by other bloggers and 20% of my own. But it takes time to find and share valuable content – so 50/50 is where I sit right now!
Buffer is an amazing tool that allows me to schedule tweets at specific times. All I have to do is see a tweet I want to share and click the “Buffer” button. Immediately, the tweet is added to my Twitter queue. I have my Buffer set to tweet at the following times: 7:56AM, 10:07AM, 2:12PM and 9:44PM – all in PST, my time zone. Research shows the majority of users check Twitter during commuting times (before 9AM), during their lunch break (12PM) and at the end of their day. (5PM)
For a few weeks, I set my Buffer schedule to these generic times until Buffer had time to gather more data. Then I used Buffer’s “Optimal Timing Tool” to find the best times for my specific group of followers. Buffer suggested the times of 8AM, 10AM, 2PM and 10PM – so I went with it for now! I’ll re-evaluate in a month or so.
4. Make a Good First Impression
Did you know you can “Pin” your favourite tweet to the top of your profile? Pretty awesome! This is a great opportunity to give visitors to your Twitter profile a quick thesis of what your feed is all about.
[Tweet “Did you know you can “Pin” your favourite tweet to the top of your profile?”]
I try to change my Pinned tweet every month with my favourite blog post. To pin a tweet, click the 3 dots in the bottom right corner of the tweet and select “Pin to your Profile Page.”
Here is my pinned tweet in action:
5. Utilize the “List” Feature
On your profile page, you’ll see 5 main sections called: Tweets, Following, Followers, Favorites and Lists. Lists are a great way to keep your favourite tweeters organized! As you can see from the embarrassing screenshot below, my Lists are not properly categorized and it’s on my massive to-do list.
But in the name of transparency, I wanted to share this tip with you, regardless! In the future, I hope to use the List feature to organize my favourite Bloggers, Photographers, News Stations, Personal Friends. This is a great way to create “micro-feeds,” allowing you to follow, say, 1000 twitter users, but never miss a tweet from your best friend.
6. Join conversations using “Search”
There are hundreds of thousands of conversations happening daily on Twitter. Lucky for us business owners, Twitter has one of the best search tools of any social media channel. Click here to access the Twitter Advanced Search tool. Let’s see it in action.
You can choose to search for an exact phrase, any of your keywords, exclude certain keywords, search hashtags, specific usernames even by location! (So cool for retail stores!)
I searched “starting a blog” under “this exact phrase” and found the following tweets:
The second user has given me the perfect opportunity to join the conversation and help! Now, we never want to be spammy, we always want to be helpful. I could reply, “I love food blogs! If you need help setting up a blog, I wrote a post you may love” and attach my post: How To Start a Blog with WordPress.
How could you use this in your business? Back to the coffee shop example, it would be an awesome idea to have a saved search of “vancouver” and “coffee” for your team. Many consumers use twitter to find recommendations and a simple tweet from a business could sway a customer to visit your shop!
Talk to Me!
Is your small business/blog on Twitter? Have you made any valuable connections through your tweets? I’d love to hear from you! If you want to find me on twitter, search @jamiedelaine.