Utilising Twitter for your startup success
As Twitter is one of the big dogs in the social media world, it makes sense to take a long, hard look at your Twitter profile. On the face of it, Twitter is very simple – only a few characters per post, no excessive noise, just your feed full of relevant information. You can even find and hire graduates on Twitter. Nobody is able to waffle on, so if you don’t have much time it is the best network for absorbing information quickly. For promoting your startup this is perfect, as you are able to get to the crux of the matter without wasting time. It is also great for keeping on top of everything that is happening in your community because of the sheer amount of information exchanged every day.
The main thing to bear in mind is ensuring that you are tweeting regularly, and in the right tone of voice, before taking it up a notch. It is well worth the effort perfecting your basic Twitter activity early on, to provide a base to jump off from. Once you feel you have that under control, have a read of our advice for going forward:
Is your target market on Twitter?
Twitter recently swapped categories on the app store and is now included in the ‘news’ section, which is a clear nod towards the way that the majority of people use their app. While Facebook is a place for friends, Twitter is great for networking and keeping up with those that you admire or are generally interested in. Though no social network can compete with Facebook in terms of sheer volume of posts and users, Twitter can be useful for certain types of brands. A study by Sprout Social found Twitter appears to appeal to younger users, as well as those in an urban location – if your startup fits this profile you might want to focus some extra effort in this space.
What is the best practice when using Twitter for business?
Twitter has a reported 313 million users, 34% of which login more than once a day. Capturing the attention of the masses is an art that must be practised a few times a day. It has been found that between 3 and 5 tweets a day is optimal, but feel free to go slightly overboard. A unique aspect of Twitter is that it is decidedly content heavy. Whilst on most platforms spam is the devil and simply annoys followers, on Twitter you have a free pass to for high volume.
Previously a tweet was more or less visible for about 18 minutes, before being lost in the noise, so the fail-proof way of ensuring you stayed relevant and on top of everyone’s feeds was with regular updates and news on your brand. Recently, however, Twitter has updated its algorithm to mean that those you are engaging with are ranked higher on your feed and posts that you might have missed are the first thing you see when you login. The key to making this new algorithm your friend is by focussing on creating posts that your followers will want to click on and engage with. Repeating tweets will also help to make sure you are visible. Overall, do as you would with any social media channel and only post things that align with your brand vision – tweet as your consumers expect you to tweet and provide meaningful information that they will find interesting.
How else can you use this social network?
As highlighted at the Battenhall social media trends briefing (which you can read more about here), Twitter is becoming increasingly useful to brands as a way to field customer enquiries. Most people use social media to vent frustration when they aren’t happy with the service they receive, which can cause a whole host of bad PR if handled incorrectly. The key is always to respond as quickly as possible and attempt to move the conversation out of the public eye (for example by inviting them to contact you via email). On the other hand, if it goes horribly wrong at least the complaint is only around for 18 minutes.
Using Twitter to connect with like-minded people should definitely be on your radar. As already mentioned, it is primarily a networking platform and as there are so many ways to interact with other users it would be criminal to let that part slide. Retweets, favourites, likes and responses all serve to get your voice out there and cultivates positive relationships with influential people in your industry. Create lists, join lists, be part of the wider conversation happening around you, and chip in with influential information. Many brands on Twitter feel as though simply tweeting their own promotional material and intelligent insights is enough to engage followers, but the best Twitter accounts are the ones that go out of their way to offer help and meaningful advice within the sector they have expertise in.
Keep an eye on trends in the Twitter world and use the appropriate hashtags. When others are searching for people talking about what’s trending on Twitter it will be in your best interests to be up there with your opinion, rather than fading into the background. Be visible, stand out.
Finally, make your feed exciting by including images and videos – give your audience a reason to pause on your posts and stick around on your feed. The internet is an overwhelmingly visual place and those that don’t have time to read 140 characters will hopefully be drawn in by a well-chosen GIF.
Want a bright graduate to manage your Twitter feed? Check out the BrighterBox employers page to see how we help startups hire grads. Oh, and follow us on Twitter, @BrighterBox