Running a successful social media profile isn't as easy as you'd like to believe. You might be putting in the hours but are still not seeing the results you want--for example, maybe you're not getting enough followers despite your best efforts. Maybe you can't seem to get your customers to engage with you even though you've tried your best to get their attention. You aren't seeing anyone clicking the links you tweet, and you thought they'd be interesting to read. What gives?
This is a pretty common experience for many people and small businesses. It can be tough to gain followers and increase traffic to your site. But there's no reason to feel like it's all hopeless just because you've run into a few roadblocks. There are lots of things you can do to ensure you get the most out of Twitter, and none of these little tricks will take a ton of time or energy. In fact, it's pretty easy to take a few minutes to make the changes or simply implement these strategies into your normal social media routine. So without further ado, let's dive in:
Don't leave anything blank.
Let's start with the most obvious: it's critical that you fill out your Twitter profile completely. You can't have anyone guessing at who you are, where your website is, or how to contact you. Twitter will always have plenty of space available for you so that you can make your page unique and informative to your visitors. Here are just a few of the things you can do to make sure your Twitter profile is the best it can be:
Create graphics that match your brand and use them for your header and profile picture.
Make sure you've listed your website, location, and a short bio, and that everything is spelled correctly.
Make sure your handle is descriptive of what you do! Don't choose something random.
Follow influencers in your industry.
When you're new to Twitter, you might now know how to get more followers. You might not know what you should be posting or how to best reach your audience. But there's one really great way to find out: follow people in your industry--ones who really know what they're doing.
Business owners might raise an eyebrow at the thought of following someone who could very well be their competitor. But it really isn't as bad as you think. If you see others in your industry tweeting about some new product or news that could impact your business, why not follow them and retweet them? This gets you in on the conversation, thus drawing attention to your account, and you'll also know that this particular person pays attention to current industry news and events. If you keep up to date with them, chances are you'll see a lot more useful information.
Or, maybe you'll see this influencer running a contest or promotion that you think you could do too. You can gain a lot of knowledge by following industry leaders and trendsetters. And the best part? All of this is free. You'll learn a ton and won't have to pay a thing!
Utilize your 'lists' feature.
Many people use Twitter but aren't aware of all the extra features it offers. A great way to get a little extra mileage out of your account is to make lists!
Let's say you want to make a list of people that you really want to stay up-to-date with. Their tweets are consistently informative and helpful. Simply go to the person's profile, select the gear icon by their name, and then click the “add or remove from lists” option. You can give your list a name and label to better remember it later on. If you want your list to be private, simply select that option and no one else will be able to view it. If you don't mind other people seeing your list, you can keep it public.
If you're not sure whether to keep your list public or make it private, here's a good tip: If you're creating a list to keep an eye on your competitors, keep it private. If you want to connect with influential people in your industry, add them to a public list. Sometimes they'll see this and add you back, sometimes not; however, at the very least, you'll be able to easily see what they're tweeting about by filtering your timeline to show updates from list members only.
Follow back when you can.
If your marketing plan is working, even in the slightest, you're going to get new accounts following you regularly. It's considered good manners to follow these people back if possible (situations in which it would not be possible would be when the account is a spam account, for example). You can keep track of your followers using an external site or apps such as ManageFlitter or Hootsuite to make things easy—simply check your followers and the interface will easily allow you to follow accounts back.
Or, if you'd prefer not to use any third-party programs, you can simply click on the “followers” button on your Twitter profile and then manually select which accounts you'd like to follow back.
Tip: If you get a lot of bots following you, we'd recommend blocking them or reporting them. It does you no good to have them as followers, as they're not going to have any meaningful interactions with you or take any interest in your products. You should also never purchase followers for this same reason--no interaction, no real benefit to your marketing plan!
We've all seen unnecessary hashtags strewn about social media landscapes. But did you know that if you use hashtags the right way, your marketing results can benefit from it? In fact, it's really not wise to try to get the most out of Twitter without them.
So what exactly are hashtags? They're simply a way for people to find important topics and conversations as they're happening. Whether you're looking for information on the newest line of beauty products or you want to chat with someone about the best way to unclog your drains, you can find a hashtag that you can use to join in the conversation. Try using tools like buzzsumo.com to help you find trending topics and to get the most out of your posts.
Tips for hashtag beginners:
Don't use more than two or three hashtags in a tweet. This looks overwhelming and makes your well-intentioned tweet look like spam.
Try to include the hashtag in the body of the sentence or place them at the end of the tweet for the best legibility.
Don't use punctuation or spaces in hashtags as they only support letters and numerals.
If your hashtag is lengthy, make it easier to decipher by capitalizing the first letter of each word. For example, #BestNewNailPolish.
Use photos when you can.
It's true that people will read and retweet interesting text tweets. But your eyes are always going to be drawn to something visual: for example, a photo, video, or gif. Take the time to include photos with your tweets and you'll see more engagement. You could try an inspirational quote, a photo of a project you're currently working on, or a video of a new product being offered in your store. Of course, you should keep in mind that attaching a photo or video link will count against your character limit, but there's no reason you can't plan around this!
Retweet your friends and they'll do the same for you.
So you've used hashtags, followed some people, and started including photos with your updates. You're getting retweets but you're still not seeing the results you want. What gives?
Well, Twitter is a social network, meaning you'll have to be social to be successful. After all, no one cares about a stream of self-promotional spam. So you have to make sure that you're retweeting others and including links to other useful sources in your updates.
If you're feeling confused or lost about how to do this, try to remember the following: 80% of your content should be relevant to your business or industry but not self-promotional; the other 20% can be all about you. It's the 80/20 rule, and it seems to work well for many people and businesses. Try it and see what you think!
Another tip is to ask your followers for a retweet. Many people will respond to these requests. You could also trade retweets with some select accounts, or you can try to find groups dedicated to retweeting anyone who uses certain hashtags. Dig in and see how creative you can be!
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it should give you a great start to your Twitter experience. Hopefully, you can pick a few of these tips and apply them to your marketing strategy—and get real results!