What the heck is Twitter?
Twitter is a free service that allows users to post thoughts, marketing messages and questions in 140 characters
or less. Also known as “micro-blogging.” Twitter is a great networking tool and can be used to promote your
business and manage customer relations. It is also a source for news and information. For many users it is a
large online party.
Getting Started on Twitter:
1. Register your Business Name. If you own your business, keep things simple and create one account. Use your
company name in your Twitter Profile in the Name Field. Include hashtag #keywords in your Twitter profile.
Example: https://twitter.com/toyshopkeeper https://twitter.com/BuildingBToys (screen shots)
2. Add Logo to Your Profile. If you are tweeting as your business, your photo should be your logo. Using your
own photo gives the impression that this is a personal account.
3. Consider your Twitter Strategy. Before starting on Twitter you need to determine your purpose and strategy.
Defining your purpose will help you decide who to follow and what kind of information to share. And help you
be more efficient. Consider the scope of what your business should cover and stick too! E.g., Chicago parents
vs personal interests (ie- fashion, traffic, weather). Help twitter users know what to expect from you by
sticking to your focus.
It’s important for business owners to find a balance between communicating (influence, attract attention,
promote or sell) and listening (keep up on news, learn and provide customer service). Rather than just
broadcasting your marketing messages and/or events a good rule of thumb is to create 3 - 1 ratio (RT,
Responses, Thank you, FF, curating external resources) to each time you promote yourself.
Communication: you will need to tweet, direct message, engage with other users and focus on getting
information out in the Twitter world.
Listening: you will need to find followers that can provide appropriate content and you need to learn how to
utilize filtering tools, including hashtags and Twitter lists. Follow organizations and people who are attracting
your target audience.
Who, What and When to Tweet?
Who: Social media is a great tool to connect with millions of people, however as a business owner, you should
be engaging with the people most likely to buy from you. Engage with your target audience. Do not spend
most of your time talking to your friends, neighbors and people you know. Look for opportunities to engage
with your target market because that is what you are there for. To reach people who you do not have access to
on a day-to-day basis.
What: Choose content that will showcase your expertise and in line with your target audience’s interest. Great
content keeps people coming back and helps them get to know you and think of you when they are looking for a
When: The benefit of Twitter is you can post more often than Facebook without annoying people. The downside
is you can underwhelm and lose people if you don’t post enough.
Facebook: no more than two to three times a day. Based on your target audience will determine what time of
day. Play around with different times and review your insights to see when posts received the most reach.
Twitter: you can post many more updates daily —up to five or ten times a day or more. Many successful brands
on Twitter post as many as 20 times per day! Do what works for you. Scheduling via Hootsuite or Tweetdeck is
imperative. Some social media experts (Guy Kawasaki for example) recommend that you send the same tweet
four times to cover all four U.S. time zones. However, tweets should be spaced out throughout the day.
Consecutively tweeting is the fastest way to be unfollowed. Jamming up your follower’s feed is considered bad
etiquette. Unless you’re attending a Twitter party – keep things spaced out.
Tip: Schedule 5-10 mins throughout the day to respond and engage on social media. This can include scheduling
updates that are promotional about your business, providing tips as an expert in your field and curating/sharing
content from other sources (news outlets, industry professionals, etc) and chatting with your audience
(commenting, direct messaging, answering comments/messages).
In real Time Social Media: Tweet and Facebook in real time when you are at events and industry functions that
your audience would find appealing. Send out photos, videos during the events, tag people. Update your
audience with special promotions. Tweets with images get double the engagement. Try to keep your personal
life out of Twitter when using your business profile. Because anyone can follow you on Twitter, be careful
tweeting photos of your kids and family.
Be Consistent: The key to success is to being consistent and engaging with your fans and followers on a regular
basis. In the beginning of building your audience (when numbers are low) going several days without engaging is
noticeable and people are less likely to follow because they think you are not serious.
Build Your Twitter Following:
Step 1: Let your network know you are using Twitter! Include in your email signature, e-blasts, post on
Facebook, promote in your business, etc. Follow people you know and tag them in a Tweet. Ask people in your
network who use Twitter regularly and have more followers to help you spread the word. Example: If I do
business with you I would tweet “ hey friends @XYZ is now on Twitter be sure to follow this sassy biz”
Step 2: Follow people/businesses who you want to follow you first (experts in your field, clients, etc). After you
have followed someone, it’s time to check out their lists and who they are following. Go to their profile, go to
Lists, select the list that is of interest, select List Members. Here you will see who you are following and can
easily select the Follow button. Same goes for their followers. Click on Following and see if there are businesses
or people that would be relevant.
Twitter Follow Guideline: Per Twitter “Every account can follow 2,000 users total. Once you’ve followed 2,000
users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow. This number is different for each account
and is based on your ratio of followers to following; this ratio is not published.”
Step 3: Creating and following lists is a great way to identify influencers and filter out the Twitter noise so you
can focus on specific people and relevant topics. Example: I have a dedicated list for Chicago businesses so I can
easily track and communicate. I include this list in my Hootsuite dashboard on my desktop and smartphone.
Step 4. Don’t get caught up in the number of followers. It’s more important to engage and be consistent to
show that you’re an expert in your field and to have conversations. It can take a long time to gain momentum on
Twitter and there are many bots (fake accounts).
What is a hashtag and when should I use it? The # symbol designates a hashtag. A hashtag is a way of
categorizing or tagging posts and used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet. For best practices with hashtags,
follow these tips:
No more than three hashtags per tweet.
Avoid starting a tweet with a hashtag, this gives a robotic and spammy impression.
Include an existing hashtag in your tweet. Find hashtags by performing a keyword search just like you
would Google, use the ones that move fastest and seem to best fit your topic area.
Create your own hashtag.
Hashtag caution: Too many hyperlinks (hashtags) will actually devalue the tweet.
General Twitter Tips:
Retweet relevant topics RT
Follow large companies who are most likely paying someone to manage their social media efforts. This is
a great way to pick up tips and tricks.
People will only see others' @replies in their home timeline if they are following both the
sender and recipient of the @reply. If you want EVERYONE to see your tweet to someone you
should not begin your tweet with their user name. Simply place a >> or words prior to their
Use appropriate hashtags whenever possible. Research what your audience is searching.
Shorten links via Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, bitly (https://bitly.com) or Google (http://goo.gl/)
Tweet on Weekends – Research shows that engagement on weekends is 17% higher for brands!
Follow your competition and watch what they are doing. Don’t copy their style but you can learn from
Connect your Twitter account to your business Facebook and Instagram Accounts so you can easily
share. Facebook feeds to Twitter automatically saving time. Do not let Twitter feed to Facebook. Use
Facebook updates to drive Twitter followers to your fan page. Go to
https://www.facebook.com/twitter/ to set this up.
Use Pinterest and share your pins to Twitter – Pinterest can be one of your biggest lead generators.
People click on Pinterest links.
Create lists to help organize followers
Respond to @replies in a timely manner. Check your Twitter inbox daily!
Keep tweets between 120 and 130 characters. Allows followers room to retweet and respond.
When you want to chat directly with someone in private send a DM (direct message)
Favorite Tweets you like or want to refer to at a later time. These are public. To keep private, send the
tweet to yourself via email.
Attract new followers by hosting or attending a Twitter Party
Don’t be discouraged if no one responds to your tweets. If you really need a response, direct message. If
they are not following you, @reply them publically and ask them to so you can DM them.
Update from your smart phone: Hootsuite allows you to schedule on the go, answer direct messages,
tweet in real time, etc.
Facebook www.facebook.com/home.php (provides desktop version on your smartphone and allows you
to post on business page, share, etc).
Check Social Media traffic via Google Analytics
Hootsuite vs Tweet Deck
HS has better analytics
Update Facebook Business Page
Manage Instagram Account
Social media profiles are viewed in tabs, rather than all in one window
HootSuite is browser based, the speed is very quick and requires almost no system resources to use.