There is much more to Twitter than the short 140-character limits to each tweet. Learning the best practices to optimizing your profile can bring you an increase in followers, engagement and the results your small business needs to grow and expand.
1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
In the past few years, Twitter has improved its platform for posting images and photos. With new additions for photo collages in the live streams and an expanded background header image, make sure you’re strategically using every pixel possible.
Don’t just leave the default image as your identifying picture. Choose a profile picture that fits your brand. Using a logo, a photo of yourself, a character, or a graphic that highlights your business name will help to build brand awareness. These images should be 400 by 400 pixels, even though it displays at 200 by 200 pixels.
Twitter rolled out new dimensions earlier this year for their background header image. The company recommends 1500 pixels wide by 500 pixels high, but you can play with different design specifications to find the best size for your image. Like many other headers, there will be a part that is invisible, so keep that in mind when laying out your background image.
You can choose one image, put together a collage, or design an image that incorporates your brand and products. Emphasize your strengths or highlight a particular product you offer that would be most attractive to your followers.
Tweets with images
A study of more than two million tweets showed that a tweet with a photo boosts retweets by 35 percent. In-stream Twitter photos have a maximum expanded appearance of 1024 pixels by 220 pixels, and a minimum of 440 by 220 pixels. When the images are collapsed in the stream, they appear at 506 by 253 pixels. The maximum file size is five megabytes.
Images in the photo stream should be compelling. Whether the images are humorous, sad, motivating, shocking, or adorable, they should appeal to your followers’ emotions. A stock photo, a photo that is unfocused or busy, or photos that are low resolution will more than likely hurt your posts. One tip is to look at the images your followers are retweeting and create similar content.
2. Make Your Words Count
Sure, images are becoming major components of a successful Twitter content marketing plan, but the words that accompany them are important, too. Twitter offers three ways to put your words out there: your biography, through tweets that increase engagement, and tweets that direct responses. Focus on tweeting at least once a day; a good goal is four to five tweets daily.
You have 160 words to tell the world about your brand. Use as many of them as possible, keeping your sentences short and descriptive. If you’re using your Twitter account for your business, describe your company’s areas of specialty with keywords that relate to your business. Include links to your Web site, blog or social media pages. At the same time, let your personality shine.
If you want to connect with your followers, your company’s posts should include content that your followers are more likely to retweet. The top retweets are of funny, newsworthy or inspiring tweets – content that reaches your followers’ emotions. Invite conversation – asking a question or playing a caption-that-image game are two popular ways. Stay on top of trends and news, and incorporate or create conversation around those topics.
Focus your tweet on content that drives action. Create a post with a compelling offer that generates quality leads and will increase traffic to your website. Give that offer a deadline. Twitter operates in real time, so make sure that your tweet is eye-catching and urgent. Include a call to action that motivates followers to move.
3. Don’t Get Lost in the Crowd
Twitter offers a few ways to stand out: promoted tweets and Twitter search are useful tools for staying on top of your tweets and branding.
A professional marketing company with a dedicated Twitter division can help you make the most of your investment. Your time and finances are important, and it’s important to make sure that the ROI is worth it. Small businesses with limited staff resources can find additional support in optimizing Twitter profiles, managing your profile and finding new followers. Capitalize on a firm’s experience and tried-and-true Twitter tactics, and you’ll amplify your business and brand.
Search for your brand
You can set up a regular search of your top keywords. This will help you find brand mentions so that you can follow what is being said about your business. You’ll also be able to respond and interact with the followers who are commenting about you or your field.
Boost your brand by paying to promote tweets. These are ordinary tweets that users purchase to advertise a particular tweet. These can be used to reach a wider group of users or to generate engagement by current followers. While they are labeled as promoted tweets in the feed, they are treated as regular tweets that can be retweeted, replied to, or liked. As you set up your promoted tweet, you can define your audience. Think about the demographics of current followers and the prospects you’d like to reach, provide them with information that will help to establish your authority and build trust, and change it up. Don’t run a promoted tweet too long.
4. Be a Leader and a Follower
Find your industry’s influencers
Enter a few of your industry’s keywords in Twitter search to find the leaders in your industry. From prospects and customers to media and marketing gurus, you have a chance to watch and learn. Follow them. Think about following Twitter marketing businesses, as well. @WPamplify publishes timely articles on increasing traffic, creating content and getting results. Study their most popular tweets, and interact with them on a daily basis. Make a private Twitter list, add their handles, and get to know them. Give relevant replies to their tweets, and link to your post if it is related. Relationships are still the base for solid business growth – take advantage of Twitter’s expansive user base to build your business.
As people follow you, follow them back
You’re allowed to follow up to 2,000 more users than those who are following you; if you have 6,000 followers, you can follow 8,000 users. Start by seeking family, real-life friends, and colleagues. Create a private Twitter list for followers whose content you find uninteresting. Likewise, don’t just follow every user you find or you will clutter your list with tweets that you don’t find relevant.
Create quality content
The more valuable, engaging content you tweet, the higher chances you’ll have of finding qualified followers. As you share your tweets, invite your followers to retweet or tag influencers and friends in your tweets. You can tag up to ten people. Retweet your followers’ tweets, retweet tweets from those you follow, and make sure to answer the followers who reach out to you – whether they connect to you publicly or privately through a direct message.
5. Twitter Behind the Scenes
The Twitter Analytics dashboard gives you a 28-day summary of the activity and engagement surrounding your page. This snapshot will show you your top tweet, your top mention, your top follower, your top card tweet and your top media tweet, along with the number of impressions, new followers, tweets linking to you, and profile visits. Analytics will give you an overview of your followers, their buying styles, their top keywords, and how they are accessing you (mobile vs. desktop, Apple vs. Android).
Twitter has included a few hidden features that can help improve your experience. You can pin a favorite tweet to the top of your page by clicking the three ellipses next to the favorites star and selecting pin to profile page. You can schedule your tweets, as well, by clicking compose tweet and then clicking on the scheduling tab. Try publishing your tweets when your followers are most active.
Streamline your social media
Create a content marketing calendar that incorporates all of your social media accounts. There are some pieces of information you’ll want to share across the board, but doing that discourages your fans and other users from following you across platform lines. Twitter, for example, is excellent for creating an online conversation. Stay on top of relevant topics, chime in on breaking news across the world or within your industry, and give your feedback in real time to your followers. This is not always possible with other social media platforms.
There are programs that allow you to schedule all of your social media activity from one platform, and working with a social media management company can help you get measurable results.