The freedom Twitter allows is unlike any other.
For example, unlike Instagram, you can post links on Twitter.
Unlike Facebook, you can add/follow anyone you like on Twitter, you don’t need to already know them.
And unlike LinkedIn, you can add seemingly as many people as you like in one sitting without consequences such as having your account blocked.
Having these tools all on one platform is very useful for growing and audience and then creating business.
This article will outline a few of the tips and techniques I’ve used to build brand awareness and turn that into revenue.
Understanding the culture of Twitter
If you have read any of my previous articles on social media platforms, you’ll know that I believe the foundations of being successful on any platform is to understand its culture and unwritten laws/customs.
Twitter has traditionally been a place to find the news and latest information on events. The term ‘live tweeting’ came from this culture.
‘Live tweeting’ for those who don’t know, is when someone will tweet information about an event or situation such as a football match or news conference as it unfolds. Usually these are accompanied by hashtags, which other people will use to tweet their viewpoint on the situation and to make it easier for other people to see all the tweets on this topic in one place.
It is also a place where people go to have fun. For every serious tweet there is usually a joke, funny video or meme to break it up.
It is important you understand the culture of twitter, in order to make sure your message is delivered in the way that people want to receive it.
As with all social media, people do not log in to Twitter to look at adverts. They want to catch up on the latest developments in whatever/whoever interests them and usually have a bit of fun too.
Therefore, the rules of engagement for Twitter are to make sure your posts are either informative or entertaining. Preferably both!
Building a following
As I mentioned earlier, Twitter doesn’t seem to put a limit on how many people you can connect with in a day, so you can get some serious work done very quickly.
However, just because you can add thousands of people, doesn’t mean you should!
The first thing to do is establish what sort of person you are looking to connect with, and then start doing the following.
Find someone your target customer is likely to already follow:
As a decorator, you may decide that your ideal customer probably has a couple of children at the local school. Or they like to drink at a certain pub or coffee shop in your area. Or they are part of the tennis club.
With this in mind, it is likely that they follow the local school on twitter, or the coffee shop or the tennis club.
So, all you have to do now is go on to the school, pub or tennis club Twitter account, click on the list of people who follow them and start following all of their followers! Easy!
If you want to find people in your area who have a child at the local private school, you can guarantee you’ll find a few hundred on the school twitter account!
Establish the hashtags they may use:
The other way to find people is to use the search function for the hashtags your potential customers might be using. For example, try where you live for example #oxford or #Stoke. Wherever you may be. Try to make it specific. Small villages could yield great results.
Getting them to follow you back
Of course, it’s all well and good finding and following loads of people, but you also want them to follow you back, so that when you send out a tweet, they are more likely to see it.
Think of the reasons someone might follow someone else. It usually boils down to the following 3 things:
- They already know the person in real life
- They think their tweets are informative and useful
- They think their tweets are entertaining
With number 1 out of the way for us, we need to work on options 2 and 3.
There are a number of ways to do this, but for me, the following are the best techniques I’ve used.
Pinned tweet and profile:
When someone gets followed, they are likely to have a quick glance at your bio / profile and your pinned tweet. So, you must make sure these parts of your profile suggest you are worth following.
Use a nice picture of yourself smiling! (People are more likely to follow a person than a faceless company)
Have a short bio that says what you do and where you do it.
Make sure your pinned tweet is either informative or entertaining.
Be human! (Yes, it’s good to be clean and professional, but people want to connect with humans, not companies and robots)
Next, you need to start engaging on a regular basis.
Leave thoughtful comments on people’s posts.
Search the hashtags they might use and start conversations with people.
Like and retweet their posts!
Do this consistently and people will start to become familiar with you and your brand. They are then far more likely to follow and engage with you.
My next tip on how to get people to follow you is the classic competition. You know what I mean.
‘Retweet and like to enter’
All you have to do is give away a paint brush or tin of paint and you’ll get engagement like nothing else.
Just because you’re not a big company doesn’t mean you can’t do this. So, make sure you do one every now and then to get a boost of new followers.
Post regular content
Along with regular engagement, you also need to put content on your own timeline/feed.
Fortunately, on Twitter this is easier than most other social networks.
As I mentioned, Twitter is traditionally about current events.
So, remember you don’t have to constantly ‘create’ you can simply ‘document’.
There are loads of options on twitter, you can use text, photos, GIFs, videos and live streams. Try to use a healthy mix of all of them.
NB: If you want to know what the Twitter algorithm prefers here is the order from least likely to get promoted, to most likely to get promoted!
- Text only (Least likely to be promoted by Twitter)
- Live stream (Most likely to be promoted by Twitter)
No surprises there I’m sure!
Document your day using the different types of media.
On a morning walk with the dog? Take a picture and post it with the caption ‘Morning’
Using your new dustless sander? Do a short video.
See something funny? Retweet it.
Now, personally I very rarely use hashtags, but when you are starting from scratch, they can be very useful to reach new audiences.
Firstly, don’t overuse them. 1 or 2 per tweet maximum. You have limited characters on Tweets. Don’t waste them with pointless hashtags. Use them for great content!
Only use relevant or trending hashtags.
The only time I tend to use hashtags in my tweets is to engage in conversations with whatever is trending on twitter at the time.
Using the ‘trending’ section for inspiration on content is great by the way, so make sure you try and check it out at least once a day.
See what’s trending, and then try and put your spin on it.
If anything is going to help you go viral and gain loads of followers and exposure, it is this!
Turning followers into business:
Now you have a following, you are consistently creating great content and you are engaging with people you can start to turn it into business.
You should already have your company details and website on your profile, so if you’re doing it right, people will already be finding their way to your website and making enquiries.
In addition to this, I like to use the one in four rule.
This means for every four posts you create, 3 should offer value (informative or entertaining) and one can be an advert for your business and services.
Keep an eye on your follower count, if you tend to lose followers after posting and advert, you may need to restrict yourself to advertising your business less frequently.
Maybe advertise on one in five posts, or even one in six.
Another very useful way to generate business is to send direct messages to your followers.
There are some unwritten rules to direct messaging:
- Don’t do it immediately after connecting with someone.
- Don’t do it too frequently. Once every couple of months is plenty.
- Do personalise the message
- Do make sure it’s a very good offer. Something they can’t refuse!
The last point is probably the most important.
If you are going to slide into someone’s DM’s, you better have something bloody good to say.
This usually means an offer of some sort. For a decorator, it could be a discount code for your services that is exclusive to your Twitter followers. 10% off in June or something like that.
I’m afraid a ‘free no obligation quote’ is not going to cut it here! Save that for one of your ‘one in four’ tweets.
Enjoy it and use it as a learning tool
Twitter is a great social platform. Some of the funniest, most artistic, and intelligent people are on there.
You can use it to connect with just about anyone, from friends, to family, to sports heroes and music stars.
So as great as it is for building your business, remember to enjoy the platform too.