Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at August 25th, 2017
There’s more to Twitter for small business owners. In Part 1, we talked about getting started. Here’s some more about getting your Twitter act in gear.
You have some space (it’s not a lot) in your profile to add information about your business.
The name can be up to 20 characters and it is a searchable field. So it could be McSweeny’s Original. This clarifies things if your Twitter handle is just McSweenys.
The location should be meaningful information. If McSweeny’s is in Chicago, then this could say they’re in Chicago or in Chicagoland, a recognized name for the surrounding area.
There is space for a URL, so put in your website or blog here. You can switch up this URL if you like, plus it’s searchable. Don’t leave this valuable real estate blank!
As for the remainder of the space, use phrases and break them up with pipes (|) or asterisks. It might say something like: McSweeny’s Original | Best Sports Bar in Chicago | Specials Everyday.
You’ve got 140 characters at your disposal for each tweet. So make the most of them.
Your small business’s Twitter shouldn’t be all sales, all the time. So, what should you tweet about? Here are a few ideas:
Don’t just talk on Twitter. Listen. What are your customers saying? Regularly search for your company name, and pay attention when your Twitter handle is mentioned. Your customers might complain about slow customer service or rave about your low prices. Thank people for praise, and try to make the complaints right or at least learn from them.
Respond directly to customer complaints, even if the answer is “I have to ask someone else.” It’s better for it to be obvious that you’re listening, even if you don’t know the answer yet. Speed is of the essence, so answer as quickly as you can.
For anything which has privacy implications (customer addresses and credit card numbers, legal matters, etc.), tell the person complaining to take it to direct message so that you can help them better. Explain why if you have to.
You don’t have to follow everyone; you can make your own lists or follow others’ lists. Group your lists into customers, local people, etc. You can also have private lists, so why not make a private list of your competitors?
There are no perfect times to tweet but here are a few pointers:
Twitter’s own metrics are rather basic. If you use Hootsuite to shorten long or complex URLs, you can get some metrics on those URLs (they take the form of ow.ly).
Another metric is just your follower/followed ratio, which is a simple math problem. If you have more followers than people you are following, that generally means you have more influence than someone with the opposite ratio. But the quality of your followers matters. Being followed by a lot of spam accounts won’t help you.
Twitter for small business owners – and everyone else – is essentially a microblogging service. You broadcast your thoughts to the ether. Some of those thoughts are more interesting than others. Keep yours more on the interesting side and you’ll become a Twitter pro in no time.