Back To Basics: Twitter


It can be easy to develop a routine with social media. Set yourself to auto pilot each week and follow the same pattern you’ve been using for months, or even years. After all, if it’s not broke, why try and fix it. But as business owners we must remember that not only do these platforms evolve with time, our businesses progress as well. Profiles we set up just weeks ago may have since changed, information we posted last year may no longer accurately describe our businesses. We must stay on top of emerging trends and spot check our social pages to ensure that we maximize their performance. And if you’re just joining the social media game, it’s important to start off on the right foot.

In our latest series, Back to Basics, we’ll go back to, well, the basics. We’ll cover the essential steps for setting up or refreshing your social media pages, reviewing your website’s analytics, using Google AdWords, and capitalizing on other principal tools of digital marketing. This week, we’ll discuss the top five tips for proper Twitter usage.

The Tweet Cheat Sheet

Make the Most of Your Bio:

As we demonstrated in our article Crowd Rules Review: Specialty Foods, your Twitter bio, may be a potential customer’s first look at your business. Think of it as an electronic elevator pitch; you only have a small amount of space to demonstrate who you are and what you do, so make it count! An optimal Twitter bio should state what your business does, show off your brand personality and give users a reason to follow you. Just as you would on your website to be search engine friendly, consider key phrases that Twitter users would type in to find a business like yours. Use these phrases to describe your business in your bio. You may even want to use a hashtag or two in your bio, but be sure not to over use them.

Make special note to review your Twitter bio bi-monthly. This will give you the ability to feature new products, remove any outdated information, and ensure that your bio is an accurate reflection of your business as it grows.

Choose Your Content Wisely:

Again, Twitter forces brevity on its users, limiting characters to just 140 per tweet. Be smart with this space! Keep in mind that users engage with tweets with image links twice as much as those without, so consider including photos in your tweets whenever possible. Also keep in mind that, though the character limit allows 140 characters, tweets with 100 characters get retweeted four times as often as longer posts. Why? Restricting your tweets gives your users the space to add their own thoughts.

Schedule for Success:

As they say, timing is everything and this is especially true of creating engagement on Twitter. Tweets sent between 8am and 7pm see a 30% higher interaction rate than those sent at times outside this window. What’s more, brands see 17% more engagement with their tweets on Saturdays and Sundays than on other days of the week. Use a platform like Hootsuite to schedule your tweets for these peak times and days. And be sure you’re checking your @mentions tab for those engaging with you several times throughout the day.

Hunt for (Relevant) Hashtags:

Tweets with one or two hashtags receive 21% higher engagement than those without. Use a site like find hashtags that are relevant to your business and are popular, or trending, on Twitter.

Once you’ve found your desired hashtags, search for them on Twitter. If the tweets that you see using these hashtags are consistent with the content that you’d like to share, include them in your tweets as well. Just be sure to limit yourself to one or two hashtags per tweet. Not only does using more hashtags make your tweets longer, it may annoy your followers and lead them to click the unfollow button.

Don’t Be Too Proud to Beg (A Little):

On Twitter the phrase “ask and you shall receive” holds true, as tweets including a request for retweets have a whopping 23 times higher retweet rate than tweets without this clause. However, if you use this strategy in every tweet you run the risk of perturbing your followers. Choose your most important or interesting tweets and reach out to your followers asking for retweets. Be sure that you give as you receive. People take notice of individuals who share the love and they will tweet you to say so.

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