Small businesses have to juggle a lot of responsibilities and expenditures. Here’s how to market your business for free on Twitter!
Marketing has changed a lot over the years, particularly with the advent of social media. The beauty of platforms like Instagram and Facebook in social media marketing is that they’re free for the most part. This makes social media marketing widely accessible, whether your business has a little funding behind it already or even if it’s as new as it gets.
Different social media platforms behave differently, and so require slightly different strategies. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at Twitter. More fast-paced than Facebook, Tweets have a much shorter shelf life. Here are some tips to help small businesses get that much-needed exposure online!
I know I said that Twitter is different and will require some different strategies, but this first one is universal in marketing. No matter the platform, you need to solidify your branding. Before you launch your business, you should have your branding figured out. This will help you to identify your target market and how to best appeal to them.
Consistency is key, and keeping the handle and images you use on social media the same on each platform is a must. This will ensure that you are easy to find, and will avoid any confusing for potential customers. The banner on your Twitter profile should be eye-catching but clearly represent what your business is about. If you sell fish tank accessories, maybe don’t use a photo from your snowboarding holiday. You get the idea.
Profile pictures vary depending on the nature of the business and brand. Small businesses that are mostly personal do well to have headshots as their profile photos. This puts a face to the brand and creates trustworthiness with customers. If you sell a product, using clean and colourful photos of the product, or graphics relating to it, along with your logo, makes for a great profile photo.
Find Your Voice
Establishing a tone is important for small businesses in all areas, from the website to emails. However, Twitter is a fast-paced environment. Even if you aim to keep a very professional and “strictly business” tone, it needs to be more conversational.
The character limit for tweets used to be 140, meaning you had to master the art of the quip. It has since been extended to 280 characters. Whilst this is great for tweets where you wish to include more detail, you should still avoid stilted, stale and lifeless posts.
Twitter can almost feel a bit like peeking in someone’s diary, or overhearing conversations from around the corner. By this I mean that the point of Twitter is to create a closeness and familiarity between tweeters and tweetees. So, consider the tone of voice you want your brand to be associated with, then slacken it ever so slightly.
Hashtags span the social media universe now, but they made their first appearance on Twitter back in 2009. Since then, they have been used to group social media interactions, and allow trends to be set and tracked.
The explore page on Twitter shows the current trends. For small businesses, joining in with these conversations using the relevant hashtag will help you reach new audiences and get your name out there. However, try and make interactions relevant to your business in some way. People like authenticity, and can be turned off by spam interactions.
Whilst on Instagram it’s fine to use lots of hashtags per post, tweets can suffer from hashtag fatigue much more easily. One or two hashtags per tweet is ideal. Remember, snappy is the name of the game, so you don’t want to clog up your content with tenuous hashtags.
Timing is Everything
There is a best time, or times, to post on Instagram, so you can bet there is an ideal time to tweet. Of course, where to the majority of your audience is based will have an impact on this, and you may need to consider different time zones. If you’re based in London but your biggest demographic is in India, that’s a 4.5 hour difference, so their commute from work social media scroll isn’t going to happen when yours does.
When are these ideal times then? Well, the worst days to post are Saturday and Sunday. The weekend is less structured for many people, and their engagement with social media isn’t as routine or predictable. As a general rule, posting Monday – Friday between 7am and 4pm will yield decent engagement. Depending on your audience, aiming to catch their attention over breakfast, lunch breaks, or post-work commutes is a smart strategy.
Unlike Instagram, where the number of posts you share a day can dictate how favourably the algorithm treats you, Twitter is a bit freer. It’s a good idea to send out more important tweets at targeted times of the day, but otherwise feel free to interact to your heart’s content. More is more. Getting into conversations with other users, sharing fun and relevant content, and sharing impromptu thoughts are all great ways to boost your visibility.
Look to the Future
Successful small businesses start out with a long-term game plan. With so much to think about – product acquisition, employees, market pop-ups – scheduling your social media activity is a great way to be kind to yourself.
Schedule your tweets, so that you are free to focus on other things. Once you’ve determined what times to post work best for your business, you can create a social media calendar. These are lifesavers for those of you who may not be the most naturally organised (no judgement, I am very much one of you). Got an exciting product launch coming up, or a big announcement you’ve had planned for weeks? Compose the perfect tweet, add attractive visuals and pick a time and date.
Multimedia tweets perform better than solely text based ones. Adding videos to announcements is a fantastic way to catch peoples’ eyes, and adding music to them is even better! Synchedin has a huge library of awesome royalty free music, available to use in the background of videos on all social media platforms. Stream tracks for free, or subscribe and get unlimited downloads for just $4.99 per month.