Twitter for Business: Everything You Need to Know

Social media is an important tool for any business owner, no matter the size and scope of the business. Learning to communicate with your demographic, albeit in 140 characters, can be useful when working with your customers. Learning more about Twitter can only benefit your business.

Twitter is one of the top websites in the world, and is currently ranked No. 8 domestically and globally, according to Internet analytics company Alexa. It has more than 313 million active monthly users, per the company, and 82 percent of those users are active on mobile platforms.

Having Twitter as part of your social media toolbox can propel your business’s legitimacy.

“There are many reasons why a small business needs a social media presence. The most practical reasons have to do with your credibility and discoverability,” Leah Paul, director of marketing at Mediabistro said to Business News Daily in another piece. “It’s important because it’s expected, like having a website, a phone number and an email address.”

Keeping your account(s) organized needs to be a priority. There are a number of native and third-party clients you can use to manage your tweets.

Twitter and Hootsuite have mobile apps for use on your smartphone or tablet, and allow you to add multiple user accounts at once.

Social media plays multiple roles when it comes to business, including yours. There is a place for it in any size business, as it can reach multiple demographics and spread your company’s message. As a business owner, you should carefully consider how Twitter will fit into your overall marketing plan.

Twitter offers tools specifically for marketing and your business.

If you’re working out what is important and works on Twitter (especially in marketing) consider hashtags. These words or phrases gives users the chance to tag an identifying word that groups hundreds (or thousands) of tweets together. Hashtags are searchable and offer the perfect companion for live events.

Hashtags are a great way to make the content you share on the platform visible to users beyond your own followers. There are many highly popular hashtags that generally all active Twitter users are familiar with, like #FollowFriday or #ff, which encourages your followers to reach out to other users you admire or work with, and #ThrowbackThursday or #tbt, with which many users post attention to your vintage or childhood photos and memories. You can also create your own hashtags to draw brand or to events you may be throwing, though it comes with the possibility it may not catch on. Many brands latch on to already trending topics to contribute to the conversation or sell their product.

It’s important to make sure you use hashtags that are relevant – for example, if you were tweeting about starting a business and it happened to be a Friday, you might use the hashtag #entrepreneurship, but using the #FF hashtag would be inappropriate.

Be wary of how many you use, the more hashtags you use, the less likely people are to interact with your content, because they’ll find your posts spam-like.

Hashtags or phrases can trend. Trending topics means people are talking about something at a very high rate. Often, these topics are identifiable with hashtags, but they can also be words or phrases related to the subject. As previously mentioned, you can see the current trending topics on your Twitter home page in the trends box on the left-hand side.

For brands, latching on to trending topics is a good way to garner interest and possibly a few followers – just make sure you do it the right way. Only use trending topics in your tweets if those topics are relevant to your brand, and make sure you use them appropriately.

If you’re not sure why a certain topic is trending, do some research to ensure that you don’t do something to offend your audience, like making light of a serious situation or saying something politically incorrect. Users typically identify disingenuous marketing if brands are just tweeting to tweet.

It should be noted that it’s best to stay away from breaking news stories surrounding tragedy, including celebrity deaths, or major tragic historical events (like 9/11). Use your best judgement, and always choose tact when deciding to integrate marketing with trending topics.

This feature will expand the storytelling experience for brands and businesses.

“Visual assets are core to how a brand tells its story, and it’s no secret that marketers are giving video more importance in their creative asset mix and shifting dollars from traditional TV to digital video,” Sofia Hernandez, executive vice president at MRY creative agency told Business News Daily.

“For businesses which rely on strictly organic posts, this feature will allow them to tell their story over two minutes,” added Jenny Marder, director of social media at Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners in the same article.

These videos can be useful for product demonstrations and a more thorough explanation of product benefits and functionality, Hernandez said. Videos such as beauty tutorials and tech gadget demonstrations will drive users to purchase, she said.

Marder emphasized the importance of providing a call to action, in either the video or the tweet, to give users a reason to interact or share the content, thus increasing brands’ views and engagement.

Direct messages have evolved and changed over the years, which is especially true for brands. The way you interreact with your clients is important for troubleshooting issues and handling problems at multiple locations of your business.

Direct messages (DM) allow you to privately chat with someone one on one. If a customer has a question, they can ask via a DM. There is no character limit on DMs, which gives you the freedom to explain and help in as many characters as you need.

By default, only users you follow can send you DMs. Now, you can set up your Twitter account to receive messages from anyone, making it easier for all customers to contact you. Simply go to your Privacy Settings and enable “Receive Direct Messages from Anyone.”

Twitter has also launched a new feature that filters messages from users you don’t follow into a separate Requests inbox. This lets you choose and prioritize which users to engage with first and helps keep your messages organized. Learn more about the Requests inbox.

DMs also include location services. if a customer has an issue, he or she can share their location with the business. The customer can reference a location even if they’re not physically there – which would be helpful in the case of making reservations or placing a to-go order at a restaurant, for instance, the article said.

Even if you do not run a restaurant or takeout business, the use of the location tool may be helpful when learning of outages, issues at the certain location or other location-based issues that need to be solved.

The feature is also available through Twitter’s Direct Messages API, currently in private beta, and is powered by Foursquare’s location data.