Top 8 Twitter Rules For Small Businesses

If Twitter is so simple to use, why do so many small businesses get it wrong?

So often you’ll see an account set up half-heartedly, then left dormant for a year – it had three tweets, two followers and then it died.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s not difficult to make your account easy-on-the-eye, create engaging tweets and build followers. Here are my tips to help you become a pro-tweeter!

#1 Use your logo or a photo as your profile picture
If there’s bigger Twitter turn-off than someone with a generic Twitter egg as a profile picture, I’d like to hear it! Make sure you change this immediately to be something a little more fitting with your business – either yourself (smiling!) or your company’s logo.

#2 Add a background and a header
Like #1, you must change the background from the standard clouds to something more fitting with your business. Either upload an image of your small business or just choose a solid color that reflects those of your business.

The same goes for a header (that’s the box where your profile picture and biography appear).

#3 Make a memorable name
You will want to keep your Twitter handle short. If your business is ‘Jonny’s Italian Restaurant Brighton’, your Twitter handle could be @JonnysBrighton or @JonnysItalian.

If your chosen name is taken, try adding an underscore to it: @Jonnys_Italian or @JonnysItalian_

#4 A good biography is vital
What you put in the 160-character bio-box is well worth spending a bit of time over because it’s the thing potential followers will read and judge you on.

This is your chance to tell the Twitter community who you are and what you do. Also ensure it contains your business name, address (mainly the street/area) and telephone number. Use short sentences and good spelling. Never leave this section blank!

#5 Be useful and don’t just promote yourself
While Twitter is useful to let the world know what you and your small business are doing there are more engaging ways to use Twitter.

Tweet daily tips. Answer questions. Share news from your industry that may affect your customers. Join in conversations. Be relevant (no tweeting about the gym, hangovers or ‘cute’ kitten pictures – no-one cares).

Finally, make sure you share content with other users – give a retweet for something you believe your followers may find entertaining or beneficial in some way.

#6 Stay positive
Yes the price of flour has gone up again, and your bakery’s profit margins are now much narrower, but there’s no need to complain. Your followers have enough problems of their own; they don’t need to hear yours too. Keep things light, entertaining and useful.

And never tweet when you’re angry, you will regret it later (and look silly when you have to delete it and apologize).

#7 No need to use all 280 characters (and don’t go over)
Now, There is a 280 character limit, but you don’t need to max this out on every tweet you write. And avoid writing things that go on over two or three tweets. Ideally, every tweet should be standalone, so that if people are retweeting you, it makes sense to whoever sees it out of context.

#8 Use hashtags
This is a pretty simple one – use hashtags in your tweets. For example, writing about your new restaurant in #Nottingham would be worthy of a location hashtag – people interested in Nottingham may use that hashtag, and your tweet will be brought to their attention. But #use #them #sparingly… otherwise it gets annoying.

Follow these basic rules, and you should find your tweets more shareable and your follower count increasing.

If you want us to look at your blog / social media accounts and give you some free advice just contact us. I’m more than happy to help!



Hannah Cuthbertson is a technical writer, at Maxtra Technologies.

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