Not on Twitter yet? Get Started today with these 10 top tips

By Guest Blogger Bryan Collins - SAGE 

Does your business have a presence on Twitter?

We're active on other social media networks like Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook, but Twitter is one of our more engaged and important channels.

We use @SageCRM to:

  • Provide customer support
  • Curate content of interest to customers and business people
  • Promote our blog posts and eBooks
  • Research what customers and prospects are saying online
  • Keep up to date with industry developments

Our Sage CRM Twitter account recently passed 3500 followers (if you follow us, thank you!) and many of our followers share content with us and retweet our content on their channels.

If your business doesn't have a established presence on social media, Twitter is a great place to start. And, compared to other social media networks, it's easy to build an engaged presence.

Here are 10 top Twitter tips that helped us and can help you get started:

1. Post several times a day

On @SageCRM, we tweet three to five tweets a day. Generally, we space these tweets several hours apart so as not to spam our followers.

Some days we tweet more frequently, such as when we're having a conversation with a follower. On other days we tweet less frequently, like on a bank holiday.

Remember, people who use Twitter are in different time-zones and will not always see your tweets.

Generally three to five tweets a day is enough to engage with (but not spam) your followers.

2. Use consistant hashtags

When we're running a campaign on social media, we use one hashtag across all of our social media networks.

Hashtags make your content more indexable, and Twitter is the king of the hashtag. When picking your hashtag, try to avoid using anything long or difficult to remember.

For example, at the end of 2013 we published a free eBook aimed at marketing and sales professionals.

To promote this eBook, we used the hashtag #SageCRMTips for each tweet and for our other social media post relating to this eBook. You can see these tweets here.

Alternatively, consider including hashtags that those in your industry already use. More recently, we used the hashtag #SocialCRM to promote an eBook about social CRM.

This is a popular hashtag and using this tweet enabled us to engage in the ongoing conversation on Twitter about social CRM and raise awareness about this eBook.

3. Save time with Twitter lists

We try to follow and respond to as many of our engaged followers as possible.

However, the noise of Twitter makes it difficult keep up to date with what each of our followers are saying in one stream.

So we segmented our followers using Twitter lists. We have lists for:

  • Customers
  • Business partners
  • Social media experts
  • CRM publications

Some of these lists are private and some are public. These lists make it more easy to see what each group is saying and to find relevant content quickly.

4. Respond to everyone

This isn't always possible, but when you're starting out make every effort to reply to people who engage with you on Twitter.

We respond to every tweet directed at us. And if someone shares our retweets our content, we acknowledge this by thanking them, by retweeting their content or by favoriting their tweets.

This only takes five minutes, and it's a great way of letting followers know that you're listening and that you appreciate them engaging with you. You can even use one of the many Twitter mobile apps to do this on the go.

5. Research

If you're unsure what do on Twitter, spend time researching what your business partners, customers, and target audience are saying. You can do this by searching for them using Twitter search. You could also use an app like BuzzSumo to find the types of content that people in your industry like to share. Then, you can use this information to create more meaningful tweets that resonate with your customers and followers.

6. Create an engaging bio

If you want a professional presence on Twitter, an engaging bio is essential.

Tweet: If you want a professional presence on Twitter, an engaging bio is essential. @SageCRM

Your bio can only be 160 characters long. Try to include keywords relevant your business, a call-to-action and details of what you do. You can even use a hashtag to make your bio more discoverable.

Our bio reads:

The official Sage CRM Twitter feed. More than 15,000 organizations worldwide use Sage #CRM to manage their business. Start your free 30-day trial today.

You can also use your cover photo to promote new content and campaigns. We're currently running a competition to win a Macbook Air, and we have included details of this competition in our cover photo. If you don't have the resources to design a cover image like this in Photoshop, you can use a one of the many free templates provided by Canva.

7. Use Followerwonk

Followerwonk is a powerful analytics tool that any business person can use to get more from Twitter.

With Followerwonk, you can analyze any Twitter account and see how many followers they have, where they are based and when they are online.

We use Followerwonk to see where our followers are based and to determine the best times to share our content. If you're starting off, you can still use Followerwonk to analyze your competitors' accounts and find influencers to connect with.

8. Share and curate content

Twitter is not just a business tool for promotion and PR.

Over the last few months, we've shifted from promoting our content to curating and sharing content created by our customers or content that may be of interest to our customers (e.g. blog posts, articles about CRM).

This has increased the level of engagement with our Twitter account and has helped us attracted more followers (hence the graphic at the top of this post!). It's also a great way of encouraging conversations and sounding more personable.

9. Follow your followers

If you're starting off, it makes sense to follow those who follow you. It doesn't take too much time and it will help you develop your account. Similarly, if you want to grow your account, find people that are talking about your products, services or brand using Twitter search and then follow them.

As your account grows in size, following your followers becomes more difficult and time-consuming.

This is a good problem to have.

Currently our follower:followed ratio is 2:1. However, we still try to follow customers, people who share our content and those who we engage with.

And finally...

Don't forget to learn the language of Twitter.

  • Reply refers to an exchange between one two people on Twitter. This exchange is publicly viewable.
  • DM is a private message between two followers. This exchange is private (like an email).
  • A follower is someone who has connected with your account.
  • Hashtag is a way of making topics more easy to find.
  • Retweet is when someone shares your tweet on their profile.
  • Trending topics refers to topics that the majority of people on Twitter in your area are talking about.
  • Favorite is the same as liking (rather than sharing) a post on Facebook.

Do you have questions about Twitter? Please let us know @SageCRM.

For more information, contact us @Enabling_net.

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