Earlier this summer I wrote a post about Twitter no no’s for small businesses. In it, I discussed several common practices that you should avoid if you want your business to find success on Twitter. The next week I followed that post up by discussing how to write the perfect tweet.

This week I would like to add to what I wrote in those posts and discuss what small business owners can do to enhance their presence and find more success on Twitter. Through working with several small businesses on Twitter, I have found the following tips to be extremely helpful.

Identify Your Twitter Goal

Are you looking to increase your followers and build a network of potential customers that come to trust you as a brand? Are you looking to use Twitter to generate more leads and sales? Do you want to use Twitter to show off new products and services? Do you want to use Twitter as a means to connect with customers and answer questions?Twitter

Whatever you decide your goal to be doesn’t matter nearly as much as sticking to that goal and using it to your advantage. Trying to use Twitter for too many things becomes problematic, so figure out what your goal is, and stick to it! You will find success as you begin focusing your energy in a specific area.

Make Your Profile Look Good

Before you begin Tweeting, make sure you profile looks spectacular. Create or find quality images for your background, cover photo, and profile image. Having poor images will immediately flag you as inexperience and untrustworthy.

Utilize the Bio section and make sure you include your website. People will want to know who you are and what you do as a company, so make sure you let them know!

Show off Your Personality

As you begin tweeting, determine the voice that you want to use. Are you going to be funny, sarcastic, experienced, knowledgeable, informative, educational…etc.? Don’t be afraid to show off your personality as a company. People use Twitter as a source of entertainment, so stay away from dry, boring tweets. Use Twitter as an opportunity to show potential customers just how cool you are!

Follow, Follow, Follow

The key to Twitter is building a network of loyal followers who will share your tweets and will interact with your business. Unless you are a celebrity or have a business that everyone already knows about, it is unlikely that people will begin following your account in large numbers. In order to increase your followers, you need to seek out people and follow them. A majority of Twitter users follow back those who follow them.

Search for relevant people who would enjoy seeing your tweets. Find local people or follow people who already follow your competitors. Use hashtags to find people who are tweeting about things that are relevant to your brand. The more you follow, the more followers you will receive in return.

Create/Join Conversations

A great way to gain new followers and increase your reach on Twitter is to interact with other people/businesses. Search for people who are tweeting about topics that are relevant to your brand and reply to their tweets (a great way to do this is by using #hasthtags). Ask them questions, answer their questions and do whatever you can to keep those conversations going. The more you interact with people, the more they will trust you. They will see that there is a real person behind your company Twitter account, which many businesses don’t have.

Be a Resource

Finally, use your Twitter account as a resource for your followers. Encourage them to ask questions about your company/products/services and be willing to respond to their questions. Go out of your way to help them and retweet/share things they care about. As you show genuine interest in your followers, they will do the same for you.

Jamie Bates