Twitter is a brilliant tool for small businesses. Use it well and it’s a real asset. Use it badly and at the very least you’ll be wasting a lot of time. So what works and what doesn’t. Here are some examples:
5 Tweets that work
Pictures are good
Pictures of cake are very good. But do remember that not all social media applications show pictures – hootsuite for example shows a link, not the image. So make sure your tweet is descriptive and yummy too.
My local cafe tweets pictures of their baking every day and the temptation is unbearable!
Getting people intrigued is a great way to increase your click through rate. But to get the right people clicking you need some context too.
This tweet tells us what the article is about (what’s in it for me) and the orange juice reference gets us curious so we just can’t resist clicking.
Can we help?
People are forever asking for recommendations on Twitter. And you can find them by setting up searches using your keywords. Then send them a polite, personalised tweet asking if you can help them. I’ve gained good clients through this technique.
The key to making it work is to include a reason why you are a good match for them – tricky in 140 characters but it can be done.
Give them something.
Whether it’s a great competition prize or a useful report, offering something to your followers is a great way to get people to visit your website (and share your tweets).
Think of twitter as a networking rather than a sales platform and you won’t go far wrong. I like to think of twitter as a virtual watercooler where I meet with like minded people during coffee break.
5 Tweets that don’t do you any favours
Here’s a number of real tweets I found that really aren’t going to help grow your business. (I’ve left out screen prints in most cases and one or two of them have been tweaked slightly to protect the guilty).
“I posted a new photo to Facebook”
There several reasons why linking your Facebook page to your Twitter account isn’t a good idea and this is one of them. Load several photos to Facebook at once and suddenly your twitter followers get a stream full of boring nonsense. Luckily, it’s easy to switch this off (although I’d still recommend unlinking your accounts). Click here to find out how.
“A4 100gsm Hammer textured card”
Just tweeting your product description and a link is a waste of time. Tweet a dozen or so in quick succession and watch your followers disappear rapidly. It’s like going to a networking meeting, standing in the middle of the room with a megaphone and shouting “Buy My Stuff”.
Here’s what happens when you just post an image with no description. Or just one or two words. Many people won’t actually see the photo and it simply becomes noise. Again this is shouting Buy My Stuff instead of engaging with followers. If you’re posting product images say why you really love them. It only needs to be a few words.
Spamming me directly with your sales pitch
This week I tweeted about having taken on a virtual assistant. I then received a tweet selling me VA services (a bit late!). A quick check revealed I wasn’t the only person to get the same tweet from this business.
There is a world of difference between blasting out a standard sales message and replying to a request for help with a genuine, personalised reply.
Hashtags are really useful, but please stick to one or two per tweet. Otherwise they become unreadable. No-one expects perfect grammar on twitter but your tweets should at least have some meaning. This example consists of hashtags, links and twitter user names and as the result is not pretty!
Do you have an example of something that’s worked well for you on Twitter? Please share in the comments below.