Twitter is a social media and online news platform where people communicate in short messages. Founded in 2006, Twitter is now one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. From hashtags and pinned tweets to Twitter lists and social media influencers, there’s a lot to Twitter — for individuals and businesses.
We’ll explore how businesses can use this powerful platform to drive traffic to their website, increase sales, boost brand recognition, and improve customer service.
Tweets can be up to 280 characters long. However, subscribers to the Twitter Blue premium subscription can write tweets of up to 10,000 characters and use bolding and italics in their tweets. These features make it a more versatile content strategy tool.
When using social media for business, understanding a platform’s elements is crucial. Here’s a rundown of Twitter basics to help you gain a fundamental understanding of the platform and how it represents your business.
Your Twitter profile comprises the information about your business you wish to share publicly, as well as tweets you’ve previously posted. Profile elements work together cohesively to best represent your business.
Your Twitter profile has six parts:
Familiarize yourself with the following terms when using Twitter for business.
A verified Twitter account receives a blue or gold checkmark so users realize its tweets come from a legitimate source. Blue checkmarks mean the account has an active subscription to Twitter Blue and meets its eligibility requirements. However, Twitter no longer uses rigorous authentication criteria for Twitter Blue checkmarks, as it did in the past.
A gold checkmark shows that the Twitter account belongs to a business and has been verified by Twitter Verified Organizations.
A verified Twitter account can lose its status if it changes its handle or tweet visibility settings. Twitter will automatically review the account to ensure it’s still eligible for verification. Keep this in mind if you decide to rebrand.
Setting up a business Twitter account is the same process as creating a personal Twitter account. After setting up your account, you can convert your account to a Twitter for Professionals account to access account analytics and other tools.
Then, select Next.
After you create a Professional Account, you’ll be able to access whatever tools are currently available in your area.
Here are some ideas on using Twitter to enhance and grow your business.
Hashtags are searchable identifying words or phrases that group hundreds (or thousands) of tweets. They’re an excellent way to increase content visibility beyond your followers. Here are some hashtag tips to consider.
Some customers may contact you via your Twitter feed or direct message (DM) your business profile. They may also “tag” your Twitter handle in a post, so it’s essential to have your marketing team monitor your mentions and respond promptly.
Direct messaging is ideal for handling customer complaints. There’s no DM character limit, so you can explain issues in-depth and help customers properly. However, if customers make queries via your public profile, it’s crucial to be respectful and polite to show anyone watching that your brand is responsive to customer needs.
Twitter lets you add up to four photos to a post. You can also create graphics to add to your tweets. Not a Photoshop whiz? Numerous online tools can help you create the image you need.
Using photos and GIFs in your tweets is an excellent way to connect with followers. Twitter has a built-in GIF keyboard; all you need to do is search for a keyword and choose the clip that best suits your tweet.
Polls are a great way to engage followers and keep consumers interested in your brand. Here’s how to create a poll:
By default, everyone can reply to your poll. However, you can change the share setting to choose who sees your poll.
Live tweeting is another way to get a topic trending on Twitter. Live tweeting is when a user tweets reactions and updates as an event unfolds. Live tweeting most commonly occurs with TV shows and televised events. For example, during the Oscars, you might see the official awards show hashtag listed along with the names of celebrities and films that have just won major awards.
Here are some live-tweeting tips:
Hosting a Twitter chat can engage followers or get a topic trending. They’re a great way to show how active you are on social media.
Here are some quick facts about Twitter chats:
It’s essential to interact with the right people on Twitter, including those in the following categories:
Lists are an easy way to interact with specific groups. Twitter lists help you customize and prioritize tweets in your timeline. You can group lists by topic or interest, join other accounts’ lists, create custom lists, and more.
To access lists, go to your profile and select Lists. You can create a new list, discover lists, and view lists you’ve already created or followed.
Twitter is free to use, but if you’d like to pay to promote your business on the platform, you have several advertising and promotional options.
Keeping your Twitter account organized is a priority. Two popular third-party tools that help you do that are TweetDeck and Hootsuite.
Consider the following best practices to get the most out of your Twitter for business experience.
Twitter offers businesses many free and paid opportunities to connect with potential customers. Ensure you’re regularly active and engaged to make the most of your Twitter presence. With its easy-to-use tools and related apps, you can stay connected from your mobile phone to keep the conversation — and connection — going.
Jessica Pooree contributed to this article.