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Twitter 101: Growing and Maintaining a Twitter Account for Your Small Business

Twitter has become a great way for companies, great and small, to reach out to their client base while creating stronger industry ties. It’s currently one of the best public relations tools available due to its ease of access, its speed, and its ability to engage and rally people around the globe.

Whether you’re growing a new business or establishing an online presence, Twitter is an excellent way to get the word out. And, if it’s used effectively, it can be a way to establish customer loyalty and to cultivate a consistent community around your business.

But, like any tool, Twitter takes practice. It also takes a lot of patience and diligence. Twitter is a lot like gardening – you can plant seeds, but if you don’t water them effectively, they’re probably not going to grow.
We’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of your Twitter account. These tips are aimed at small businesses, but they’re also helpful for personal accounts.

Brand your Twitter

Twitter is a medium that is all about visibility and clarity. Think of your Twitter homepage as a billboard for your company. Because everything on Twitter happens so quickly, you’ll only have a moment to grab the user’s attention, so make that moment count.

Your profile picture should be your company’s logo. This gives your account a professional, instantly memorable look. Plus, humans are visual creatures, so grabbing their attention with your fetching logo is crucial.

Usually, people will follow you based on a combination of your profile picture, your recent tweets and your bio. Like your tweets, your bio is limited to 140 characters, so get straight to the point: what is your company? Explain what you do, who you are, and why you’re unique. Be honest and direct. People will follow you.

Follow people

If you’re just starting out, you’re going to have to start following people. Following numerous people is the best way to gain followers quickly because, much of the time, people follow back.

However, you want to be slightly selective in your following process. Seek out similar businesses, or people who have interests that are in line with your business. Enter any related search term into Twitter, then click on People and see who comes up.

Be consistent

In case you hadn’t already guessed, Twitter is a bit more than just a means for you to put out the seasonal marketing message. You’ll want to be tweeting often – as much as 10 times per day – in order to make sure you remain relatively visible in the news streams of your followers.

And these tweets should be of good quality and consistent. Try to stick to your area.
Promote content and make comments on happenings, but keep it to within realms that are related to your business. If you’re a freelance web development company, it simply will not do to start talking about your favourite hockey team.

Consistency is crucial because people will make a decision whether or not to follow you based on your most recent tweets. Furthermore, if you start to step too far outside what people expected you to tweet about, you may start to see your followers leave you.

Engage with your community

By far the best way to grow your Twitter account is through community engagement. If all you’re doing is sending out periodic updates and bits of interesting content, people will start to lose interest.

So retweet tweets that you think are interesting! Reply to tweets when you have something to say! Get involved! Also, don’t be afraid to tweet “at” a user by putting the “@” symbol in front of their name.

Another great way to engage with your community is by using hashtags. Hashtags are created by putting “#” in front of any word: “#sandwiches”. Try to find commonly used hashtags that relate to your business and use them, but use them sparingly. Don’t flood every post with the same three or four hashtags. Use them only when they apply.

Be human

Twitter is not a place for PR jargon. Be relaxed in your tone, be conversational. You can make jokes. You don’t have to be serious all the time on Twitter. Being human helps.

Striking this kind of tone is helpful in eliciting comments and feedback from your client base, which only helps it to grow.

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