Twitter is one of many online social networking services that allows you to ‘microblog’ (or tweet) text and picture-based messages in 140 characters or less. There are more than 340 million tweets sent daily and 500 million registered users as of last year (and that includes me; follow me here). Twitter is one of the top three social media sites (along with a blog and Facebook) that I recommend to small business owners when creating an online presence. Needless to say, Twitter was the obvious next choice to cover in our Bramble Business Series!
Setting up a Twitter is quick and easy. It can be done in 20 minutes or less, and you can get started tweeting in no time.
Twitter is a versatile business tool. You can use it to create relationships between you and possible customers. You can use it to monitor trends. You can use it to see what your fellow soapers are up to. But, my favorite part about Twitter is the relationships: because the point of Twitter is to keep it short and simple, you can easily engage in two-way conversations with customers and potential customers and create a dialogue. After all, doing business is all about relationships and this is a great way to strengthen relationships and build new ones. You can also use Twitter to research trends in your industry (and others). And, of course, you can instantaneously highlight your products (with links), as well as sales and coupons (but you only want to do this after you’ve built relationships; Twitter isn’t a one-way tweet with you just broadcasting and never being helpful. Want to hear more about that? My social media philosophy here).
Through the use of #hashtags, Twitter is an easily searchable platform that can be accessed on a number of devices (iPhones, Androids, desktops and laptops). Read on to learn more about how you can create and use a Twitter handle to benefit your business.
ONE: To sign up for your Twitter handle, click here. Enter the full name you want to use on Twitter (not your ‘handle’ or username; this is the name that people will see when they see who is the person doing the tweeting), the e-mail address you want attached to the account and a password. Remember to write all of this down so you don’t forget it later. Once you’ve filled out this information, click the bright yellow button that reads “Sign Up For Twitter.”
TWO: After you’ve clicked the “Sign Up For Twitter” button, it will lead you to the ‘Create an Account’ page where you finish filling in the rest of the information. Be sure to choose a Twitter handle that represents you and your business, and like Facebook and Etsy, you will want to make sure it reads correctly and appropriately for your business (Example: Don’t use the acronym for ‘Anne-Marie’s Sassy Soap’).
THREE: Once you’ve submitted the correct information, you will get an e-mail at the address you provided asking you to confirm your account. You need to confirm your account in order to access Twitter and get notifications. The e-mail will look similar to the photo below, so don’t delete it!
FOUR: Once you’ve confirmed your account, a set-up guide will walk you through the steps to personalize your account. A profile picture is particularly important to have. Choose something that represents your business as well as yourself. Most people choose head shots, but you can choose a picture of your soap, bath bombs or any other bath & body product that you make. Be sure to give a quick description of yourself so that people know who you are (in 140 characters or less, of course!). You can also include the URL to your website, blog or shop as well as your location.
FIVE: Once you’ve setup your account, start Tweeting! Tweet photos, upload Vines and Instagrams all to your Twitter account so others can see what is going on in your corner of the world. Just remember, you have a 140 character limit, so use tools such as Ow.ly to help shorten any links you plan on sharing. You can even tweet news articles and other things that you find interesting. In order to appeal to the widest range of recipients and not alienate potential customers, consider the following rule when Tweeting from a business handle: no religion, no politics, no sex.
Tips & Tricks
- Be Active. As with any social media account, you can’t just open it up and let it sit there. Be active in your community. Respond to other soapers’ tweets, retweet what you find interesting and interact with those around you.
- Hashtags. Hashtags are a unique feature of twitter that have become ubiquitous in almost every other social media platform. Hashtags are a word or phase that is preceded by a hash mark (#)and used within messages to identify a keyword, topic or interest. Some of my favorites are #DIY, #soapcrafting, and #soapmaking. Hashtag your tweets so they appear in searches and your customers have the best chance of accessing your relevant information!
- Linking. Link back to other social media platforms such as Vine, Instagram, Facebook and your own blog. The more unique and original your posts, the more they will be retweeted and favorited.
- Services. Are you looking for an easy way to streamline your twitter account and preschedule tweets? My favorite two services for easy management of my twitter account are Buffer and Hootsuite – both are free for basic services! Use these tools to easily post and share links, products and blog posts with your followers.
Do you have a Twitter account for your business? We’d love to see what you are Tweeting, so share a link to your account below! I’ll start; I’m @brambleberry!