Twitter can be used by businesses in several ways; to stay on top of breaking news, promote products and services, increase website traffic and even as a customer relationship tool. In fact, building a following for your business on Twitter can help bring a new level of awareness to your company and increase sales. But to get the most out of Twitter in every scenario, you need to start out strong by amassing quality followers (other Twitter users who will see your updates).
First, you need to sign up for Twitter then select the image you will use for your account – what other users will see next to your messages (tweets). This is important, as most users scan their Twitter feeds quickly and a strong, recognizable image will help your updates stand out. Businesses should choose their logo or some representation of it, if the regular logo will be difficult to discern in a small format. Company CEOs and other representatives should use a headshot for their own accounts.
Next, start sending out tweets. Use a service like HootSuite.com, where you can write tweets, shrink URLs for Twitter posting and help track the success (or lack thereof) of each tweet. Link to your own blog posts or articles but also to other sources like relevant, timely stories in your industry and breaking news. If you are a retailer or other consumer-facing business, include some tweets with information about your products or services and even a special offer or discount code. The idea is to show future followers that they can expect value from your account. CEOs can feel free to personalize their Twitter account a bit, as a human side of the business can also help attract a following. You want to post at least 10 tweets before attempting to build a following so that future followers can get a sense of what they can expect from your business.
Now, find followers. One way to do this is by searching Twitter directly. Search for industry-specific topics, product names or even mentions of competitors and their products or services. When you find users who mention such topics, follow them. Hopefully, they will follow you back. You can also search using hashtags – searching “#Chicago”, for example, will show users who are consistently posting about the city of Chicago. Finally, use some third-party Twitter clients such as WeFollow.com. On this website, you can search using keywords and find the most influential Twitter users in that category. Follow them, and follow some of their followers.
From there, the best way to build a quality following on Twitter is to tweet quality updates – whether discounts on products, new announcements, breaking industry news or an interesting fact. As users come to expect quality from your business Twitter account, they will stay connected with your brand, visit your website more and spread the message to their followers and friends.