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Small Business How To: Twitter For Beginners, Tutorial 2

How to use Twitter for your small business - beginners tutorial

TUTORIAL 2: HOW TO USE TWITTER FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS, FROM HASHTAGS TO POSTING TWEETS & other tips

Need to create your Twitter account? That's covered in the previous Tutorial 1 here!

First up, a few key Twitter terms:

  • Tweet: a Twitter post. If you tweeted, you posted something on Twitter.
  • Retweeting: a "retweet" (or "RT" for short) means sharing someone's Twitter post.
  • DM: direct message (also known as private message). "DM me your email address!" = "send me your email address in a private message."
  • Hashtag: the # symbol before a word in your tweet (explained in detail later.)
  • @mention or @username: mentioning other users in your tweet using @ before their Twitter username. This is explained later in more detail.
  • Trending topic: when a LOT of people mention particular words/phrases those words become a trending topic i.e. popular topic.
  • Follow: subscribe to an account to see their posts in your newsfeed.

Here's a screenshot of my Twitter profile as it currently stands. Yours should look something like this once your account is set up. It should display your header image, profile image, bio blurb, location, and website url.

Familiarising yourself with Twitter - beginners guide

I've numbered the most important functions of Twitter you need to know at this stage. Familiarise yourself by clicking around on your own Twitter account.

  1. Click 'home' to access your Twitter feed. You'll see tweets from all the people you follow, posts that they've retweeted, and occasionally a 'promoted post' from a company that has paid to show you their tweet.
  2. When a little number pops up where it says 'notifications', click on it to see what the notification is. Usually it will be another person favouriting, retweeting, or replying to your post, or a new follower (yippee!).
  3. This is your private message inbox. You will receive a notification on this tab when you receive a new private message. 
  4. Use the Twitter search bar to find topics of interest, hashtags, people you'd like to follow, etc.
  5. When you click on the tiny icon of your profile image, a drop-down list appears. Here you can opt to view your own profile, view your 'lists' (don't worry about those for now), check/change your settings, and log out of Twitter.
  6. Post your tweets using the 'tweet' button (more details in the next section below).
  7. Your exceptionally well crafted bio lives here!
  8. See which accounts you are following.
  9. Who is following you? Exciting!
  10. This is where your tweets appear.
  11. Click the 'edit profile' button to change your header image, profile image, username, bio text, location, website, and colour theme.

Posting Tweets: click the 'tweet' button:

How to send a tweet - tutorial for beginners

Type in the 'compose new tweet' box. Click 'tweet' to post it to your timeline. Yay, you tweeted!

Posting a tweet - Twitter tips for small business from Digibloom

Add images to a tweet: click the 'media' button: 

Adding media to a tweet.

Upload your image. You can upload up to four images per tweet. Click 'tweet'!

How to add images to a tweet.

Look at your tweet on your profile timeline. 

Anatomy of a tweet

Tweet pointers you need to know about:

  1. Click here to reply to a tweet.
  2. When someone retweets your post, a number will appear here to show how many times it's been retweeted (you can't retweet your own posts!) On other people's posts this is where you can retweet to share their post on your own timeline.
  3. See how many favourites your post earns. Click the heart on other people's posts to say you like their post.
  4. Did you post something silly? Fear not! This is where 'delete tweet' lives!

@Mentions: posting a tweet that includes an @username (e.g. mine is @thedigibloom) does 2 things:

  • It will notify the user you mentioned of your tweet. E.g. in the embedded tweet below, I've posted about an interview on my blog and included the @mention of interviewee @pluckddesigns which will alert her to the post.
  • My Twitter audience may seek to learn more about her by clicking through to her profile.

If you begin a tweet with a @username, it won't show up on your profile feed (unless your account is being viewed via mobile). This means you can reply to tweets without actually announcing them on your profile. It's useful if you e.g. want to thank someone for sharing your post, but don't want to fill your profile timeline with personal thank yous!

If you want to @mention someone or respond to a tweet so it shows on your profile, you can structure your post so the @username isn't the first word, or some people put a full stop before the @username. 

You can find all your tweets under the "tweets and replies" tab (see screenshot below).

Twitter for beginners with small businesses

Hashtags: hashtags turn any word into a searchable link. You can use a hashtag before a keyword in your tweet e.g. #painting. Clicking on #painting in your tweet will show all other tweets on Twitter with the same keyword #painting. The below example uses both #smallbusiness and #handmadehour. People searching for info or accounts about small business can do a twitter search for #smallbusiness and see all the tweets tagged with that keyword.

Twitter chats: you can use hashtags to track discussions and participate in scheduled tweet chats e.g. #handmadehour where people tweet about their handmade items and use #handmadehour so everyone following the tweet chat will see all the posts.

Now you are definitely ready to follow some people! Search for people you know, look at whom they are following to find more people to follow, look at your favourite websites and find their Twitter icon to follow them, and announce/link to your Twitter account via all your online websites/social media accounts!

Twitter tips: 

  • Goals: figure out what you want your Twitter account to do - build your brand's community? Increase sales? Spread awareness? Engage with organisations? Target your posts with your goals in mind e.g. who you direct your posts at, which hashtags you use, etc. 
  • Content: don't tweet all about yourself/your business. Twitter is for conversations, so be sure to listen, comment, favourite and retweet others, while talking about yourself/services/products 10%-20% of the time.
  • Frequency: don't tweet for the sake of it, but do try to tweet a few times per day. At the very least a few times per week. Twitter is an effective customer service tool, so it's good practice to be visibly active on there.
  • Content sharing: feel free to post content on Twitter that you've posted on Facebook or Instagram. Tweak the text so it fits into the 140 character limit of a tweet, it doesn't look good if you have content auto-posted from another platform! My biggest bugbear with social media is when people post directly from Instagram to Twitter and don't post the image along with it. Please, please don't do this! (Begging here!)
  • Timing: experiment and figure out when your target audience and/or followers are online most and tweet then. Bear in mind different time zones. I find that my UK audience tend to be online on week days in the early morning and late evening.

I hope my Twitter guide helps beginners to get started with tweeting. You're welcome to practice by tweeting me @thedigibloom (https://twitter.com/thedigibloom) or just stop by to say hello! Is there something you don't understand? Have I missed something? Feel free to comment below!

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Why Social Media Marketing is Vitally Important for your Small Business

Promoting your service or products via social media is free, and when implemented well can prospectively:

  • increase sales (more opportunities to convert).
  • increase growth.
  • nurture your community and interact with them.
  • make your company more accessible & offer customer service.
  • boost brand confidence.
  • increase brand awareness/recognition.
  • offer customers an insight into your brand, culture, behind-the-scenes.
  • offer you insights about your customers/demographics.
  • help you understand how your brand is perceived (so you can improve).
  • assist you with reaching new audiences, locally & globally.
  • create meaningful relationships.
  • give you the opportunity to reward your customers (offers, giveaways, etc).

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How to check your Twitter impact with quick analytics

How to check Twitter Analytics for your small business

How to check your Twitter impact with quick analytics

If you haven't discovered the free Twitter Analytics feature yet, you need to know how simple it is to measure your results! Visit https://analytics.twitter.com while signed into Twitter to activate analytics for your account. The below screenshot is what the Analytics dashboard looks like. Use the Tweets tab in the menu bar at the top to view activity for each tweet, the Home tab for highlights and summaries, and the Audiences tab for information on your audience demographic.

Twitter Analytics for Small Business

Note which posts are resonating with your audience and receiving the most engagement - post more like these! It's important to figure out what works and what doesn't work for YOU because social isn't one-size-fits-all. You could read all the tips that the internet has to offer, but experimenting with and adapting your own brand's social accounts will give you personal insights that nobody else can.

Once your account is activated, you can check each post in real-time!

view twitter analytics for each post

You can only view in-post analytics on your own posts, not posts you've retweeted. Sometimes there may be little or no visible engagement with your posts, but perhaps they are getting clicks and conversions on the sly! When you click the chart icon on your tweet, a Tweet Activity box pops up as follows:

tweet activity for digibloom

For this particular tweet I wanted to further the reach of my post by using a trending hashtag, while engaging with the people posting about a topic I like.

It's useful to know what kind of response you're aiming for. I was interested in retweets and profile clicks, i.e. further post reach and individuals interested in my account and what I'm doing.

Now that I know this kind of content is one of my more popular posts, next time, in theory, I could also add a link with an aim to drive visits to e.g. a relevant product in my online shop.

In truth, I wasn't actually being strategic with this post - it was a doodle I already had and I saw an opportunity to post it, but want to show you how small strategic actions can grow your account following, brand awareness, and sales.

Next time you want to view your Analytics dashboard, find it here:

twitter analytics menu

Comment below if you found this post useful, if you have any questions, or if you'd like to see more like this in the future!