5 key Twitter tactics and tools

Whether it’s for business or personal use, you might need a little inspiration and help to really make Twitter work for you. When starting out on Twitter it’s exciting if somewhat overwhelming, but after a week or so you need to see some benefits. This is the point where you weigh up the time and effort versus the benefits, and if the equation is not right you’ll log off.

That would be a shame as Twitter can help with a number of business objectives such as obtaining leads, demonstrating your expertise, winning sales and improving your knowledge. Whatever your goal, the Twitter tactics and tools below should help you achieve them.

1. Listening (part 1)
Social media is all about conversation and to have a conversation you need to listen. On Twitter, that means finding and reading content that is useful or relevant to your business. To help you find the conversations that are going on you can use Twitter’s own Search tool. But to tap into it’s real power you need Twitter’s best kept secret (it’s not easy to find) – Advanced Search. There are a wealth of filters you can use to fine tune your search. If you’re a local business, perhaps the most useful is Places which helps you find tweets from people within a certain distance of their town or city.

2. Listening (part 2)
Whilst you can do one off manual searches for mentions of your brand, product or service using Twitter Search to go to the next level you need a tool like TweetDeck. This enables you to monitor mentions in real time as the column is updated as tweets are posted. You can also listen for people who are interested in your products or services. Bonus tool: To receive emails containing search terms of your choice try Twilert. This tool also has the advantage of allowing you to monitor terms in a particular geographical area. To learn more watch his video where I demonstrate how you can use Twilert to obtain leads.

3. Obtaining quality followers
On Twitter it’s important to have an audience (followers) of people who are genuinely interested in your tweets; think leads, clients, suppliers, advisers, contacts, fellow professionals and perhaps local people. Attract quality followers with Twitter’s Promoted Accounts feature which has recently been made available to small businesses. You pay for every new follower with prices starting at 1 cent; the more you pay the more followers you’ll acquire. Twitter will display your account name on relevant profiles at the top of the ‘Who to follow’ box.

4. Shortening links
To make the most of your 140 characters in tweets you’ll need a tools that shortens links. I’d suggest using bitly as this one provides measurement of your click throughs and syncs nicely with TweetDeck. Pro tip: Add the + symbol after any bitly link to view the number of click throughs – a cheeky way to see how many clicks your competitors are getting.

5. Scheduling tweets
There’s a big divide in opinion on scheduling and I’m very much in the pro-camp. For small business people scheduling helps organisation and encourages them to set aside a particular time for social networking. For example, setting aside a 30 minute window every morning makes it more likely that it will happen. It also has the advantage of providing a steady stream of tweets throughout the day thus giving more people an opportunity to view your updates. It has it’s dangers though and it’s important to keep an eye on Twitter (see 1 and 2 for help on Listening) to ensure that questions are answered and comments replied to. You also need to be conscious of timing eg if a hurricane suddenly occurs in a South Pacific island you don’t want to be promoting a holiday there with a pre-timed tweet. Buffer which costs $10 a month is the tool I’d recommend. As well as Twitter you can also post to Facebook – both Profiles and Pages and LinkedIn. It also syncs well with bitly with links automatically shortened. For more info what this video where I explain how Buffer works.

Using the above key Twitter tactics and tools will help you realise the benefits of Twitter and help you achieve your objectives. For further help on Twitter you might want to consider my Twitter Masterclasses which I run regularly in Cheltenham. If that’s not convenient then I can come to you. Please email or tweet me for more information.

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