How to Use Twitter for Business on 15 Minutes A Day

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Think you don’t have enough time for Twitter? If you have 15 minutes in the day, you can do this.

Day 1: Sign up and create your profile

Photo credit: HubSpot
Photo credit: HubSpot

Choose a username that is as close to your name or your business name as possible and is easy to remember. For example, we didn’t get “markitty,” so we got “markittyapp”.

Make your profile description interesting and snappy. Don’t just copy your boilerplate company description. Make it clear what your business is about or what you stand for; people should be able to look at this and figure out what you tweet about and whether to follow you.

Ours is:

Specific marketing tips and insights on the product, general marketing advice on the blog. Managed by @Unmana and @NileshBhojani.

Done? That’s it for today.

Day 2: Start following people and tweeting

Let’s keep it easy, since it’s only your second day. If you know of any friends who are on Twitter, find and follow them. You can put a name into the search bar on top and search for it. To filter by location, try advanced search.

To keep it really easy, find five people you know: friends, business contacts, competitors, employees. Follow them. Tweet directly at them by putting their twitter handle (e.g., @markittyapp) at the beginning of your tweet. Say hi or that you’re glad to connect with them or something else that’s polite.

And remember, your tweets aren’t private (unless you make your account private, but you don’t want to do that if you’re using Twitter for marketing).

Day 3: Create and upload a cover photo

The ideal size you need is 1252×626 pixels, but you can crop it after uploading it.

Your profile info gets imposed on top of it, so if you use any text it should be on the top (but not in the top center, where your profile pic goes) or right at the bottom.

Day 4: Follow “celebrities”

Search for influencers in your segment and see how they tweet. If you like a tweet, you can share it with your followers by clicking on the Retweet link, or paste their tweet onto your tweet editor and add “RT” and a space before their username (@whatever).

Day 5: Make sure you’re checking who’s interacting with you

Click on the gear box on the top right and go to your Settings. Make sure your notifications are set to email you when you are mentioned or retweeted or someone sends you a direct message. But don’t just rely on the email notifications: start every day by checking for mentions (by clicking on the @Connect link on top) and direct messages (click on the gear button for the option). Thank people for retweeting you and reply to mentions; Twitter is no fun without conversations.

Day 6: Follow your customers

Do you have a client list? Maybe a mailing list? Get hold of it and start following your customers on Twitter. Either search for them on Twitter or go to their website and see if they have a Twitter profile link.

Don’t have time for this? Hand it off to an employee or pay someone to do it for you.

Day 7: Follow bloggers, journalists, or media outlets in your industry/market

Who is writing about you/your industry/your customers? Find publications, journalists, and bloggers who cover your niche. If they tweet something you agree with or can add to, reply to them. Don’t pitch: strike up a conversation. You can pitch once you’re sure they’ll recognize your name again.

Day 8: Follow more customers; tweet some more

Have you followed all your customers yet? Get back to it!

Start sharing stuff about you: a link to an interesting page on your site, an event you’re going to attend, your thoughts on a piece of industry news.

Day 9: Follow industry groups and events; keep tweeting

Does your industry have any conferences and associations? Find their Twitter profiles and see if they are using hashtags. Follow and participate in the conversations.

Day 10: Follow local celebrities and influencers

Are you following enough people? Are some people following you back?

Now branch out: follow celebrities and influencers you like. Maybe your mayor, that local band you like, a TV newsperson. If you’re a B2B business, think reputed CEOs of companies that aren’t in your industry, or that business blogger you follow (even though she doesn’t write about your niche). Twitter is a great way to talk to people who wouldn’t notice you otherwise.

Day 11: Start sharing tips

Why should anyone follow you? If you tweet interesting and useful stuff. So start tweeting tips that your followers would appreciate. This is just the same as content marketing on any other channel. For example, a laundry can offer quick tips for cleaning clothes or hanging them up or storing them for winter.

Some of these tips can be in the form of links to your web pages and blog posts, but don’t just tweet that. Share content from others as well. The ratio of your stuff: others’ stuff shouldn’t be more than 50% at the most.

Day 12: Download the mobile app

Now you’re tweeting regularly and following people and reading their tweets. Good. So download the mobile app and don’t make excuses. Tweet when you’re commuting (but not driving!) or while you’re waiting for a meeting.

Day 13: Try out a scheduling tool

The time you are tweeting might not be the time your audience is most active. So schedule some tweets for your followers to read when they are around. We swear by Buffer, but there are tons of scheduling tools available.

Scheduling tweets is especially good for sharing links, especially links to your blog posts. You can share the same link several times (but not too many times) through the day.

But don’t just schedule tweets and think your job is done. No, go to Twitter, see what others have tweeted, and reply and engage. There’s just no substitute for that.

Day 14: Build on your network

Okay now. It’s nearly two weeks and you’re swimming along nicely. You’re going to keep doing this, right?

So let people know. Put your Twitter link on your website, and maybe also on your email signature, business card, email newsletter, brochure, presentations, etc.

Day 15: Follow new customers

Have you got any new customers in the last week? Go follow them. Start making it a habit to follow new customers if there’s an easy way to get to their Twitter profiles. Apart from searching for their names, here are some ways:

  • If you have a feedback form or any other form for customers, ask for their Twitter username in it
  • Offer a coupon code if people follow you on Twitter; then you can follow them back (and only people interested in your product will want a coupon)
  • If you have an active Facebook page or LinkedIn group or other community, start a thread asking for people to share their Twitter usernames

Day 16 onwards: Keep following and tweeting

The more you tweet and engage with other people, the more followers you’ll get and – more importantly – relationships you’ll build. So keep working at it! Soon it will seem like fun, not work, and you’ll be giving yourself more than the allocated 15 minutes…

For more tips on using Twitter effectively, download our Twitter guide.

Download the Beginner's Guide to Using Twitter for Business

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