The shelf life of any given tweet is a mere 24 minutes. How do you get maximum exposure and ROI for that tweet? There's a science to it, and it involves more than blind fate and a dash of good luck. The good news is that you don't have to be a social media management company to get it right! Here's how to tweet for business:
- Use hashtags correctly. Always include at least one hashtag to obtain exposure and repeat visibility, but don't go overboard. A tweet that has more than two or three hashtags will look spammy, and will take away from the overall experience of the tweet. Don't blindly hashtag! It's a good idea to do your research first. Find out what hashtags are trending and relevant, as well as hashtags that people consistently follow/look up. It can also be wise to include more specific hashtags that people may be looking for in your area when hunting for your kind of business. For instance, if you're a photographer in Charlotte, NC, you should research what hashtags people are using to find photographers in your neck of the woods. If your tweet includes #charlottencphotographer and no one else has ever used that tag before, you just wasted 24 precious characters on something no one will probably ever look up.
- Include a link. Always, always, always link back to the related blog/article (bonus points if it's your own blog!) that you're tweeting about. Make it easy for your followers to do what you want - to click. For instance, the more clicks you get on a link that leads back to your website, the more hits you'll get on your website, meaning more potential for business.
- Include a great visual. Whether it's a gif, a meme, a photograph or a video, your tweet will need something to grab attention. A cunningly written tweet is not enough - it must go side by side with a great visual. Not surprisingly, tweets with images are 94% more likely to get retweeted. Find out what your target audience wants to look at (hint: gifs are a hit with millennials, and cute animal pictures are a hit with...well, just about everyone), and go from there.
- Tweet frequently. Since the lifespan of a tweet is so short, your best chance of being seen is to tweet frequently. It may seem repetitive to tweet 3-10 times a day, but the chances that your followers are going to see all 10 tweets are pretty slim. Tweeting with consistent frequency increases your chances of visibility. Just make sure that you're writing quality tweets that people will want to read.
- Use a call to action. Get people to do more than just "favorite" your tweet or even retweet it. The goal for your tweets (I can only assume) is to create more business for your company. If this is the case, you must give people a reason to follow the link, to visit your website, to watch the video, to sign up for the webinar, to do whatever you want them to do. Use clear verbs that prompt action. "Click the link to..." is a popular line because it works.
- Avoid "Click-bait" headlines. As tempting as it may be to tweet something that ends in "I couldn't believe what happened next" or "People are outraged at this...", don't do it. Click-bait has become less and less enticing to the masses, and people will see your brand differently (hint: not in a good way) if you employ those types of tactics. Be genuine, upfront, and clear.
- Use personality. Take Wendys, or Taco Bell for example. They know how to write sidesplitting and relevant tweets that showcase their brand's voice. Don't be afraid of a little sass, if your target market can handle it. Humor, when appropriate, is almost always appreciated, and Twitter is the perfect place to exercise it. Just don't get too personal!
You won't have to follow every single rule on the list for every single tweet you write, but it's a great place to start and a solid guideline to keep in mind. For example, if you're live tweeting during a football game - which is a great idea if that fits your target market - you won't necessarily need to include a link, but you'll want to use a trending hashtag or two and maybe a relevant gif.
If you're lacking inspiration, here are two examples of some darn-near perfect tweets.
What do you think? What are some of your favorite businesses on Twitter?