Ten things your business can tweet about
As coordinator of NLOWE’S Business Connections program, I get to travel around the province and present on a variety of topics centered on the notion of business growth. Most of the modules are information sessions on growth topics including Supplier Diversity and Entering the Global Supply Chain, but one of the well-received modules of the program is Social Media.
Based on my interaction with women business owners, I would not hesitate to say that social media is currently one of the hottest topics in the business world, and for good reason. Social media is a great cost-effective way for business owners to spread the message about their business and connect with their fans and customers in real time. I have found that some of our clients are wary about joining Twitter (in particular) because they are unsure of what they could tweet about. They are often worried that they won’t have any interesting to share, or that they won’t be able to relate to their followers, or, that they won’t have any followers at all! One of the best things about Twitter, though, is that you can truly tweet about anything. If you produce quality tweets and interact with other Twitter users, the message about your business will spread, and the followers will come. In an attempt to help women business owners overcome the initial apprehension they face when they join Twitter, I have compiled a list of ten things that you can tweet about.
1. What is happening at work today?
One of the reasons why customers follow businesses on Twitter is so they can get an inside look at what is happening in and behind the scenes of the business on a daily basis. Some of the things you can share with your followers include:
- News announcements pertaining to your business
- New products or services that are in development or that have just arrived
- Specials of the day
- Sales promotions
- Pictures that showcase the operations of your business
- Job opportunities with your business
2. Share a tip
Sharing a tip with your followers demonstrates your knowledge or expertise in a certain area. The tip doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your business operations, either. You can share a tip about gardening, cooking, running, blogging, parenthood – anything! Sending out quality tweets is a great way to attract and retain your follower-base.
3. Ask for suggestions/ customer feedback
Why not take advantage of having your customers’ opinions at your fingertips? If you need a suggestion or are looking for some feedback, you can send out a tweet and receive responses in real time.
4. Share an article/ link/ breaking news story
Sharing online content through your tweets is a great way to pass along knowledge and keep your followers informed. It also demonstrates that you are committed to learning new things to make your business better, or even that you are up to date with current affairs!
5. Participate in hashtags
In Twitter terms, a hashtag is the art of creating a tag for key words in your tweet that is then categorized. A hashtag is created by adding a hash or number sign (#) in front of a word or phrase within your tweet. (It is important to note that your hashtag has to be created as one word; you cannot use spaces or punctuation.) When you add a hashtag to your tweet, your tweet is then stored in a stream with other tweets using the same hashtag. For example, at our Entrepreneur of the Year awards last week, we used the hashtag #nloweawards. All tweets that included the #nloweawards hashtag were then added to one stream. Users who clicked on the hashtag could see all the other tweets that included the hashtag, and consequently, were able to find other users who were also tweeting about the event. This is a way to find new accounts to follow, make connections, and find others who are tweeting about the same things you are tweeting about.
6. Send out “tweet greets”
Tweet greets are among the simplest ways to engage with your followers. It can be as simple as a “Good morning!”, “TGIF!”, or “What are you doing on this sunny day?” Sending out tweet greets as a business is one way to make your business more personable and approachable. People trust other people more than they would a business or corporation, so by making your business relatable to your customers, you are also building customer trust and loyalty.
7. Retweets and @replies
One of the easiest ways to tweet is to retweet. A retweet occurs when you share another Twitter users’ tweet. Twitter includes a feature that allows you to simply click an icon in order to retweet a tweet, but you may also see the prefix “RT” before a tweet, and that also indicates that the tweet content is being retweeted from another user. Retweeting is one of the most successful features of Twitter because it is an excellent way to spread messages on Twitter.
On the other hand, you can also take some time to respond to your @replies. In Twitter terms, an @reply is created when you send a tweet directly to one user, or multiple users. In order to do this, you append the “@” symbol in front of a username (without adding any spaces between the @ sign and the username). For example, if you wanted to get NLOWE’s attention on Twitter, you would start your tweet with “@nlowe_org” and then proceed to type your message. To check all your @replies, click on the “@ Connect” icon at the top of your Twitter browser. By responding to the messages that have been directed at you, you are able to directly engage in conversation and connect with your follower base.
8. Make regular #FF (Follow Friday) recommendations/ announce a fan of the week
#FF (Follow Friday) is a very popular Twitter hashtag that is used on Fridays to promote Twitter accounts that you think are worth following. If you have a favourite Twitter account that you follow, or if you have a fan that retweets you/ sends you @ replies regularly, you can reward them with a #FF recommendation (or come up with your own “fan of the week” hashtag!).
9. Promote events happening in your region/ events you are participating in
Promoting upcoming events is a good way to demonstrate your involvement in community events and offer additional promotion for the events you’re participating in.
10. Promote your other social media channels
And it all comes full circle! Why not use your existing online channels to promote your other channels? Sending out tweets about your other social media channels (Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, blog, etc.) is a good way to inform or remind your followers that there are other ways to stay in touch and learn more about your business. It’s also a good way to increase your number of Facebook fans or LinkedIn connections.
As you can see, there is no real limit to what you can tweet about! Figuring out what your followers will respond best to is an ongoing process. Take note of which type of tweets are most often retweeted or most likely to spark conversation (@replies). Constantly evaluating your tweets will help you monitor the success of your social media strategy.
My final advice for your plunge into the Twitterverse: keep your tweets positive, quality over quantity, be genuine, be social, and have fun!
Melissa Wheeler is a Business Connections Coordinator with NLOWE and our in-house social media guru!
Melissa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org