10 Startup Business Twitter Tips

So you’ve signed up for Twitter, sent out a few timid Tweets, and started to follow people. And you wonder – how come no one’s following back or retweeting me, or even mentioning me? Relax. You’re not alone. Before throwing in your towel, why don’t you give a few of these tips a try?

  1. Dress up. It pays to look the part. Fill out your profile, and put a link to your website. Upload a profile image, change your background to match it – and if you’ve got a website or a blog, choose themes colors similar to your website or blog colors.
  2. Don’t (always) automate. It’s tempting to just link your blog or website’s RSS feed to an automatic aggregator like Twitterfeed and leave Twitter as is – but that won’t work. Twitter is for conversation, and not just for announcements. Check in daily – just take five minutes – to see if someone’s retweeted you or @replied to you.
  3. @reply. Your Twitter personality should talk like a person – even if it’s for only 140 characters. People appreciate chatty Tweeple, and if you mention them and answer back, chances are they’ll @reply to you and retweet you as well.
  4. Follow and engage influencers. If you don’t know anyone in the party, look for the one who tweets a lot about your field of interest and seems to be attracting a lot of followers. Send a personal, friendly Direct Message (DM) introducing yourself. Pick relevant tweets of theirs, retweet them, and let them know what you think by @replying.
  5. Ask. Your followers’ opinions are a goldmine for your business. Take the effort to throw out general questions to all followers, or pick specific influencers to ask using the @tag.
  6. Say thanks. Congratulate. Give props. Share interesting finds. People value goodwill on Twitter. This isn’t just advice from your mother.
  7. Hashtag. Outside your circle of followers, you can keep track of and jump into popular conversations using #hashtags. Just a caveat – if it’s a trending hashtag, your tweet is more likely to be lost than noticed – stick to niche hashtags where the conversation and the audience is smaller, warmer, and more focused on what you have to say.
  8. Do vanity searches. Aside from mentions of your Twitter @username, people may be using Twitter to talk about you and your business. Keep an ear to the conversation with Twitter Search or third-party applications like TweetDeck or HootSuite, and join the discussion when it’s relevant.
  9. Be personal – but not too much. It pays to show personality on your Twitter account –occasional tweets about a book you enjoyed reading are good. Tweeting about your chronic toothache, however, isn’t exactly something all your followers will enjoy reading. Always remember that you’re tweeting for your business.
  10. Lastly, don’t panic. Some people go on a following frenzy when they look at their profile and see no one’s following them. Stop! Following doesn’t always guarantee followers. Good, strategic content does. Engaging people in conversation does.

Got any tips to add? Share your thoughts with us!

Twitter graphic by Randa Clay.

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