In recent years Twitter has got a bit of a bad reputation for being a ‘dying’ platform.

Not according to Lana Richardson, Digital Marketing Manager for PropertyPal. PropertyPal were early adopters of social media, and today boast over 200,000 followers across their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles. 

With over 10 million visitors to their website in 2019, the business has seen 6% growth month on month in their social following.

Lana shared her top tips on how to maximise Twitter at a Lunchtime Learning session facilitated by the Cathedral Quarter BID (Business Improvement District).

She said: “Facebook and Instagram are image-heavy platforms. Twitter encourages conversation and discussion, as well as debate and disagreement. It has a different purpose for each person who uses it – some are there for current events, some for sports news, and some to follow celebrities. The character limit forces creativity and Twitter is often where viral moments start.”

You might wonder if your business has any place on Twitter, but according to Lana, the statistics speak for themselves:

  • The average Twitter user follows five businesses.
  • 77% of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their tweet is replied to. 
  • 80% of Twitter users have mentioned a brand in a tweet. 
  • Companies using Twitter for customer service see a 19% lift in customer satisfaction. 

As the third most popular social media platform in Northern Ireland, Lana says all business owners should consider if Twitter could add value to your business. 

Here are Lana’s top 7 tips:

  1. Establish a clear brand and a clear brand voice 

Lana said: “Your brand voice will dictate what you post, how you post it, and when you post. It helps to make your business memorable and creates trust through consistency.”

  1. Find some inspiration

Research other company profiles and see what kind of content you enjoy looking at, how can you make this work for your business? 

Lana explained: “Check out other businesses in the same industry as you. Many brands treat Twitter entirely differently so see what others are doing and figure out what works for you.” 

  1. What do you post?

Lana advises: “Optimise your bio – it’s the first thing people see on your profile so it should give a brief explanation of who you are and give followers an idea of what to expect. An average tweet has a lifespan of just 18 minutes, so you need to focus on quality over quantity and post engaging content that will grab the attention of your audience.” 

  1. Engage in conversation with trending topics

Twitter gives you an indication of what topics are popular within the trending feed. According to Lana you can use this to your advantage if it fits with your business and your target audience. Don’t try to shoehorn your brand into a trend when it doesn’t fit, but you can be creative.

  1. When do you post?

There really is no hard and fast rule of when to post to Twitter. 

Lana said: “Don’t post just for the sake of it – your tweets should have purpose or being engaging in trending topics. Only post when you have something to say. If a tweet doesn’t do well within the first hour, I’ll delete it from our feed and repost it at another time.”

  1. Make use of tools to help you

Twitter Analytics and Twitter Advanced Search are free and easy-to-use tools that can give you an insight into how your profile is performing and highlight areas where you could make tweaks and improvements. 

TweetDeck is another free tool that is great for scheduling content. 

“Twitter is much more fast-paced than other social media platforms, so you will want to post some content ‘live’” said Lana, adding: “And make sure you always have quick and easy access to TweetDeck to stop any scheduled posts if they are no longer suitable. For example, if news is released about a celebrity death and you have scheduled a meme that features them, that probably isn’t the best time to post that content.”

  1. Have posting guidelines for what your brand does and does not do

With Twitter, you really need to cut the red tape. 

Lana explained: “Things that land and perform well on Twitter are usually more off-the-cuff and timelier in nature, so if you have to wait three days for your boss to approve a post, it just won’t land the same. Having guidelines can help with this as you can work out what you do and do not post, for example is profanity OK? The use of slang? Whatever you do just remember that Twitter is there to increase awareness of your brand, not to generate direct sales. No one likes being sold to on Twitter.”

Check out Lana’s full Lunchtime Learning on the Cathedral Quarter website: https://www.cathedralquarterbelfast.com/whats-on/lunchtime-learning-twitter-for-small-businesses/ 

To see more Lunchtime Learning sessions go to: https://www.cathedralquarterbelfast.com/lunchtime-learning 

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