Twitter may seem simple. You have 140 characters to type a message and share it with your followers. But the complexities of this platform extend far beneath the surface. If you want to be successful, you need to have a firm grasp on what you’re doing.
Here are five steps you can take:
1. Choose the Right Handle
One of the first things you have to do when setting up a Twitter profile is to choose your handle. This is the string of characters that serves as your username and allows people to follow and message you.
While it may seem like a simple choice, spend some time thinking about the handle you want. Since there are millions of users on Twitter, chances are pretty good that your preferred handle is already taken. If this is the case, you can always try abbreviating your name, adding a word before or after, adding a location, or even using an underscore. The key is to keep things simple and recognizable.
2. Develop a Strong Profile
The next step is to turn your attention to the profile. Aesthetics mean a lot in terms of engagement and you need to address some of the key aspects of your profile’s design from the onset. This means taking a professional profile picture, uploading clean and simple banner image, and developing a descriptive byline that draws followers in.
3. Study What Others are Doing
When it comes to truly understanding how Twitter works, large businesses would do well to study what successful entrepreneurs are doing in terms of personal branding. Take Sam Ovens as an example. His Twitter account is more successful than hundreds of businesses who invest far more time into social networking than he does. Why? Because he’s taken the time to develop a profile that connects with his target market. Go ahead and follow some smaller entrepreneurs in your industry and take a note of what they’re doing.
4. Engage Followers
Just getting people to follow you isn’t enough. Once you gain followers, you need to engage them and push them through your conversion funnel. In order to do this, you need to treat Twitter like the two-way street that it is.
'Asking your followers a question is the best way to engage them and get some valuable information in the process', social media strategist Ekaterina Walter says. 'But if you want your followers to engage with you, you need to engage with them. Answer their questions, share your knowledge, participate. Also, consider engaging in chats. Twitter becomes more beneficial to you when you provide value to others.'
5. Deal With Trolls the Right Way
When you start engaging people on Twitter, you’re going to run into some trolls. Because there’s such a low barrier to entry on Twitter - as opposed to networks like Facebook and LinkedIn that require you to use a real name and provide personal information - people often abuse it and spam/bully other users. From a business perspective, you must have a strategy in place for dealing with trolls. Otherwise, you may end up making poor choices that damage your brand.
There are times when you should respond, moments that are best to ignore, and other situations in which you should let your followers handle it. The key is to effectively decipher your opportunities and avoid getting caught up in fights.
Make Twitter a Priority
Twitter has to be a priority if you want to excel at social media marketing in 2017 and beyond. While there are other platforms that need attention - including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram - Twitter is renowned for its networking potential.
Maximize your resources today by investing in a strong Twitter presence.