9 ways to use Twitter for business

Twitter for businessTwitter can be a fantastic marketing tool for a modern business – but only if you know how to use it properly. Here are 9 of Twitter’s most useful features, and how you can make them work for your business:

1)    @messages

@messages are a quick, easy and direct method of communication between you and another user. You can use them to connect and engage with your existing audience, and to spark up conversations with people who fit your target demographic.

2)    Trending topics

Trending topics are designed to help you keep track of what everyone’s talking about at one particular time. From the latest breaking news to that great TV show everyone watched last night, trending topics are great for keeping you plugged into the conversation and posting relevant, interesting content, on both a corporate and personal level.

3)    Hashtags

Hashtags are another great way of joining the conversation and getting your business noticed. By adding a # symbol to some of your key business terms, the tweets which feature them are included in a stream of updates also containing that term. Any user who clicks any tweet containing the term will see the stream, so it’s a great way of putting your business in front of people who might otherwise not know about you. For instance, some of our favourite hashtags are #blogging, #contentmarketing and of course, #socialmedia.

4)    Retweets

Retweets are a fantastic method for sharing using for content – with the click of a button, you can share a good article or useful piece of insight with your entire follower base. The great thing about retweets, however, is that other people can share your content too – and if someone with 20,000 followers retweets your message, they’ve just exposed your brand to a pretty huge audience!

5)    Direct messagesTwitter bird

When the conversation really gets down to business, it’s time to switch to direct messages. These private interactions are ideal for more sensitive exchanges, like discussing pricing, or even securing a new client. Beware DM spam though: users don’t like receiving unsolicited DMs so only use this feature if someone specifically asks you to.

6)    Lists

Lists are a useful function that allow you to create a database of specific contacts – for example, businesses in your local area, or agencies that specialise in your field. Streamlining your connections in this way allows you to focus your conversations and keep track of what’s happening in each area. Lists are especially handy for grouping journalists and publications, so you can keep on top of any PR opportunities – and if you don’t know how to curate your own list, you can easily subscribe to someone else’s!

7)    Scheduling

Don’t want to be plugged into social media 24/7? Don’t worry – very few people actually are, but thanks to the power of scheduling you can maintain your business’ Twitter presence without needing to log-in multiple times a day. Tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Sprout Social allow you to load up a batch of tweets and schedule them to be posted on a particular time or day, leaving you to persevere with other aspects of your business. Make sure you monitor responses in real time, though – nobody wants to follow a business that only broadcasts and doesn’t engage.

8)    Favourites

Favouriting a tweet is equivalent to ‘liking’ a post on Facebook, but it comes with an added bonus – the tweet will be added to a unique ‘favourites’ list which makes it much easier to come back to later. Favouriting a tweet therefore has two perks: you can notify a fellow user that you were impressed with their thoughts, and you can collate content that you might not have time to review now, but may prove useful in the future.

9)    Follower suggestions

If you’re looking for some interesting new accounts to follow, but don’t know where to look, Twitter will help by giving you a tailored list of suggestions for followers whose posts you might enjoy. Not only will following these accounts give you access to some fresh insights and relevant concepts, you might just earn yourself some reciprocal follow backs too.

Bonus tip: Read the Twitter for Business guide

If you’d like advice straight from the horse’s mouth, you’re in luck: Twitter has published a handy Twitter for Business guide. Covering everything from the simplest basics to the most advanced tips and tricks, there’s lots of helpful stuff in here.