As social media platforms go, Twitter tends to be the most challenging for many IT businesses. Fitting your message into 280 characters is no easy feat! But, something unique about Twitter is that its users are more likely to be the first try new things than the general online population.

Twitter has 330 million monthly active users, and while that may put it behind some of the larger platforms like Facebook and Instagram, people use it in a completely different way, which offers opportunities on to gain customers and IT industry insight that you may not find elsewhere.

If you’ve been avoiding Twitter, thinking that it’s more for news and not as much for small business marketing, you’ll want to read on to find out how you can navigate the unique features of twitter to win customers and repeat business.

Twitter Marketing for Small Businesses

When something is happening in the world, people turn to Twitter for real-time updates. Having trouble logging into your cloud service all of the sudden? A quick Twitter search on “’name of service’ outage” will let you know if other users are experiencing the same thing.

Understanding how Twitter differs from other social platforms, can help you more effectively use it to your advantage. Plus, you won’t just be duplicating your posts from other channels, you’ll be gaining something completely different if you use it right.

When it comes to products and services, a study by Kantar News showed that US Twitter users create a positive influence index across many different industries, including tech and IT. Which means you can tap into that audience that is positively influenced by others on the platform to make them aware of your services.

Here are our tips on making the most of Twitter for your IT business site marketing.

Take Advantage of “Less is More”

Many business owners get frustrated trying to scale down their social posts to fit into Twitter’s 280-character limit, which causes many to give up on the platform all together. But, it’s actually an opportunity to hone your marketing skills.

When you’re forced to get your message across in less words, it often comes out more succinct and makes a bigger impact than a longer message, which might lose people.

Here’s an example below between a longer post and a shorter one:

Facebook/Instagram Version:

Science shows that positive thoughts lead to positive neural pathways being created in your brain. Negative thoughts…… well, it’s just the opposite.

One positive thought leads to another.. and another.. .and pretty soon your brain is getting trained to be resilient, happier, and healthier.

Don’t underestimate the power of a positive moment!

#Positivity #BrainScience

Twitter Version:

Positive thoughts create new positive neural pathways in your brain. One positive thought leads to another, and a YOU that’s resilient, happier, & healthier.

Don’t underestimate the power of a positive moment!

#ThinkHappy

While, there’s nothing wrong with the longer post, when the writer is forced to fit the message into 280 characters, unneeded words are removed, and it packs more of a punch.

Instead of seeing the character limit as a negative, see it as an opportunity to create higher impact messages.

Jump in on a Hashtag for Better Visibility

Twitter is the king of the hashtag and brands often try to get their hashtags trending or jump on those that already are trending with a relevant post. Twitter also displays what’s trending locally to users, which is a great opportunity for local businesses to gain more followers.

Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Trending hashtag is #TalkLikeAPirateDay: You can post something lighthearted, such as your IT team wearing pirate hats.
  • Trending local hashtag is #ClevelandLibraryDataBreach: You can post a timely link to your blog about how to prevent data breaches
  • Trending hashtag is #TBT (Throwback Thursday): You can post a side-by-side photo of an old backup system (i.e. floppy) and the new state-of-the-art backup drives (with a link to your backup services page)

Industry & Opportunity Research

A unique benefit of Twitter is that you can keep an eye on real-time conversations that give you an opportunity for more visibility for your business. Also known as “social monitoring” this basically means you’re watching for conversations around your industry so you can come in with a timely tweet.

While, Twitter has a pretty robust search when it comes to searching hashtag subjects, a great way to keep an eye on hashtags that are pertinent to you (such as #computerproblems or #windowsupdate or #yourownhashtag), is to use a keyword or hashtag tracking tool.

There are several free options out there that will notify you of hashtag use and trends over time. You can even set parameters like location to pick up the ones in your service area.

Here’s an example of how you could benefit: Say that a good deal of your corporate customers use Cloudflare CDN for their website. You set an alert for #cloudflareoutage and are immediately notified when that hashtag is used on Twitter.

You’re then able to confirm the outage on their page and send out a proactive tweet (and email too) to your clients letting them know about the outage and that you’ll keep watching to situation to let them know when it’s resolved.

You’ve just gained several “kudos points” for being an excellent IT provider that goes above and beyond, and your customers will think twice before leaving you for a competitor. They’ll also most likely mention to others that you saved them the frustration of trying to figure out why their website was down.

Use Twitter’s Native Image, Gif, and Video Options

Images are an important part of social media, so you want to use them on Twitter as well. It’s important to know that Twitter favors photos uploaded on their platform natively, rather than shared from another one, like Instagram.

So, if you’re trying to save time by clicking the “Twitter share” feature on Instagram to also put your post on Twitter, you’re going to totally lose the value of the photo, because users will just see an Instagram link to click over to.

Here’s an example.

Image posted using Twitter’s native add photo feature:

Twitter photos example for IT business site

Image posted from Instagram, showing only the link:

Instagram link on Twitter

Content with relevant images receive 94% more views on social media.

On Twitter, especially, you want to ensure your image, video, or gif is relevant to your post, since people see Twitter as more of a place to get news and information than to look at pretty images (that’s Instagram!).

If you haven’t tried out Twitter’s gif feature yet, give it a try. They have a robust collection of humorous gifs that you can search right from the posting interface, saving you a lot of time trying to search something out online.

Try Out Twitter Ads to Promote Your Account

Twitter ads give you a fairy inexpensive way to promote your company and gain followers. Their ads come right up in the middle of the timeline, rather than on the side like Facebook’s, so users are more likely to see them.

Twitter’s statistics for small/medium businesses reflect that:

  • 84.5% of people have noticed promoted accounts on Twitter
  • 68% of people follow an SMB after seeing their promoted account
  • 93.3% of people plan to purchase something from an SMB they follow on Twitter

How much does it cost to advertise on Twitter? The company only says that there is no minimum ad spend, so you can spend as much or little as you like.

We found some references on ThriveHive that give some ballpark figures.

  • Promoting a single tweet: Around $1.35 per engagement
  • Promoting your Twitter account: Average is $2.50-$4.00 per confirmed follower

Another reference from LinkedIn says that promoted tweets and promoted accounts will typically cost between: $0.50 – $4.00 per engagement.

Offer Proactive Customer Support

Imagine your flight is cancelled and you’re standing in a long customer service line, where do you go online to try to get help faster? For most people, it’s Twitter.

Most brands on Twitter use it as a means of customer support where they can assist customers in real-time using private direct messages. A customer simply “hails” them by using their @name and then the customer support invites a private chat from there to help them.

Tech business customer support on Twitter

Utilizing DMs in Twitter to assist customers and potential customers can help gain you more business. According to Twitter, 83% of consumers felt better about a small business after they received a response to their tweet.

But what if you took it a step farther?

Instead of only waiting for someone to ask you for help, use those hashtag and keyword alert tools we mentioned earlier or do a search on twitter to find people in your area looking for IT help.

When you do a search, on the right-hand side of the screen you can click “near me” to bring up local tweets. You can even use the advanced search feature to pull in tweets from a specific date range and get more advanced keyword options.

Then if you found someone in your area had just tweeted “Oh no.. My laptop screen just broke and I have a big presentation this week!” You could proactively send them a tweet asking if they need some help with a link to your site or an offer to DM you.

Use Twitter Cards to Drive More Engagement

A Twitter Cards use photos, video, and media to create more rich experiences in Tweets and help to drive more traffic to your website.

When you add a few lines of markup on your webpage, users that tweet out links to your site, then have that nifty card attached to their tweet which their followers will see.

You can choose a few different card styles:

  • Summary Card (Title, description, thumbnail)
  • Summary Card with Large Image (uses a big image instead of thumbnail)
  • App Card (Includes direct app download link)
  • Player Card (Card that includes video/audio/media)

You can learn all about how to make them here.

Master Twitter for a Competitive Edge

Knowing the unique secrets of marketing on Twitter can help you gain a competitive edge on your local competition while also gaining more leads and sales for your IT business.

How do you use Twitter for marketing? Have you tried their ads? Share in the comments!

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