Would you follow this brand? Twitter Bio: “I swallow watermelon seeds for a living. As long as they pay me I’ll #blog about it”
Amusing bio, right? But, would you take this brand seriously or buy a product or service from them? Does the bio tell you anything valuable about the product or service the niche market offers?
Twitter provides a niche market powerful ways to grow their influence, deliver their brand message, and build their online community and relationships.
If you’re a niche market, struggling to get started and not sure how to get your brand the attention and the relationships you want, here are some key areas to help you get started.
Creating your Twitter Name
Creating your Twitter user name is one of the first and most important decisions you make when creating a Twitter account.
Twitter limits user names to 15 characters, not much space if your business name is greater than 15.
Start by testing different user names that include your brand words or abbreviated words that tie to your brand. Twitter notifies you if the name is available or taken by another person or business.
In my case, Creative Art Consulting LLC was WAY too long. Shortening the name to the keywords in my brand name @CreaArtsConsult fit the 15 character limitation while maintaining the link to my company name.
Consider carrying this shortened version through to other platforms where there is a name length restriction. For example, on Pinterest your username can only be 3-15 characters long. I use the same user name for my account. The goal is to be as consistent as possible across your social channels.
Check here if you are having trouble creating your username: Account Settings.
Creating Your Profile
Your Twitter Profile tells the Twitter world who you are and what your niche market offers. Make it count!
Incorporate some of your keywords in your Profile. Add some personality if it fits in the allowed 200 character field. The goal is to write something that informs people about your business and a little about your personality.
Use a professional image of yourself or your brand logo. Stay away from the default “egg” profile or some silly image that turns off potential followers (or leads.)
Recommended dimensions for profile images: 400×400 pixels.
Read more about populating fields on Twitter here: link.
Make sure to include your website URL, your geographic location, and a CTA (Call To Action).
Once you’ve created your user name and profile, start building your followers, the meat of any social media account!
Connecting with Your Niche Market
How do I get that first follower? Connecting with followers in your niche market and industry is vital to building a good Twitter following. If you are building organically (recommend) and not using paid advertising, growth will be slower but the audience targeted.
Start with an industry search. Explore similar industry brands; explore their profiles and tweets to see how they use Twitter to promote their brand.
You can find these industry partners using #hashtags and keywords in the search field. The example below shows a twitter search for #socialmedia, remove the hashtags and search for standalone keywords.
Review the profiles and a few of the tweets from these industry accounts. Are they posting content with value, are they posting consistently, and are they posting retweetable content or is the content all “salesy.”
Now that you’ve discovered some people to follow, you want to look at who THEY are following. Review the profiles of the people who follow you, ask the same questions. Are their followers tweeting content that will help you build a great community.
Discover followers from your other social media channels. Are you a fan of a business brand who you think provides great content? Check out their website social sharing icons and jump over to their Twitter account.
Make sure when you follow a brand to engage with them. Add a “favorite” to a tweet or retweet their content.
A ton of great information can be gleaned from following other industry tweeters and from other social media platforms.
Building your brand organically means you are building your community through non-paid effort. Buying Twitter followers through paid advertising costs money and very often is not sustainable for building a valuable community.
You want followers who will have a conversation with your brand, retweet and favorite your Twitter content. Organic growth is slower, but yields a far better community than buying followers.
Be consistent with your tweets. One of the ways to determine if an account is a good match for growing your community is a brands tweet consistency. Look at their tweets. If days, weeks, or months go by between tweets, chances are, this is not an account you want to follow.
A scheduling tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Sprout Social help you schedule and maintain a consistent flow of tweets. Try tweeting 2-3 times a day, analyze your tweets, and optimize your schedule for best tweet times.
Acknowledging fellow tweeters who share your tweets or interact with your brand is vital to sustaining a twitter community. When another business retweets a post, adds a shoutout or mention of your business, show your appreciation. Reply back with a thank you message or favorite the tweet they shared about your business. A little thank you, comment, or mention can make someone’s day!
Twitter’s list feature is a life-saver for the small business owner. Creating lists lets you consolidate followers based on a list name you choose.
For example, as you grow your Twitter base you may want to track other local businesses in your area. You can quickly add local Tweeters to a list and read just those tweets. Or, add a list for relevant industry accounts. The cool part of lists is you don’t have to follow them to add to a list!
Below is a screenshot of my friend Michelle’s Twitter business account Codefetti. To add a business to a list, click on the gear in the upper right corner, next to the following button. A drop-down menu with options, including Add or Remove from a list… Click the Add option, choose the list, and your set.
Lists can be public (other accounts can see and visit your lists) or they can be private (only you can see the list.) Private lists are a super way to collect leads, follow competitors, or use as a content source.
Lists are also a way to publically say “I value your tweets.” When you add a follower to a public list, they will be notified in the twitter stream, giving them the opportunity to view the list AND subscribe.
Social Sharing Buttons
Now that you have your Twitter account set up, make sure to include the link on you website, email signature line, on Facebook, G+, Pinterest…anywhere potential followers may find you.
Building your niche market on Twitter opens up a variety of avenues for creating relationships, sharing content with and about your brand industry, and discovering potential customers.
Grow organically when building your Twitter followers. Be consistent with your tweets. Acknowledge people who share your business tweets. Make sure your Profile and Cover are professional. Following these basic steps will help ensure you have the right audience for your brand.
What is your biggest roadblock growing your followers on Twitter? Share your tips and advice that will help other small business owners starting out on Twitter build a valuable community!