Companies that aren’t seeing results on Twitter — or are new and struggling with the platform — shouldn’t give up on it. Instead, they may need to focus more on business-oriented Twitter uses.
There are uncommon methods of locating prospects and driving website traffic, on top of well-known tactics to engage audiences. Some best apply to B2B organizations, whereas others work well for B2C brands.
Here are 75 ways to use Twitter for business:
1. Track Untagged Mentions: Use a social media monitoring tool or manually search for mentions of your brand name. You’ll likely find users who didn’t tag you, but have questions about your services. Search for common misspellings, too.
2. Track Competitor Mentions: Do the same for competitor mentions. If you come across a dissatisfied customer, gently reach out and ask if you can help or offer your services.
3. Join Twitter Chats: Hop into a Twitter chat — conversations held through specific hashtags — to interact with like-minded industry players and build your follower count.
4. Promote Events: Let your industry’s Twitter users know about the events you’re attending. Share their websites and tag the hosts to start discussions.
5. Live Tweet Events: Post about the event once you’re there. Tag speakers, take photos and share their quotes to help connect with them. You’ll also help keep followers who couldn’t make it in the loop.
6. Follow Customers: Use a tool or manually find customers by searching for their names. Give them a follow to let them know you’re on Twitter, informing them about potential news, sales and more.
7. Find Prospects Through the Advanced Search: Try Twitter’s advanced search feature to find more audience members. You can search by language, keyword use and even location — this is beneficial for local businesses.
8. Interact with Prospects: Get to know prospects once you’ve found them. Favourite a tweet or two, and reply to a post to strike up a conversation. Doing so could lead them to your profile and website.
9. Interact with Influencers: Don’t forget about influencers. These topic thought-leaders can bring exposure to your business just by tweeting or blogging about it, since they have such large followings. Get on their good sides by sharing their posts and occasionally commenting.
10. Interact with Reporters, Bloggers and other Content Producers: Find journalists and content creators who cover industry topics by going through Google News, then inputting their names into Twitter’s search bar. Start conversations once you’ve followed them.
11. Contribute to Trends and Hashtags: Give your two cents when you can apply a trend or popular hashtag to your industry, demonstrating quick wit.
12. Tweet During Off-Business Hours: Post during non-work hours to reach users who check Twitter in their spare time, or live in different timezones. Doing so should earn follows and engagements.
13. Engage in Friendly Debates: Act with tact and offer your opinion when other users — be they influencers, business owners or connections — give theirs. Making unique points could win their respect.
14. Reply to Users Who Tag You: Engage with users who begin discussions with you. A simple reply can go a long way. It shows you’re taking time out of your schedule to talk.
15. Message Contacts Directly: Strike up a more detailed or personal conversation by sending followers private messages. You can continue discussions you started elsewhere or simply introduce yourself.
16. Add Users to Lists: Create lists and add users to them, segmenting specific people with whom you want to interact.
17. Run Polls: Post a poll to see what your audience thinks of industry-related news, trends or ideas. Use a relevant hashtag to boost reach and response numbers.
18. Ask Questions: Inquire for customer thoughts directly instead of running polls. This approach may also be better for accounts without a large presence and B2B businesses that serve clients who wish to keep their thoughts private.
19. Ask for Input: Ask for customer advice about your business, ranging from your Twitter activity to actual products. It’s both market research and relationship building.
20. Ask for Retweets: Gain more exposure by asking for retweets. Posts with “please retweet” and “please RT” see about twice as many shares than the average post, according to research by Dan Zarrella.
21. Retweet Relevant Posts: Share tweets that contain news, data or advice worth taking. Retweeting influencers is also a first step in building relationships with them.
22. Favourite Interesting Posts: Let users know you appreciate their content by favoriting it. Like retweeting, this is a first step in forging a relationship on Twitter.
23. Recommend Someone to Follow: Tweet #FF or #FollowFriday, mentioning accounts that can offer unique tips and information to your audience members.
24. Highlight Partners: Post about your business partners, highlighting their products or thanking them for their work. They’ll likely welcome the free publicity, possibly returning the favour.
25. Thank Users for Interacting: Thank your followers for keeping up with your posts and engaging with you. Not much would be possible without them.
26. Follow 20 Users a Day: Develop your audience by following 20 users a day. They should fall within your target markets and be following a relatively high number of people, indicating they’re likely to follow you back.
27. Unfollow Inactive Users: Don’t stay connected to users who don’t tweet. They’re not adding anything to your timeline, and inflate your following count.
28. Brand Your Profile: Turn your profile into a snapshot of your business. Alter the background, profile picture and theme colours to best reflect your brand and match your website.
29. Optimize Your Profile: Include keywords and popular hashtags in your profile description to make your account easier to find for audience members. Be sure to fill out the website and location fields, too.
Market Your Content
30. Post Pin Boards: Share your Pin Boards to encourage users to follow you on Pinterest. The platform has a buy button, making it ideal for businesses with photogenic products.
31. Share Original Content: Link to posts you’ve just published — or older, popular ones — to drive traffic to your website. Fight low reach numbers by sharing throughout the day.
32. Share Graphics: Post infographics and data visualizations to help stand out on followers’ timelines. Tweets with images get 313% more engagement, according to Twitter.
33. Share Quotes: Create an image that highlights a quote from a historical figure or someone influential in your industry. For the latter, tag the person to increase the chance for a share.
34. Share News: Share personal business news, whether it be about a product or a milestone. Post news articles about your industry to demonstrate you stay on top of current events.
35. Link to Podcasts: Post original podcasts or your favourite industry-focussed ones. Listening is sometimes a welcomed break from constant reading.
36. Post Brand-Themed Photos: Share images that reflect your brand. Nike sets an example to follow, using pictures of athletes training in the company’s apparel.
37. Post Vintage Shots: Relive some classic industry moments with your followers. In marketing? Share a picture of a marketing conference in the ‘60s.
38. Promote Guest Posts: Promote yourself and your contacts by sharing guest posts you’ve written for them, and vice-versa. Guest posting can help establish you as a thought-leader.
39. Create Top-Five Lists: Let followers know about your favourite industry blogs and resources. You can include domains you guest post on.
40. Publicize Your Account: Feature links to your Twitter account on your website, marketing materials and other social profiles.
41. Offer Tips: Give suggestions about best practices and uncommon ways to use mainstay products popular among audience members.
42. Bust Myths: Tackle a myth that haunts your niche. Do it in a blog post or appeal to people’s curiosity by writing a bold tweet to trigger a discussion.
43. Answer FAQs: Archive common questions you get about your niche or business. Answer them and use popular hashtags to expand your reach.
44. Answer Indirect Questions: Use a social media monitoring tool or search for industry keywords to find general questions. If you can, help out by answering.
45. Comment on Industry Research: Share research pieces by giving your take on them in a blog post, explaining what the findings could mean for your niche.
46. Comment on Third-Party Links: Include a comment when you retweet articles, offering your opinion about the topic to show your subject knowledge.
47. Share Statistics: Find new or uncommon data points to share. Creating an image that illustrates stats can help generate engagement.
48. Post Conversation Screenshots: Get the person’s permission and post screenshots of an informative or interesting conversation you had, updating followers.
49. Extol on a Specific Topic: Post your views about a topic popular among followers, adding a novel opinion to the conversation. Cite data to build credibility.
50. Share Opinion Pieces: Give an in-depth explanation of your thoughts by linking to an opinion-charged piece, demonstrating expertise while boosting website traffic.
51. Talk About a Day in the Life: Focus on how you overcome common problems, telling audience members about the rewards and challenges of working within your industry. They’ll probably relate and appreciate it.
52. Review Tools and Services: Take time to give a multi-tweet review — be it positive or negative — about products that your audience members may like to try.
Research Your Audiences and Industry
53. Monitor Custom Timelines: Make lists only involving key audience members. Then, go to the Lists tab to see a custom timeline of tweets from included accounts. This will help you learn their interests and posting habits.
54. Research Target Audiences: Find and learn about users in your key markets by running searches with hashtags and keywords related to your industry.
55. Learn Your Audience’s Language: Ask a copywriter. Using terms popular among audience members helps communicate with them on a more personal level. Again, start by searching with hashtags and keywords to find out how people use them.
56. Research Content Popularity: Use an analytics tool or manually search for blog post URLs to see how many shares they’ve recently received. You can create content based on topics that are popular.
57. Learn from Social Leaders: Follow authoritative social media strategists to learn more about how to grow your Twitter presence.
58. Monitor Competitors: Use a social media monitoring tool or manually search for competitors. You can uncover customer reviews and discussions, helping you theorize ways to differentiate your business.
Promote and Develop Your Business
59. Offer Special Deals to Followers: Message new followers, sending them a discount coupon only available to Twitter users. Just keep track of their handles, so they can’t exploit your generosity by unfollowing and following again.
60. Announce a Flash Sale: Capitalize on your followers by announcing deals through Twitter. This works well if you run an ecommerce site — they won’t have to leave their seats.
61. Post Job Openings: Share new roles by posting the link and job title. Include hashtags popular with job seekers and industry professionals.
62. Research Job Candidates: Learn more about candidates by scanning their Twitter profiles. Almost 40% of HR professionals look through applicant social media accounts, according to a 2015 survey from the Society for Human Resource Management.
63. Link to Other Social Profiles: Share content that’s only live on other social networks to push traffic to them, encouraging audience members to follow your other profiles.
64. Highlight Other Social Profiles: Grow your fan bases on other social platforms by tweeting about deals, prizes and content only accessible through them.
65. Run Contests: Expand your Twitter audience by holding contests, such as monthly prize draws, in which followers are automatically entered.
66. Run Influencer Campaigns: Harness the networks of influencers you’ve built relationships with. Use this Twitter influencer marketing guide as your playbook.
67. Run Ads: Cut through low organic reach numbers by running an ad. It’s common to create one that promotes long-form content, requiring visitors to submit their email addresses to access it.
68. Highlight Products: Put the spotlight on new, popular or mainstay products. This sort of unabashed promotion is acceptable as long as it doesn’t dominate your posting schedule.
69. Profile an Employee: Give exposure to employees by profiling them in tweets or linking to content about their work. Do so to congratulate them after a successful month or campaign.
70. Post Testimonials: Share happy customers’ opinions by crafting images that contain quotes. Tag them if they’re on Twitter — they’ll likely share it. This is especially beneficial if they have large followings.
71. Humble-Brag about Awards and Accolades: Don’t do it too often. You may build a narcissistic reputation. But posting about accomplishments certainly shows you’re worth doing business with.
72. Detect Issues Before they Escalate: Keep an eye on industry keywords and hashtags. This can tip you off to bad news that’s still brewing, helping you prepare for possible issues.
73. Create a Twitter Landing Page: Use your profile’s website field to direct audience members to a Twitter landing page. Instead of your home page, this page is built to introduce social media users to your business. It can even include information about Twitter contests and what you tweet about.
74. Pitch Story Ideas to Journalists: Tell journalists you can provide an expert opinion about industry-related news. Search Google News to learn who’s talking about relevant issues. Then, find their Twitter handles and say you’d be happy to act as a source.
75. Define, and Work to Meet, KPIs: Analyze your performance on an ongoing basis to determine key performance indicators (KPIs). These can be metrics such as engagement or click-through rate. Adjust your Twitter strategy to effectively meet them.
Final Thoughts About These 75 Ways to Use Twitter for Business
Use these Twitter tactics to yield a range of business benefits. These include securing authoritative links, pinpointing prospects, researching customer behaviour and boosting website traffic to make sales.
Many of these methods apply to other social media platforms, as well. Test some out on networks such as Instagram and Facebook to see if they deliver similar — or better — results.
You can share your findings with all those new followers.
The Marketing Thought-Leader
- Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing Founder
The Social Media Professor
- Aurora Meyer, University of Missouri Adjunct Professor
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