Twitter can be utilised as an effective marketing and communications tool to reach out to a wider targeted audience online. It can help you to develop relationships with both existing customers and prospects (who are also using it).

Here are four ways to help you get more from using Twitter for your business:

1. Use Hootsuite
This is a social media dashboard application that allows you to quickly and efficiently manage the different Twitter feeds you have in separate columns (instead of pages as on This includes feeds for everyone you follow, when you are mentioned and for direct messages. You can quickly see all the latest info on one screen – particularly useful if you’re having a busy day and only have time to check for mentions and direct messages that you need to respond to.

It also allows you to manage multiple platforms like Facebook Pages and LinkedIn profiles. This saving you time when needing to post to more than one platform. Within Hootsuite you can schedule messages to one or multiple platforms. This allows you to send key info throughout the week at specific times of day. We would advise not scheduling everything as you may then forget to participate in conversations.

2. Build a following by targeting your audiences
There are a few methods you can take to identify Twitter profiles that fit your target audiences:

  • Websites/Google searches – either check businesses’ websites to see whether they are on Twitter or on Google search for the name of the business along with Twitter within the search term (i.e. <company name> Twitter).
  • Twellow – websites like this one show Twitter profiles by locations and categories (industries, interests etc). This is particularly useful when you are location focused.

These targeted profiles may then follow you back (it is an action they have to take themselves).

3.  #Tags
This is a good way of reaching out to a wider targeted audience online through adding the #symbol to keywords when typing messages. #Tags link together related messages by topic.

For example, we often use #socialmedia and #digitalmarketing as a way of getting messages out to a wider audience, as there will be people checking these #tags to see who is talking about these topics. They may then decide to follow us on a permanent basis.

You can also create your own #tags to build a following on your own topics.

For example you could perhaps #tag top tips, so that people can see the previous ones, or use one to build interest in an event. By doing so others may start to promote you (for free) by retweeting your message to their followers!

4.  Keyword Searches
You can search via keywords to see what is currently being tweeted about a particular topic (similar to how you would search in Google except in this case it returns a list of tweets in the search results). This can be an effective way to research your industry, stay up to date and, for some, to come across business opportunities.

Hootsuite can help here as you can set up a separate tab within this dashboard with one or more columns to permanently track several keywords you are interested in. You can then check these as and when you have time.

By following these suggestions it should help you become more effective in using Twitter for your business.

Chris Wood – digital marketing and social media specialist, Q Social Media

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