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    Twitter should join your other platforms as an important part of your social media strategy.

With 326 million active users on Twitter every month and 500 million people visiting the site every month without logging in, Twitter is a social media platform every business should consider for their marketing.

Admittedly, the short form format and the speed of the platform can be intimidating to new users who aren’t sure how best to utilize it. Pyrois Media’s Melissa Bauer-Herzog is here to help with eight tips that won’t only get your business started on Twitter but also help your brand grow quickly.

1) Know Your Audience – Before you start posting on Twitter, learn what segment of your audience is using the platform. While some industries don’t have much of a difference between their Facebook and Twitter audiences, others do. In horse racing for example, more industry professionals are active on Twitter while Facebook has more of the racing fan base. Because of this, you’ll need to make sure your wording matches your audience when posting on Twitter vs. Facebook.

2) Short and Concise – Twitter limits you to 280 characters, which makes this rule easier to follow. But just because you have those 280 characters doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. Remember that the less you say, the more they read.

3)  Just Say No to Threads – It can be very tempting to make a thread of tweets (using that little plus sign next to the “Tweet” button) if you have a lot to say but don’t do it. Most people will not read past the first tweet and in my personal experience, threads are ignored more than normal tweets. Unlike Facebook where you may get people to read a longer post since it is all in one place, the division of the tweets every 280 characters makes it easy to lose interest.

4) Just Say Yes to Interactions – Don’t just use Twitter (or any social media) as a platform where you send your message out to the world then disappear. Twitter is an interactive platform and if you want to build a following, you need to be part of the community. If you post something and followers respond, be sure to reply and even have a conversation. Don’t be afraid to banter back and forth with followers or other businesses, some of the most popular tweets from brands have been replies to followers.

In fact, Wendy’s telling a follower he could have a year of free chicken nuggets if his tweet about the nuggets was retweeted 18 million times is one of the most popular tweets of all-time according to England’s The Week.

Tweets with photos catch more attention.

5) Back To Photos – These days, everything needs a visual to catch the attention of those scrolling by and Twitter isn’t any different. According to Brandwatch, if your tweet has an image it will get 150% more retweets than one that doesn’t.

An example straight from my personal Twitter, which is used mostly for horse racing, is a tweet about Giant’s Causeway with a photo of the legendary stallion. That tweet is my most popular over the last four weeks and earned 9,963 impressions and 932 engagements for an engagement rate of 9.4 percent. My third most popular during the period is a tweet with no photo joking about a horse name that received 5,427 impression but only 62 engagements for an engagement rate of 1.1 percent.

6) Tweet Often – While it feels like you can overwhelm your Facebook page if you post too often, that isn’t the case on Twitter. Because the platform moves so quickly, it won’t turn off your followers. Remember that the more active you are with good content on Twitter, the more people will pay attention to what you have to say. Keep in mind that 19 percent of companies tweet six to 10 times a day according to Brandwatch.

7) Watch Your Retweets – Retweeting is a quick and easy way to stay active on Twitter, but make sure it is relevant to your brand and retweets don’t take over your feed. If you are retweeting quite a bit, use the quote tweet feature to (concisely) explain why the tweet is important to your account but don’t think that that feature gets you out of putting out your own content as well. If you aren’t tweeting out original content, your followers will lose interest quickly – and with it, any benefits the platform has.

8) Remember You Can’t Edit – It is never fun when you have a popular tweet with a typo. Not only does it mean a lot of people will see that mistake (and it may be their introduction to your business) but you only have one choice if you want it to disappear – you have to delete it. Unfortunately, Twitter has not yet released an “edit” feature so you must live with the tweet’s mistake or delete it. Because of this, I highly recommend that you read over each tweet a few times before you send it. More than one business has been the victim of autocorrect, especially when tweeting quickly from a phone.

If you have any questions about how to improve your social media presence, Pyrois Media offers both social media consulting and management services. See our Services page or email info@PyroisMedia.com for more information. We’re happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about social media and help your business succeed.

Do you have a topic you’d like to see covered here? Email Melissa@PyroisMedia.com with your suggestions and you could see it in a future blog!