The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Marketing for Small Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

“I feel like I need a Twitter-to-English dictionary!” — M. Roe, intern

Does that sound familiar? Think Twitter isn’t for you because you’re not Donald Trump or Justin Bieber?

Think again!

Twitter is Maria Peagler’s (SMOC’s founder) favorite network for connecting with industry influencers, authors, and all kinds of fascinating people.  It compresses “six degrees of separation” into two: you & the person you want to connect with.  You can connect with anyone who’s on Twitter: one click and you’re following people whom you may never meet in person, but would love to learn from or even partner with.

. . . let’s get started!

Twitter Marketing for Small Business Ultimate Guide


1. Create a custom background

A custom background for your profile makes you stand out from the crowd.  It can be a photo of you, a photo of your business or product, or a graphic related to your business. Notice our Twitter background provides our 30-second “elevator pitch” to differentiate SMOC from other brands:

My background is eye-catching and informative

In one simple background, I included:

  • Exactly what we offer (with a differentiating feature of 1:1 coaching)
  • Social proof (logos of where my content as been published & awards I’ve earned)
  • Every social network I teach
  • Our website & phone number
  • Images of our classes on every device

Anyone can create a Twitter account; use your time and creativity to create a background for your profile. Putting in that extra effort impresses people when they come to your page.

2. Use headshot for photo

Your Twitter account represents you. A professional, flattering headshot makes your profile more personal and likable.  Need some help taking or editing your headshot? Use these free SMOC resources:

How to Take Small Business Images Using Your Smartphone

3.  Be detailed in your bio

Tell Twitter users who you are. Share who you are, what you do, and what is important to you and about you. Create a detailed bio to show people why they should pay attention to you and let them get to know you.

4.  Use SEO keywords in your bio

One of the most effective ways to get Twitter followers is to utilize your SEO knowledge. Putting relevant keywords in your bio makes you more likely to appear in searches both on Twitter and on external search engines.

5.  Link to your website/blog

When people visit your bio, you want them to convert them from viewers to customers. Give them the opportunity to do so by including the link to your website or blog in your profile and make it easy for users to see and buy your content.

6.  Don’t use logo/egg for photo

New Twitter accounts all have the Twitter egg as their profile picture. Keeping a bland white egg photo as your profile image makes your profile seem boring and uninteresting, and can make you look like you don’t care about or are uninformed about Twitter. In a similar fashion, having a logo as your profile image is fairly ineffective. Most people won’t recognize your logo and aren’t interested in finding out more about it. A face is more appealing to the majority of people. Use a nice headshot and show people who you are.

7.  Add details in the background

With a custom background, you can include details about yourself or your business. You can create a multi-image collage and include both your image as well as information about your business. You can show your business’ phone number, website information, product images, or various accomplishments you have achieved. Use your background to inform viewers.

8.  Show social proof

Show people who you are and why you matter. Show what other people think of you by including testimonials from clients, awards you earned, and where your content has appeared outside of your own website or blog.


9. Organize followers in lists

Lists allow you to categorize and keep track of profiles of people, companies, and content sources that are important to you, saving you time and making it easier to repeatedly find content you are interested in. If your lists are public, it shows your followers what you deem important.  Hipsters of the Coast, a card game news site, has lists containing writers, authors, artists, and community members.

Provides content lists. They also link to their Patreon so people can donate.

10. Follow tweets by hashtag

Following a hashtag shows you all the posts using it.. You can conduct market research, find ideas for content, see what people with the same interest as you are doing, and allows you to fully use the information available to you on Twitter.

11. Monitor your brand tweets

Your brand’s image is critical to social media success. Track and monitor what people are saying about your brand, and engage and respond to them in a timely manner. Regular interaction lets people know you are active, involved, and interested in what they are saying.

12.  Create lists for competition

Keeping lists isn’t just for tracking your content sources. Putting competitors in private lists that only you can see allows you to see what your competitors are doing, without following them or showing them to your followers.

13.  Schedule tweets for future

Make your Twitter life easier and more consistent by planning and scheduling your tweets ahead of time. Set aside time each week to create, plan, and schedule your Twitter content for that week. Creating a schedule lets you prioritize the other aspects of your business and keep your tweeting consistent.

14.  Follow Twitter chats

Twitter chats bring together like-minded groups of people to discuss shared interests. Following and participating in chats is a great opportunity to chat with others in your industry, and learn from others experiences and feedback. RGV Library Squad advocates for libraries and librarians in the Rio Grande Valley. They host chats, and they provide the topics of discussion ahead of time so participants can come prepared:

15.  Monitor buzz around events

If there is an event you’re interested or participating in, it likely has a hashtag. You can search the hashtag and see what people are saying about the event. This can help you stay informed with the latest developments at the event, find things at the event that you want to see, and monitor what is going on.

16. Engage. Don’t just tweet

Interacting with your audience is key. Engaging with them makes them feel more connected to your business, giving you a more relatable image. Simply putting out tweets isn’t enough, it can get stale and doesn’t get people interested and engaged with you.

Ask your followers what they think about your products or what you are doing on social media. Use the information to find what your audience wants and adapt your marketing tactics using that information. You can create a poll to have your followers choose between multiple options:



17. Feed tweets to blog & Facebook tab

Using a Twitter tab on your Facebook business page leads Facebook fans to become Twitter followers. People who follow you on multiple platforms are reminded of your brand more often and are more likely to become customers.

18. Add Twitter name to marketing materials

Include your Twitter handle in your marketing materials to tell potential clients you’re on Twitter: it shows you’re social media-savvy and gives them one more opportunity to stay in touch with you. I include my Twitter name and Facebook on all my infographics:

19.  Display Twitter name on invoices, signage.

Bring more people to your profile by adding your Twitter name to invoices and signage. People who receive your invoices are already your customers and already interested in your product, making them more likely to follow you.

20. List Twitter name across social networks

Integrate your social media to give you the highest chance to gain more followers. People who follow you on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social platforms are all potential Twitter followers. Add your Twitter name to all your social accounts to so people can find you.

21.  Include buttons in email marketing

You’ve got mail! Be sure to include a link to your Twitter profile (as Austin Community College did here) to let subscribers know you’re on Twitter and let them see your profile in just one click:

22.  Ask people to follow you in your email signature

Don’t use email marketing? Even if you do, you likely don’t send out marketing emails every day. But how many times a day do you send regular emails using Gmail? Use every email you send to subtly tell people you’re on Twitter by including a link in your email signature, like in mine below:

twitter email signature

23.  Download Twitter app to your phone

Your phone gives you an all the access pass to Twitter. U.S. President Donald Trump is one of the biggest presences on Twitter and he does it all from his phone. READ: Tweet Like Trump: How to Dominate Like Trump. Keeping up with your account anytime and anywhere takes your Twitter presence to the next level, and allows you to interact with people immediately if they tweet at or about you.


24. Use hashtags to designate topic

Using the right hashtags for what you’re tweeting about lets your tweets show up in searches and can help you get more visibility. This tweet is all about a new infographic, and using the #infographic makes it searchable to people who are interested in infographics.

25. Post hashtags for industry events

If you are participating in an industry event or something related to your business, you can use hashtags to talk about it on Twitter. Let people know you’re active in the industry and you’re a figure they should pay attention to.

26.  Invent hashtags for products

Have a new product? Use the product name as a branded hashtag and encourage your audience to use it when they tweet about the product, increasing potential customer’s awareness of the product.

27.  Identify trends with hashtag

If certain hashtags are trending and showing up more in your feed, they may be worth paying attention to. Keeping up with what is popular helps you identify what is important to your audience and identify what you need to pay attention to.

28.  Identify small business hashtags

Use hashtags for your small business that work on both a local and national level. Using the right hashtags such as #SmallBusinessSaturday and #BlackFriday give you the best reach and connects you to the right audience.

29.  Promote contests with a hashtag

Have a contest going on? You can use a specific hashtag to promote it and allow people to enter. Tech brand NVIDIA held a holiday giveaway and used the hashtag #GiftAGamer to promote it:

30.  Recommend colleagues on #FollowFriday

Promote your colleagues and other people in your industry by tagging them on Follow Fridays with the hashtag #FF. It expands your reach and exposes their audience to your brand.

31.  Clearly define event hashtag

The more specific the hashtag you use for events, the easier the event tweets are to find. Technology convention PAX has multiple events every year, and they use very specific hashtags for each one. For their eastern event, they used #PaxEast2018:


32. Follow industry influencers

Listen to industry influencers for the hashtags and topics they tweet about. Consider using those same hashtags and relevant topics to increase your own visibility.

33. Do market research for trends, products

Identify the trends, hashtags, and products influencers discuss. Would that content be relevant to your own audience? If so, tweet about those trends, hashtags and products in a way your audience will appreciate and learn from. Not only will your tweets get more visibility, you’ll also increase your credibility among your followers.

34.  Ask colleagues for feedback and advice

Stay in touch colleagues active in your industry. Share ideas, ask for feedback, and trade advice. Doing so is a win-win and expands your network.

35.  Reach out, make connections

The strongest case for using Twitter is how easily you can connect with the powerful & influential (and get your tweets seen by them if you do it right). Twitter requires only a one-way connection, meaning you don’t have to wait for someone’s approval to follow them.

36. Follow influential tweeters

Make a list of the thought leaders, influencers, authors, and other people you’d like to meet in real life, then connect with them on Twitter. You’ll quickly see what’s trending in your niche and find relevant Twitter chats and other industry-related opportunities.

37.  Participate in Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are a niche-specific conversation conducted by a host who will ask a series of questions, and the people participating in the chat provide answers. Think of it as an online meeting with no limit to the number of attendees.

Chats are a great opportunity to meet industry influencers and other people in your niche.

38. Crowdsource collaborative projects

Twitter’s easy one-way connection and the ability to tag people allow you to develop and initiate collaborative projects on their platform. Once you have an ongoing conversation with Twitter followers, take that relationship one step further by proposing an interview, guest blog post, or other project with them.

You can also crowdsource feedback on a new product or service: ask your followers for their advice and expand your feedback reach by using the appropriate hashtags and tags to get even greater input.

39.  Identify and follow hosts

Find the people who consistently host Twitter chats. These people are likely to be industry leaders offering a wealth of connections and advice. Give them the much sought after-engagement everyone wants and you’ll get their attention & appreciation:


40. Organize people into Lists

Twitter Lists allow you to organize people into one group: you can see the members of the List or their tweets, depending on which view you choose:

41. Lists can be public or private

Twitter Lists are by default Public, meaning anyone can see your List name and the people on it, as well as their tweets. You can, however, make the List Private: the List appears only to you on Twitter, no one else.

42.  Spy on your competition

Want to keep tabs on what your competition does on Twitter, but you don’t want to follow them? Add them to a private List: you don’t need to follow the people or accounts you add to a List. This is a fantastic tactic for watching your competitors without them knowing about it.

43. Who’s on influencers’ Lists?

Remember those people you followed in tactic #36? Those influencers likely have Lists of people you need to know about, so take a look at their Lists and who’s on them. You may find people and opportunities you never knew existed.

44.  Create list of evangelists

Create a list of people who are your brand or industry evangelists:  users who retweet and engage your content, or that of your niche. Those evangelists offer a gold mine of potential for potential hiring, partners, or referrals.

I keep a list of my favorite voices on Social Media:

45.  Create list of detractors

Find the people who publicly criticize your business and put them in a private List. If their criticism is constructive or valid, definitely respond to them, and learn from their feedback.

46. Follow people who are on the same List

Once you see what Lists people have added you to on Twitter, see who else is on that List. You may find industry influencers and thoughtful people you haven’t been exposed to previously. Follow those whose content resonates with you.

47.  Profile displays Lists you’re on

Not only does your Twitter profile display the public Lists you’ve created, it also shows the Lists other people have added YOU to. That’s a great sign of social proof and respect: if people are adding you to Lists, your tweets are getting noticed and appreciated.


48. Keep original tweets short

Keep your original tweets under 200 characters. That gives people retweeting your content 80 characters to retweet you and provide context.

49. Retweet resources

Retweet content that is useful to your followers. It shows your followers useful information, and the original creator of the tweet sees you, expanding your network.

50.  Ask for the retweet

Studies show asking for the retweet does, in fact, result in more retweets. Don’t be ashamed to ask people to retweet your content. Keep it simple and use, “Pls retweet!” to encourage followers to share.

51.  Links are retweeted most

Studies show people retweet tweets with links more than any other content type. That’s not surprising: if you’re adding a link to a tweet, it’s often helpful or educational, and others like to share that type of content.

52.  Retweet for networking

Retweeting = engagement, and engagement is the one thing every social media account wants more of. Find people you want to connect with, follow them, and retweet their content. It gets their attention and expands their visibility, giving them valued social proof. It also puts you on their radar.

For example, Lynda Spiegel is a professional résumé writer who gave me great advice, so I want to publicly thank her by retweeting one of her tweets and adding a comment:

53.  Add short comment

While you don’t want to write an essay in a retweet, a short comment providing context as to why you recommend this tweet is helpful to both your followers and the person you’re retweeting.

54.  Thank people for retweets

Retweets are a big deal. They not only expand your audience, but they also act as a seal of approval from the person doing the retweeting. People who retweet you are doing you a service by sharing your content, so make sure to thank them:

55.  Always credit content source

When retweeting, always make sure to credit the original source of the content (even if the original tweeter didn’t).. Retweeting content without credit is unprofessional and harms your reputation. Give people the credit they deserve by including a brief credit, such as, “via @NBCNews.”

56. Thank retweeters in their language

Maria Peagler often gets retweets from European Union tweeters, and when saying thanks, she’ll often use the word “Thank you” in their language.

Don’t know the translation for “Thanks” in their language? Do a quick lookup for it in Google Translate. It’s a small gesture that goes a long way in making a connection across the pond and on Twitter.


57. Offer services via Twitter

You can use Twitter to offer prompt service to your customers. Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, responds by direct message to questions about account balances and credit cards. Their customers are delighted with the quick response and post their positive experience on Twitter. Call it a win-win-win!

How could your brand offer services on Twitter?

58. Share helpful resources

Share helpful resources relevant to your audience (bonus: those tweets are more likely to be retweeted).

Bank of America shared its partnership with Khan Academy to teach people to be better with money:

Notice Bank of America tagged Khan Academy, so they would get a notification of it? They also created the branded hashtag #PowerTo identify helpful programs they make available in their communities.

59.  @Cookbook tweets recipes in 280 characters

Maureen Evans of @Cookbook uses Twitter to share complete recipes in a single tweet — who ever thought you could learn how to cook on Twitter?

Can’t figure out what those recipe abbreviations mean? No worries — Maureen provides the link to a downloadable glossary right in her Twitter profile:

60.  Add a personal touch with emojis

Twitter allows you to use emojis in your tweets, providing a light-hearted touch . Find emojis that relate to your topic and use them if they’re right for your brand: their colorful and fun nature make your tweets stand out in newsfeed full of text.

IHOP used pancake emojis to promote it’s birthday sale (a lot of pancakes):

61.  Teach a class one tweet at a time

Teachers, librarians, and school counselors love Twitter and use it creatively: some teachers give a pop quiz on Twitter. Students who answer correctly get extra points in the class. See 50 Ways to Use Twitter for Teachers here.

62.  Transcend communication limits #Egypt

When traditional communication methods fail or are unavailable, Twitter provides a platform to keep people connected.  Twitter has proven an essential communication tool during the Arab spring, national weather emergencies, and other significant events that require getting information out to the public but may be hampered by government shutdowns of traditional media outlets, or even slow websites.

The National Hurricane Center used Twitter to provide shelter locations during Hurricane Irma when their website was slowed by huge traffic spikes.

63.  Share infographics meant to be read in-tweet

Share micro-infographics that people can read in their newsfeed without having to leave Twitter. Make it easy for people to read and share your content.

World Health Organization shared easy tips to stay healthy for New Year’s resolutions:

64.  Offer great customer service

Twitter has largely become a replacement for the 1-800 number: why spend time on hold if you can tweet a question and check back in a few minutes to get the reply? No waiting on hold necessary.

Your Action Item

Every small business can brand themselves and expand their influence using Twitter.

Go through this post again and identify which tactics best fit your business. You don’t have to completely change the way you market your brand; instead, simply start using Twitter in your social media posts using the information in the infographic.

Use this infographic as a “to do list” of tactics, and experiment with a few to see which ones generate the most buzz and results for your brand. Don’t forget to let me know which ones worked for you, using the hashtag #tweetsheet.

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