I get asked a lot of questions about using Twitter for business, so I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of the most common ones in this blog post. Where possible, I have also tried to include a link to a relevant blog post for further reading.
Please let me know any other questions you have in the comments at this end of this post!
13 Most Commonly Asked Twitter Questions
1. Is Twitter even important to my business?
With so many social networks to choose from, many business owners struggle with whether or not Twitter is really important to have in their social marketing mix. While it’s certainly possible to have a successful business without being active on Twitter, there are tons of wonderful opportunities you could be missing out on, including increased referral traffic, the opportunity to build your brand, professional networking and the ability to reach a global audience.
For more reasons your business should be on Twitter, see my post 12 Simple Reasons to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business.
2. Is my ideal customer even on Twitter?
The short answer is this: You won’t know unless you actively look for them there! While you can look at Twitter’s demographics to get an idea how likely it is your target market is active there, it’s only through actually using the network for a while that you can get an accurate measure.
Some ways you can find your ideal customer on Twitter include:
- Using a tool like Twellow to search through public tweets organized by category. This enables you to search relevant categories for new people to follow.
- Search for relevant keywords using Twitter Search to find conversations happening about your brand, products or niche.
- If your business or content is largely news related, or if real-time information sharing is important to your business, your ideal customer is probably on Twitter; in terms of sharing news, there is no better social network than Twitter.
3. Can you actually sell stuff on Twitter?
Yes and no. If you’re looking to directly sell your products or services using your Twitter feed, you’re likely going to end up being disappointed.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking to find leads that will ultimately turn into sales, you will find Twitter absolutely invaluable! There are a number of ways you can find qualified leads on Twitter…but keep in mind that for any of these to work, you first need to become a consistent, trusted source of help and information.
- Search for tweets looking for recommendations
- Host Twitter chats or parties
- Create a custom landing page and link to it from your Twitter bio
- Keep your posts short enough that they are easy to retweet
For more ideas, see my post How to Get More Leads on Twitter.
4. How do I get more followers?
Ah, the age old question! Some of my best tips for getting new followers are:
- Consistently creating new content people will want to share
- Use your keywords in your Twitter bio so the right people can find you
- Keeping your tweets short enough that they are easy to retweet
- Using relevant hashtags so people you aren’t connected to can find your tweets
- Following and interacting with people in your niche
There are lots more tips in my post, 15 Tips to Get and Keep More Twitter Followers!
5. How do I find TARGETED people to follow?
It is easy enough to find people to follow, but what you want is quality over quantity. You want to be following people who can potentially have an impact on your business, and this means being somewhat choosy about who you follow.
Finding targeted people to follow isn’t difficult if you know where to look. In fact, the same method you would use for finding your ideal customer on Twitter can be used here: Using Twitter’s on-site search to find hashtags and keywords related to your business or niche, and using tools like Twellow to find Twitter users by category. In addition, you’ll want to take a look at influencers in your industry, and see who they’re following and interacting with.
6. What should my profile include?
The goal of your profile is to grab the attention of those looking at it, and to act as an invitation for them to connect with you.
Your profile should include:
- A professional profile photo
- A branded header image
- A branded handle (username)
- Your geographic location (especially important for local businesses)
- A well-written bio free from typos and including relevant keywords
- A link back to your website
- A custom background image
For more bio ideas, see my post How to Build a Rockstar Twitter profile.
7. How often should I tweet?
This will vary depending on your business and niche, so I’d encourage you to test this out with your audience.
That said, research seems to indicate that an optimal number is 4-5 times per day. The most important factor is that you’re consistent in your posting frequency…meaning if you can only bring yourself to Tweet once or twice per day, at least be willing to commit to doing that every day.
8. Should I connect my Facebook and Twitter account?
Great question! I actually don’t recommend connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts. While it can seem like a great way to save some time, it’s important to keep in mind that the ways you’ll use Facebook and Twitter will likely be very different.
For instance, a mention or retweet showing up on Facebook doesn’t make much sense, and can give the impression that you’re too busy or too lazy to post to each account separately. Same goes for hashtags: these are definitely still more relevant on Twitter than on Facebook.
If you’re pressed for time, I’d suggest using a tool like Hoostsuite that will you manage your cross-platform social media efforts more efficiently.
9. Should I have a Protected or Public account?
By default, your Twitter account will be public. This means anyone on the net can see everything you’re doing on Twitter (apart from direct messages, or course). If you’re using Twitter as a way to build your brand, reach new customers or increase your online visibility, I would most definitely suggest leaving your account public.
If you are really concerned about privacy, about the content of your tweets going ‘viral’, or about new people being able to find you and read your stuff, there are probably better tools you could be using: like sticking with email for instance J
10. Who should I follow back?
Should you follow back everyone who follows you? I would argue no. Don’t feel as if you’re obligated to follow back everyone who follows you. Instead, take a look at your new followers, and ask yourself if they’re relevant to your business or niche. If it’s obvious that they will have nothing valuable to offer to you or your business, there’s no reason you need to feel you have to follow them back.
That said, there’s a fine line between being selective and being too picky…when in doubt, follow them back. After all, you can always unfollow them later if need be!
11. What is a hashtag on Twitter?
A hashtag is simply a keyword or keywords preceded by the number sign (#), that help Twitter users find messages on a certain topic. Hashtags help you build your audience, as they allow people who aren’t following you to find your tweets and potentially follow you. They are also useful for you to find targeted people to follow and tweets that you can share and comment on.
For more help with using hashtags for your business, see my posts 5 Rocking Hashtag Tools and 7 Reasons Why Hashtags are a MUST in Your Marketing.
12. How do I get more retweets?
Getting your content retweeted not only feels great, but it goes a long way to helping expand your online visibility and gain new followers. Some of my best tips for getting more retweets include:
- Producing great content that connects with your audience
- Placing a retweet button on your website
- Using hashtags and the @ sign
- Asking for a retweet
- Be a retweeter yourself
- Keep your posts short if you want them to be retweeted
For more tips, see my post How to Get More Retweets on Twitter.
13. What is the difference between a direct message and a reply?
To put it simply, direct messages are private whereas replies are public. Replies give you a way to have a public back and forth conversation that others can read and contribute to. Private conversations that you want to keep private, on the other hand, are best kept to direct messages.
And those are my 13 most commonly asked Twitter questions!
What other questions do you have about Twitter? Feel free to leave your questions in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer them!