How to Use Twitter to Build Your Home Business

Twit­ter is an effec­tive way to reach your tar­get mar­ket to build rap­port, trust, and to sell your prod­ucts or ser­vices. It dif­fers from oth­er net­works in that you have only 140 char­ac­ters to deliv­er your mes­sage, graph­ics, videos and/or links, which isn’t a lot. Aside from lim­it­ed char­ac­ter count, Twit­ter can be dif­fi­cult to man­age because con­ver­sa­tion streams move quick­ly.

Despite these chal­lenges, you can use Twit­ter to effec­tive­ly mar­ket your busi­ness.

Here are 9 tips to help you achieve top results.

1. Complete your Twitter profile

Because spam­mers like to use Twit­ter too, many peo­ple are leery about fol­low­ing oth­ers who don’t have com­plete pro­files, includ­ing a pho­to. So before you start tweet­ing and seek­ing fol­low­ers, make sure you’ve added your pho­to, use a user­name that fits you or your busi­ness, and a short bio that describes your busi­ness’ ben­e­fits. You’re allowed to use hash­tags and to men­tion oth­ers in your bio, which can be help­ful in get­ting peo­ple to find and con­nect with you. Also, you can use a large head­er ban­ner, which is a great space to high­light your prod­ucts and ser­vices.

2. Tweet with a Goal and Plan

Although it’s okay to tweet ran­dom thoughts and ideas, if you’re build­ing a busi­ness, the major­i­ty of your tweets should have a goal end result. Do you want to inform or enter­tain? Are you seek­ing more fol­low­ers or newslet­ter sub­scribers?

Are you build­ing trust or rap­port with your mar­ket and/or influ­encers? Twit­ter moves fast and it can tol­er­ate more mes­sages per day than oth­er social media net­works such as Face­book or LinkedIn. Make those mes­sages count by hav­ing a pur­pose beyond shar­ing what you had for break­fast.

To help man­age social media, cre­ate a plan and use tools such as Hoot­suite, Tweet­deck or Buffer.

These resources can help you fol­low influ­encers, hash­tags, and oth­er feeds you want to fol­low. Plus you can sched­ule posts so you don’t have to be online 24/7.

3. Use #Hashtags

Twit­ter moves so fast, there is no way peo­ple can digest every mes­sage. Fur­ther, many mes­sages in their feeds, they don’t care about. The solu­tion has been to cat­e­go­rize mes­sages using hash­tags. Twit­ter users use hash­tags to find the infor­ma­tion they want and need. Help them find you by using the hash­tags they use to find that con­tent. Hash­tags are search­able, and you can cre­ate a stream (i.e. in Hoot­suite) that lists the tweets using a spe­cif­ic hash­tag.

4. Use graphics and video

Although start­ed as a text-only micro-blog­ging social net­work, today you can post pic­tures and video on Twit­ter. With fast mov­ing feeds, a pic­ture or video has a bet­ter chance of stand­ing out from the noise. There are many places online where you can get free graph­ics or make a GIF to use in social media.

5. Don’t sell…at least not a lot

Do you fol­low busi­ness­es on social media that only post “Buy me” mes­sages? I doubt it. The truth is, peo­ple don’t sign up for ads. They sign up for tips, infor­ma­tion, and enter­tain­ment. The bulk of your tweets should pro­vide some­thing your mar­ket would be inter­est­ed in, with only the occa­sion­al pro­mo­tion­al post.

6. Talk with not at your market

Social media, as the name says, is social. It’s a two way con­ver­sa­tion. So along with your posts, take time to respond to com­ments and posts made by those who fol­low you and who you fol­low. Thank peo­ple for re-tweet­ing your con­tent. Con­sid­er hav­ing a Twit­ter Chat, where you can spend time con­vers­ing direct­ly with your mar­ket. Take it ones step fur­ther and host a live infor­ma­tive video through Periscope or Meerkat that includes the abil­i­ty for peo­ple to chat with you via Twit­ter.

7. Make friends with influencers

It’s true that you’re judged by the friends you keep. So make friends with peo­ple who have influ­ence in your mar­ket. Don’t be obnox­ious in seek­ing influ­encer atten­tion. Instead, fol­low them, retweet their con­tent, and make com­ments to their posts. When they notice how sup­port­ive you are, they’ll take a look at your Twit­ter feed, and hope­ful­ly, repay the gen­eros­i­ty you’ve shown them.

8. Make friends with your fans

There is no bet­ter pub­lic­i­ty than a rav­ing fan. When peo­ple like you, they’ll tell oth­ers. Refer­rals are the cheap­est and most effec­tive way to build your busi­ness. So when you’re fol­low­ers say nice things about you or retweet your tweets, make sure you thank them.

9. Consider using Quick Promote

Twit­ter is free, but if you don’t have a lot of fol­low­ers or engage­ment, one way to grow is through Twitter’s Quick Pro­mote. This is basi­cal­ly a paid ad, and done well, can help build your busi­ness. Instead of using it to sell, con­sid­er using it to share great con­tent on your web­site or free­bies giv­en away to sub­scribers of your email list. Like many oth­er online ads, you can tar­get the loca­tion (i.e. U.S.) and set your bud­get.