Social Media Marketing: 13 Twitter Strategies for Small Businesses

social media marketingWith over 200 million users delivering about 65 million tweets per day, Twitter is a great place where small businesses can engage in marketing that can reach a lot of potential customers. Employing cost-effective and proven advertising strategies is necessary to compete in the market and get exposure to a huge client base. This holds true for small businesses that operate on a tight budget. Fortunately, the following 13 strategies are the best ways to gain exposure on Twitter for free: 1. Build a relevant list of followers. Follow accounts that you think will be interested in your business in the hopes that they'll follow back. Also, invite the members of your online communities to follow your Twitter page. Go for quality over quantity -- spam followers are not buying customers.

2. Make your Twitter page look good. Create an aesthetically appealing page. Choose a pleasing color scheme, a custom desktop background, and a header image to give your page a unique look. Add a description so that people will know what your business is about. Don't forget to add a link to your website!

3. Include a Twitter widget to your website. To showcase your tweets, add a Twitter widget to tour blog's sidebar. This widget displays your latest tweets, so that your website's visitors can see them as they browse through your entries. If people like your tweets, they'll follow you on Twitter.

4. Link your Twitter account to your website. Each time you publish a post on your blog, inform your Twitter followers in real time by linking your Twitter account to your website. You don't have to manually update Twitter when you have a new entry, because Twitter will automatically do that. A tweet with your entry's title and a link to it will appear each time you post on your blog.

5. Add a "Follow Me" button on your website. Give visitors options for getting updates on your latest blog posts. Some people want to receive email notifications, while others use RSS feed. Then, there are those who like getting notified via Twitter. For them, add a Follow button on your website so that they can quickly follow your Twitter account.

6. Create a hashtag-based ad campaign. Hashtags make your tweets more searchable, and they're also useful for online ad campaigns. Think of a hashtag that best represents your business. Then, end your tweets with it and encourage your followers to do the same.

7. Encourage your followers to participate in discussions. People use Twitter to talk. Take advantage of that by asking questions that would motivate your followers to join in a conversation. Even simple questions such as "What are your plans for the weekend?" generate replies, which in turn, give more exposure for your business.

8. Reply to your followers. When followers reply to your tweets, acknowledge them to spur an exchange of ideas. When your followers are involved, their curiosity about your business will be piqued. You can also use Twitter's private messaging feature to give more in-depth answers to some questions.

9. Retweet follower tweets. Another way of giving importance to your followers is by retweeting their tweets. This shows that you value them and notice their participation. As a result, they're more likely to tweet about your business giving you free advertisement in the process.

10. Ask followers to retweet your tweets. If you make a habit of occasionally retweeting your followers' tweets, they'll be happy to retweet your tweets. When there's a particular tweet that you like to get around, ask your followers to retweet it for you. Just don't do it often; otherwise, your followers will think that you're a publicity hound.

11. Share interesting content from other sources. Your tweets should be informative so that the people who aren't interested yet in your business would still have a reason to follow your page. Thus, feel free to share content coming from other blogs. The owners of those websites may return the favor by posting a tweet about your blog.

12. Post videos, photos, and other media. Spice up your Twitter page by sharing stuff other than text tweets. Post links to YouTube videos, Instagram photos, Pinterest boards, etc. When you regularly serve up a variety of content, your followers won't get bored.

13. Use a platform that allows you to tweet longer. Twitter has a 140-character limit, but in cases when you have to say more, use a platform such as TwitLonger so that you can make longer tweets. That's a better option than making your tweets so shortened with textspeak that they're hardly readable. When sharing a long URL, shorten it using TinyURL or

It takes time, effort, and patience to carve a significant presence on Twitter, so don't ever quit. The important thing is to regularly deliver quality content so that you can build a loyal following. Sooner or later, people will sit up and notice