5 Strategies to Make Your Small Business Shine on Twitter

You’ve heard Twitter is a great platform for small businesses to market product and generate business leads. Maybe you’ve even given it a shot, but haven’t seen results. You’re not alone.

Whether you’re just getting started on Twitter or have been active for awhile, with more than 500 million tweets being shared daily, it’s not easy to get noticed. So how can you make sure your business shines in the spotlight?

5 Strategies to make your Small Business Shine on Twitter

Here are 5 Twitter Strategies and tips that have helped my clients (and myself) find the right audience and raise brand awareness.

1. Make your first impression count

Did you know that it in the time it takes a hummingbird to flap its wing twice, someone visiting your Twitter profile will have already made the decision to stay or move on?

5 Twitter-Strategies to Make Your Small Business Shine on Twitter

  1. Choose an image that reflects what your company does. Don’t be afraid to show your human side or your team. People like doing business with people!
  2. Update your Bio with a short text that tells people exactly what your business does. When people (or services) search Twitter for keywords profiles are included.  Be clear and concise. Use industry keywords and include your location and a link to your website or blog.

Benito brow Bio

Creative tip! Not sure how to create a profile image for Twitter? Canva.com can help! Canva is a free service that helps non-designers create rockstar graphic for social media profiles, business cards, presentations and more.

2. Narrowcast your niche with lists

Before you Tweet you need to know who you want to meet.

The key to growing a strong presence on Twitter is finding your niche and building your audience around it. So before you start Tweeting, you need to know who you’re trying to attract. This starts with research and list making.

Not sure which tags are used for your industry? You can either experiment yourself on Twitter with the search bar in the upper right hand corner, or you can try a service, like Hashtagify.me. It’s a free service that allows you to enter one #tag and it will populate a list of ten others.

5 Twitter-Strategies to Make Your Small Business Shine on Twitter


Start combing through the tweets to see if the profiles are interesting for your business. To filter for location, you can use Twitter’s advanced searchand drill down into more specifics.  

Once you’ve found profiles interesting for your business, begin creating Twitter lists.

Who should you be looking for? I look for three types of people when I am studying an industry:

  1. Companies and business
  2. Influencers and thought leaders
  3. Publications or institutes

To create a list click on the name of a user and you will be taken to their profile. Then, click on the cog (wheel) next to the follow button. Select “Add or remove from lists”.

5 Twitter-Strategies to Make Your Small Business Shine on Twitter

Once you have created your lists, add them to the social media monitoring service and begin monitoring for who is sharing, what is being shared and what type of headlines are people finding interesting.

3. Find, share (and analyze) only awesome content

Sound hard? It’s not, and it doesn’t take longer than 15-30 minutes a day to find, schedule and share content when you have the right tools in place.

Here are the three I use daily:

Paper.li: a content curation services that gives you an instant Twitter presence
Feedly: a news aggregation service that helps you organize and share content
Buffer: a scheduling tool that queues content so you can share consistently

Tip! When you share content include an image. Posts with images have a 35% higher share rate than those without images!

Also include the @username of the person who wrote the post. I’ve found that 9 out of 10 times this ensure an additional RT by the author.

5 Twitter-Strategies to Make Your Small Business Shine on Twitter

Analyze: This past summer, I started documenting what happened when I spent 15 minutes each day curating content from Paper.li and Feedly and sharing it via Buffer. (I’ve been curating content for a few years now, the process may take you 30 minutes if you are new)

This means I don’t rely on a service to automatically distribute content for me. I act as the filter and I hand select content suggested by Feedly and Paper.li to share with my audience.

The results have been consistent and impressive. I check my analytics on Twitter daily to see how my posts are performing and I tweak from there. I am gaining on average six new followers day. In fact I have gained 562 more followers in the past 90 days than I did in the 90 days before that!

5 Twitter-Strategies to Make Your Small Business Shine on Twitter

Tip! For each new follower I gain, I thank them and tell them I’m happy to connect. If they are interesting for my business (I’m a consultant) then I add them to one of my lists. Try it, it works!

4. Participate in Tweet Chats

If you’re planning on using Twitter as a broadcasting tool, save yourself the trouble. The people (and businesses) gaining traction are the ones investing time in relationships.

There are a lot of opportunities to interact on Twitter (thanking for RTs, being listed, commenting on a hashtag) but if you really want to raise brand awareness, dedicate one hour a week to joining a Tweet chat that represents your industry or interests.

What are Twitter Chats? They are an hour long discussion around a topic of interest and I see them as a five-in-one resource. Participating in a Twitter chats can help you:

  • Connect with customers and prospects
  • Build authority
  • Create one-on-one relationships
  • Stay informed
  • Promote your brand

If you haven’t joined a Chat before, Razor Social’s Ultimate Guide to Twitter Chats is a great resource. I host the #BizHeroes Small Business and Marketing Twitter chat on Tuesdays at 2pm ET. Please feel free to join us!

5. Make visual connections

There is no denying it. People like visual content. In fact, visuals get 94% more views than text based content and people love sharing it!

With the amount of people still using 100% automation to populate their Twitter streams, images — and especially thought-provoking or inspirational quotes — catch people’s attention and promote sharing.

So bump up the visuals for your Twitter marketing to at least one time a day on Twitter!

Try this:

  1. Find a quote from the last Tweet chat you participated in or show you attended, from an influencer that you’d like to take notice, or a quote from a quote website.
  2. Use Canva to create your image (preselect a Twitter template to make it easy!)
  3. Upload the Tweet to Twitter and tag up to 10 people in the Tweet. If you create quality images they will be sure to reshare. For the record, this Tweet earned 18 RTs!

5 Twitter-Strategies to Make Your Small Business Shine on Twitter
This is a great way to keep relationships going after a online or on-location events together. It keeps the spirit going and gives people a reason to remember you.

Give these five strategies a try and let me know how they work. You can find me on Twitter @kdhungerford. I look forward to connecting!
Kelly HungerfordKelly is a Customer-centric Marketer and Customer Experience Strategist. She helps companies use Social Media to build communities, improve marketing operations, develop better products and deliver outstanding customer service.

In her most recent role as Head of Community Development at Paper.li, Kelly was tasked with building customer-centric organization from the ground up. She built multiple communities simultaneously to support Customer Service, Marketing, and Product Development with the goal of increasing brand awareness, reducing churn, driving growth and innovating product. But most importantly, created a place called home for more than 500,000 end-users and 6 million monthly visitors.




0 thoughts on “5 Strategies to Make Your Small Business Shine on Twitter”

  1. Hi Sarah. I’m Jonah from Hashtagify.me. Thanks for introducing us 🙂 It’s great to hear that you find our service useful!

    Have a great weekend!


  2. Thanks for this article. Using a hashtag to produce a series of tips has helped me to gain more followers who are looking for advice. I like the suggestion of connecting personally with your followers.

    1. That’s a great tip, Carol. Establishing your own #tag is another way to plant your flag. I haven’t found one that fits for me yet, but I’m looking!

  3. Do you think you should attach an image to your tweet every time, or would that be overdoing it? Images just draw the eye so well and make a tweet so much more noticeable; it seems like a waste to not use one.

    1. Hi Fred, thanks for the comment. I think if you’d only send out tweets with images, that would be a bit overkill. But then again, I get your point… You would be known as the ‘image tweeter’ 😉 – Sarah

    2. Hi Fred, I add images to 80% of my Tweets. Although images draw the eye, studies have found that solid images have the opposite effect. I also like to mix in RTs from other people and quotes for Twitter chats. That keeps the Tweet stream nice and varied.

  4. Oh what a great article. I read so many articles about twitter and social media, when I started reading this article I thought that it is going to be another 5 things article but in a different format. But no, this is very creative and informative article. I must say that there are some really cool tips and tricks in this article which I think many business owners or marketer are not aware of, especially keeping chat spirit on after chat is finish. This is really cool way and I’m sure people will remember you if you use that trick. Bravo!!! Very good article. Keep up the great work.

    1. I’m so happy to hear the post added value. Which tips did you find most helpful? I may need to see if I can Twist Sarah’s arm into a follow-up post 🙂

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