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5 Twitter Tips and Hacks For the Small-Business Owner

It's huge: More than 100 million people log in to Twitter every single day. More than 313 million log in monthly. And, over 500 million tweets go out each and every day.

Used by business owners, entertainers and world leaders, Twitter is a force in the online world and one of the two most widely used social media platforms.

Twitter's powerful position is an awesome tool for small-business owners to not only communicate with current customers but reach out to other demographics as well. For example, business owner and photographer Lori Janeson takes advantage of photo posting to create an inviting Twitter page.

How can a small-business owner take advantage of Twitter's unique standing? Follow these five tips and hacks to get the most out of Twitter for business.

1. With Twitter, It's All About the Now

Whether you already have a Twitter account or not, you have to recognize Twitter's distinctive place within the social media realm. For example, Facebook is an easy way to informally communicate with followers, provide information, offer advice and show current and future customers the people behind the business. In other words, Facebook is great for building a community of followers who get to know one another as well as the individuals who make a business run.

It's true that Twitter covers some of the same ground, but it does it in a different way. The Twitter platform is more about the now. It's about breaking news. It's about involving yourself in discussions about the latest trends. It's about building and maintaining a standing in your profession. And, it's about customer support. In fact, if yours is a direct to consumer business or B2B, customer service has to be a top Twitter priority.

2. Relevancy is Your Twitter Bread and Butter

Twitter originally displayed a user's feed in reverse chronological order. Of course, nothing stands still, particularly where Twitter is concerned. A recent algorithm change angered many users, but the change is really an advantage for small businesses.

What was the change that enraged so many? Instead of users seeing chronological tweets about anything and everything, users saw tweets that matched their interests. Now, your marketing efforts actually reach the very people who are interested in your message — your target groups.

How can you take advantage of the new algorithm? By tweeting and retweeting focused messages about your line of business. Your tasks? Prove yourself an expert in your field, strengthen your brand, build a community, write and share significant high-quality content and retweet industry news and content from influencers.

3. Use Your Twitter Account as a Customer Service Channel

If you're doing it right, your Twitter followers are already or soon will be your customers. And with customers comes service and support. If a customer responds to a tweet or contacts you respond as soon as you can.

A study published by Lithium Technologies in April 2017 found that people who complain to a brand using Twitter expect an answer within an hour. If they don't hear back many users complain and they don't use "indoor" voice when they do it. Caomplaints are public. Rapid responses are vital to keep your Twitter reputation strong. Also reply quickly if a user thanks you or gives you a positive review. Customers want to know they're being heard.

4. Tweet Often

The changing Twitter algorithm means that your organic reach is less effective than before. You can mitigate the problem by tweeting often. If it's been your habit to tweet a link to your latest blog posts once a week, tweet content several times during the week instead. Use one of the many scheduling tools available if you're strapped for time. Don't spam or tweet nothing but sales hype, but share the good old high quality stuff followers find useful.

5. Learn More

Take advantage of the many free resources and guides Twitter offers to help you understand the platform and get the most out of it. The more you know, the better you'll be at strengthening your brand, building community and reaching out beyond your basic demographic pool.