Twitter3Twitter has become a popular social media platform for Agribusinesses to interact with customers and boost their Brand online. However, I still get asked, what’s that Twitter thing all about?! Here are a few pointers on the fundamentals of Twitter for small business owners broken into three simple categories; Tweets, Following, and Followers.

Social media platforms allow people to draw conclusions about a brand or company based on the type of content they share so keep this in mind before tweeting. Always consider how your tweet will be perceived by the world and what it will say about you and your business.

Think about the language you use, about how you ‘speak’ in tweets. Images and links you use with a tweet need to carry the message, reflect your brand and add to the text in the tweet and in general be appealing. Furthermore, engagement of tweets that contain images far outweigh tweets that contain no images.

When composing your tweet use #Hashtags sparingly making sure they match the topic of the tweet. I often get asked about the purpose of #Hashtags and if they are of value. Consider them as a search ninja – they operate like a word search in Google. If I want to find what people are saying about the National Ploughing Championships or any content relevant to the Ploughing Championships I would type #Ploughing or #PloughingChampionships. This also means that if I use these #Hashtags, my tweets will show up for other people searching for them.

Twitter is a form of social media so remember the word social. Use it to engage with people, have conversations and get involved with things that are central to your brand. You don’t always have to feel the pressure to come up with content, as on many occasions a Retweet and a Like of other tweets that are relevant to your brand and business demonstrates what you are about.

Tip: Thank and engage with followers or people that retweet or favourite your content.

Following (Who to Follow)
I think it is important to engage and connect with people where there is a mutual benefit, where you will learn something from what they are doing and they might require your product/services in the future. While direct selling is secondary on social media, at the end of the day you are a business and getting your brand out there is part of the sales process.

To find people to Follow, look at the influencers in your field to see who they follow and interact with. You can also use Search Twitter with keywords or #hashtags or use a tool like Twellow to identify Twitter users by category.

Tip: Put the people you are following into Lists as you follow them i.e. Agri Services, Farmers Ireland, Farmers UK, Organisations etc. It makes it easier to follow tweets of people in similar fields and helps you build a nice little database.

Followers (Who’s following you)
The old axiom of ‘quality over quantity’ needs to be the focus here so it is important not to get hung up on the number of followers you have. Instead, consider the quality of followers you have and having the right people following your brand. Consider the relevance of the follower to your business

Ask yourself:
Are they in your business sector?
Are they potential clients/customers?

For a business like mine, I might choose to follow big brands outside of the industry I operate in (Agribusiness), if they follow me, to observe how they use social media, to retweet anything relevant to the Agri sector.

Tip: Always check your notifications to see who has followed you. Block any unsavoury ones that can be damaging to your brand. You don’t need to follow everyone who follows you.

While I did say at the beginning that I would just focus on the three simple categories as above, I just want to finish with one final but important add on. Once you are comfortable with how Twitter works, start to think about analysing what you are doing with a Twitter Analytics account. (With Twitter open in one tab of your browser, go to another tab and type in to go straight to your Twitter analytics site which will automatically be created for you.) This will let you see which items are getting most engagement and the type of content that your followers are most interested in.

If you need any support, have any queries or would like to get assistance with developing your marketing plan this year, contact us at Green Acre Marketing.