Be Where Your Clients Are: Effective Tweeting For Indie Entrepreneurs

This is a post that I wrote a while back for the team I'm part of. Originally published on the Indie Localizers blog.


As an indie business owner, you most probably don’t have a dedicated marketing staff and you do all the marketing, promoting, finding leads etc. yourself. We hope this post will prove helpful in your efforts!

When client hunting on social media it’s important to remember that most people use social media for entertainment and socializing, and any blatant marketing or pitching can be very annoying. Speak like a real person, not like a corporation, be helpful and friendly, and refrain from openly pushing your brand. Telling a joke or sharing a funny GIF will help in that. Also, when on social media, be social and network with people. That’s probably the trickiest part.

Do not simply shoot tweets left and right every day. Tweet your thoughts, ideas—people like such profiles much more, no one wants to follow a marketing machine or a Twitter robot, and it’s unlikely they want to do business with people behind such accounts. Whenever you tweet an article from the Web, offer your opinion, include your comment or just an emoji.

Let’s start with some basics and move on to more outside-the-box techniques that we use in our marketing efforts:

 

FOLLOWING AND HASHTAGS

It’s advisable to follow your potential clients to attract their attention. They might follow back and then they’ll see your future tweets. And we find it more rewarding to follow real people versus brands. If you haven’t done so yet, determine who your potential clients are.

Hashtags work like streams: The tweet with a hashtag will be automatically posted in the relevant stream (or feed) and many more relevant people will find out about you and some will surely follow. If you don’t use hashtags, no one will see your tweets apart from your followers.

Research has shown that hashtags can double the engagement with your tweets and that 2-4 hashtags is the optimal number of hashtags in a tweet.

 

TWEET MORE THAN ONCE

Another tip is to tweet important content (read your blog posts) twice or three times a day, not just once. Some studies have shown that any link you share on Twitter or Facebook will become irrelevant after 3 hours, as it gets buried down in the feed.

Once tweeted out, you may delete the previous identical tweet so that your feed looks neat and clean with no duplicates.

 

MENTION

And if your article has reviews or references to well-known companies or products, a smart tactic would be to include hashtags with the name of that company or product (or DM’ing that company directly): That company probably has a large user base, imagine the exposure you’ll get if someone from that company retweets or mentions you.

Another cool tactic: If you do cold contacting on Twitter, before sending your DM to the client, visit their website, visit their blog, and if you liked a blog post or two, tweet those mentioning the company’s Twitter account (using @). They will definitely like this and might retweet you etc.

 

AUTOMATE

Use Buffer or similar. The registration is free and you can connect up to 3 accounts. Buffer allows to save time by automating sharing on social media: use it to schedule your tweets a week ahead, this means you won’t have to worry about tweeting every day and can move it to the back of your mind.

See how I’ve scheduled 2-3 tweets for every day of the week:

  Tweets are scheduled for the week ahead

Tweets are scheduled for the week ahead

Plus, with the Buffer browser extension, you can quickly tweet any snippet of text or an image you come across while net surfing. Simply highlight or right-click it and push the Buffer button, and your tweet will be added to your queue.

 

USE PICTURES

Make sure you add a picture in every tweet, as such tweets are more engaging. A tweet with a picture gets more retweets, @-replies, and mentions, and generally performs much better than a tweet with no pictures.

I realize you may not have that many pictures readily available, and this is when Buffer (or similar) comes in handy as well. When you tweet or schedule with Buffer you will see the “Create a picture” option, and that’s a handy function I mentioned above: You can quickly search for a stock picture, add some tagline, save it on your PC, and then conveniently drag and drop it into your Buffer tweet—done.

See how quickly I schedule a tweet and create and paste a picture:

Making and adding a picture in Buffer

DESCRIPTION

The Twitter description should make it clear what your business is about, and the clients should realize at a glance that what you tweet is something useful for them. 

It’s best to use a real picture of real you (or at least an avatar) versus your logo. You may publish your logo and branding in the cover picture (the big background picture).

The description should give away the feeling that behind this Twitter profile there is a real interesting person who offers original ideas and not a marketing robot.

Include your website address or contact details right in the description.

This address will be shown on the preview of your account on the Twitter search results page and in other places like email notifications. This way your potential client is more likely to engage and visit your website.

  Via @IndieLocalizers

Via @IndieLocalizers

This is a screenshot of an email notification, note the website address:

  URL in the description

URL in the description

  And this is a Twitter search results page; the website and email are readily available

And this is a Twitter search results page; the website and email are readily available

Another small tip is to use relevant hashtags right in the description so that your profile shows up in search results. Although this may be frowned upon by some.

 

IFTTT

We have used auto thank-you tweets before using IFTTT but then opted not to, as some people perceive them negatively (we certainly hear them).

Instead, consider using these IFTTT recipes:

 

MASTER ADVANCED SEARCH

There are more advanced techniques that help to automate client hunting on Twitter.

By using Twitter advanced search in tandem with IFTTT, you can automate the process of finding leads. Read this article, if you want to be a pro.

 

TWEET AT THE RIGHT TIME

Time of the day and the day of the week you tweet is also important. The article boils down to the following.

 

The best times to tweet for engagement are quite the inverse of the most popular times to tweet.

The latter is around noon when people are on the smartphones during the lunch time, and the former late at night when the competition is small:

As you see tweets posted around 9:00 p.m. in the U.S. on average earn the most retweets and favorites.

Tweets sent between 2 and 3am earn the most clicks: Non-peak hours are the top time to tweet for clicks and on average tweets earn the most engagement.

Besides the Buffer’s, there have been other large-scale studies by various social media outlets, which, to be honest, showed quite different results.

Here is a run-down of the most important findings:

  • Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends.
  • For B2B marketers, it’s not surprising that weekdays see 14% more engagement over weekends.
  • Rakacreative’s study found that Twitter gets the most traffic between 9am and 3pm.
  • When optimizing for clicks, research from bit.ly showed that the best time to tweet is 1–3pm.
  • In line with that, Twitter found that users are 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their commute.
  • Another research from KISSmetrics also says noon and 5-6pm are the best times, and retweets have been shown to be highest around 5pm.

So in the end, what you want to do is to schedule your tweets around the times these studies suggest. One thing to keep in mind is that you should correlate the times based on the time zones of your target follower base, not your own time zone.

Besides the above considerations, there are tools out there that tell you when your followers are expected to be most active on Twitter so that you can be there at that time too.

 

TWITTER LISTS

Consider creating lists in Twitter and grouping users you follow in those lists. There are many uses for Twitter lists, for example, see this article (especially the uses #7 and 8). Tools like SocialRank, TweetDeck, and Audiense help managing lists and also give insights on your Twitter follower base.

And with IFTTT you can set up recipes and automate Twitter lists creation based on whether someone mentions you on Twitter, what they favorite, and so on.

 

USE SHORTCUTS

Speed up your tweeting with keyboard shortcuts (press ? on the keyboard when on a Twitter page):

 

UNFOLLOW

If you follow the tip #1 from our list, it’s very easy to flood your Twitter feed with unrelated tweets from users that are either irrelevant to you, tweet too much, or are brands. Consider unfollowing them along with any inactive accounts. There are tools like ManageFlitter that were designed exactly for this purpose.

We hope this post will be helpful to you!

Visit our official Twitter account to see how we tweet or say hi.

We will be writing more of similar content on SEO, localization, and other topics, so be sure to subscribe to our blog.

 

The Indie Localizers Team