Have you sent out a tweet in the last few hours? If so, you’re most definitely not alone — more than 500 million tweets are posted every day.
Social media has become the marketing device of the current generation, and there is no escaping the fact that Twitter is a fundamental part of it. 230 million users now have a Twitter account, giving some idea of just how pervasive it has become.
If you click on the image at the top of the article, you can see a list of catering equipment resellers and dealers with the most Twitter followers that we have uncovered.
If you feel you should be included on this list and we missed you off, we apologise — tweet us to let us know! Note that the table does not include manufacturers, wholesalers or companies that we understand to predominantly sell more tableware than light or heavy equipment.
As any catering equipment distributor that has been tweeting for any meaningful length of time will know, Twitter can be a useful tool for promoting services, sharing company information, highlighting new products, responding to customer enquiries and tapping into industry trends.
But it can also sometimes feel like a burden. Not only is somebody in the organisation required to take ownership of it, but businesses have also been known to find it difficult to measure the tangible rewards and leads.
You also need to know how to get the best out of Twitter. The little things are often the most important. Experts will tell you not to put important messages out on a Friday, for example. Twitter receives many more visitors between Monday and Thursday, with the highest traffic on Wednesday and Thursday. If you do send a tweet later in the week, think about retweeting a variation of it on the following Monday to optimise exposure.
So what else do you need to bear in mind to ensure that Twitter benefits your business? Here is Twitter’s own advice on how to achieve the results you want:
1. Connect in context
On Twitter, people talk about what they care about and what’s happening around them right now, including your business. This gives you powerful context to connect your message to what’s most meaningful to your customers in real time. Engaging with real-time tweets can influence conversations in a way that can help build your business.
2. Listen and learn
See what your competitors are tweeting about or search for industry keywords to listen and gather market intelligence. It’s an easy way to get insights that you can use to inform your strategy.
3. Create Tweets that resonate
Combine exciting, useful content with an engaging, unique tone to connect with your audience. Include links, pictures and videos. And remember to keep your tweets prompt and timely — a crucial element for Twitter success. There’s no need to be overly formal on Twitter either. Your tweets should reflect the individuality and personality of your business. People respond best to friendly, conversational tweets.
4. Keep tweets short and sweet
Creativity loves constraints and simplicity is at Twitter’s core. Tweets are limited to 140 characters so they can be consumed easily anywhere, even via mobile text messages. There’s no magical length for a tweet, but a recent report by social enterprise software firm Buddy Media revealed that tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17% higher engagement rate.
5. Make it real-time
Timing matters, especially for breaking news or live tweets. But how about for everything else? The short answer: it depends on the content of the tweet, your objectives, your audience, their geography and more. The best way to optimise the timing of your tweets is to test and learn.
6. Tweet often
Like timing, tweet frequency depends on a number of variables such as your audience, purpose and business objectives. That said, a good basic rule is between three to five tweets per day. You may want to try tweeting a couple times a day to see how your audience reacts, then adjust as needed.
7. Follow your interests
Following is a fantastic way to discover compelling content and inspire ideas for your own tweets. Follow accounts that are interesting to you or your business.
8. Simply @reply
Engage other Twitter users in conversation using @replies and mentions. The @reply feature is intended to make communication between users easy and seamless.
9. Stand out
It’s a crowded digital world out there. Use Twitter to share unique information about your company that your customers can’t find elsewhere, like behind-the-scenes photographs, discounts or new product previews.
10. Interact and respond
Reply when people tweet about you. Favourite and retweet positive messages, and thank those who praise you. Keep in mind that retweets can also represent your voice and brand personality. Promptly address critical tweets about your business in a calm, helpful manner.