Twitter is practically a grandfather in the social media sphere these days. Having been around and active since 2006, this platform has gone around the block a few times. And, just like George Clooney, who has only gotten better with age, Twitter still remains one of the hottest platforms for growing your small business.

twitter still rocks

Here’s why:

Twitter Cards

We all know Twitter is known for 140-character posts, but what if you can take that real estate to the next level? You can with Twitter Cards, which allow you to create a media-rich experience for website visitors who tweet your content. By adding a couple of lines of code to your website, images, product info, videos and more will be shared when a visitor chooses to share it with their network.

There are seven Card types to choose from:

  • gallery cards featuring a number of images
  • single photo cards
  • summary cards which let you post a link with further information
  • summary cards with images
  • app cards
  • player cards which showcase videos
  • product cards

These visual options drastically increase the likelihood that your prospects will actually click on your post. Think about the possibilites when you can go well-beyond 140 characters by sharing products directly into your Twitter stream? Awesome.

Get started with Twitter Cards here.

Twitter Advertising

In a recent webinar I co-hosted with Manta, we covered the importance of social media advertising. Let’s face it, the social space is getting pretty crowded. How do you stand out? By putting promoting your posts. And, while Facebook remains the giant in social media advertising, Twitter’s ad platform is nothing to balk at. There are three options for advertising on Twitter and a whole slew of targeting choices (love the target by hashtag option!).

Choose from:

  • Promoted Tweet
  • Promoted Account
  • Promoted Trends

As with any advertising you will want to consider what your objective is, and what the value of a new lead is to your small business.

Learn more about Twitter advertising here.

Twitter Videos

Twitter enthusiasts rejoiced upon the recent announcement of native video integration. Why? Because keeping your target audience engaged is the name of the game. Similar to their Vine integration (but localized,) Twitter videos are 30-second snippets, bringing imagery to life. Small businesses can take advantage of this feature by showing a little behind-the-scenes footage, the progression of product development or for quick customer testimonials.

To take video, you simply tap and hold your phone’s screen. With a tap, you can record multiple segments or delete a segment, then upload as you would an image.

This is definitely a step in the right direction for leveling the playing field with Facebook and Instagram.

Hashtags are awesome. They allow you to make connections with folks who wish to engage in the same topics of conversation as you. They broaden your potential audience and they organize your posts. Now, some folks are still on the #hashtageverythingyoucan bandwagon (tsk tsk!), but others are really gaining traction by integrating them into an overall strategy.

Trending hashtags are a way for small businesses to ride the wave of a fast moving boat – it’s in motion and everyone is on board, you just need to jump in. Find out what’s trending by navigating to your home page (on your desktop computer) and looking on the left hand side. If you’re on a mobile device, simply tap on the Search icon. See a topic that could be relevant to your audience? Jump in and tweet about it.

Note: Be careful when using this tactic. There have been many brand #fails whether they were trying to create their own trending hashtag or simply misused an established one.

Brand Amplifiers

Brand Amplifiers are customers, colleagues, vendors, prospects, who are willing to share your content and “tweet you up”, and Twitter’s platform tends to attract a lot of those folks. Amplifiers are twice as likely to use Twitter several times a day and are considered Power Users.

Moving beyond your own network of connections, there is a huge database of influencers with large followings that can really help your message spread like wildfire. The goal is to find the influencers in YOUR industry and engage with them so they will help amplify your message.

Direct Conversations

Probably the biggest benefit of being active on Twitter is the ability to chat directly with folks – social media is supposed to be “social” you know. I have tweeted with magazine editors, CEO’s, celebrities, potential customers, vendors, amplifiers…. really, just about anyone. Twitter is responsible for a large amount of business I have received, and I love it.

Have you used Twitter as a lead generation tool? If so, what has worked for you? I’d love to know!

Ready to take your social media up a notch? Learn more about my hybrid coaching and online course program, Get Socially Savvy!