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How to Use Twitter for Business: The Ultimate Guide

No matter what kind of company you own or the business idea you’re pursuing, it’s time to learn how to use Twitter for business marketing. Optimizing your social media for customer relations can directly improve your business performance.

It’s been shown that 71% of customers will recommend your brand to others if they had a satisfying experience on social media.

Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms with around 275 million monthly active users, making it a great environment to promote and expand your business.

Using Twitter to grow your business, traffic, and sales

Utilizing Twitter to expand your business is not as difficult as you may think, and there are a few tricks that will help you succeed.

1. Build an impressive Twitter profile

Creating an impressive account is the first step towards greatness. Luckily, it’s really easy to do.

Firstly, you need to Sign up for Twitter.

Twitter's page for signing up
  1. Fill in your name and phone number or email address.
  2. You’ll receive a verification number via email or SMS. Submit your number and click Next.
  3. Create a password. To enhance your account security, make sure to use a combination of numbers and special characters on your password.
  4. Click Next and upload a profile picture. You can skip the next part should you need more time to get a good profile picture for your Twitter account.
  5. Provide your personal data, such as a short bio about yourself or your company, the language you speak, and your username.

Since you are creating a Twitter account for business, you should choose a username that has a similar name to your brand.

For instance, if your brand is named “My Coffee”, your Twitter username should be “@mycoffee”.

Since all of this information can easily be changed later in Settings, you need not worry if you can’t think of everything right now.

When you are set, you will be directed to your timeline.

Twitter profile timeline example

Next, you need to brand your profile.

To edit your profile, click on the Profile tab, then click Edit Profile.

You are able to change basic information, such as the profile name, bio, location, website, and birth date.

If you can’t find the settings you wish to change, click More. Here you can change your username, password, privacy settings, etc.

It is worth noting that Twitter requires two pictures for a profile: the profile picture and the header. Both are different in terms of placement and shape.

  • The profile picture comes in a round shape and will be displayed next to your tweets, while the header picture is rectangular-shaped and will only be shown on your profile page.
  • Putting your company’s logo as a profile picture is a must. After all, a company or brand logo is a powerful marketing tool for influencing brand awareness.
  • You can use the header to display your slogan or product.

Take a look at Apple’s profile – the iconic logo, set as the profile picture, draws attention, while the header promotes their latest product.

Apple ad for 16-inch MacBook Pro alongside their logo

2. Create your online presence

If you run accounts across multiple social media platforms for your business, you should connect to build a unified online presence.

Doing so allows you to create a community around your brand.

Statistics reveal that an average American has no fewer than seven social media accounts across different platforms, so you want to be visible on as many as possible.

A great example of multi-platform marketing at play is this tweet by KFC. Announcing a new product, the tweet urges customers to visit KFC’s Instagram account to get the full details:

KFC's tweet about Holiday Buckets

KFC is linking up their Twitter presence with Instagram using a simple tweet.

While readers may not immediately visit that Instagram account after seeing the post, it will still make Twitter users aware that KFC has an Instagram account.

You can further strengthen your Twitter presence by adding a Twitter feed to your company’s websites and blogs. There are a lot of tools to easily embed a Twitter feed, such as taggbox and Juicer.

Taggbox homepage and login page

You might also enhance your online presence by using Twitter cards – a set of features that allow you to use rich visual media experiences, like photos, videos, or apps, in your tweet.

There are four different cards you can use:

  • Summary Card
  • Summary Card with Large Image
  • App Card
  • Player Card.

Right now, you can use a variation of ready-to-use cards for business advertising through Twitter Ads.

Twitter ads examples side-by-side

Twitter cards can provide a direct message shortcut, encouraging your audience to engage with the tweet. It can also be used to link your website.

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3. Get verified

When you’re verified on Twitter, you get a blue badge next to your username.

This badge is proof that your business is trustworthy, enhancing brand reputation, aiding exposure, and helping your brand stand out.

Nike's Twitter profile page

To get your account verified:

  1. Fill out the verification request form. You will need to have an active Twitter account with a confirmed email address to complete this process.
  2. Provide five online references that can be used to identify your account. You can provide links to places your brand has been featured, such as an article on a popular website like Forbes or New York Times, or an appearance on a news portal.
  3. Twitter will next ask why they have to verify your account. You only have 500 characters to answer this. You must write clearly and concisely to make a case. Try using your brand’s mission statement as the highlight of the answer.
  4. Wait for Twitter’s response. If accepted, you will be followed by the Twitter Verified account and the blue checkmark will automatically appear on your profile. If your application is rejected, you may reapply after 30 days, however,

To boost your chance of getting verified:

  • Make sure that your profile information – including the bio, profile picture, and header photo – reflects your brand and is consistent with your other social media platforms.
  • Ensure your account is not private. You can change the privacy settings by navigating towards More -> Setting and Privacy -> Privacy and Safety.
  • Check you have the correct location set up on your profile.
  • Make sure all the information you are using is correct and your links are working.
  • Observe how other verified accounts on Twitter optimize their profile and use this as a reference.

4. Build your audience

Having a large number of Twitter followers significantly impacts your level of exposure on the platform.

There are several ways to get followers on Twitter.

Before you start using any strategy, you need to determine who your main audience is. This way, you can focus on attracting the correct demographic.

Finding the targeted audience on Twitter is not difficult:

  • Use a hashtag to find people who are interested in your niche. Click on Explore on your dashboard, then enter the hashtag relevant to your brand. For instance, if you sell comic books, you can type in “#comics”, then hit Enter. Twitter will show you all tweets that use a similar hashtag.

Example of how to use hashtags on Twitter
  • Once you find a twitter account that matches your brand interest, you can engage them by replying to the tweet. While that person may not follow your account right away, it will enhance your brand exposure, increasing your chance to get more followers.
  • You can use Twitter trends – a set of trending topics that dominate the current Twitter timeline, to find your target audience. The trends are located on the right side of the Twitter timeline and can be customized based on your preferred location.
  • To experiment, you can set the trend to Worldwide and find out what people all around the globe are talking about.

Once you have found a trend that resonates with your niche, click it to view all the tweets you can engage with.

Another way to ensure that your brand is that much more appealing is to create a persona you show to your target audience.

For instance, if you create a playful and fun persona from your tweets, you need to stick with it.

Similarly, if you start writing in a formal and professional manner, you need to make sure to not break character – it’s all about consistency.

Once you start building a following, you need to monitor your follower growth with the Twitter Analytics feature.

This tool can measure the reach and engagement of each of your tweets, as well as find out what particular demographic your followers mainly consist of.

Twitter Analytics main page

5. Research your competitors to connect to more people

If you’ve only recently started using Twitter for business, you may have noticed that your competitors already have a loyal following.

Fortunately, no one is 100% loyal to a brand or product – everyone is always looking for something better.

With that in mind, you can try to engage the people who follow your competitors.

Since you and your competitor share a similar niche, it should be easier to grab the attention of their followers.

To ease the research process, try using Twitonomy. This application provides a detailed report on your competitor’s profile.

The tool also allows you to monitor the tweets of your target audience, keep track of your interactions with other users, get actionable insights via “Followers Report”, and more.

Twitonomy's landing page

6. Create relevant content

Customer satisfaction should always be your highest priority, regardless of the platform you use to connect with them.

  • Knowing what the audience expects from you is a must before tweeting out content.
  • Try to focus on how your products and services benefit your customers. Don’t shy away from adding a catchy hashtag or flashy visuals to complete the tweet.
  • It’s strongly recommended that you post regularly on Twitter. Studies show that posting 15 tweets per day is the best practice to optimize engagement.
  • Since Twitter is a social media platform, advertising on it should be done through interactions.
  • Personal interaction with your followers will give them the urgency to check at least a few of the links you’ve shared.

If you still need an extra boost to push that conversion rate number, try promoting your tweets or accounts using the paid promotion feature.

Using this feature means that you sign up to become a Twitter advertising partner, and your tweet or account will show up on the timeline of your target audience.

Twitter will only charge you when the promoted tweet or account gets user engagement, such as a favorite, retweet, click, reply, or a new follower.

Currently, the average cost for a promoted tweet is around $1.35 per engagement, while the cost for a promoted account ranges between $2.5 and $4 per new follower.

7. Optimize your brand engagement

Social media is a two-way tool to communicate with your customers – it is more than just a platform to drop links to your products.

User engagement plays a big role in Twitter marketing success.

Wendy’s remains a great example of this, as they usually reply to the provocative tweets of their followers with a witty response.

In a tweet from 2017, when asked how many retweets a follower must generate for a year of free chicken nuggets, their response was simply “18 million”.

Wendy's Twitter account reply to a free nuggets request

As it turns out, you can actually convert simple user engagement into a viral marketing gimmick.

All you need to do is observe the tweets of your customers and try to respond to them with the most appropriate gesture.

There are several useful ways to engage with people through Twitter:

  • Use hashtags – the use of the hashtag will help you find relevant topics and new people or customers to connect with. Just click at the search bar located on the top right of your Twitter page and find anything trending with a hashtag, like #NewYearsEve2020 or #LoveStory. You just need to find the hashtag related to your brand or product.
  • Use the trending topics – trending topics will be shown on the right side of your Twitter timeline. They consist of the most popular topics discussed on Twitter and are usually crowded with active users. You can use this opportunity to advertise your brand by engaging with a relevant cause.
  • Use popular photos, GIFs, or videos – all visual media are well-received on Twitter. The use of funny GIFs, photos, or videos will appeal to a wide range of audiences.
  • Participate in popular threads – a Twitter thread is a chain of tweets that talk about a specific topic. Participating in a thread can expose your brand to people that have never heard of you before. Be extremely careful when engaging in sensitive topics, such as racism, war, or poverty.
  • Live-tweet – live-tweeting a special event or show results engages followers in something that is happening to them right now. However, note that you need to do live-tweeting for something related to your niche. For instance, if your brand sells energy drinks, it will make more sense to live-tweet a sports event rather than the Oscars.
  • Interact with influencers – social media influencers have many followers, getting them to reply to your tweet means free promotion. You can respond to their tweets to expose your brand to anyone who joins the reply section.
  • Pin your best tweet – the “pinned tweet” is a feature of Twitter that allows you to pin your best tweet at the top of your timeline. Find your best tweet that got a lot of attention and pin it so people see it right away. You might use this feature to advertise a new marketing campaign.

8. Drive traffic to your website and generate sales

Placing links on social media posts to drive traffic to your website is a common practice.

  • On Twitter, it works exactly as simple as it sounds – you just need to post a tweet with an embedded link and hope that people get interested.
  • Note that a link automatically takes 23 characters out of your 280 characters limit per post, even when the link has fewer characters than that.
  • The link will also receive an extensive check by Twitter to ensure that it is safe to access.

While placing a link on your tweet is simple, getting a sizeable result out of this practice might be a bit more difficult.

Call to action

Embedding a link with simple directions like “Visit this link” or “Click to see our latest blog post” will not impress anybody.

You need to put the link in context and add a bit of creative flair.

Add visuals

Note that visual media, such as pictures, infographics, or videos, is a killer recipe to get more attention on social media.

Statistics have proven that people are 55% more likely to retain information if there is an image paired with the text.

To see a good example of this, take a look at this Burger King Whopper loan program campaign

A visually appealing video contains all the information about their offer, with catchy music and inventive catchphrases.

Burger King tweet about paying off student loans

In addition, you may need to apply visual media to add more context to your tweet.

Since there are only 280 characters available per post, providing more information through the media will come in handy.

Inform and be relevant

Make sure that you always create an informative tweet that does not intend to deceive the audience.

Sure, a click-bait will get you one or two clicks from the curious audience. However, this practice will only jeopardize your credibility in the long term, negatively affecting the trust your followers have in you.

Think bigger than Twitter

While the success of Twitter marketing heavily relies on the tweet itself, it does not stop there.

You also need to think about how to convert clicks into sales:

  • Implement a strong call to action button on your tweet and website. Create a sense of urgency for your customers to make a purchase.
  • Make sure that the link directs your customers to a specific marketing campaign page or to a page they can make an order from. Do not link to your homepage or other general category pages.
  • Don’t put a marketing link in every tweet. Most Twitter users are there to have fun, so give them some. Take a look at how big brands like Wendy’s, Oreo, and Seamless mix marketing and funny tweets together.

Why should you use Twitter?

Twitter is essentially a microblogging platform that limits its content to only 280 characters per post, which is called a “tweet”.

  • Posting a tweet is similar to adding a status update on Facebook.
  • You can post anything you want – personal news, product information, advertisements or silly jokes.
  • You can also embed a picture or a GIF on your tweet. Fortunately, the media you include will not reduce the character limit.
  • Your tweet can then be shared, liked and commented on by your followers.
  • The most notable difference from other social media platforms is that Twitter forces you to write a much shorter post.

Besides allowing you to express yourself, Twitter can also be used as a powerful marketing tool.

It can boost the online presence of your business as well as increase brand exposure toward your target audience.

You can observe the power of Twitter marketing in a tweet Wendy’s made; a call to action, urging followers to get their tweet to 2 million likes in order to bring back spicy chicken nuggets to Wendy’s.

When engaging an audience in a clever way, a simple tweet could result in massive brand exposure.

Wendy's spicy chicken nugget tweet

Advantages of using Twitter for marketing include:

  • Twitter provides a way to engage your customers casually. The interaction feels more personal, making your followers are able to engage in conversation.
  • You can build an active community around your product. Retweets and likes from Twitter users create a viral marketing web that can help with brand awareness.
  • Twitter can is great for receiving feedback from your customers. You can interact with them through direct messages to find the best solution for their issues.
  • Twitter can be used for direct marketing with tried and true strategies, such as exclusive coupon offers, special discounts, or giveaways.

Extra Twitter tips and tricks

Complete your tweeting skills with the following tips and tricks:

  • Hire a social media professional – an expert can provide better and more accurate data, as well as strategies to get more conversions and engagement on Twitter. If you have no experience in social media marketing, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Use a social media management tool – you may be managing more than one social media account. To ease the task, try using tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social. They allow you to handle multiple social networks, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, in one app.
  • Watch your content – Twitter has a very strict set of rules regarding its content. Users can report any tweet that is considered spam or has inappropriate or stolen materials. Getting content reported may result in your account being suspended temporarily or permanently.
  • Do not over-promote – statistics show that 74% of social media users are annoyed by advertisements. Post useful and engaging content rather than always promoting your products or services.
  • Proofread your tweet – just because the platform only allows 280 characters per post, doesn’t mean you won’t have the occasional silly typo or grammar error. Use a writing assistant like Grammarly to avoid this.

Twitter recap

Now you should know how to use Twitter for your business effectively, so let’s do a quick recap:

  • Build an impressive Twitter profile – use an active email address to create an account. Fill in the bio section, upload your logo as a profile picture, and a slogan or an image of your product as a header.
  • Create your online presence – it’s recommended to have a website and more than one social media account. Link them with your Twitter account to build a loyal and strong community around your brand.
  • Get verified – having a blue checkmark badge on your Twitter profile is proof that your business is legit. This badge will instantly increase trust and brand exposure.
  • Build your following – do market research and target your audience. Use hashtags and Twitter trends. Publish posts with a particular persona or tone to attract their interest.
  • Research your competitors to connect to more people – observe competitors in the same niche as you to get additional insights. Improve your strategy by monitoring their posts, as well as analyzing their responses and engagements.
  • Create relevant content – being attentive and creative is a must to create content that does not only benefit your followers but also sells. Post regularly, but remember to be consistent with your brand.
  • Optimize your brand engagement – good engagement impacts brand exposure positively, which can then lead to conversions and sales.
  • Drive traffic to your website and generate more sales – integrating your website with social media is an excellent way to get conversions.

On Twitter, share your blog post links, product pages, or events on your website.

Finally, make sure to remember that social media is an invaluable marketing tool.

Whether you run an eCommerce store, lifestyle blog, or a company website, practicing social media marketing will help you increase sales and strengthen your brand.

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Martina is an expert in writing about website building and eCommerce, but her real passion is helping others grow their small business online. From solid branding to punchy marketing strategies, you can count on her for the best growth tricks. In her spare time, Martina loves nothing more than a good scoop of ice-cream and a sweaty match of tennis.

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