Dear Business Owner: You’re Doing Twitter Wrong (Here Are 8 Ways to Fix It)


For some, it’s a really fun tool to connect with people and grow your business. For others, it seems like a wasteland of food pics and updates on your neighbor’s cat.

Every social media platform has it’s own hacks — those inside tips and tricks that help you get the most of your time on that platform. Follow those hacks, and you’ll discover a powerful tool for connecting with potential clients. Ignore them, and you’ll curse the day the you ever signed up for an account.

We’ve used Twitter to attract more than 120,000 targeted followers for our team and our clients. Below you’ll find 8 of our best hacks, guaranteed to help take you from Twitter ZERO to Twitter HERO.

(Note: I’ve put together a bonus resource at the end of this post. It’s a checklist to help you implement all of the Twitter tips we’ll be sharing below.)

1) Follow people that are following others in your niche

This is the fastest way we know to grow your following with people that care about what you’re doing.

For example, if you’re a farming software company – you’ll want to follow people that are following accounts like @johndeere, @monsantoco, and @farmbureau.

Every time you follow someone on Twitter, the user gets a notification and an email telling them that someone followed them.

You’re saying: “Hey, I see you and I’m interested in what you’re doing” instead of saying: “LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME!”

Following people on Twitter can be a really time-consuming task, but it will get your website in front of hundreds of targeted prospects every single day. To save time, use apps like CrowdFire or hire us to do it for you.

2) Stop sending “thank you” tweets to everyone that follows you

Note: This is specifically for those of you that are using an aggressive follow/unfollow strategy.

How on earth could saying “thank you” be a bad thing?!

2 reasons:

  1. It hides the awesome content you’re sharing (because you’re using Buffer to stay active on social media). When someone clicks on your profile and all they see is a mountain of “thank you” tweets (instead of great content), they won’t see the value that you bring to your Twitter followers.
  1. It’s really easy for the people you’re thanking to see that you’re doing the same thing to everyone. Something you intended to be special ends up being perceived as something incredibly impersonal. The one exception to this rule is @JustinWise – he might be the most engaging person I’ve ever seen on Twitter. He responds to every new follow with a unique message, and he’s always starting great conversations with his followers.

3) Use 1-2 hashtags for each tweet

Say what you want about hashtags….but they work!

Here’s why they’re so effective: using hashtags exposes you to an entirely new group of people that don’t follow you, but are interested in what you’re saying.

We’re not the only ones that believe in the power of hashtags. Here’s a graphic from Buffer with a few stats to back up our claim.


4) Your Twitter bio can’t suck

Your Twitter bio is a powerful representation of you and your company, and it should be handled with care.

For your personal account, your bio should start with something that makes you sound like a real human. Nothing too stuffy, and something that gives people a chance to connect with you on some level.

In my personal Twitter bio, I mention that I love Jesus, Lisa, and Swedish Fish. You’d be SHOCKED at how many people send me tweets saying how much they love Swedish Fish. It may seem silly, but that’s real engagement.

It starts with a mutual love of a delicious red treat, and it leads to a website visit and a podcast subscription.

The second part of my personal Twitter bio showcases the projects I’m working on.

Make sure to @ mention each project. I’ve had several people listen to my podcast because I made it easy to access from my Twitter bio.

Writing a bio for your company’s Twitter account is a bit different.

When a brand follows me on Twitter, I want to know EXACTLY what value they can add to my life. Be razor sharp when you’re communicating your value proposition on your company’s Twitter bio.

If you’re following several hundred accounts per day, your bio will get lots of attention. You don’t want to waste all that exposure with crappy copy that doesn’t convert to a website visit.


5) Pay attention when people mention you, and engage!

It’s easy to think that social media is just a sea of profile photos and @ symbols. But there are REAL people on the other end…and they want to engage with you!

Because your business is awesome, I’m sure you’ll primarily be responding to praise via social media. But make sure to engage with the complaints as well.

Domino’s did a fantastic job in the example below.


A simple tweet likely turned Stephanie from an angry customer to a raving fan.

6) Use it to connect with influencers

15 years ago, reaching an influencer was practically impossible. Today, it’s a totally different ballgame.

The landscape has completely changed, and now anyone with a Twitter account can connect with Taylor Swift, Jimmy Fallon, or Arianna Huffington right from their fingertips. Back in December, I became a contributor for Huffington Post because of this simple tweet:


Here’s how it worked: I was laying in bed one morning and thought to myself, “It would be really cool to write for the Huffington Post.”

I picked up my iPhone, fired up Twitter, and 8 hours later I was a Huffington Post contributor.

I hate to make it sound too simple….but that’s really all I did. It wasn’t fancy, but it was insanely effective.

7) Link to your Twitter account in your email signature

If you’re anything like me, you send gobs of emails every day.

Several people that I’m emailing either just met me, or they don’t know me at all. To increase my email response rate, I started linking my social media profiles at the bottom of my email signature.

This helps the recipient see that you’re a real human, as opposed to just another email in a hectic inbox. Your social profiles can give you much needed credibility (ex. Thousands of Twitter followers or a list of LinkedIn recommendations), and that credibility will often lead to a response.

Here are the desktop and mobile signatures I’m using today: (I’m using WiseStamp for my desktop signature)

Signature on Desktop:


Signature on Mobile:


8) You have to post consistently

Twitter is a noisy platform, so if you want to be heard, posting often is a must.

“But I don’t have time to sit on Twitter all day!” – says EVERYONE

Awesome. Neither do we.

That’s why we use Buffer and Social Oomph. We load in a week’s worth of content in about 30 minutes, then we get back to watching House of Cards & eating Swedish Fish. 🙂

Bonus Resource

Click here to download the checklist I mentioned at the beginning of this post. There are some tips on the checklist that I didn’t mention above, so make sure to check it out!

Posted on May 28, 2015 in Small Business Tips, Social Media

James Carbary

About the Author

James Carbary is the founder of Sweet Fish Media, a podcast agency for B2B brands. He’s a contributor for the Huffington Post & Business Insider, and he also co-hosts a top-ranked podcast according to Forbes: B2B Growth. When James isn’t interviewing the smartest minds in B2B marketing, he’s drinking Cherry Coke Zero, eating Swedish Fish, and hanging out with the most incredible woman on the planet (who he somehow talked into marrying him).

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