Guide: Free Twitter marketing strategies for small businesses

By Niamh Keenan
Best practices
Twitter marketing strategies for small businesses

How can I use Twitter to help grow my business? How can I grow my followers? How can I get people to engage with my Tweets? These are some of the most common small business questions that come up again and again. 

The answer is, you need to establish a marketing strategy. Once you have that in place (and it doesn’t have to be too long or too in-depth) the rest should follow (pun intended). 

If not, you’ll be able to see what hasn’t worked and then adjust your strategy. Find our guide to getting your Twitter marketing strategy started below. 

Marketing strategies for small business owners on Twitter

Before you get started

Know your voice and your values

A good brand, no matter how big or small, should have a recognizable voice and clear company values that shine through. 

This will guide your marketing strategy and make deciding what to Tweet easier. If your team grows, these tone of voice guidelines will also make sure your brand voice is consistent, no matter who’s Tweeting. 

Know your customers 

Think about your customers. What are they interested in? Where are they based (all local or in different places around the world?) What do they respond to when you’re chatting to them offline? 

Focusing on who you’re Tweeting to is essential if you want people to interact with your content and see you as a reputable business. Some people even find it helpful to draw out a customer persona or personas. 

By having a clear picture of who you’re talking to and what they care about you’ll be able to Tweet better and get better Tweet engagement.

Now that you have that sorted you can...

Set goals and measure success 

The only way to know if your Twitter marketing strategy is working is to set goals. For example, do you want to grow followers? Or maybe you already have a strong follower base and want to boost website traffic, or app installs. 

Whatever it is, write your goals down and use Twitter analytics to track what’s working and what’s not. Good things to monitor include:

  • Engagements - including likes, Retweets, comments
  • Impressions - how many people saw your Tweet or watched your video
  • Mentions - how many people are talking about your business 

Once you start seeing results, you can set more ambitious goals.

Top tip: Focus less on follower numbers and more on engagement. 

Respond to your customers and @mentions

Monitor your Twitter notifications and respond to mentions, good and bad. This will help you build a community on Twitter and you’ll get useful feedback too. 

Establishing a customer service approach will help guide you whenever a customer has questions. For example, you might choose to solve all queries via DM while others opt to answer queries within the Twitter feed. 

Whatever your approach is, document it internally and make it clear to your employees. It can also be helpful to include your approach in your Twitter bio. This way your customers know how best to interact with you. 

Find things to Tweet that work for you 

On Twitter, there are lots of different options to interact with customers — videos (did you know 71% of all sessions on Twitter now involve video?1), polls, images, GIFs, and regular text Tweets. 

Try out different formats and see what works best for your business's marketing strategy. Overall trial and error is key, just remember to have fun and always stick to Twitter brand safety guidelines. Once you know what works, you can use the scheduling tool to plan ahead and save time.

Don’t underestimate the power of ‘word of mouth’

Recommendations speak volumes and it’s no different on Twitter. Make sure your customers know you’re on Twitter and ask them to follow you — whether in person or if you have a newsletter, include a line like the one below. 

“Follow our business on Twitter for updates and offers.” 

When a customer mentions your business in a Tweet, always reply and Retweet as appropriate. Share things people will happily Retweet too — good news, special offers, new recipes or products, eye-catching photos, cute, or funny photos. 

Find the right creative tools

Videos and good creatives get better engagement but it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some options:

  • Photos taken with a smartphone are free and authentic, always a good starting point
  • Tools like Canva to create branded imagery that’s recognizably yours
  • For videos, tools like Biteable or video editing apps can be useful, especially for minor edits like adding a logo or captions. Check out our Twitter Video resources for more tips.

A good Twitter marketing strategy should be real, resonate with your ideal followers and show the best of your brand.

Follow these tips to get you started and visit our downloadable resources for lots of guides and resources for small businesses.

 1Source: Twitter Internal, January 2021, Global. Data reflects 2020 yearly average.

Ready to advertise your small business on Twitter?