Ask an MSP Expert

Q: We are a newer service provider and we are looking for ways to market our business. One area that we are considering is starting a Twitter profile. What steps do we need to be successful?

Used correctly, Twitter can be a great avenue for you to regularly engage with current and prospective customers. In fact, 47 percent of marketers agreed that Twitter was the best social media channel for customer engagement, which is why it is such a great platform to start out with.

The idea of creating a social media profile for your business can be daunting — especially when you aren’t sure where to begin. To help you get started on the right foot, here are a few best practices to employ and common pitfalls to avoid.

Create a profile that works

1. Decide on your goal: Personal brand vs. business brand? Should this account reflect your own personal voice, or serve as a communication channel for your entire business? . If your profile is going to be associated with you personally, your tone could be casual, whereas if you are posting as your IT service business, you will likely want to adopt a more formal tone. If you’re posting as ‘yourself’ vs. your business, you can share helpful tips that help to reinforce you as a thought leader, for example. If posting from your business account, you’ll need to focus on you should have a plan for what type of content you want to share, what types of conversations you want to engage in, and both who you want to follow or be followed by. A few examples of types of Tweets you might want to share from a business account include timely helpful content to help your SMB customers navigate security concerns, product or service updates, and industry trends.

2. Select your Twitter handle carefully. Chances are, you wouldn’t just name your business with the first thing that pops into your head. The same should be true for your Twitter handle and username. Not only will you use this to sign-in, but your Twitter handle will be the way that your customers find you! While your personal email might be Gamesofthroneslover12@gmail.com, you might want to reconsider your Twitter handle to be something more professional. 

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3. Pick the right photo and add a bio to your page. To help industry peers and customers find your page, use your company logo or a headshot for your profile image. Additionally, you should select a background that properly sets apart your IT service business. One of the worst things you can do is to leave these sections blank. Write a shot bio that explains what your company specializes in. For example, you might offer SOC services, 24-help desk, and more. Having a short bio — and your company location — can help prospective customers find out what services you offer. For example, on the Smarter MSP Twitter page, it says “SmarterMSP.com is your go-to source for #ITchannel news and information needed to run your #ManagedService business.” Twitter has a 140-character limit in this section, so it is important to keep your bio short and concise.

4. Connect with industry peers and current customers. To build the number of followers you have, you need to start following other accounts first. A good place to start, is to look for your vendors, industry leaders, and your customers who already have Twitter accounts. This will enable you actively engage with them and learn about new and exciting things going on in the industry.

5. Be responsive. By creating a Twitter profile, your followers expect you to be active. That means interacting and posting content on a consistent basis. If you’re using Twitter as an extension of your business, you need to treat it as such. Treat your direct messages and replies with care. Followers expect you to have visibility and respond to the conversation in a professional, but timely manner. If people are engaging with you via Twitter, engage back. After all, that’s why you’re there in the first place.

Common Twitter pitfalls and how to avoid them

One of the most common pitfalls on Twitter is posting irrelevant content — or too much of the same content. Think about who you want your audience to be and tailor your tweets to fit your goals. Be mindful of your audience, you don’t want to bombard their Twitter feed with content that isn’t useful. On a similar hand, make sure your tweets aren’t always self-promotional. Your Twitter feed should be a mix of tweets of promotional messaging, helpful blog content or events, retweets that are relevant to your audience, and engaging with your followers.

The most important thing you can do with Twitter is stick with it! A Twitter following doesn’t happen overnight — it is built with time. The more time you can dedicate to tweeting and engaging with others, the better off you will be. All too often, businesses create a social profile but don’t have the time to keep it updated on a regular cadence.

With social media, the hardest thing to do is to get going. Once you have an established profile and you set aside time each day to tweet, you will find that it gets easier and easier to grow your profile and your follower base.

Photo: Ink Drop / Shutterstock.

Lauren Beliveau

Posted by Lauren Beliveau

Lauren is an Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Barracuda MSP. In this position, she creates and develops content that helps managed service providers grow their business. She also regularly writes The MSP’s Bookshelf and our Ask an MSP Expert column.

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