Here are eleven great tips to help grow your customer base with Twitter, by Orla Kennedy of glamping business Pod Umna Village.

Listen and learn

If you’re just getting started, take some time to get to know Twitter and the types of conversations that go on. Follow people generously — you can always unfollow later — and tune in to what your potential customers and your industry peers are talking about.

Define your goals

Decide what you want to get out of your Twitter activity, like awareness for your brand, staying on top of industry trends, or driving traffic to your website. Have clear objectives and metrics to measure your success.

Set up your profile

Create an eye-catching profile page, that’s unique to your business. Your @username, cover photo, background image and bio should reflect what your business is about. Check out other businesses you admire for inspiration.

Success in 140 or less

You can say a lot within the 140 character limit for each tweet — especially by sharing photos, links and video clips. Engage people with useful, relevant content that has an authentic tone of voice. Studies suggest shorter tweets are retweeted (forwarded on to other users) more often, so keep it snappy when you can.

Using hashtags

Hashtags allow users to easily search for Tweets with a common topic. Use them to join in on a hot topic, or make up your own around an event, promotion, or whatever’s on your mind. The ‘Trends’ sidebar on the Twitter desktop interface includes popular local topics, and usually includes the hashtags of the moment.

Use photos and videos

This is a fantastic way to develop your brand identity and grab people’s attention. Try to include as much of this content as possible.

Consider promoted tweets

When you’re familiar with Twitter, you can promote your Tweets. This presents your tweets to users that meet criteria you specify, like people interested in football, food, finance, or whatever you choose. This is advertising on Twitter — the ad is just a tweet.

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Use lists

You can create lists of users on particular topics, and you can browse lists created by other people in order to discover new accounts to follow. This will help you connect with people who have a large audience on Twitter in your specific industry.

Reach out, and get ready for feedback

Once you’re set up on Twitter, let your customers know. Include your Twitter @handle (username) on all your print material — brochures, leaflets and business cards — and encourage them to follow you. Twitter is a real-time platform where people appreciate quick replies, so be ready to respond if they send you a tweet.

Reward your followers

Twitter is great for sharing special offers and promotions. Reward your Twitter followers with ‘only on Twitter’ deals. This can be as simple as, “Show us this tweet on your phone for a 10% discount in our shop, this weekend only”.

Ask for Twitter love

Don’t be shy — ask your followers to retweet, mention and favourite your tweets. What goes around comes around on Twitter, so feel free to show support for others and to ask for it back in return.

Main mage courtesy of mrmohock / Shutterstock.com, small image from Ekaterina_Minaeva / Shutterstock.com.