Twitter can be intimidating. First, there are MILLIONS of people on Twitter. And, you get only 140 characters to say something interesting. (The period was character 140, by the way.)

See what I mean?

It’s like a needle in a haystack to be found. But, if you “do it right” you will be found…promise.

Identify Yourself in the Bio

Your Twitter page should leave no doubt as to who you are, what you do and how you can help—your brand promise. Twitter “bio” sounds like a complex creation, but in reality it is 160 text characters to describe your franchise, with a bonus 30 characters for location and links. Here is Spice & Tea Exchange’s bio and how it fits into their overall page.

When you visit Spice & Tea Exchange’s Twitter account, you immediately know they are tea and spice experts, plus, the page is inviting and beautiful. Use the entire page to your advantage with images that tell your franchise story with a link to your website. You can do a lot with 160 + 30 characters in that prime real estate spot when you put your mind to it. Your Twitter handle (username) should be your company name–@spiceandtea–to strengthen your franchise’s identity across your entire digital footprint.

Here are some other Twitter bios that do a good job introducing the franchise:
  • Meineke Car Care—We’re helping the world #drivealittlesmarter. @meinekecarcare
  • Shakey’s Pizza—For generations Shakey’s has been the neighborhood gathering place, where family and friends come together to share good food and good times. @Shakey’s Pizza
  • Red Mango—Softly-frozen tweets by Dan Kim (@DanKimRedMango), Founder of Red Mango Frozen Yogurt & Smoothies. @RedMango

Follow and Be Followed

Twitter is about connections. People follow you, and you follow people and companies that align with your pursuits and interests.
  • Start by following key people and organizations in the franchise world and interacting with their content. Retweet their posts and chances are they will follow you.
  • Find who is talking about your franchise by putting your name in the Twitter search tool and discover tweets about your franchise/franchisees and connect with those contacts.
  • You may not want to actually follow your competitors, but if you search their names, you can see who they follow, what they’re talking about and who is following them. You may find some valuable resources you’ll want to connect with.
  • If your franchisees have individual Twitter accounts, retweet their posts.
  • When anyone retweets your posts, thank them.
  • You should have someone monitoring and replying to tweets on a daily basis if your account is very active, or at least a couple times a week. Twitter is all real-time and fast. If you’re not watching, you could miss out on something good, as in the example below, or a problem you need to resolve.

In the coming weeks, Twitter will be adding real-time notifications to alert you whenever anyone replies, favorites or retweets your posts. As long as you’re signed into Twitter, you’ll be able to quickly respond to these notifications.

Be Interesting and Inviting

Even though your tweet is limited to 140 characters (actually, 120 is best to allow for someone to retweet within the maximum), you can upload pictures and include links to videos/articles to pull in all kinds of content.
  • A mix of educational, funny, awe-inspiring and informational content will help to keep your Twitter stream interesting and active.
  • Retweet great posts from others that you know will interest your audience. It’s all part of building your Twitter community.
  • Use your industry keywords and Twitter’s trending topics and hashtags to liven up your tweets. This will keep your content current and grab the attention of followers.
  • Shorten your links (Bitly shortens to 21 characters), you only have 140 characters and you don’t want the link to eat up characters or be cut off if retweeted.
Since sales are the desired result of all digital marketing, use your Twitter account to introduce new products, offer discounts, ask questions and take polls (interspersed with lots of non-sales content, of course). It’s surprising how many people will respond to a question of their favorite flavor, topping, sandwich, ice cream, tea, spa destination, coffee, etc. Know your audience and ask the right questions to stimulate engagement.

This Taco Bell prom post generated 1,300 retweets and 4,000 favorites. A “prompose” with hot sauce packets? It’s timely and funny. Appropriate humor in good taste is always a win.

Work the System

Technology is an amazing thing, and every online account you have can promote and strengthen your other accounts. Share, Tweet This, Google +1, Like, and Pin buttons will integrate all your social platforms for your audiences. From the website, a Red Mango user can access all the other social accounts on the share bar. (But be sure all the links work or you’ll only annoy people.)

Determine which key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to track and set up a system of collecting data for analysis and evaluation. Twitter has internal analytics (as do other social media platforms), but you may want to implement a single system such as Cadence9’s® c9 prime™ that does planning, publishing, engaging and measuring of your brand’s social media and content marketing performance across multiple platforms for your entire franchise organization.

If you’re still on the fence about using Twitter for franchise brand marketing, you may want to consider these Twitter Statistics and Benefits for Franchises.

Does the brevity of Twitter posts make it easier for your franchisees to participate in social media using Twitter?