The decline of Twitter aka X as a social media platform has had many print businesses and individuals wondering if they should dump their accounts. There are many practical reasons why you may not want to delete your account quite yet.
For the sake of expediency, I will refer to “Twitter” and “tweets” rather than the official name of the platform, X (ugh).
Let’s jump right in and examine why printers should think twice about ditching their Twitter/X account.
Claiming and keeping your business name is the number one reason to stay on Twitter. This is valuable real estate that you don’t want to fall into the hands of your competitors.
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, you don’t have to be a member of Twitter to view the content. This means you can share tweets anywhere across your networks and continue to grow your authority and audience.
Your Twitter account is displayed among your top online assets if someone searches for your name. It’s usually in the top three search returns (your website, LinkedIn, and Twitter), which is very powerful for search results.
Your Twitter account validates that you are who you say you are, which is especially important for printers who may have a similar name to another printer.
Your most recent tweets are shown in a carousel on Google, so people can view them without clicking over to the platform. I try to end each day with two or three strongly-branded tweets that will be picked up by Google.
If you delete your account, someone else can open it and claim your Twitter handle – and do whatever they want with it. As someone who has had many copycat accounts created in my name using my photo on Instagram, I can tell you the last thing you want is some rogue person impersonating you, DMing your connections, asking for money, or saying creepy things. Keep your account current, post regularly, protect your password, and monitor for strange activity.
You lose all the history of your account if you delete it, which you can never recover if, by some miracle, Twitter becomes a thriving platform again. My account goes back to 2009, and I regularly search for connections whose business names I can’t quite remember, but I recall the year or setting where we talked, such as #PrintChat or #SXSW.
Twitter has a robust search engine – much better than LinkedIn – that can be used to find data and sales leads. Sure, you can use it without having an account, but it’s super easy to save your advanced searches right in the app if you have an account.
Twitter is known as a place for “realness.” If I meet someone on LinkedIn who wants to do business with me, I usually jump over to Twitter to get a feel for how they interact with others and whether they seem like a good fit for me. It can be difficult to get a feel for someone on LinkedIn.
Surprisingly, there are lots of “young people” (ages 20 to 40) on Twitter. These are today’s and tomorrow’s designers, print buyers, and business executives. Whether you interact with them or not, you can learn a lot about what is on their mind, how they view the world, and what they prefer in choosing a printing company.
You can track your impressions, clicks, likes, and retweets in real-time on Twitter. If you see that a tweet is catching favor, you can act on it right then by adding another tweet or two to it (thread), quoting it, tagging allies who can give it some loft, or rephrasing the tweet and seeing if it gets a different response (A/B testing).
If you decide to stick around Twitter, here are things I recommend to improve your chances of success:
Make sure your links are current. Many print businesses have out-of-date links on their websites and in the contact sections of their LinkedIn personal and business profiles. Some links lead to accounts that don’t exist, and some (really, check this!) lead to some embarrassing accounts. This is so easy to check and so important for your reputation.
Go into your Twitter settings to see your connected accounts. Twitter no longer supports connections with many apps and services that you might have used for scheduling, analytics, or management. Furthermore, some of those apps are out of business, and you don’t want anyone having access to your account who isn’t a legitimate provider. If it were me, I would delete all connected accounts and reconnect only the services you currently use.
Just as you checked the incoming links, also check the outgoing links. That means, check the links in your Twitter profile. If Twitter has changed your link to a shortened version, delete that and re-add the URL (it may take a few tries). You want people to be able to see where they’re clicking which builds trustworthiness and increases the odds they’ll click.
Add your location. I’ve talked about this before. Don’t be coy and mysterious. People are more suspicious of profiles that are incomplete.
Add a current photo. If you are running an individual account, let’s get a proper photo in there. If it’s a print business account, a clear, high-res version of your logo is fine. Your actual business name should be in the profile so people can search Google and Twitter and find your business.
Use keywords in your tweets. You want to be findable using the words your customers use. And, yes, people do search for printing services on Twitter and have discussions about providers. Try searching, “Does anybody know a good printer?” and see what pops up. People these days take the recommendations of others seriously. You want to be ready to respond promptly if the opportunity arises.
Be professional and polite in your tweets. I personally don’t talk about politics or trigger topics. I don’t search for those topics, and, consequently, I don’t have those conversations pushed to me by the algorithm. If you are turned off by the landscape on Twitter, disconnect from low-quality connections, mute accounts that are annoying, block bots and trolls, and use your lists to engage so you can control the mood of your experience.
Finally, from a strategic standpoint, check in on your competitors’ business and personal accounts regularly. Twitter is an amazing place for competitive insight and research. Being inside the app gives you a unique perspective on your market.
Rather than ditch a powerful asset in your marketing mix, work on taking advantage of the best of Twitter while avoiding the pitfalls. And be sure to follow me on Twitter/X at @sandyhubbard. I encourage you to have a conversation with me. I talk print!
Well, what do you think? Ready to give Twitter/X another try? I hope so!
Check out last month’s post: https://printmediacentr.com/why-you-must-hang-out-with-smart-people-in-the-print-industry-and-life/
Read all posts from Sandy: https://printmediacentr.com/author/sandyhubbard/
Sandy Hubbard is a Chief Marketing Advisor who consults with printing companies on sales, marketing, strategy, and planning. She also coaches sales and marketing teams to help them reach their full potential. Connect with Sandy on LinkedIn to learn more.