The fact that many people see Twitter as the “poor cousin” of the likes of Facebook can in some ways play into the hands of those who utilise this particular social media channel. It is debatable as to whether it will ever have the same reach as Facebook. However, many see Twitter as a more business-like social media channel. There is significant interaction between business to business as well as business to customers on Twitter which creates many interesting opportunities.
As there are many things you can do yourself, promoting your company on Twitter does not require a huge marketing budget!
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Use Twitter’s massive audience
As we touched on above, Twitter still has an enormous audience with 326 million active users in the third quarter of 2018. As a consequence, not having Twitter as an integral part of your social media marketing strategy could be seen as commercial suicide. Even if you just place a simple social media button on your website, emails and sales pages, you will begin to build up your own audience. You simply need to learn how to market to your audience. Then, create a ripple effect to bring members into the fold. It’s not easy but it can be fun looking to expand reach to millions of people!
Follow those in your industry
When we talk about social media, the first thing that tends to spring to mind is marketing and sales. Many people are oblivious to some of the other benefits of Twitter including following the accounts of industry leaders and other entrepreneurs. This is the perfect way to be kept up-to-date with what your competitors are doing and what your customers are looking for.
You may be able to “piggyback” a new announcement or a new product to the benefit of your own Twitter audience. Keeping up to date should be an obvious ongoing task for any serious business.
Engage with your audience/Expand reach
If you have an active Twitter account, no doubt your phone or computer will alert you to activity throughout the day. There is often a tendency to ignore these alerts, especially when you are busy, but these are potentially active leads and the perfect way to engage with your audience. Those able to respond to direct messages and Twitter conversations which mention them by name have the perfect opportunity to preach to the converted.
If you respond hours or days after the event the customer is gone, the lead is cold and you have wasted your time.
Create a username and profile that brands your business
Social media marketing is a very basic and simple action which is often made more complicated by those looking to “stand out from the rest”. When it comes to a username and profile for your Twitter account, keep things basic. The username should say who you are and promote your brand. Your profile should have subtle as well as eye-catching images, a website link and location information as well as informing visitors exactly what you do, in just a few words. Keep it brief, keep it to the point but ensure that visitors know what you do and how to contact you.
Networking – Don’t try to sell all the time
It is fair to say that the endgame of any social marketing strategy is to secure a sale, boost income and profitability. There is a temptation to try either a subtle or a hard sell as soon as you start communicating with your audience. However, in the early days you should concentrate on networking, building up your audience and getting to know your followers. Networking is a vital part of any marketing strategy. Those who “push the sale” from the first moment will struggle to build a long-term active audience. Building up a rapport with fellow Twitter users will take time but it can create a long term income stream – the gift that keeps on giving.
It is fair to say that the Twitter ads service has always been overshadowed by the likes of Facebook and other well-known social media channels. Thankfully, in recent times the company has undertaken a total revamp of its advertising services. Twitter ads are now much more flexible, more focused and created correctly they can be extremely lucrative. In many ways Twitter’s strength is the opportunity to communicate with businesses as well as customer/potential customers. The ability to put your ads in front of Twitter users talking about a specific phrase or term (and this can be localised to your area or international) should not be overlooked.
Research shows a potential customer may need to see your ad 4 or even 5 times before they respond and buy – so don’t give up too soon.
Be human, avoid automation
There is a time and a place for automated services when it comes to business. Note well, Twitter (social media in general) is not one of these places.
We can all spot an automated response a mile off, the coldness and the generic terms.
In an instant we know there has been no human touch to this, no thought and no consideration. There is a balance between responding as quickly as possible and responding with a non-automated message. People prefer to know they are talking to a human, someone who can understand the question and help them. It will take time. Not all responses will lead to increased sales but you cannot underestimate the value of the human touch.
Don’t use too many hashtags
The use of hashtags is extremely important when it comes to Twitter and pushing particular tweets, comments and links. It ensures that posts appear in front of as many people as possible looking for a wide variety of subjects. However, to be honest, mass hashtags following even useful tweets can be extremely off-putting. The hashtag list seems to go on forever. While the content of the post almost takes second place and it just looks wrong.
In summary, using too many hashtags is akin to spam emails. Avoid at all costs!
Don’t forget to be visual
Whether you are posting videos, photographs or graphics there is an array of research to show that these prompt greater engagement than text only tweets. Some suggest that the use of photographs can increase engagement with customers by as much as 300%. In some ways this goes back to the old adage, a picture speaks a thousand words. Twitter has extended the number of characters you can use when posting. However, you still need to share focused and concise messages.
A well-structured image is both immediately visible and can say far more than you could squeeze into a 280 characters tweet.
If there is one area of Twitter which is criminally underused it is the advanced search option. This option can prove very lucrative for businesses. This offers the ability to not only search for particular terms but also localise the searches. One perfect example of a way to use this tool emerged when a pizza company used Twitter. They began searching for tweets with the term “pizza” in their locality. If somebody had burned their pizza, or had one delivered by a rival, the company would offer to deliver a pizza for free. For a relatively modest outlay this increased the reputation of the company in an instant. There is no doubt that those receiving “free gifts” told their friends, who told their friends – you get the message.
You can also search for people talking about your company – correcting any misunderstanding or embellishing positive comments and requests. Whether talking about your company in a positive or negative manner, this is the perfect opportunity to inject yourself into the conversation. Sometimes a willingness to react to errors or disappointment from customers can be as valuable as enhancing the more positive comments. How you react when the “going gets tough” can say a lot about you.
Twitter is not just a token gesture
The beauty of Twitter is its simplicity and basic services – at least compared to the likes of Facebook. The algorithms which dictate which tweets appear on your newsfeed are nowhere near as complicated as Facebook’s. The limited number of characters per tweet helps to avoid spam and never-ending sales talk.
Initially you may have to follow third parties to receive a follow but very quickly you can build this up. Once you have an audience it is sensible to structure an array of tweets which are both social and commercial. Many people also use Twitter to repost articles, products and offers already published on their website. This can also be a brilliant way to regurgitate older content which still has a value to many different people. However, sending too many tweets will turn off some customers. On the other hand, sending too few opens the door for competitors to fill the brain space of your customers.
Finding a balance is the key. Though, trial and error will very quickly alert you to positive marketing techniques and those you need to avoid. Learn and keep on learning…