Till now, you have read on this blog a variety of posts on developing an effective Twitter campaign or using Twitter in a strategic way. I’m sure you didn’t miss out on the Twitter SEO tips, how to get the most out of Twitter chats and the Twitter etiquette among others. While you must have enjoyed reading all those posts on Twitter marketing, you would always love listening to some of the most popular social media experts as they share their deep (and clear) perceptions of using Twitter for business.
So, I invited a bunch of these gurus.
[My special thanks to each of these experts for taking some moments out of their busy schedule to share these insightful Twitter tips for business growth.]
I’ve always operated under the assumption that people will only follow you on Twitter if you provide them with usefulness. My Twitter strategy is to share good content consistently. I’ve never gamed any system, never bought followers and yet I have collected a number of them over the years. Share good content and be a resource. Then when you want to share your own content or drive people to something you ultimately benefit from, they’re more apt to pay attention.
The key to Twitter success is balancing information with promotion. Actively seek ways to provide assistance and information to people who need it. One of my favorite examples is @HiltonSuggests where Hilton Worldwide looks for opportunities to provide helpful information to people, regardless of whether they are staying at a Hilton hotel. The difference between helping and selling is just two letters, but those letters make all the difference, especially on Twitter.
A lot of people join Twitter and “don’t get it”. Have a plan that addresses how Twitter fits into your overall marketing and communications strategy. For example, some businesses use Twitter to proactively find prospective clients by monitoring search terms. Others use it to grow sales by sharing sales and other announcements. Some brands use it to grow their brand awareness and reach new audiences. Others use it to penetrate the community that they want to reach. Unlike other social networks, Twitter doesn’t have different rules for businesses. This means that it is a flexible tool that allows businesses to monitor and connect with customers and prospects. Many businesses can specifically attribute significant sales directly to Twitter. The real key to success is to understand your unique business, your audience and your marketing objectives and use Twitter in a strategic way.
I think it is important for businesses to put some thought into the type of Twitter account they need to establish. There are four basic types. 1) Personal accounts owned by individuals where real people tweet on behalf of a brand 2) Personalized corporate accounts owned by the company (common for customer service) 3) Straight brand account, 4) personalized tweets under the brand name. Companies should align their profile type with the brand strategy.
For business purposes, my number one piece of advice is to pay attention to what’s being tweeted to you or about you, and to respond to it. I hate seeing a stream of people complaining about a service with no intermixing of the brand’s response. If I see that, I have a bad opinion of the brand immediately. If I see that they’re making an effort to put things right, it tempers that opinion and I’d be more willing to give them another shot. Secondly, I would advise businesses to interact with followers in general, and not just when someone has a complaint or compliment. Ask someone’s opinion, offer a discount, do something that shows you’re doing more than just waiting to be contact.
Focus more on the core metrics for your marketing and less on the amount of followers. Followers, like “likes” and a lot of other social media metrics, is a distracting metric that can take your focus away from the real goals of using any social media, including Twitter. Twitter is a marketing channel, just like many others, so your end goal shouldn’t be followers, retweets, etc., but sales, leads, traffic (if you’re advertising based), and so on that ties directly to your bottom line. Followers, retweets, and other metrics are fun to look at and can be helpful to determine things like interaction, etc., but they’re not the end game.
Twitter is a great way to form new relationships, nurture existing ones and engage with customers in a way that will make them feel ‘heard.’ The beauty about Twitter is that you can quickly send a tweet to someone living on the other side of the world asking for advice and have it answered instantaneously. In addition to Twitter being a great platform for relationships, it is a marketing machine. For anyone who runs their own business, it’s an easy and effective way to brand yourself and share what matters to you and your business with others who may benefit from your knowledge.
The most important use of Twitter for a business is to communicate with your customers as well as potential customers. If a customer loves your product or service, you can share it with the world by retweeting. If a customer isn’t happy, you can respond to them and try to resolve it ASAP. If someone is unhappy with your competitors, you can tweet at them and try to bring them over to your business. By being involved on Twitter, it makes it easier to be open with your customers, which should help create more evangelists in the long run.
The most important thing to remember about Twitter is that it’s a tactic not a strategy. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a strategy when using Twitter. It simply means for it to truly impact your bottom line and be measurable you must tie to a goal that is supportive of an overall marketing strategy. For example, you may be launching a new face cream and use twitter to find people who are talking about being old. Maybe lamenting they need reading glasses now. Why not surprise and delight and send them a tweet that says – I can’t help you see better but I can take 10 years off your face. I’d love to send you a bottle of our brand new face cream – no strings attached! That’s just one example of a tactic to support your strategy of finding influencers at Twitter to get product to.
No matter what niche or industry your business belongs to, Twitter users are always desirous of finding new ideas, useful information, value-added services and great products. If you think your Twitter efforts are failing to make a hit, pay heed to what the experts have shared above and use these golden pieces of advice to improve your marketing campaign. Twitter marketing has the potential to take your business to the next level, provided you do it right. So, are you ready?
Please feel free to leave comments or share your opinions below.
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