Twitter can be used for marketing as well as a communication tool. Here are its advantages and steps to take to make it work for you.Twitter can be used for marketing as well as communication. Here are its advantages and steps to take to make it work for you.
The benefits of using Twitter
For those using Twitter in conjunction with a business, there is the opportunity to increase product visibility and build brand awareness, provide timely customer care, learn more about trends, and gain feedback on what your customers want.
Those with any type of online presence can use Twitter to increase the traffic to their sites. In addition, good tweets and a popular profile, especially one optimized with the right keywords, can also provide a boost in search engines.
Most importantly, as with all social media, being active on Twitter will enable you to network and build a reputation while increasing your knowledge of the niche.
However, keep in mind that all of this requires active participation and interaction on Twitter, as will be explained next.
Tips in using Twitter for marketing
Here are some tips that can help you get more followers and make the most of Twitter.
Do research before anything else. Before even thinking about what Twitter username or handle to use, see if there are any on-going conversations regarding your niche or brand. What are people saying? Take these things into account before deciding if Twitter is the right vehicle to help get your message across.
Determine your goals. Set goals before engaging your audience in conversation. Determine whether you want to drive traffic to your site, sell your products and services or provide timely customer services to maximize the benefits you can get from the service.
Choose a relevant, creative, user friendly name and handle. Your Twitter handle can serve as an extension of your brand so using your business name may be good. You can choose to have a branded profile and use your company logo as your profile photo. However, for most users, it is better to be established more as a person rather than a brand so a more personal profile tied to your products will be the way to go.
Using generic usernames can be quite boring so many try to come up with creative usernames that are both meaningful and memorable. Consider using industry keywords in your Twitter handle to help with your SEO efforts.
As a general rule, don’t use a Twitter handle that has too many numbers, underscores and capital letters. Not only are these characters quite confusing, they are also not considered to be very user-friendly for those who use their mobile phones in tweeting.
Listen. Observe. Engage. Don’t just jump into the conversation. Listen to what others are saying and observe how people interact with each other before even attempting to join conversations. When chiming in, engage some people (those interested in or most likely to be interested in your product) directly by sending @replies.
Establish your authority. Your success is highly dependent on establishing your reputation as a trusted source of information in your chosen niche. So, rather than bombarding followers with purely promotional tweets, try to engage them in a more personal and interesting conversation. Follow the 80/20 rule (80% informational and 20% promotional) in tweeting.
Build followers and listen to them. The goal is the build followers interested in what you have to say at a steady pace. Use advanced search to find people to approach in teh same niche. Use directors and services to include Twellow and Twiends to find and follow people who want to know about the niche who can then follow you in return. The “Follow Me on Twitter” can be put on your email signature, website, newsletters, business cards, etc.
Once you have followers, listen to what they have to say, ask questions, try to help and be as personal with them as possible.
Tweet regularly but don’t overdo it. While it helps to post regularly, do not overdo it. Do not repeat the same things or post too late at night. Be genuine and do not pretend to be someone you are not.
Keep links indirect and natural. When promoting something, do not do it directly with a sales link. Instead, do so indirectly by embedding the link in an article, such as one in which the product solves a problem, or as part of a conversation. People should not be directly pressured to buy.
Retweet interesting posts. Give your followers and customers a virtual pat on the back by retweeting and replying directly to their posts. However, do not fall into the trap of retweeting too much, or you’ll end up sounding like a bot. Limit tweets/retweets to a maximum of ten a day.
Respond to @-Mentions, queries and complaints. Not responding to direct tweets, customer queries and complaints can put quite a dent in your credibility.
Use hashtags. Hashtags can be used to categorize and highlight important words as explained here.
Announce specials. Businesses can attract followers and gauge their audiences by announcing specials exclusively on Twitter.
Track and measure results. To know if your efforts are paying off, regularly track and measure your results against your initial goals. As such, you may want to track user engagement (retweeting and replying to your tweets), influence (how many times your name or brand has been mentioned by your followers) and reach (how many users received your tweets).
For those who have been using Twitter for quite some time in promoting their business online, the following can help you refocus your efforts and make your Twitter experience more positive:
Organize your lists. The more people you follow, the more tweets you will get. To make sure the important tweets don’t get lost amidst all the noise, consider using Twitter lists. You can create 20 different lists with 500 accounts in each list so you can have separate groups to target specifically.
Trim your list. Consider reviewing the list of people you follow on Twitter and unfollow those who are not interested or run by spammers. Following more than you are being followed will make you look uninteresting. You can also automatically unfollow those who have stopped using Twitter by using online tools to include unTweeps app.
Organize your conversations. After organizing your contacts, you can also create a conversation list for the best tweets.
Update your Twitter profile. Revitalize your Twitter experience by updating your profile photo and rewriting your bio. As mentioned earlier, you may consider using your business logo or a professional photo (preferably a headshot) as your profile photo. In writing a new bio, don’t forget to tell your followers what you do and how you help people. Don’t hesitate to show a little personality to make things more interesting.
Customize your page. Jazz up your visual branding by customizing the look and feel of your Twitter account. A unique background creates more visual impact so you may want to use a customized graphic for your Twitter background.
Consider creating a Twitter landing page. This is a special page on your site that acts as kind of an extension of your Twitter profile. The advantages of having this type of page include a more focused message for visitors and better conversions. More about Twitter landing pages here.
Add photos to your tweets. Studies show that people are most likely to read things accompanied by a photo.
You can, likewise, use some Twitter apps such as the ones listed below to build your followers and manage your Twitter account.
- TweetAdder helps you manage up to ten Twitter accounts (but keep in mind that more accounts still are going to be more work). This tool can help you automatically add and delete followers, send tweets, retweets, @replies and thank you messages. It also has a built-in Tweet Generator that can help you spin your Twitter messages.
- Tweetbeep allows you to get alerts via email whenever someone mentions you or your brand on Twitter
- RetweetFollow helps you find all the people who are retweeting your content
- Resonancers can be used to find the most influential people on Twitter
- Twitter Grader can be used to check how influential you are on Twitter
- Portwiture is an app that allows you to visualize your tweets by grabbing matching photos from Flickr
- Tweriod knows that timing is everything and finds the best time to tweet based on the actions of your followers.
- Commun.it makes it easy to manage Twitter relationships through groupings such as who has shared your content and engaged with you. As not all followers are equal in value, it also makes suggestions with a “Consider to Follow” feature.
Twitter on the go – using Twitter for mobile
You can stay connected wherever you are by using Twitter for mobile. Participate in the conversation via SMS or by accessing Twitter’s mobile website at www.mobile.twitter.com. More information can be found here.
Twitter provides internal analytics tools to give you an in-depth insight with regards to the fundamental metrics of your campaigns. Read more about them here.
There are also a number of third party analytics and visualization tools that can help you gauge the performance of your campaigns. Some of the most useful Twitter analytics apps include the following:
- Tweet Archivist helps you find the top users, keywords, URLs and the tweet vs. retweet ratio
- Twitonomy is a robust Twitter analytics app that provides you with a wealth of information regarding your Twitter account
- Twitter Counter is an online tool that allows users to track the growth of their Twitter followers
- TweetStats is an online tool that provides a graphic representation of your tweets
- TwitterMap and TweepsMap are tools that allow users to track where their followers are located