11 Twitter accounts are created every second! 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from a brand they follow. But Twitter can be a pretty terrifying place when you don’t know exactly where to begin or what success looks like.
Talking with customers and prospects using Social Media brings about challenges within the daily operation of a business. Integrating Twitter into your marketing requires some specific tactics to make it work for you. It’s a great way for customers to communicate with companies they do business with but you need to have a Twitter marketing plan in place before you take to the airwaves.
Consumers often use Twitter to communicate with brands. In fact, just this week I was having trouble getting my insurance company to help me with an issue. After a week or so of frustrating phone calls on hold and emails with canned responses and a “no-reply” address, it dawned on me that I could tweet them! You can bet I couldn’t pick up my phone fast enough. I tweeted something that clearly got their attention and guess what? They replied and my issue was handled within 24 hours.
Social customer service isn’t the only reason businesses can utilize Twitter. It’s a very valuable tool for driving leads and sales. However, many people are confused by it and that stops many businesses from realizing the benefits of Twitter marketing. It’s one thing to “like the idea” of Twitter marketing for your business or to even venture out into Twitterdome to see what it’s like. It’s quite another to succeed at Twitter marketing to generate leads and sales.
If you’re new or can’t seem to get traction with Twitter, here are 20 tips to help you conquer Twitter marketing:
- Build your followers thoughtfully. Use tools like refollow.com and tweetadder.com to find established users who have customers similar to yours. Load in the list of their followers and start following them (50 or so per day so you don’t look like a spammer). Not everyone will follow you back but like we used to say in sales training, “Some will, some won’t, so what.” Use a tool like manageflitter.com to weed out those you’ve followed who didn’t follow you back and who aren’t providing quality content for your feed.
- Keep your followers by publishing the content they want to see and share. If you aren’t sure what to post, work with a content strategist who will help you differentiate your business from all others by defining what you want to say.
- Follow thought leaders that will help you improve yourself and your marketing. Follow all the people and blogs that inspire you.
- Don’t let your free real estate look like an abandoned ghost town. Look objectively at your profile and bio and ask yourself, “Would I follow this brand?” Install a brand-specific Twitter background and header. If you’re not a designer, spend the money to have these created for you. Beautiful design helps welcome visitors and you stay consistent with your message.
- Figure out your customers and prospects’ questions and answer them.
- Answer consumer questions just like you would if you were talking to them on the phone or in person. Reply to everything (except spam of course).
- If you’re out of ideas on what to share, refer back to your documented content strategy. Always post relevant, useful content that your followers enjoy. Make it a priority to consume content (blogs, etc) on a daily basis. This is super important because you want to stay inspired. Take the time, do the work and you’ll never run out of ideas.
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. (Translation: Give, Give, Give, then Ask). If you haven’t read Gary Vaynerchuk’s book of the same name, you’re missing out. Twitter is one of the best platforms to publish useful content and converse with potential customers. Give them quality information, start engaging and networking. Then, ask for the sale.
- Practice gratitude. When you get re-tweeted or mentioned, thank that person and then follow with a genuine question that you’d like to know. (example: @pammktgnut Thx Pam for sharing my post. How are things in Tampa today?)
- Share awesome quotes. A lot of people see this as a crutch to get more RTs, and if your intentions are not in the right place, then they’re right. However, when I find great quotes that speak to me, I post them. They typically get a lot of RTs and I’m smiling because I got to make an impact on those who passed the quote along.
- Use #Hashtags thoughtfully and with purpose. On Twitter, a hash sign (#) turns any word or group of words that directly follows it into a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords.
- Participate in Twitter chats. Twitter chats are held typically once a week at a certain time and many are industry-specific. You meet a lot of cool people in Twitter chats (some turn into prospects) and if you participate often enough, you’ll increase influence and visibility. Be sure to follow those in the chat too because those are some connected people!
- Share pictures as often as possible. Why? You get noticed. You get more RTs. Your tweets get Favorited more often. You get more click-throughs.
- Take advantage of Lists. Lists give you the effortless ability to group customers, thought leaders, influences, etc. into specific lists which you can refer to quickly to catch up with tweets you may have otherwise missed.
- NEVER send auto-replies. Some users have these set up so that when you follow them, they send you an auto-reply back. You only get one chance to make a positive first impression. Automated replies and DMs (direct messages) make me wanna scream. They are seen by your new follower as annoying. It’s ok to reply to them if they’ve followed you but do it from the heart. And for goodness sake, don’t ask me to like your Facebook page!
- Use Social Media tracking software to monitor your links and progress. There are a lot of options out on the market and one we use is Sprout Social. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. You need to know what your followers are responding to and for that, you need tracking software.
- Use Hootsuite GeoSearch or NeedTagger to monitor tweets in your market area. Listen in to conversations going on in real time about the products and services you sell. You CAN prospect on Twitter.
- Be authentic. Join conversations with humble intentions, not as an opportunity to promote your product or service. When sharing content, ask yourself, “Would I follow this brand based solely on this one tweet?”
- Refrain from broadcasting. Broadcasting is using old school advertising methods on new media. Twitter is a social network, not a place to constantly bombard people with specials and deals. Keep sales-related content to about 10% of your overall Twitter marketing content.
- Leverage content scheduling tools to manage your time. Hootsuite is a free tool that I use to schedule tweets so that I can spend more time interacting and networking. Sprout Social also allows you to schedule content.
With all things that involve time, effort and budget, make sure you have the tools in place to meet your Twitter marketing goals. If you’re not sure, ask for help. A little spent now can turn into a lot of revenue later.