Using Twitter for Business Marketing
To effectively use Twitter for your business marketing, it needs to be broken down and looked at in four sections:
- How your business should be Tweeting
- Finding Customers (Lead Generation)
- Public Relations (PR) and Networking
- Best Practices
1. How your business should be Tweeting
Unlike some other social media platforms, Twitter is designed for ‘thoughts’ or ‘snippets’ – with only 140 characters available (and some of those may be taken up by relevant hashtags) it is critical that you say what you mean as clearly and directly as possible. There are various software platforms available that allow you to monitor the composition of your words and determine if they meet current standards to aid with optimization.
Most will look at Twitter and see it as a tool for engaging with the masses, but with the sheer number of Tweets being sent every day (over 500 million), it is getting more and more difficult to be seen. Even if you have customers and clients following your channel, there is no guarantee that they will see your postings.
This is where the importance of Direct Messaging (DM) used in conjunction with tweets becomes apparent – by individually connecting with your potential audience, you can ensure that as long as they are correctly using their account, they will see your message, and then can potentially engage with your feed.
2. Finding Customers (Lead Generation)
In any business, knowing who your audience is is vital – there is no point expending time, effort, resources and money advertising your business to people who have no interest and will not engage with you. You could actually damage your reputation by continually contacting businesses that aren’t interested – word of mouth reputation is now largely digital, with a much larger reach, and your reputation is only as strong as the last customer engagement.
When you tweet, using hashtags and emojis allows interested parties to search and find you – but, these functions also allow you to do the same. Making use of Twitter’s search functions and outside platforms analytic programs means that you can see who is using what to promote themselves, how well their engagement rates are compared to your own, and decide how best to optimize your own content.
Look at your competitors – How well are they presented? What sort of engagement do they have?
This gives you an idea of content to market – whether it be similar, or areas you’ve identified that they are not currently addressing.
Then, look at who they are following – this gives you a ready-made list of potential contacts; are they connected to the same companies and suppliers that you are? Is there anyone there that you haven’t addressed? It is important that you don’t just wholesale copy the list without checking these followers out for yourself – some of them may not be appropriate or be companies that you have already decided that you don’t want or need to approach.
As well as investigating your competitors, it is important that you have a brainstorming session related to keywords – list down all the terms that you use to promote and advertise or describe your business with. Turn this list into hashtags and search for them. Then look at emojis – which ones represent your company and objectives, which ones would appear on posts used by interested parties? Search for these as well.
Once you have done these things, you should have a list of accounts ready to connect with.
3. PR and Networking
Before starting on the list created in the point above, some additional research should take place – using the hashtags, emojis and search functions, look for social influencers, brand champions and media outlets that you believe would be open to promoting your business and furthering your reach.
Now that you have a list of potential contacts, it’s time to decide how to connect with them. If your company has a social media strategy (and it should), this is where you need to consult it. How you approach and interact with people will need to be done with the same ‘voice’ and professionalism that you conduct yourself with on your own channels – your business needs to have brand consistency, and it’s important that this is presented across your interactions on any social media network.
‘Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.’
The first step is to ensure that your own channel is optimized – creating and sharing content that people will want to engage with, and promoting your company to its fullest. This is the foundation, and without it – no matter what other strategies you engage in, you will not reach your optimal potential.
‘In the past two years, content consumption on Twitter has increased 25%.’
Once your channel is ready, it is time to engage with your list of contacts – mentioning them in relevant tweets, retweeting their posts, or introducing yourself and your business through DM’s are some of the various ways you can conduct both PR and Networking at the same time.
4. Best Practices
There is no one set way to use Twitter to your advantage, it will mainly come down to the objectives and needs of your business – your social media and marketing strategies should take this into consideration and prepare to be flexible based on analytical data and current trends.
But there are a few simple Do’s and Don’ts that will help you navigate your way through Twitter usage:
- Tweet on a regular consistent basis.
- Respond to people who have mentioned or messaged you.
- Regularly check hashtag and emoji analytics to see who is using what.
- Keep up to date with what your competitors are doing.
- Maintain correspondence or dialogue with your followers – post in a way that allows engagement.
- Keep a list of companies and businesses you’ve engaged with – even if they’ve declined to use your service.
- Update your list regularly so you can engage with newcomers and increase your lead generation.
- Post the same content repeatedly – if you don’t have some variation and interesting content, you will lose engagement.
- Ignore negative feedback – how you deal with this is vitally important, it gives you the opportunity to correct problems, create a possible brand champion, and show others that you are trustworthy and professional.
- Repeatedly message people – whilst follow-ups are important, over messaging will just create irritation and a bad reputation.
- Neglect your analytics – Your data is only useful when it’s usable, if you ignore it, there’s no point to having a strategy in place.
Using Twitter to its fullest is no small task, and it’s not something that you can implement and leave – it requires monitoring and careful nurturing. But with the right tools, strategy and willingness to be flexible – there is no reason why your business cannot benefit from an optimized business marketing strategy.