Are you a small, local business? If so, do you use Twitter or does it all seem a bit confusing to you?The thing is that when done correctly, Twitter can be a brilliant way to grow your local business.
You can use it to meet potential new customers and strengthen relationships with your existing ones. So we’ve pulled together some of the world’s leading Twitter experts in one place to give you their secret tips on how to use Twitter to grow your business.
If you use Twitter to get blog traffic, there was a major fall-off in traffic for people who didn’t make the shift to adding images to their tweets. We’re going back and adding images to all our old blog posts. Any image is better than none, and some people are using specially designed blog post title images. Hat tip to Kim Garst and Peg Fitzpatrick who clued me in about this at dinner at Social Media Marketing World this year.
You can create a title image to throw at the beginning of your blog post, and then make it the featured image in your WordPress post. If you’re using an automated posting solution (I currently use buffer and the WordPress plugin Buffer My Post), then simply having a featured image may be enough.
And unfortunately, that’s how a lot of people use Twitter now- for announcing their new thing, not for conversation. But if you @reply to people and, if you want extra credit, film special personalized response videos for them, you can change that for yourself. People will be delighted.
I do recommend you use some kind of app to find more potential followers who already follow people and brands that have your ideal customer. A large percentage of them will follow you back. This is still a big part of growth and continuing to show up to new people.
With Twitter ads, don’t use automatic bidding, which will cost you a lot more money. Bid low- start at $0.10 and see if you still get reach and response. Raise the bid until you do. This way you can lower your costs quite a bit. Also, as with any ad platform- Google, Facebook, etc.- retarget with a tailored audience so you can stay in front of people and top of mind. The combination of email marketing and retargeting lists on these networks will help make you famous in your niche. But make sure you freshen up the content you’re showing via retargeting at least monthly, or people will get tired of it.
Many marketers steeped in the tradition of product advertising naturally feel drawn to prattle on and on about their products and services on Twitter. But I have news for you. Nobody cares about your products and services (except you). Yes, you read that right.
What people do care about are themselves and how you can solve their problems.
People also like to be entertained and to share in something remarkable. In order to have people talk about you and your ideas, you must resist the urge to hype your products and services on Twitter.
Instead, create something interesting that will be talked about. When you get people talking on the Web, people will line up to learn more and to buy what you have to offer.
Twitter can be a great tool for your business to build an audience and share your content. For some, it can even drive leads. My top tips include:
Step 1. You must build an audience first. Just sharing content can help but may take a while to gain traction. Follow and share the thought leaders in your space.
Step 2. Follow the 4-1-1 rule: for every 6 posts, 4 should be other people’s great content, 1 of your own articles, 1 promotional tweet about your company. I actually make it more like 9-1-1 😉
Step 3. Actively engage with your followers. Ask them questions. Comment on their blogs. A small amount of effort can go a long way.
Stay focused. Don’t stray too far from your subject matter expertise (i.e., the reason people follow you).
So if your niche is European Fashion Trends don’t start tweeting about Donald Trump or Hairless Dogs.
Don’t be afraid to repost a popular tweet – odds are many of your followers missed it.
A good rule of thumb is to wait 6-18 hours before retweeting.
Shine the light on others: Make sure to take time to retweet and praise other folks on Twitter.
Spending time getting interested in others will result in them getting interested in you.
The number one problem people have with Twitter is that they look at social media as media with free ads. You have two ears and one mouth, use the ears and LISTEN to those you seek to serve.
When you listen, you’ll learn that most people are just like you. They don’t like to see canned sales messages, same as you. Make sure you aren’t sending out the kind of messages you hate to see. Instead, respond to questions, help people and remember that the most important thing to them is never your product.
Always be ready to sell, but never be seen as trying to sell. Marketing today is not ‘pushing out a message’.. The future is much easier and very effective. Just LISTEN and LOVE (treat people how you want to be treated).
It’s a simple as that.
Your Twitter Strategy Should Be A People Strategy.
What your Twitter strategy really boils down to is figuring out who you want to connect with and engaging in conversations that can further develop the relationship so it can evolve further. Don’t get overly fixated on selling, it’s tough enough to get a point across in 140 characters!
3-Step Twitter Strategy For Your Business
I like to keep things simple and I find the first place businesses make mistakes in creating a Twitter marketing strategy is by over complicating it. If you’ve spent the time to really understand your target market and who they are, creating a Twitter strategy for business can be broken down into three simple steps.
- Find – Who are you trying to find?
- Interact – How will you interact with them once you find them?
- Keep track – How will you keep track?
Step 1: Find Your Prospects
It should be obvious that the first step in your Twitter strategy is to find the prospects you want to connect with but most business owners I talk to haven’t thought this through.
To find prospects on Twitter, you need to clearly understand the language they would use that might identify them as a potential customer.
For example, if you are looking to connect with chiropractors, you can simply type “chiropractor” into Twitter search and then click the “People” tab from the left side menu to filter profiles instead of tweets. It’s ideal that you search with singular terms as opposed to plural since that is how individuals identify themselves, i.e. “chiropractor” instead of “chiropractors”.
Step 2: Interact
Finding people is only half the battle because you need to create a relationship before anything actually happens.
The cornerstone of your Twitter strategy will depend on how you interact with others on the social network. If your first interaction with them is asking to follow you back or check out your page, then you’re wasting your time.
Here are some positive ways to win people over on Twitter:
Retweeting or sharing a great post they tweeted (remember to mention their Twitter ID in your tweet)
Paying a thoughtful compliment that shows you took the time to check out their content
Providing helpful answers to questions asked on Twitter
Having a friendly and selfless demeanor
However you choose to do it, make it your goal to be memorable and remembered in a positive light. Never ever start with a sales pitch or risk being blocked and forgotten.
Step 3: Keep Track
Once you’ve found a great potential prospect it is crucial that you have a way to keep track of them. Fortunately, Twitter lists are the perfect vehicle for this form of tracking and are built-in to the network’s features.
There are a few different types of people you should be tracking with Twitter lists, including (but not limited to):
- People who share your content
- News sources/Industry leaders
- Strategic partners
- Potential prospects
- Current customers
You can use your lists to more easily keep track of the groups of people you put inside each list. This is great for keeping in touch and having a quick filter for your most important connections on Twitter.
I especially like using Twitter lists to keep a close eye on my biggest supporters so that I can regularly share the love and share their great content.
Now over to you…
Are you using Twitter?
What are your favourite Twitter tips for business?
What strategies have worked best for you to find leads in Twitter?
Let us have your comment below.