Twitter has over 140 million users – and 10 million of them are in the UK. Celebrities talk about it, it features on TV programmes, radio shows, and print, with #hashtags and @usernames plastered all over posters, trucks and even clothes.
Given this high profile its growth is not surprising, but for businesses, it’s not about just being there, it’s about doing it right and having a mind-blowing strategy.
Imagine you have a Twitter account that gets questions and responses from followers, grows consistently and generates leads. Wouldn’t it be nice to finally start seeing some results from this social media giant that you’re still not 100% sure about?
This article will give you some simple steps you can take to make sure your business is making the most of the tiny little blue bird whose tweet is louder than you’d think.
Search around Twitter to see what your competitors are doing. Try and find conversations already happening around your industry or your product, to understand more about what gets people excited.
Jot down a few key areas that people are talking about and this can form the basis of your content plan.
2. Ready, aim, fire
Remind yourself why you’re doing it – you want more sales, right? But how will you get those sales?
Maybe you’re hoping to connect with potential new markets, or you want to build relationships with existing customers to drive repeat sales and recommendations. Or perhaps you want to increase your web traffic.
Whatever your reasons for using Twitter, setting clear goals is a crucial part of your success – so list a couple of brief aims and focus your content around achieving these.
3. Just do it
Now you know what you want to achieve, and you know a bit about what the Twitterers (definition: collective noun for users of micro-blogging platform Twitter) like to talk about, you’re in a good position to join in.
Look back at your list of topics, check out today’s news headlines, and see if there is anything you can post that relates to either of these areas in relation to your business.
There’s a great piece on last week’s BBC Sussex news site about two people who have been banned from an all-you-can-eat restaurant for eating too much – if I ran a restaurant, I might refer to this in a special offer promoting my all-you-can-eat buffet. And I might ask my followers what they think.
Being interesting (and topical) is one of the simplest but most effective ways to get results from Twitter.
4. Plan ahead
Remember those goals you wrote down? They are the cornerstone of your Twitter strategy, and provide a great foundation for a strong content plan.
Now you have that outline, you can start to add more detail to your list of what to post – it might look something like this:
Monday – how to guides
Tuesday – top tips
Wednesday – special offers
Thursday – new products
Friday – industry news & trends
Saturday – product reviews
Sunday – inspiration
Try and vary your posts to include links to other web pages, photos and videos (these are all statistically more likely to be shared than just text) as well as simple text updates.
Pop these into a calendar and stick it to your noticeboard and you start to have a plan that will help keep you on track and focused.
5. Look at me!
With over 140 million users, how are you going to grab the attention of your audience?
One simple way is to ‘tag’ individuals or other Twitter pages in your message – to do this, you simply find their Twitter name (eg. @ThorntonLucy) then include this within your tweet.
The first thing savvy Twitter users do when they log-in is to check who’s talking about them, who’s tagged them – and then they reply and the chatter becomes a conversation, a relationship, and maybe even a sale.
6. Let that sparkling personality shine
Today, I achieved a rather neat parallel park.
I spotted a convenient space outside my little boy’s school at pick-up time, it was very close to his classroom – I went for it………. selected reverse, looked in rear view mirror, looked in side mirror, looked again, kept going – yes I tapped the curb a little, but hey, I was in (and it was raining), so I was rather pleased.
I tweeted it when I got home. Okay so it’s nothing to do with marketing, or with social media, or business, but it’s something some of my clients (who happen to have school-age kids) will relate to.
Make your tweets mostly about them, but the occasional post about what’s happening with you is fine (even if it is about parking).
7. Keep it up
If you can post something each day, then great. (Just don’t post 25 updates within the space of three minutes otherwise you’ll become annoying and be unfollowed quicker than you can say “How am I doing?”). It’s better to tweet little and often than loads every now and then.
Your plan will evolve as the business changes and your online audience grows – but keep your ear to the ground, regularly search Twitter for discussions about your product or service, and add to your content schedule in line with what people are talking about.
8. Measure & monitor
How’s it going? Are you getting the results you wanted when you set out? Has your web traffic seen a boost? Have you generated many leads?
The great thing about Twitter is it’s very immediate; it’s very easy to change your strategy, so if you’re not meeting your goals, then change what you’re doing until you are.
Keep an eye on which tweets get the best response, and do more of those. Just maintain that focus and you’ll begin to see results that justify all that hard work.
Trust me. I can parallel park.