I believe in an integrated approach to marketing. That it should be built cohesively around a central hub which is your business. Twitter is a spoke on that hub. It can be useful. It can be powerful and it most certainly can contribute to the bottom line.
Let me share with you my Top 10 on How to use Twitter in your Marketing.
Choose a Twitter Handle that’s easy to say, spell and remember.
It’s an expression of your brand so make it match as closely as you can. You have 15 characters with which to play for the Twitter handle itself. Your real name has 20. Make them count. If you can’t get the one you want, use something that makes sense. Don’t just add a number at the end. It’s just not memorable. Look at what Seth Godin (@ThisIsSethsBlog), Davina McCall (@ ThisisDavina) and Fusion (@ThisIsFusion) did so they could secure a Twitter handle that made sense. My own is simply @FinolaHoward.
Say Who You Are & What you Do in your profile.
Never make someone work for that information. You’ve got up to 160 Characters for your profile. Think of it as an elevator pitch so make sure it means something to your target market and make sure it’s ON Brand and ON Message. Read my Spotlight on Branding if you need help here.
Include who you are, what you do and what you can do for them. Add a little humanness if you can. This all helps people decide whether they should follow you or not.
And yes you do want followers. Without them you’re just speaking to yourself and that’s not what social media or in fact great marketing is about.
Insider Tip: Do include a link to your website in your profile. It’s good for SEO.
Get the Visual Branding Right
You’ve invested in creating great imagery around your brand. Now use it. There are 4 specific types of images you need for your Twitter Account
- Header Image – 1500 X 500
- Profile Photo – 400 X 400
- Shared Photo – 1024 X 512
- In Stream Photo Preview – 220 X 440
Use www.canva.com to help you create great images for your posts. It’s free, easy to use and if you choose from their paid images section they’re just $1 each, so it’s affordable. Also, they’ve already got the dimensions for each type of graphic templated for you so you don’t even have to think about that.
Follow People and Have Conversations.
Rule #1 – Social Media is Social. Forget your ego here. If they’re not following you; they can’t hear you. If you’re not following them; you can’t hear them. How can you be social when one of you is deaf?
Start by building an audience. Follow people you find interesting. Follow people that are influencers in your space. Are their followers your target market? Follow them too. You can use something like Tweepi.com to help you here.
Now start having conversations. Try to see what people are interested in and see where you can help or share viewpoints. This is about building relationships. Start with one conversation each day and build from there.
Sometimes this conversation can become something interesting.
Remember interesting isn’t always about business. Sometimes interesting is just interesting. Sometimes it translates to your other social media channels. And sometimes it translates into a piece of business for either of you. Whichever one it is, you are the richer for it.
Build Twitter Lists of people you like to interact with so that you’re always having a conversation with people who engage. This helps your engagement ratings too.
Schedule 4 – 5 Tweets per day.
Twitter is a dynamic social media channel and gets it’s best return on investment when there is a steady stream. Too little and you won’t reach your followers when they’re on. Too much and you’ll just annoy them.
Automate this. Use something like Buffer and you can schedule those tweets well in advance not to mention your other social media channels aswell. It’s got a great free entry point and as you grow your social media you can take advantage of their paid options aswell.
Check for the best times to tweet with Tweriod and this integrates with the scheduler in Buffer so you know you’ll reach your audiences when they’re on.
Mix Curated Content with Your Content and Share it.
Your content is the blog articles you write to reach your audience. Curated content is where you share other people’s content. You’ve got to get a nice mix of both.
Remember Rule #1 for social media – it’s social – so share. When you share they’ll share. This technique only serves to showcase your ability to choose things that your audience wants to read. When you do it right, they’ll trust you. And that trust is priceless.
Use something like CoSchedule to schedule out social media shares of blog posts you’ve written and include your twitter feed here. Now you’re driving traffic to your website and now you’re moving from just social to marketing your business.
Use Hashtags to broaden your reach.
Twitter has a wonderful facility for understanding what people are interested in. It’s called a Hashtag (#). In your space find out what people use to search twitter for topics they’re interested in e.g. #Node (for people interested in Node development), #Marketing (for people interested in Marketing), #SMM (for people interested in Social Media Marketing).
Find the hashtag your audience is interested in and ensure you use these in all your tweets. It broadens the reach for what you have to say and you’ll make new connections as a result. Don’t just stick a # symbol in front of whatever you’ve written. Make sure it’s a real hashtag that people are following. Just put it in your search bar and watch the results that you find. You’ll know very quickly if this is in the right space or not.
Say Thank You!
We live in a society where time is precious. So when people give you their time, when they interact with you, when they favourite something of yours, when they include you in their lists, when they retweet something of yours – say thank you. It doesn’t cost you anything and shows you appreciate them. It’s just good manners.
Ask for the Business!
So you’ve been interacting with someone who would really benefit from what you offer. You’ve been building a relationship with them. They’ve been telling you what they need or they’ve been telling you how much they like what you do.
It’s time to ask for the business. Or at the very least ask them to subscribe to your newsletter, send them an invite to trial your product, connect with you on LinkedIn etc so that you can take that relationship to the next level. You’ve got to ask or your social media efforts will simply be an indulgence and not a real marketing tool.
Twitter Cards are great here and are used by many who are building their email list. It’s free to use. You just have to give credit card details to open up this free technique. You only actually start paying when you start advertising. When someone shows interest in your blog articles, use a Twitter card to ask them to subscribe.
Now let’s be clear here. Rule #1 Social Media is Social. Only ask for the business when someone clearly wants you to. If you spend all your time selling your social media will never work for you. This is a relationship building tool so it takes time. Nobody wants to listen to someone selling to them all the time.
Enjoy it, learn from it and when the opportunity presents itself; be ready to ask for the business.
Measure It All
The first thing I measure with any social media account is the number of followers and the engagement levels. If you are serious about using Twitter as part of your marketing strategy; numbers do count as long as they’re the right followers.
Register with Klout as a way of measuring your reach, engagement levels and degree of influence. If your Klout score is low you’re not engaging them. If it’s growing you are.
The next step is to look at something like Buffer so you can see what specific content your audience is interacting with. It’s a simple analytics tool that breaks down your engagement levels for each post over a period of time. At a glance you can filter posts between
- Most Popular to Least Popular
- Most Retweets to Least Retweets
- Most Favourites to Least Favourites
- Most Replies to Least Replies
- Most Clicks to Least Clicks
- Most Reach to Least Reach
So now you know what content people are interacting with most so that you can more closely align yourself to what they need. Use this tool to teach yourself what they want to read about and give them more of what they want. If you’re trying to convert people to your site; watch the click through rate in particular.
Your inbuilt Twitter Analytics will measure how you’re doing in terms of Tweet Impressions, Profile Visits, Mentions etc. It will also measure the impact on click throughs for your Twitter Cards so it’s a really useful and free measurement tool for you.
Don’t forget to take this analysis through to the next stage of your business development process. Measure the increases in your email sign ups, completed contact / enquiry forms, sales levels etc.
Google Analytics is next and is also a free measurement tool. You just have to install it on your website. It measures so much and the more you grow your marketing, the more you will grow the use of this particular too. For now focus on traffic increases to your blog, key pages on your site such as product pages, contact pages, enquiry forms etc. Watch the impact that sharing your content across social media has on the traffic levels to your site. Then you need to concentrate on how that converts across to sales pages.
These are some baseline analytics that will get you starting to really measure what’s working for you. Crack these first before you invest in any more sophisticated analytics.
Thanks for taking the time to read my Top 10 Tips on How to use Twitter in your marketing. I hope you’ll start to see what a useful tool it can be to help you build your brand, your knowledge of your customers and in fact your business development process. Let me know how you get on and in the mean time here’s some extra reading from some articles that have helped me.
- 10 Twitter Tactics to increase your engagement
- 10 Ways to Improve your Twitter Engagement
- 2015 Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet and Tricks
Finola Howard is a brand and marketing strategist who is passionate about the impact that great marketing can have on business success. She sees marketing in a broader more strategic sense and works with businesses and entrepreneurs who want to grow. You can find her on Twitter (@FinolaHoward) or on Facebook (Facebook.com/HowGreatMarketingWorks).