Twitter is a challenge for many businesses, but for anyone in the service side of the market, it is one of the best tools to get your message out…assuming you do it right. Twitter is a digital coffee shop, where people will expect to find a brand and a personality. Capitalize on your story, and your efforts will be rewarded!
The basics of Twitter in 4 easy-to-follow steps:
Step #1: Present Your Brand
Your Twitter account and profile are the foundation of your Twitter experience. It is important that your Twitter presence have the same look and feel as your other online tools. This helps people identify your business and builds trust. Choose an account name and images consistent with your brand.
Step #2: Start Following People
When you follow another Twitter user, you subscribe to read what they share. So be selective about whom you follow, especially at first.
Note: Your Twitter experience is defined by who you follow, not by who follows you. Pay attention to your follow choices to give yourself a great Twitter experience – this should be a fun part of your marketing, not just a chore.
Find your customers, your suppliers and partners, vendors, and friends. Take a look at your competitors and your local business community (following your local chamber of commerce is a great place to start.)
Step #3: Start Talking
Talking on Twitter is different from every other social media site. It’s a fast-paced smorgasbord of ideas and sentence fragments. It’s hectic, but it’s also fun. Give yourself a little time to get your feet wet. Listen to others. Jump in when you feel comfortable. Start talking as you get your bearings.
Once you’re ready, have a plan for your content. In general, you want to find the sweet spot between what your target audience wants to hear and things that promote your business. For many businesses, the answer is to focus on how your products and services benefit your customers.
Give people useful information and answer their questions, and they will consider you a valuable member of their community. That’s an important first step to winning a new customer.
There’s a real art to writing a headline-style message on Twitter. Experiment with different ways to say the same thing, and see what gets the most response. With only 140 characters, it’s important that every word pull its weight in your messages.
Step #4: Drive Traffic to Your Website and Blog
Twitter is a great tool for driving traffic to your website and blog. To do this, you create a tweet that includes a copy-pasted link – add an image and write a message that compels people to click to learn more, and you’re officially a Twitter marketing expert!
Twitter is possibly the hardest of the social media channels to master. It when you’re just starting out, it can feel like an unproductive echo chamber. The 60/40 rule of Twitter will keep it time-manageable and fun: use other people’s content 60% of the time, through retweets, @replies, and conversations. If you’re planning to tweet 10 times/week (which is a good number to shoot for) that means you only need to write four original posts!
Above all, be patient, be active, and be real – I promise it will pay off!