Twitter has become a very valuable tool for a plethora of businesses. Whether it is small and run out of someone’s home or is a large multi-million dollar corporation, many businesses have tapped into the Twitter-verse to get in touch with their customer base, announce new products and promotions quickly, and do a variety of other activities. However, if a company is just starting out, it can be very easy to get lost or sidetracked on Twitter. Plenty of companies believe that putting together a Twitter account and sending out a number of tweets each day will guarantee them new followers and customers, but there is more to it than that. By putting in the thought and care to growing a Twitter community, a company can see its many benefits in the future.
So how does a company even get started on Twitter? Here are some simple practices that any company can follow:
1. Define your audience: Try to narrow down the people you want to target on Twitter to one or two demographics. Reaching everyone will be near impossible and will not help your marketing plan. If you have trouble finding people that fit your target audience, look at other companies that are in the same industry as you and the people that are following them. You can get started there. Make good use of Twitter’s search bar also to look for tweeters that are using key terms that apply to your business. Also be sure to follow Twitter influencers in your industry. If you are able to establish a relationship with them, they may be able to help you out by pointing people to your Twitter page!
2. Start sharing: Twitter is a great place to quickly send updates about what is going on with a company, such as new products to look forward to or discounts that can be redeemed. However, a business can take it a step forward by giving their followers a look behind the curtain. Share photos and stories about what is going on in the office, sneak previews about the latest developments and projects, and get people excited about upcoming events that are being planned.
For example, Midtown Comics in New York City frequently lets its followers know if there are any fun activities and contests that will be hosted at its store and updates with photos from these events!
3. Listen to the Twitter-verse: Monitor your company’s Twitter community. This means keeping an eye on both the your followers and followings list, your brand, and your industry. It is important to keep your company in the loop and to respond/retweet/share when appropriate. Pay attention to any major news or articles that are being shared as well as hashtags that are being used frequently.
A great way to effectively manage your Twitter feed is to create several lists that will categorize the people and hastags you follow into concrete groups. It allows your feed to be less cluttered and easier to follow since people are similar to one another will be in the same lists.
By keeping yourself updated and responding to other people, it shows your followers that you are actively engaged in your industry and in your customer base, rather than just another Twitter account that wants to push its products onto people.
4. Ask the people: Twitter makes conversing easy, so take advantage of it. Ask the people following you what they would like to see come out of your business. For example, if your business sells fashion accessories, you can ask people through tweets questions such as “which colors they would like to see in our upcoming Fall line?” or “what accessory do you like to wear on a night out?” Asking for customer input is a great way to gain valuable insights and show people that you care and are listening to their opinions.
A great example of this can be seen in Mountain Dew’s DEWmocracy campaign. The soft drink company asked its followers online which flavor they thought should its next drink be. This was a great way to get people involved with the brand and gave them the feeling of control over its next product.
5. Respond back: People like getting tweets and mentions, so make sure to respond back to people that took time to speak with you! This may be difficult for big name Twitter accounts that get hundreds of tweets each day, but for a small business, starting up a conversation with a potential customer is important. It is good practice to respond to compliments and feedback about your company.
6. Give out rewards: Reward your followers with special offers, freebies, and discounts. Try to do them frequently if it does not end up hurting your company. Even if it is something small, your followers will appreciate it.
7. Demonstrate your expertise: Show your followers and visitors that are you know the industry that your business is involved in by sharing related tweets and articles with them. No one wants to see a company pushing its products 24/7. By throwing in relevant content created by other people, followers will be able to see that you are on top of the latest trends. Plus, by sharing other content, you might be able to spark up a conversation or two with your followers.
8. Establish the right voice: Like it was said before, Twitter makes conversing easy. It is important to think about the tone you want to use when you formulate your tweets and responses. Being too formal may make you sound like a robot, but being too lax may diminish the credibility of your company. The best advice is to make yourself seem as friendly and approachable as possible, while showing people that you know what you are talking about.
Twitter can be a highly valuable tool for your business when you are able to market yourself in the right way. If you constantly push your products and offerings onto your followers, you will quickly lose them. It is important to remember that your business’ Twitter is not solely about you, but it is about your customers also. Give them a reason to follow you and promote your brand, either by sharing with them relevant content, offering them discounts, or creating a relationship with other tweeters. By doing so, you will be able to see just how much of a positive impact Twitter had on your business.