(Or: Twitter Marketing For Twits)
I have to admit it, when a client first asked me to write for Twitter I’d pretty much no idea what it was. Worse still, when I researched it online as you do I found there weren’t really any guides that explain in simple terms what Twitter is and how to make use of it. It seems like everyone else was pretending they’re far too smart to need a basic ‘heads up’.
So, if you’re not ashamed to admit that you don’t really know what Twitter is, I’ve written this sort briefing which I hope you’ll find useful.
What is Twitter ?
Twitter is one of the biggest social media platforms (technically what is known as a microblogging platform) right now. Twitter has over 236 million active monthly users, and is one of the ten most visited websites in the world. That makes it a potentially powerful way of getting your message out and reaching new customers that you really can’t ignore.
* Very easy to do. Quick. Low cost.
* Works well with other methods of online advertising, such as a website or blog.
* Good for communicating with those who use mobile devices (eg. phones) rather than computers.
* Message length is limited.
* Good tweets can be tricky to write.
* Takes time to build up followers.
* To some extent unproven.
How does Twitter work ?
Twitter allows you to compose and broadcast short (up to 140 characters) informational messages send them to those who sign up to receive them quickly and easily. You can also sign up to receive messages from other Twitter users on subjects of interest to you.
Honestly now, does it really work ?
As a way of generating traffic and engaging customers, yes, it seems to. Difficult to tell how effective it is at generating direct sales though.
How to get started with Twitter
To begin, set up your Twitter account. Basic accounts are free. You can set up an account in your own name, or that of your business or product/service, or have several accounts if you wish.
Decide exactly what you’re going to send messages, or tweets as they’re called, on. For best results focus these tightly to your business, product or service. Avoid the temptation, as some businesses do, to tweet about anything and everything. Tip. Try and choose a niche or niche that is very customer focussed – that relates to the kind of information, news or tips your customers are looking for and will value.
For example, if you want to advertise a sports-related business send out sports-related tips and news rather than product information as such. This will appeal more to your followers. It will also make it easier to find the most relevant and motivated followers.
Once you’ve done that you need to spend some time building up a following. You can do this by following other people who are interested in the same and similar subjects and also encouraging them to follow you. Ask your existing contacts who are already on Twitter to follow you. When you first sign up Twitter will make some recommendations to get you started. You can also link Twitter to your website, blog and other social media sites.
You can then begin tweeting. Make your tweets interesting, valuable and fun. Here are a few ideas for things you can tweet: News, tips, ideas, comment, recommendations, questions and requests for help. Include relevant links to your own website and other noteworthy websites, pics, videos and so on.
Then, once you’ve got a decent sized following you can start recommending products and services to your followers. Whatever you do don’t be too pushy or it will turn your followers off. Don’t make every tweet a sales-oriented tweet.
Tip. When a tweet is selling something make it a softly, softly ‘you might like this’ style sincere recommendation from a friend – rather than an in your face ‘go on buy this’ message.
Here’s an example of how to use Twitter effectively in a business: Say your ultimate motivation in starting up on Twitter is to advertise holidays – flights, hotels, villas, car hire and so on. Set up a Twitter account and, first and foremost, send out useful and interesting tweets on travel – new holiday ideas, destinations, things to do and so on. Once you have a following and people come to welcome your tweets you can then promote products, such as ‘special offers’ and ‘best deals’.
You can also pay to advertise on Twitter, using methods such as Promoted Accounts and Promoted Ads.
Tips and tricks :
* Ensure your product service is right for the Twitter demographic – Twitter tends to be used mainly by younger age groups.
* When creating tweets bear in mind both the opportunities and the limitations. Twitter is well suited to communicating with people who use mobile devices.
* As well as looking for others to follow you, follow as many others as possible. This is the main way of building followers, at least initially.
* Make sure every tweet is meaningful.
* Get the frequency right. Several tweets a week is optimum but several a day is appropriate in some circumstances. Get a feel for what your followers want.
* You can retweet tweets which originate from others, but your own unique tweets are always better. Also if tweeting someone else’s news/story be very selective about what you choose to send.
* Check for trending topics on Twitter and try to create tweets that fit in with those.
* Use the Twitter hashtag (#) correctly. Hashtag is used before a relevant keyword or phrase in a tweet to categorise it and get it shown in Twitter searches.
* Make sure a high proportion of your tweets have links. Ideally links that are useful to your followers but will benefit you, such as links to your website and blog.
More info. and advice: I can formulate a Twitter campaign, devise ideas for tweets relevant to your product/service, and copywrite effective tweets. Drop me an email for more details.