Twitter is often overlooked by small companies as a marketing tool to increase their customer base. However, through consistent marketing, businesses have the ability to reach a wide range of potential customers and build a loyal following.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a communication tool that allows you to send out messages (tweets) up to 140 characters long to people who subscribe to you (aka followers). Your tweets can include a link to any content on the web (ex: blog post, website page, PDF document, etc.) or a photo or video.
People follow (aka subscribe) to your Twitter account, and you follow other people. This allows you to read, reply to and easily share their tweets with your followers (aka retweet).
How to Use Twitter as a Marketing Tool
1: Identify Your Goal
Before you begin, it’s important to identify your goal for using Twitter. There are typically three goals:
- To Build the Company’s Brand & Awareness,
- Build & Strengthen Relationships with Customers and Partners, or
- Drive Traffic to a Website or Store.
2: Identify Your Niche & Geographical Focus
Determine your niche and try to be as specific as possible. For example, a heating and air conditioning company company might focus on builders, realtors, or people interested in home comfort or indoor air quality. Next, determine your geographic range. It could be Denver, Colorado or a 50 mile radius around zip code 80002. The key is to be as specific as possible.
3: Follow Customers, Prospects & Find Potential Leads
If your goal is to build company awareness or build & strengthen relationships with customers and partners, follow customers, prospects and others who share an interest is your niche (look up contacts from your email address book or use the Advanced Twitter Search tool to identify these people).
Start following people in these categories:
- Your customers
- Your business partners, suppliers, contractors and vendors
- Your competitors or peers
- Trade organizations or professional organizations for your industry
- Businesses in your neighborhood
- Businesses run by people you know (your professional network)
If you are hoping to drive direct leads from Twitter, go to the Advanced Twitter Search tool and enter in your keywords and your main zip code within a range of miles. If you see an opportunity, you can respond directly to them through Twitter. You need to do this carefully as you don’t want to come across as being invasive or “salesy”. Try something like:
“Hi @prospect. Sorry to hear about your air conditioner making noise. Check out this article on how to fix that problem (link to article here). If you still need help, please let me know.”
5: Start Sharing Relevant and Useful Information
Here is a rule of thumb on how to share info:
- Share 4 pieces of helpful information from others (use their twitter handle in the tweet when sharing, ex: @aspireid so they know you are sharing their info and can return the favor).
- Share 1 piece of info that is from you (focus on how your products and services benefit your customers, make it all about them, give people useful info and answer their questions, don’t forget to include photos or links to videos)
- Share 1 promotional piece of info.
6: Use a Social Media Management Tool
Use a social media management tool such as Hootsuite (hootsuite.com) to manage your Twitter account and interactions.