Does your company use Twitter as a marketing tool? Even if you are not an active Twitter user, chances are that many of your potential and current clients are subscribers. In discussing the importance of incorporating social media into your marketing plan, I’ve found that some clients are not sure if it is relevant for their businesses. In fact, a few give me that ‘deer in the headlights‘ look when I introduce Twitter as a viable way to increase their client base. By educating them, I help them understand the benefits.
As I explain to my clients, Twitter is used by over 304 million people each day who share, connect, promote and brand their business image. If you, like them are still not convinced, here are 4 reasons why Twitter is important for your business.
Imagine having a captive audience waiting for your information every minute of the day. By positioning yourself as an industry expert, you can grow a small community of followers who will have a direct connection to you and who recognize your name and business brand! You can also barter, search for independent contractors or find employees. Twitter provides a great platform to connect with the right people to fit your business needs.
In addition, this is great way for existing customers to provide feedback.
By connecting with similar companies will enable the sharing of idea, best practices and opportunity to gain insight on improving your business.
Most small businesses have a very small marketing budget which results in continuously looking for low cost and innovative ways to leverage their products or services. Twitter is a free social network that can be a rewarding marketing tool for your business. A few examples:
- Your message will appear across the Twitter board over and over by your followers who will retweet your message to their followers. Can we say ‘viral?’
- Stay abreast of industry trends to market effectively to potential customers.
- Publish your Twitter handle on all email newsletters, direct mailings, on your website and all other marketing channels.
- Promote your latest blog posts and newsletters
Still having doubts? Well, let’s say you manage an online specialty athletic shop. You can:
- Track new trends your customers are talking about using Sprout Social, Tweet Reach or Quora
- Share exclusive Twitter coupon codes using TwtQupon
- Promote special offers, promotions and events using Hashtracking or Twubs
Increasing your sales and profit margins are imperative for success and a matter of survival. By using Twitter to announce upcoming sales or events, you will drive potential customers to your website or physical location. For example, I assisted a client who owns a Mexican Restaurant, with setting up her Twitter and Facebook Fan page. Every day, she posts daily lunch specials. Last year, she reported a 9% increase in sales from travelers who used social media to find a local restaurant.
The point is, with little effort and signing up for Twitter’s free social network, you can drive prospects to you by sharing relevant information about your business.
Handy Tools to Manage Your Social Media
Every day, 365 days per year at 6:00 am Central Standard Time, my followers from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blog and Community, receive a daily inspirational quote. Do you really think that I get up every morning, log on to my computer and tweet? Absolutely not! Though I get a chuckle from people that think otherwise! To help manage my various social networks, I use a tool called Hootsuite, which enable me to schedule each message into the future to one or all of my social networks. That’s reaching thousands of my followers in a single message!
As Twitter surges toward an estimated 304 million visitors each month who generate over 65 million tweets per day, there are many tools available to help you manage your time and productivity. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Hootsuite: a web-based tool that allows you to set up a number of social media profiles to manage. The free application offers basic analytics and five social media profiles including LinkedIn, Face book and Twitter.
- Localvox: allows thousands of small businesses to manage their social media. It allows each of your individual tweets to say, [http://www.yourwebsite.com] or via your name.
- Tweet Deck: your personal browser for staying in touch with what’s happening now, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Face book, LinkedIn and more.
- Contaxio: a great way to manage your Twitter people in one place. You can easily see who you are following and who’s following you. With a simple click, you can follow, unfollow, or block people, and these changes instantly update Twitter.
- Tweeter Karma: a flash application that fetches your friends and followers from Twitter when you click the “Whack!” button, then displays them for you, letting you quickly paginate through them.
- Twez It: An easy way to manage your Twitter lists.
- HashTag: You can find information pertaining to tags, users, trends and whatever else is available or site if you are lucky.
- Twitter Search: Twitter Search helps you filter all the real-time information coursing through our service.
Analytics and Tracking
- Qwitter: a service for tracking the tweeps that unfollow you.
- Tweet Stats: graph your Twitter stats.
Applications or ‘Aps’
- Social Oomph: a service that provides free and paid productivity enhancement services for social media users. A focus on productivity solutions for users of Twitter.com.
- Twitter Feed: tweet blog posts.
- Twit Dom: The Twitter Applications Directory with over 2000 apps.
- Klout: A tool used for an individual to measure and leverage their influence on Twitter.
If you are wondering what your competitors are up to, Twitter is a great platform to do a little spy work. Keep your eyes and ears open to what they are saying; who’s following them; and who they are following. To remain competitive, brands need to pay attention to what’s being said about them, and their competition. Here are 4 benefits:
- Follow Your Competition on Twitter – No need to follow them directly, you can create a private Twitter list which is only visible to you.
- Keep Up With Their Blog Posts and Article – All forms of content marketing is a great strategy for generating traffic and building relationships with your customers. Are they gaining new visitors by sharing links to their content to their blog or as a guest to other blogs?
- Analyze Their Followers – To get insight into your competitor’s client list, use services such as Tweepi to view their follower list. You can sort it by the number of updates their followers have or by their following count.
- Monitor Their @Replies – By setting up a search for your competitor’s @username, can give you an idea of what people are saying to your competitor.
On a side note, I’ve used Twitter to resolve issues with major corporations such as AT&T and DirecTV. The process of trying to resolve complaints calling into their customer service is long and very time consuming. I’ve gotten immediate responses after posting my complaint; and warning them that I will create a campaign and add some of their partners to my complaint. Talk about being treated like royalty… yes, it works!