Category : online marketing
Twitter is a crazy place – a world full of opinionated one liners – good, bad, and often just mean – all shared publicly for all the world to see.
TV shows have harnessed its power and use it to give the fans a way to connect and see what everyone else thinks.
Celebrities use it to keep in touch with their fans and send the occasional messages of love or condolences to other celebrities.
But is Twitter any good for business? Should you really bother?
The answer is a resounding YES. Here’s why.
1. You don’t need a pre-existing relationship with your audience
The top three social media sites are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook and LinkedIn are focussed around connecting with people that you already know. Sending random requests to people that you don’t know on these sites is generally frowned upon.
Twitter is the complete opposite. Part of the twitter culture is that you “follow” anyone you like. The great thing about this is that if people like your content, they are likely to follow you. And if you follow someone, they often follow you back.
Once they’re a follower, you’re able to contact them directly with Twitter direct messages.
Each follower is a potential lead for your company. Each have chosen to follow you, and decided over time to stay on as your follower. From a marketing point of view, this shows that you both have their interest and managed to retain it! Great!
2. You don’t need any followers for people to see your message
Another powerful feature of twitter is the use of hash tags. If you’ve never used twitter before, you’ve probably seen some strange messages scrolling across the bottom of TV shows that look something like this:
In this example, a TV show has asked its audience to use #ImACelebrityAU hash tags to keep track of the conversation the audience is having. By searching on that tag, you will see tweets from other people who are commenting about the show. You don’t have to know who they are or follow them to see the tweets.
The same goes for anything that you write. Just add some relevant hashtags, and your tweet will be seen by people who are interested in that topic.
There is a lot that can be said about keyword research, but for the two minute introduction..
Pick a few keywords and put them into http://hashtagify.me.
It will show you how popular that hashtag is, and a number of the related tags.
Let’s say you’ve written an article about renovating a kitchen, or want to sell kitchen renovation related services. Try searching on “kitchen renovation”.
At the top of the screen, you can see the popularity of the tag, out of 100.
22.7 is not great.
The next thing to note is the diagram of related hashtags.
The output is nice and visual –bigger bubbles belong to the more popular tags.
If you hover over one of the bubbles, it will tell you what its popularity is, as well as its correlation with the “kitchenrenovation” hashtag:
From looking at this diagram, I would use #DIY, #kitchen and #renovation as hashtags to use in a tweet, for example:
This #kitchen #renovation is starting to look great! http://link-to-your-site #DIY
And make sure you attach a nice big picture to get more interest in people actually clicking on your link to find out more.
3. Connect with people and find customers from all over the world
If you have a business that is able to deliver internationally, Twitter can help you build your customer base in other countries.
As you tweet and gather new followers, you will find they are from everywhere. Here’s a breakdown of where my followers are from. The numbers are percentages of followers. The map is a free service provided by tweepsmap.com.
My business is about writing materials in English, so naturally my target audience reside in all of the English speaking customers. As you can see from the map, Twitter has given me direct access to potential customers in all English-speaking nations without me directly having to try to achieve that result.
4. Gain regular exposure to your content over a longer time
On a lot of social media sites, you get one real opportunity to post an article and drive traffic to your website from it. If it manages to gain some traction and other people share it, that’s great! But in many cases, your article is published, gets some interest for a few days, and then fades away into the archives.
This is not a great result if you spent ages writing it!
Advertising can bring it back to life – for a price of course.
Or you can re-post it several times. On most sites, that just makes you look like a spammer and is largely annoying!
Twitter however makes it easy for your articles to live on long after they were initially published.
On Twitter, it is common for tweets to scroll by fast enough that it is hard to read them all. Often, if you weren’t on soon after a tweet was published, you can miss it altogether.
As a result, it is common for people to re-tweet their content number of times.
The main thing to avoid is having your twitter feed looking like it’s all the same thing over and over again. That is easy to do if you tweet regularly and leave a bit of time between resending the same tweet.
When people look at your profile on twitter, they’re most likely only going to scroll back through a few pages of tweets. Try recycling tweets from further back.
To get the best benefit from it, check out your tweet performance on https://analytics.twitter.com and retweet the most successful ones.
Note – Twitter also keeps your more successful tweets alive without you needing to do anything. As I was writing this, I received a few likes for a tweet that I sent out 24 days ago. (Or some of my new followers are bored and are reading back through tweets I’ve sent previously).
5. A/B market testing is super easy
A/B market testing is the process where you systematically test different variations of advertisements, landing pages and the rest of the marketing process to see what works best. I previously wrote about how Twitter is great for A/B market testing since it provides you with a super cheap and easy way to carry it out.
Related article: Cheap and effective A/B market testing with Twitter
If you’re writing a book for instance, brainstorm some different titles and send them out. See which one gets more interest.
Then, make a few sample book covers and attach them to a series of tweets. See which works best.
When it comes to advertising to it, make a few different image ads and send them out.
Traditionally, this would be done through paid advertising. Twitter makes it easy to try different variations at no cost to you!
The same process is also good for helping you to learn what it was that your customers liked about an article.
Reusing a previous example – I recently wrote an introductory article on the Internet of Things – what it is and how it works.
On twitter, I advertised the article over a series of 5 tweets. Each tweet was different, just to avoid looking like re-runs of the same material.
I thought my article was about explaining a geeky technical term. I included a short day-in-the-life example just to make it more realistic.
It turns out that people loved the example, and in particular, loved the topic of home automation. This was really just a side note in the original article. I never expected that to be what people liked the most.
6. You can meet the big players in your field
Twitter also gives you a great forum for meeting the leading influencers in your field. Twitter keeps an eye on what you’re interested in and who you follow, and prompts you with people to consider following. If you hover over a person’s name, it shows you how many people follow them. You can quickly find out who the major players in this field are.
Here’s an example:
If I start a conversation with @VentureBeat, I will be talking to someone with six hundred and seven thousand followers! Imagine the exposure to one of your tweets if they re-tweeted it?
Twitter provides a gold mine of information about your leads and customers. Many people include information about their likes, job, their website and a whole range of other information right in their Twitter biography.
This makes it super easy to get to know more about each of your followers, and really focus in on the type of buyers that you’re looking for.
Aside from their profile, you can also view a full history of all of the public tweets they’ve ever sent. It is hard to get a clearer view of what people are really interested in.
This makes it very easy to get them talking – after all, you already know what they’ve been talking about.
For anyone in sales, this is awesome!
It’s a bit too easy isn’t it? Of course, you still have to nudge them along from being a lead to being a customer, so there’s still plenty of work to do!
In summary, there are many good reasons why Twitter should be included in your social marketing mix.
- You don’t need a pre-existing relationship with your audience
- You don’t need any followers for people to see your message
- You can connect with people and find customers from all over the world
- You can gain regular exposure to your content over a longer time
- A/B market testing is super easy
- You can meet the big players in your field
- You can learn a LOT about your customers
If you haven’t given Twitter a go, try it now!
PS – If you found this interesting, please share it with by using the share buttons below. Thanks!
About the author
Leon Troeth is a Melbourne-based freelance technology copywriter. Leon loves turning complex tech jargon and concepts into articles that everyone can understand.