Consultant’s Corner: 7 Ways to Strengthen Your Twitter Marketing
Question: What are some strategies to market my business on Twitter?
This answer focuses on marketing through Twitter, however, we would recommend that you consider an integrated marketing approach utilizing a Facebook business page and possibly other social media sites to increase your exposure and allow for the most impressions possible.
Here are important Twitter strategies:
1. Test the Waters
The first step in using Twitter as a marketing tool is to see the types of content that resonate with your current and potential audience. Try tweeting different types of content at different times during the day. Also, use different forms of media in your tweets (images, YouTube videos, quotes from your book, blog posts linked to your website, etc.) to see if there is any difference here. Monitor and record the success of each tweet (as measured in retweets, link clicks, mentions, follows, etc.) to determine if there are any patterns in the types of content that your followers are interacting with.
You should also test with different hashtags relevant to the type of content you are tweeting. A hashtag is a word or series of words with the # sign in front of them. Hashtagging a word makes it a clickable link and drops it into a stream with other tweets using that hashtag. Hashtags can be very generic like #business or #learn, or may be more specific and centered around events like #WorldSeries or #EarthDay. You can see more on the use of hashtags on Twitter at the link below.
You can test hashtags you are considering use of with the free website http://hashtags.org. Simply go to this site and enter the proposed hashtag in the box in the upper right corner and perform a search. This will give you analytics for the number of recent uses of the hashtag. Those with higher use levels mean more potential exposure, while lower use levels mean less potential exposure. You can also use trending hashtags (which are displayed after logging in to your Twitter account) to join in relevant conversations.
You should be selective with your use of hashtags, not hashtagging every word in the tweet. A good rule of thumb is to include 2-3 hashtags in a tweet at a maximum as studies have shown tweets with more have lower engagement levels. A greater number of hashtags can also be confusing to a viewer and take away from your call to action.
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One of the other uses of hashtags is in what are known as tweet chats. These are conversations between Twitter users on a given topic, such as #365Social or #SmallBizChat. The advantage of a tweet chat is that it gives you a very defined audience subset who is already in the mood to discuss a particular topic. Finding relevant tweet chats may be a good way to gain followers and start dialogue with potential customers. Tweet chats are usually very informal and the time/date on which they are held may change unexpectedly, however, you can find a listing of current tweet chats organized by date and time at the link below.
4. Include Clear Calls to Action
Whether you are tweeting in a tweet chat or just sending out a marketing message, be sure to include a clear call to action and a clickable link in the majority of your tweets. If you are sending someone to your website, you may say something like, “see more on my site,” or “click here to learn more.” Telling your followers exactly what you want them to do should increase the success rate of them actually doing it.
5. Analyze Click-throughs
Also, it may be wise to use a link shortening service like Bit.ly. Creating a free account on this site will allow you to access analytics for the link such as number of clicks and when these clicks occurred, allowing you to further hone your marketing efforts based on when your followers are online and in the mood to engage with your content. You can visit bit.ly and create a free account by clicking the link below:
Another tool which may be helpful to you is a tweet scheduling program such as HootSuite. This system allows you to associate your Twitter account and create tweets, monitor mentions and even shorten links and monitor results (as discussed above). You can also schedule tweets to go out during the day instead of having to manually log in and tweet. This helps to spread your exposure and put your content out at regular intervals throughout the day instead of all at once. You can see more information on Hootsuite here: https://hootsuite.com/
As far as the number of tweets per day to grow your following, there is no industry standard, however, we have seen growth in our accounts when tweeting between 8 and 20 times per day generally spread out equally throughout the day from around 8 am until 11:30 pm. When scheduling, we will often take note of relevant tweet chats and schedule posts around these events. Of course, the main determinant in whether this will help or not is the quality of the material and the interest of the followers.
7. Twitter Ads
While the above ideas are free to try, Twitter advertising is another good avenue where we have seen great success. To start with Twitter ads, go to http://ads.twitter.com and sign in using your Twitter credentials. Once signed in, you will see options to create a campaign. You can create campaigns to either promote your handle (which will encourage Twitter users to follow you based on the interests and/or keywords you target) or to promote specific tweets (this may be a good idea if you have seen good engagement with a tweet you have already published – promotion will increase the number of people who see the information).
We would recommend that you create multiple ads and start with a minor investment, then after seeing what is working you can increase the budget as is necessary.
Overall, advertising through Twitter can be a good way to find potential customers and establish relationships with them. The suggestions listed above have worked for some Twitter accounts, however, no solution will work for everyone and like with any marketing, developing a successful Twitter marketing strategy will require experimentation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with further questions as you develop your plan.