How to Use Twitter to Market Your Business. Social Media & Inbound Marketing
is widely considered to be an exclusively social tool for connecting with friends, family and other personal acquaintances. Its immense popularity is due in part to the fact that it is the simplest of the social networks to understand and to use.
But in the business world, a failure to cash in on the huge benefits of this powerful resource can be potentially devastating for your company or organization. Chances are, your competitors have already discovered how to successfully apply inbound marketing
to their businesses through the Twitter medium, and if you’re not doing the same, then your competition already has the upper hand with your target market
.The question is, why would you NOT take advantage of such a valuable resource?
A Twitter account is free to create and use, and in just minutes a day, you can gain massive, quality inbound traffic
to your company web site or blog. Through your Twitter profile, you can connect with thousands or even millions of followers with just 140 characters and a single click. It really doesn’t make sense to neglect such a powerful tool for your business.Here are a few of the ways to use Twitter to market your business:
- Use your company logo for your Twitter profile photo. The more followers you gain for your Twitter account, the more ‘free marketing’ you get from the exposure of your company brand to not only your followers, but also their followers as well. You can also brand your Twitter profile background to match your business web site colors.
- Your tweets should not be blatant promotional ads for your product or service; rather, post Tweets that are entertaining, intriguing and/or informational, then include a hyperlink that leads back to similar subject matter on your own company web site or blog. This will drive free traffic to your business web site far more effectively than commercial advertising.
- Gain as many Twitter followers as you possibly can. You never know which connection (or hundreds of connections) might become an enormous networking ally for marketing your company or service by sharing your Tweets and Twitter profile with their own network followers. It’s a veritable snowball of recognition – and a potential HUGE return for very little investment.
But try to maintain a balance between the number of Twitter profiles you follow and the number of followers you have. Don’t follow hundreds of Twitter accounts at once in hopes that they will follow you back. Instead, follow smaller numbers, then wait until several of these people follow you back before you go about following more accounts. And if someone follows you, follow them back.
- Create public Twitter lists for your business. Name your lists according to keywords that are relevant to your web site’s content, for SEO benefit with search engines. Be sure that all employees in your company sign up with Twitter, (using your company branding), and actively take part in posting and networking. Use Twitter’s search feature to locate other Tweets that are similar in content to your own business, and post comments and replies in these subjects. You can also post requests for feedback about your company or brand, and actively engage with those who comment on them. (Special tip: Twitter lists can also be made private. Use these to monitor your competition and conduct market research.)
Ultimately, the best way to use Twitter to market your business or service is to find as many followers as you can, and actively stay in touch with them by taking just a few minutes per day to interact with them on a level that isn’t specifically promotional or business-like in nature.
If you don’t want to commit to investing a few minutes per day, consider putting aside an hour or two per week creating your posts for the coming week. Then, use a handy tool such as HootSuite to pre-schedule all your Tweets. HootSuite will then post your Tweets for you throughout the week at whatever pre-set intervals you’ve scheduled.
Lastly, feel free to check out Twitter profiles of successful businesses – why reinvent the wheel? Find out what your competition is doing, along with big name companies, and learn from their example. You don’t have to exactly copy what they do, just be open to new ideas for marketing your business with Twitter by seeing what the ‘big shots’ are doing. Then, craft similar practices with your target market in mind, and reap the benefits for your company or service!
Additional Help & Resources:
Consider this when developing your Twitter, social media strategy.
If you are still learning about Internet marketing, this inbound marketing white paper should help.
The article below was written to help Internet marketers that are using Twitter as part of their social media strategy. This inbound marketing blog post was created in an effort to educate on certain methods that may help or may hurt the social media cause.
Twitter can be a powerful tool for the social media element of your inbound marketing strategy (Internet marketing):
To create a successful inbound marketing campaign, including search engine optimization, regular blog posts and a well rounded social media component, ,you will undoubtedly begin using Twitter to spread your social media and business messages.
Twitter is a great way to use social media to advance your message, out reach, gain exposure, make new connections and distribute your select messages in a strategic method. All this being true, I wrote this blog article to advise you against stressing quantity over quality.
Think about who you really want reading your social media. These messages define who you are and describe the business you have spent so much time developing. If your audience is not really in your target market or even connected to your target market, then why spend so much effort (and money) communicating your solutions and messages? This isn't a true reflection of what social media really is. Quality is better than quantity.
There are many tools available online that were created to help you manage your social media accounts like Twitter communications. Some these tools let you automatically follow those that are following you, reply to follows and other twitter short cuts. As a disciple of the HubSpot school of inbound marketing and a student of the great book Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, I am not a proponent of these social media tools or methods.
I think that the obvious reason here is that you really are better off knowing who you are following and who is following you in more detail. Where is the sense in having organizations or individuals follow you if your information stream will never provide them benefit. If they are only a number and you issue your hard earned tweets, blogs and status updates to deaf ears, you have really achieved no substance or traction in advancing your remarkable content. Yes there is always the chance you may have your message spread through these social media channels but those chances are much better if the people on the other end value the content you provide.
I have even begun to notice that there is a large element of tweeters that will initially follow you in hopes you will reciprocate, only to wait a certain period of time, then hit the "unfollow" link. Their social media objective is obvious. They are only attempting to amass numbers without the thought as to the quality of those numbers. You can see that there is no real social or business interaction taking place in this example. You are now reading their tweets (and maybe retweeting) but they no longer are reading yours or really cared to in the first place. Yes you can track them down and unfollow yourself but I'm sure you can see the huge waste of time and effort by adding this process to your operation systems and your social media plan. You can also see the entire purpose of Twitter has been diluted and then only moves in the direction of pure or traditional advertising. As a true believer in the inbound marketing philosophy, this is a distressing concept.
If relationships are the ultimate goal of inbound marketing and social media, then this method of establishing connections doesn't help as much, especially when compared to the fundamental concepts created by Twitter at its inception. As pointed out in the book, Inbound Marketing, this type of relationship building is really no better than going to a business networking function and evaluating the success by the number of business cards you handed out in that room. Even though you may get a lead or two, this is hardly the level of relationship building and social media development that was intended and is available by using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in the intended way.
Another pitfall with using these social media automated systems is that it's very possible that the people or businesses on the other end of your messages see right away that you are using this kind of automation tool in your social media development and it diminishes your credibility each time.
Be social, act social (it is social media after all), try to help those that really want to understand what you have to say. Stay consistent with your strategy. Listen, and learn what your follows are really able to use. Provide value, assistance, support and education. What are your audience's issues and challenges and if you have info with substance or data that would help them see some of these challenges through, you become the hero and they pass on your offerings. They spread the word and this is one of the main ideas behind the creation of social media.