Dear fellow marketer,
By now, it’s possible you’ve heard so much hype about Twitter that you’ve long ago tuned out all blog posts, white papers and webinars on the subject. And at this point, you’re either using Twitter religiously to promote your business or you still think Twitter is nothing more than a bunch of people with too much time on their hands “tweeting” about what they just had for lunch.
If you’re still in the latter camp, may we invite you to read this introductory blog post on how to use Twitter to your marketing advantage?
Twitter literally makes the world go round. It helped spread the Arab Spring that has toppled three governments already (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya). When disasters strike and triumphs happen; during championship sporting events and lavish entertainment spectacles, the Twitter-verse is supercharged with millions of tweets around the globe. In fact, more than 140 million users send 340 millions tweets a day.
Twitter gives everyone, and every company, a way to not just broadcast to millions of people around the world, but connect with them. We can all elect to follow each other. We can participate in two-way conversations about shared interests. We can learn of important world news events even before our vaunted news agencies can report them, and we can be the first to share that news if we’re on the scene. (And thanks to today’s mobile phones, we can share pictures and video of these events instantly too.)
What does this mean for your company?
Hundreds, Thousands, Millions of people
in your target market.
Who are they?
Without Twitter, you might never know. But thanks to Twitter’s robust capabilities, you have an easy way to reach all kinds of people you’d never have discovered otherwise – and to give those people an easy way, and a reason, to discover you. Here’s how.
Twitter aggregates every tweet of every registered user in an instantaneous timeline. People tweet about every imaginable topic and occurrence. Twitter’s powerful search capability helps you quickly narrow the field down to just the topics that interest you. For instance, suppose you run a furniture company. You could do a search in Twitter for “interior decorating” and instantly see who’s talking about it – both the people looking for advice, and the gurus giving the advice.
Find the gurus with the most influence. These are likely the ones who have the most “followers,” that is, they’ve amassed a following of people who’ve chosen to receive the tweets of these gurus. Follow these gurus by pressing the “Follow” button in their Twitter profiles. Every time you follow someone, that person receives an email notifying him or her. Now that person can follow you back. Then, every time you tweet something that is interesting to that guru, the guru can share that tweet to all of his/her followers by retweeting it. That’s the surest way to amplify your tweet broadcasts.
It’s easy to monitor tweets around relevant topics to see what people are talking about, and if they happen to be mentioning your brand, or your competitors’. You can also see what your competitors are tweeting about. Over time, you’ll get a very clear picture of what people care about, and how you can tailor your offering and your messaging, in and out of Twitter, to best engage potential and established customers. For instance, you might discover a customer who’s expressed displeasure with your product or service through Twitter. This gains you the opportunity to directly address that person’s issue and make him/or her happy with your company again. Or, you could learn of a great sales opportunity through Twitter, as Avaya did when it came across a tweet from a person evaluating communications/networking solutions. Avaya engaged the customer and ended up getting a $250,000 sale out of it. (story source: WindMill Networking Blog » )
Just like blogging and other forms of content marketing (see our posts on “Why Blog »” and “Why Content Marketing »”), getting benefit from Twitter requires discipline and diligence. You’ve got to make tweeting a daily task. Luckily, it isn’t that hard to find great things to tweet about. First of all, if you’re already monitoring the tweets of others, then you’re most likely finding great tweets from others that would be of interest to your followers that you can easily retweet. And of course, you should be tweeting about every new blog post and white paper you publish, as well as about interesting company events, like your participation at upcoming trade shows, additions to your product line and key new hires. Another great thing to tweet about is a promotional discount or contest.
People consume content on Twitter for obvious reasons:
- Get the latest news
- Find new sources of useful information
- Learn interesting things
- Be entertained
- Learn about events, discounts, promotions and contests
- Find out what the people and companies they care about are sharing
This gives you plenty of opportunity to both curate and create interesting content your followers will be sure to appreciate.
In a follow-up blog post, we’ll get more specific about practices and tools that can help you optimize Twitter for your marketing, as well as a few quick case studies. But if you’re now as excited about Twitter as we are and want to get started right away, here are some excellent places to start:
- Twitter’s start page for businesses »
- Download Twitter’s “Guide for Small Business” »
- Download this excellent 3rd party guide to getting started with Twitter »
And, if you aren’t following us on Twitter already, we invite you to follow us right here » .
Here’s to the Marketing Champion in all of us. See you in the next post.