But more on that later. Work comes first.
By now, it’s likely your company has reserved your Twitter handle and sent out a few “test tweets” with the Twitter egg for your homepage image, no followers, and you’ve almost decided that your suspicion tweeting is a waste of time was correct. And yet, Rome was not built in a day and neither was a Twitter following.
- Dress Your Page. People rarely follow a page with a Twitter egg, because well, it looks like you may not stay. Put up some aesthetically pleasing artwork of your company image and fill in your 169-character summary.
- Search for Hashtags Relevant to Your Business. Nope, hashtags are not just for teens. They’re topics that help link others interested in that topic to the conversation. Most notably they’re really important in helping you find your tribe on Twitter. Check the Twitter pages of your industry trade journals, or your customers’ pages. You might even want to include those hashtags in your Twitter summary, so people interested in the topic can find you.
- Decide on a Platform. Twitter success depends on people regularly returning to your feed. That requires consistently posting information or expertise on a subject: information that interests your customers and prospects. Our clients have been quite successful with this model: an IT guru answers questions and posts tips about a popular database, while a security client provides “theft alerts” by city, region and/or vertical market. Whatever you decide to do, stick with it. It takes awhile to develop your Twitter brand.
- Follow Your Customers & Trade Media. Follows are Twitter revenue, so they’re not always easy to get. Find your customers first -- a customer will likely recognize you and quickly follow back. Media pages are great because they are rich in followers too. Being on Twitter with both enables you to engage with them on a regular basis.
Now Let’s Tweet.Focus first on your platform. Each tweet on that platform should include:
- A thought/information from you on the topic
- A link
- A photo
- At least a couple of hashtags.
At least 50% of your tweets should be about your platform. If you simply talk about your company, you’ll sound like an ad, rather than a vital service and your customers will do the same to you they do with an ad on tv: switch you off. Try to keep the amount of brand awareness you’re doing to no more than 15% of your tweets.
What else can you talk about? How about:
- Humanize your company by sharing corporate leadership/non-profit workfollowfriday
- Thoughts from leadership. Ask the CEO to share at least one tweet per week.
- Trade news you find interesting
- A company blog
Follow back anyone that follows you. Write posts thanking them for the follow. Do the same when someone retweets you. And retweet others – when you amplify your customers’ message they tend to do the same. Engagement is the key to success.
Another good way to start is #FollowFriday or #FF. It’s a Twitter tradition to gain followers: every Friday you post the Twitter handles of your most engaged followers (people that retweet you, mention you, or someone you just like) and use the hashtag #FollowFriday. It’s a gesture of goodwill, encouraging others to follow your followers. That is always appreciated by companies trying to build their feed. And sometimes, the companies you just recognized do a #FollowFriday back to you.
To bolster your diligence (and success) open a Hootsuite or Buffer account, or a HubSpot one if you’d like the marketing automation that comes with it. These tools allow you to re-use your tweets across a calendar at different times of days, on different days, across all of your social media platforms so a larger swath of your audience has a chance to see it.
This is just the BeginningThere’s a lot of territory to cover about Twitter and it can’t all fit here. But remember to be patient. Twitter has a high volume of companies that start an account and do not follow through, so popular accounts tend to hold back, wait and see if you’re going to stay.
I did promise to leave you with something about finding customers. Remember the client with the “theft alert” platform? Having started researching and posting those online each week on their behalf, on a whim I started forwarding the company names to sales. A number of them continue to convert into sales.
That only happened because my client joined Twitter.