“Twitter is not a technology, it is a conversation and it’s happening with or without you.” Charlene Li
Let’s start with a simple explanation of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a term that was invented by HubSpot as a type of marketing that allows customers to find the business, product or service they need/want. As a business owner, your target audience is now searching on google, subscribing to blogs and learning/shopping in the social media world.
Using social networks is advantageous because they give businesses an opportunity to talk to real human beings, share with the community and learn something new. If you want to drive traffic to your site and engage with people, it’s important to find out the best social media platform for you. What appeals to your target audience? If they want messages short and to the point, Twitter is a great platform for you.
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform – you can post an article in real time but the article can only be maximum of 140 characters. It is akin to the status update feature on Facebook, but with a shorter limit.
Why does Twitter matter?
Because you want customers to find you. Forty-two percent of companies acquired their customers on Twitter. Therefore, you can’t ignore Twitter if you own a business. People go on Twitter to learn about products/services and they look for discounts/sales. It gets you in a conversation with customers. Customers post reviews of your business. Conference attendees post live updates from a session. A lot is going on!
To get started , a business must have a logo up on their twitter profile. Use high resolution photos only. In the twitter background, you can state your mission. For your cover image, use a clean photo – it cannot be pixilated. Perhaps you can use a shot of your team or line of products. You want to visually represent your brand.
Keep your username short such as a shortened version of your business name. The profile must introduce your company and you with a bio, that you can update if you like from time to time. It will be a sound byte of who you are and what you offer. In the bio you can state “follow us for product news, exclusive content and promotions”.
The url can be your home page of your website but also can be a landing page for an offer. It depends on your goal. It can be a url to a video that shows what you’re about.
Before you can start reaching out and connecting with others to build a following, you need content. You want reviews and blogs in your industry to cover what you are doing so your target audience can find you. When online readers comment on what you say on Twitter or Facebook, they are spreading the word virally to other readers and increase your reach. Your goal is to get other bloggers to link to you, and to have people tweet about your content.
Find people to follow you by using the search function on Twitter and search for your brand and terms associated with your industry. If you sell vitamins, search not only for vitamins but also health care, nutrition, wellness, and other terms. Then follow people who are interested in those topics. Engage in conversation with them.
There are twitter bots that can automatically follow back someone who follows you Some even allow you to programmatically follow hundreds or thousands of users but that does not help you reach your real goal for inbound marketing which is productive relationships.
Your twitter page should be unique and stand out. And you need to interact and engage with your followers. Build your base of followers – through partners, employees, spokespeople, thought leaders in your industry. You can ask thought leaders questions to interact with them.
Good tweets are conversational. Some interesting tweets are employee profiles, behind the scenes photos, insights into your business. Show off your unique humor. Make your tweets shareable.
People may not follow you back – give them a reason to follow you. What is your value to them?
You must tweet your own original content, however there are times to share other people’s tweets or as it’s called, retweet. If you write Please Retweet you can get 4 times more retweets. However, this is not a good idea for every tweet. Please retweet works best for a social cause or if you need help from the community or your followers.
Some other ideas to grow your following are:
- Tweets with photos get twice the number of responses. Vine integrates into the Twitter photo section.
- You can ask a question for a tweet to get responses.
- You can tweet thank you if you get a new customer from Twitter.
- Give people a reason to follow you – they know every Monday you have new content with a special deal on a product or service you sell.
There are certain things you might want to do as a habit and keep track of such as certain metrics:
- follower growth – the number of new followers you get every day, week, month. Set goals.
- Follow quality and engagement. How many users are interacting with your account.
- Reach – how many users have you as a favorite or retweet your tweets
- Traffic – how many users are ending up at your website or landing page.
- Conversion – how many buy your product or use your service.
Figure out what you want to measure – followers, new paid followers (if you use paid ads on Twitter), new organic followers, unfollowers, average posts per day, etc…
You might want to use a hashtag # at the beginning of your tweet to help give more context or assign them as part of a particular conversation taking place. Tweets with hashtags can generate popularity around a particular word or topic. It tells others you are talking about this topic and if they want to discuss this with you, they should also use this hastag in their tweets. It gets your message to the right audience. Just don’t use a hashtag before your own company or product name. You’ll look like your trying to create a movement around your company.
Attract more visitors to your website through social media. Attract their attention with industry leading content. Then convert them by getting their names and email addresses in return for valued content. Keep them in your funnel by automatically nurturing them around their buying cycle, educating them automatically through tweets that can help them. Cultivate them from a cold lead to a hot prospect.