Have you been using Twitter to improve your brand reputation and domain influence yet?
Twitter is a social platform you ignore at your own risk because it offers an immense opportunity to reach out to customers, both existing and potential, and make a solid impression on them. Whether you are a product based business or a professional services firm, an active Twitter presence will ensure the ‘fame and glory’ of your business spreads far and wide.
Take a look at these figures:
- Twitter has 241 million monthly active users.
- The Twitterati sends 500 million tweets per day.
- Twitter supports more than 35 languages.
(*All figures released by Twitter)
For a comprehensive list of some incredible Twitter statistics, go through By the Numbers: 138 Amazing Twitter Statistics.
The extraordinary number of users and the sheer volume of tweets make Twitter a platform that has tremendous possibilities for your businesses.
But that is provided you get your Tweets right.
With every other brand using Twitter to improve brand awareness, reputation and influence, the competition is tough and it will get tougher over time. It is therefore imperative you get your Twitter strategy right.
Let’s see how you can tweet better and smarter to trigger and nurture meaningful interactions and help your business be seen as an entity that can be trusted to deliver:
Creating and Optimizing your Twitter Profile
A results-driven Twitter presence begins with creating an account. While this process poses no challenges whatsoever, you’ll need to get your Twitter name right. This is how your target audience will recognize you on Twitter and tag you in Tweets.
You need to choose a name that is a perfect fit for your business, e.g., if you own an accounting firm called XYZ group specializing in tax assistance an ideal Twitter name can be @XYZ or @XYZTaxAssist.
Also use a headshot of the logo of your business as your profile image. This image will appear right next to your tweet and make your business more recognizable. You will also need to fill in a comprehensive bio that talks about what your business is into (if it’s a professional services firm, make sure you list all the services it offers) and include a link to your website in your bio.
Also use the Google keyword Planner or some alternative tools to search for keywords related to your industry. Make sure some of these keywords are used in your profile information.
Once you are done creating a profile it’s time to begin ‘smart’ tweeting.
Identify the Right Conversations
To begin tweeting you either must have something to say (more on that later) or you need to contribute to conversations. To tap into conversations happening across Twitter, you’ll need to use #hashtags. If you’ve never used hashtags before, The Beginners Guide to the Hashtag is a must read.
Use the Twitter tool bar to search for conversations that you can contribute to. For example if you are a legal firm who wants to contribute to conversations centering on personal injury, search for #DUI and related keywords and you will see all related tweets surrounding that topic. All tweets tagged #DUI will show up in this search.
What you are essentially doing is trying to connect with users who are talking about the services you are offering. You do this by commenting on a tweet that you believe will help catch the attention of your audience best—if somebody wants a doubt resolved about DUI laws, you can join the conversation and answer that tweet, showcasing your expertise.
The more you join trending conversations related to your services expertise, the more you can contribute to them. This is how reputations on Twitter are built, one tweet at a time.
(Other tools you can use: Topsy, Tweet Reach and BrandMentions)
Have Something to Say?
What if you don’t want to join an existing conversation? What if you have just written an excellent post on your blog and want to make sure your Twitter audience is made aware of it? What if you just want to share a link to some useful real estate news (something that you must do regularly if you are a real estate firm)? Simple! Just tweet the link and use the appropriate #hashtag at the end of it to make sure it reaches the right audience.
But, wait! In case you are just starting out, you would also like to connect to the right people (influencers and advocates) in order to build better brand influence.
Tools like Followerwonk will help you build a list of targeted followers. The idea is to tweet to people who you know will be interested in the information you are sharing. But do not think all you need to do is share content with these followers and ‘fame and glory’ will follow.
If you want to gain their attention and make sure they are interested in what you have to say, follow these rules:
- Share content that is worth sharing; it must be useful, actionable and relevant.
- Participate in only those conversations that your target audience will care about.
- If you are retweeting content, make sure it is shareworthy as well.
If you follow this three point rule, you will find your shares becoming the trigger for conversations and interactions with your brand. This will also help you get more Twitter followers.
Talk to your Audience
While tweeting valuable content and participating in trending conversations related to your domain expertise is a sure fire way to create a formidable presence on Twitter, what you must also do is trigger a dialogue with your audience. Establish a personal connection with them.
If a follower has responded to a link you’ve tweeted, lose no time in engaging him in a conversation. Your followers will love the fact that you are listening to them. Think of your Twitter followers as your catchment area for tapping customers. By engaging with them on a one-on-one basis you are also building trust and credibility in their minds. They’ll be more inclined to use your services when they have need of them.
Seek Out Influencers
While targeting specific persons whose profiles match your target audience is great, this is one-to-one marketing and is only one part of the equation. To power up your results and gain more rapid exposure you must target Influencers who have the same target audience as you. These influencers already have large relevant followings and if you get them to share your content, you get instant visibility to a large audience of targeted persons, coming from a trusted source that they already follow! What could be better than this?
One-to-one-to-many marketing can also include having happy customers advocate for you and share their experience with their peers. Another way is to have highly visible experts or influencers share your content. One-to-one-to-many is the real power of social media. Check out this article on SocialMediaExaminer that outlines why this works so well.
A Discerning Presence is the Best Presence
Some businesses follow every single person who follows them. Their objective is to keep adding to their follower count, which they believe will help them reach out to more people. While this isn’t a wrong strategy in itself, it’s a strategy that has diminishing returns. If you are not selective about your followers, you might find this thought process seeping into the kind of content you share; ultimately you’ll find your Twitter reputation going to the dogs. So be very selective about who you follower and the kind of content you share.
Your name should only be associated with quality content and reputed Twitter users.
Don’t believe people who say all you need to do is Tweet and your brand can build all the influence it needs. To make the most of Twitter, you need to be serious about how you leverage social media for brand benefit. What you also need is a solid content strategy with well-defined buyer profiles to back up your social media efforts. The foundation of rock solid social media presence rests on quality content. You need to be able to create great content consistently and share it across social media networks including Twitter. If you do not have content strategy in place, your Twitter strategy is essentially dead on arrival.