Nearly every business includes social media in their marketing plan, all though some do not incorporate Twitter. Of those who do, Twitter is still often underutilized, yet has the potential to dramatically increase traffic to your website, provide priceless opportunities to engage with your customers, and improve your bottom line. If you are looking to start using Twitter, to use it in a more efficient and productive manner, or just want some ideas on how you can get more followers, this is for you. These small business owners, social media managers, public relations associates, bloggers, SEO experts, and entrepreneurs sent me the proven methods they use to market their business on Twitter.
Utilize Twitter as a platform for customer questions and feedback. As a web-based business that engages customers around the world, a customer needing help cannot simply visit our office. We have a specific support system for our product, but customers needing help with their form builder can also tweet us with questions. If they have already submitted a support ticket through our system, Twitter allows us to alert our support team, and their ticket becomes a priority. Multiple employees have the company Twitter account synced to our phones, so customers with product questions or concerns quickly receive feedback from a member of the team.
Eva McKnight, @formstack
We use twitter to highlight some of our best cakes and with the release of Twitter Cards, our tweets and cakes receive even more prominence. We often partner with other vendors and use twitter to highlight our partnerships with these vendors. We’ll try to call them out in our tweets when posting cakes. We’ve successfully used Twitter to announce promotions for both our DVDs and classes and found that Twitter is one of our top 10 converting sources of traffic.
Jesse Heap, @pinkcakebox
I use twitter to build relationships with major social media personalities, bloggers and content generators. As a first point of contact, it opens up networking opportunities (online and in real life) which then lead to coverage in media outlets and widely read blogs. This coverage generates traffic, which sends new readers back to my website and blog, ultimately creating new client opportunities. Twitter might seem to some to offer intangible benefits, but the results I get are very concrete.
Peter Shallard, @PeterShallard
BREADCRUMBS. Well, virtual breadcrumbs. The key to great business connections on Twitter is giving them something they want, that ties into your product. A “headline”, with a link to your blog, website other SM page works well, those are the “breadcrumbs” they’ll follow. An attention grabbing picture will also help you stand out in the “smart phone” timeline. CONTENT IS EVERYTHING! Remember, selling is marketing, but marketing isn’t SELLING. These are your breadcrumbs to lure your customers. Remember, the Twitter logo is a bird, they love those breadcrumbs!
Richard O’Malley, @TOProject
I was able to grow my Twitter following and generate revenue/sales by using this method: I decided to go out and make genuine connections with people who were involved in similar industries as me or intrigued by topics that interested me. I believe in being social, not doing social. From there, I learned about who they are and what they did. Making genuine connections to people who may be interested in me helped me increase sales for my businesses and services.
Jeet Banerjee, @TheJeetBanerjee
Using Twitter to expand and build your business is all about identifying good engagement opportunities. Have lists and searches set up to see when people are tweeting about any topic relevant to your topic. If you can jump into the conversation, then do it. Engage, engage, and keep engaging. Good brands on Twitter don’t let questions go unanswered, and they respond to everything they see. I love jumping in on a conversation about getting the right virtual phone system. Going that extra mile can create a new customer very quickly.
Taylor Aldredge, @tayloraldredge
On Twitter, you need to project a branding presence and differentiate your company from competitors. It’s impossible to stand out from the crowd and get your potential clients’ attention unless you have something unique about your organization. The benefit to having a large group of followers is having them RT, reply and mention your company on Twitter. If there is no engagement, there is no viral spread and thus no benefit. I have found that one of the best uses of social media is to be useful to your followers by giving them content that they enjoy seeing in their social media feeds. Not only will you see engagement levels go up, but conversions as well. You need to be inherently useful to your followers. Social media platforms like Twitter are unprecedented because they put businesses and their friends together and their friends aren’t constantly trying to sell to them, so you shouldn’t either. Show them that you care and they will care about you in return.
Jayme Pretzloff, @wixonjewelers
Nicely Stalk Potential Clients. I like to “stalk” the client I’m hoping to work with — not in a scary way but in more of a researching way. I start understanding their likes, dislikes and personality, then I begin replying and commenting to their tweets. It’s a great way to get on the radar of the person I’m hoping to work with, whether that’s now or in the future. To do this I create a private Twitter list of “potential clients” so I never miss a tweet. And since I’ve connected with them on a personal level, I have a much better chance of getting the position when they realize they need my type of expertise. This is the exact method I used to land one of the most fun and rewarding clients!
Carrie Smith, @carefulcents
I was one of the early adopters of Twitter, and swear by it as a means to share news, information and communicate with people in desired industries. It’s been a great way to get to know reporters and editors in one “room” that I wouldn’t otherwise without LOTS of travel. I have established super professional contacts via Twitter with whom I’ve collaborated on projects. I’ve also made friends; I can call them that because we’ve later met in person.
Gail Sideman, @Publiside
I have successfully used Twitter to grow my business in the same three ways I teach others to use it; Audience, Attention, Action. Twitter helped me build an *audience* and network of people in my industry I would normally have had a difficult time connecting with. I followed “influencers” and whenever they tweeted they need help or had a question, I was there to answer it. I can also capture the *attention* of other influencers on Twitter by sharing their content with a well crafted tweet. At industry event, I can tweet with a certain hashtag as a way to meet people whom I may be able to help (and have actually gotten clients this way). By focusing on growing your audience, getting attention to your profile, and driving action – Twitter can be an enormously effective tool for business – it has been for mine.
Dan Shure, @dan_shure
Twitter chats- We involve ourselves in weekly Twitter chats that are focused on our industry. By getting involved in Twitter chats- we are able to have conversations with industry leaders and experts in our field. They are then more likely to follow us on Twitter and share our content with their followers helping us to increase our reach. These Twitter chats also help us to come up in more Twitter hashtag searches allowing us to reach more people.
Margaret Colebeck, @VantageAdv
Social media is definitely an important piece of my business and marketing strategy. The key word is ‘strategy’. Many business owners are still not convinced or if they are, they waste a lot of time because they have no plan. I post advice throughout the week that my audience will find interesting in addition to sharing some personal things or quotes. People like to learn about you as opposed to just being sold to all the time. Another benefit of Twitter are the influential contacts I’ve made prior to ever meeting in person. I follow people I’d like to get to know, comment on their books, etc, retweet posts that I think are genuinely valuable. This has led to collaborations, media and relationships that may have taken years and a lot of money in PR to develop.
Dorethia Conner, @DorethiaConner
How do you use Twitter for your business?