Meetings are the key to success! This is the mantra many Sales people live by traditionally. And I am not undermining the power of a face-to-face meeting. However, now you don’t have to wait to meet people to be able to strike a conversation. A 140 characters micro-blog on Twitter can spread your news far and wide in a matter of minutes. But most brands today have no clue about how to leverage this extremely effective and efficient platform. Here are a few ways in which you can get started on your Twitter strategy:
Integration is super important! Even though this blog is focused on Twitter, first and foremost I would ask you to be present wherever your customer is. And trust me-they are present on more than 1 social media channels. Linkedin, Blogs and Twitter being the most important ones for B2B marketers. Find out your Target audience on these channels and then find out what they write/read/blog about. This is a CRUCIAL first step. Without this background research, you will never be able to create an optimal strategy for your business.
2. Write the Right Content!
Once you know your audience, you need to entice them. Think of yourself as a magnet- you need the right charge to attract your prospects. The wrong one will only repel them away. When you marked your hunt- you also went through the content that they were liking/ sharing/ posting. This is where you start. Create relevant and interesting content and use all relevant hashtags to promote it further. A word of caution: try and use a maximum of 2 hashtags per tweet. Research shows that more than two hashtags leads to lesser engagement.
Engagement is the key to success on Social Media. On twitter engagement translates to Mentions, Retweets, Favorites and Replies. To reach high levels of Quality engagement, it is important that you maintain the Quality of your tweets. Twitter is not for hard selling your product or service. Hence- Don’t Sell, Don’t Preach and Don’t be shabby. The marketing 80-20 rule applies here too- Only 20% of your tweets can be self promotion or selling. 80% should be interesting articles, facts, quotes or whatever else that interests your target. Do not shy away from even retweeting competitors- if their content is right. You want your audience to take you as a Thought Leader and so share everything that might benefit them in any way. However, a word of caution- Quantity will not help if the quality is not good.
4. Be Honest. Be Human.
No point in having a twitter stream that is boring and looks like a machine is typing out the tweets. Make your tweets sound like a real person is behind them. Make them friendly. And remember the adage- Honesty is the best policy- this works on all Social Media platforms but is especially true for twitter. Always share your sources. Never take undue credit. But most importantly- try and be as personable as possible.
5. Be Systematic
Staying organized is a great way to reap the maximum out of twitter. It’s a good idea to categorize your followers into Private lists- you could have separate lists for industry thought leaders, employees, competitors and others. This is the best way to keep a tab on who is posting what without actually following them!
Similarly, creating Public lists will help in your SEO. Name the list after an important keyword that most people in your industry search for. This will help in increasing your search rankings.
6. Follow the Dragon- & tame it!
Dragons are extinct- so they say. But on Twitter- we have our own Dragons- the Industry Thought Leaders. Know/ Connect and Engage with them. These are the people who would take your product/service to masses. They lead communities. The word of their mouth spreads like wildfire and becomes the word of many mouths! So capitalize on that!
7. Provide Support. Seek Feedback.
In this New Media age, listening and being proactive are very important. Know what people are talking about you and act on what is being said/asked. And do it quick!
8. Advertise/ Get heard
If you have enough dough- twitter promotions is definitely the way to go! Twitter’s audience is increasingly mobile-based, and according to a recent study, nearly 1/3 of B2B organizations said that mobile influenced revenue. An important insight- Research shows that Twitter users who see tweets from B2B tech brands are more likely than average users to visit the sites of these brands (59% vs. 40%), search for these brands online (30% vs. 12%) and complete a sign-up online (11% vs. 4%)[i]. With options ranging from self-serve ads, keyword search ads, promoted tweets and promoted accounts- you can now target anyone anywhere anytime.
I don’t think I need to harp on the importance of measurement. We all know that we need to do it. We need to track our conversions. Hootesuite is of course a great tool to generate twitter engagement and follower reports- but it can be a bit heavy on the wallet for resource-crunched settings. One free tool that I have come to appreciate a lot is- Socialbro. It is easy to use and analyzes every aspect of your twitter channel. Many other tools are available these days. You should pick one (and stick to it) based on your needs.
The 9 points above will definitely get you started on Twitter. In case you have any further questions, feel free to comment here!
This blog was also published here.