What can a business do on Twitter to improve their social media clout and click-through rating? As somebody who works in social media, I’m asked this often. Where Facebook and YouTube appear to offer businesses a clear understanding of how they work and how they benefit others, Twitter remains an enigma. Business marketers know they should at least have their brand established in a profile, with the proper links in their bios, but beyond that… what? Do you fear Twitter is useless in business for the noise it creates and the saturation of users trying to market to you? If you believe this, perhaps it’s time to step back and approach your use of Twitter differently.
If you have dabbled in promotional tweeting to tout your products and services, you may have noticed other businesses follow the same path. Tweeting turns into repetitive sales pitches that get lost in the ether. Of the people you follow, the majority of re-tweeted messages come from comedians or companies taking advantage of paid tweeting, and only they know the effectiveness of such campaigns. To succeed in using Twitter as part of your online marketing, you need to focus not on how many people will get the message, but how many people will do something about it.
In other words, rather than blast out sales and codes ad nauseum, take a personal approaching to using Twitter and reaching people individually. Convert to sales one Twitter user at a time.
Okay, so how do you achieve this? First thing you want to do is set up a feed that tracks specific key phrases relevant to your business. Whether you are searching for people looking for hotel rooms, shoes, books, car rentals… eventually somebody is bound to ask the Twitterverse where he can find something. Check the feed regularly and weed out possible leads, then approach the user with a friendly greeting and an offer to help.
Now, as you use Twitter you want to have a client in place that alerts you immediately when you receive replies and direct messages. This allows you to remain timely in your one-on-one marketing. If you respond to Twitter users and disappear for eight hours, you aren’t much of a help. What if a reply goes unanswered and a competitor picks up the ball? For heavy-duty Twitter use, somebody on the team needs to watch the account.
When you are not directly approaching people on your account, use Twitter to humanize your business. Talk about what you are doing, what the weather is like outside the office… keep the narrative light-hearted, and even include an occasional third-party link to something interesting. Retweet followers where applicable, and always respond to mentions, regardless of whether they are friendly or harsh. People need to know there’s a person behind your social presence, and putting a genial attitude in your social media works to establish trust.