Are you a business struggling with Twitter marketing? Well you’d be happy to know that most business struggle with their Twitter strategy. I’ve been planning and implementing Twitter strategies for small businesses for a long time. And in this article I will discuss some successful Twitter strategies that are cost effective and easy to implement.
Any Twitter strategy can be broken down into few main parts.
- Strategy to increase Twitter followers
- Content plan for the Twitter stream
- Engaging with followers
- Contingency plan if necessary
I have discussed about ways to increase Twitter followers in the past so I won’t go into great detail here. I suggest you read the article if you want to learn more about gaining Twitter followers. In this section I will focus on methods which small businesses can use to automate the process of getting followers.
This is a strategy I implemented for a small business that produced a Facebook application. Basically what they did was provide you with an easy way to create Facebook apps. They wanted an cost effective way to spread the message about their application. Enter Twitter lists.
There are thousands of public Twitter lists. They initially wanted to target small business owners who manage their own Facebook page. There were two problems with this approach. First thing is that you’ll be hard pressed to find such a list. Also It’s unlikely small business owners know what a Facebook app is and its benefits. So who’s your perfect audience? Social media marketers of course.
It wasn’t hard to find such lists and they used TweetAdder to automate the task. Around 17% visited the site ( tracked using bit.ly ) and around 4% signed up for the service. Total cost was around $50 spent on TweetAdder and the time spent on finding Twitter lists. So obviously this low cost Twitter strategy is high up on my list.
Using TweetAdder or any other Twitter marketing software is optional. You can do this task manually after finding the lists, although it will obviously take more time.
If you’re a local business then following Twitter users based on their geographical locations is another excellent Twitter strategy. This strategy is extremely effective if you’re offering a commonly required service. Restaurants, food carts, flower delivery services, laundry services are some services that can tremendously benefit from this. But any service that’s location dependent can benefit from this.
There are quite a few ways you can go about this. One way is using Twitter advertising and target specific users. You only pay for clicks so it’s pretty effective. However depending on your location you might have to spend a considerable amount.
Another way is to use the geographical targeting capabilities of Twitter marketing software like Twitter. Once you give a location it will automatically start following users in that specific area and a good percentage of those users will click through and check your website.
Buying TweetAdder is a one time deal and you can keep following people until you’re satisfied. So it’s more cost effective than Twitter advertising in the long run. Definitely one of my favorite Twitter strategies for local businesses.
Of all the Twitter strategies this is probably the trickiest one to implement. But as most things mentioned in this article you can automate the process using software.
Basically you follow users based on keywords in their profile and tweets. And hopefully a good percentage of them will find you interesting and engage by checking out your website or by following you.
Finding the right set of keywords is the key to executing this Twitter strategy successfully. For example if your targeting users who are interested in birthstone jewelry you can include keywords like “Peridot jewelry, Sapphire jewelry” to the list of targeted keywords because they are birthstones.
In general its best to avoid targeting broad keywords that are used commonly. For example if your company is producing flowchart software it might be not a good idea to follow everyone mentioning “flowchart” because it’s a too broader search term to find targeted Twitter followers.
A good keyword should show you a decent number of Twitter followers to follow but shouldn’t overwhelm you with thousands of potential Twitter followers. Once you do this for a while you’ll easily figure out what keywords work best for you.
A good content plan is essential for Twitter marketing. Most Twitter strategies fail because they neglect this part or poorly handle this part.
In fact it is advisable to have some tweets in your stream before you go looking for followers. If you start following people with no tweets in your stream people might consider you a spammer or a bot that auto follows people.
Because every business is different it’s hard to define a general content plan. A good way to start is to observe what your competitors are doing or what others in your industry are doing. Use them as a guideline but remember that what works for them might not work for you.
The key thing is to understand your audience and what they want from you. For example if you’re a restaurant they’ll probably want information about discounts, promotions, special menus, new additions to the menu etc. You can keep them engaged by tweeting out pictures of your menus etc.
Because every audience is different you need to use some tools to measure the effectiveness of your tweets. You can use a tool like Buffer which has some built in analytics. You can see what tweets get re-shared, what tweets get most clicks etc. And based on that data you can refine your content strategy.
Importance of Scheduling
Scheduling is very important in any good Twitter strategy. Any decent Twitter client has scheduling and now you can do it directly via the Twitter website as well.
Nobody likes to see 10 tweets from one person at the same time in their Twitter feed. So scheduling them evenly throughout the day is the best way to go. If you’re catering to an international audience then you have to think about where you customer are and when they are active as well. Your working hours might not be their most active hours.
Also thing about the impact of your tweet when scheduling tweets. It’s not wise to tweet out a picture of a dinner dish during dinner or just before dinner because by then people have already made dinner plans. Instead tweet them out during mid-day when people are starting to make their dinner plans.
Paying attention to small details like these is what separates best from the rest.
If the first two steps get you followers then engagement is the step that keeps followers. In Twitter engagement comes in many forms. They are
- A retweet, the most common engagement for many businesses
- A reply to one of your tweets
- Direct message sent to your inbox
- Marking a tweet as a favorite
- Mentioning you in one of their tweets
All of these reactions presents an opportunity to turn an interested visitor to a customer. Or maybe turn a one time customer to a frequent customer.
Unless you’re a very popular business that gets hundreds of retweets you can easily respond to all the above reactions. If it’s a retweet or a mention you can thank the person for the retweet. If it’s a message then you should respond as soon as possible. There’s a lot to talk about regarding this area and I’ll talk about them in a separate post since this post is already getting very long.
Very few Twitter strategies for small businesses include a contingency plan when things go bad. I feel most small businesses can get away with one or two bad tweets so this isn’t really necessary.
However if you’re outsourcing your Twitter marketing then it’s a good idea to have one in place so both parties are aware and know exactly what to do when an awkward situation arises.
Got Any More Twitter Strategies ?
I didn’t think the post would be this long, but it needed this length to do justice to the topic. I hope you find it useful and help you to take your Twitter marketing to the next level.
Found success using Twitter? Manage to increase Twitter followers by thousands using your strategy? I love to hear about it. Do mention it in the comments and if I like it I will publish it as another point, with proper credit of course.
Got questions about the strategies mentioned above? The comments are the best place to ask them because others can also learn from your questions. But if you have specific questions then you can use the contact me link above.