This is the first post in a “How to Launch Social” series, designed to help brands and companies get started and grow social media for business.
If you’ve managed to make it this long without creating or growing a Twitter presence for your business, I’m guessing you would probably give me one of the following reasons:
“Twitter isn’t useful for businesses. There’s too much noise, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to drive any interest in my product.”
I get it. After all, it’s good to be skeptical sometimes. But Twitter has experienced massive usage growth over the last several years. Sure, there are corny or hyper-political statements tweeted every day, but Twitter has taken a serious turn for the intellectual. Both individuals and brands are now utilizing the platform as a means to share interesting articles, data and industry research. In other words, it’s all about the contentthese days, which is great news for marketers.
Also, brands can share content that is relevant and useful to their target audiences, garnering them large followings of folks who are interested in their industry, product, or service.
All of these trends indicate that Twitter has become an increasingly effective lead generation channel for marketers and business owners. Let’s explore how to go about leveraging this channel successfully.
“My audience isn’t on Twitter. No one would be interested in my tweets! Plus, I don’t have the time for it.”
With nearly 300 million daily active users, I really have to disagree with you here. Maybe your industry isn’t among the most highly represented or widely discussed businesses on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean you have no chance at amassing a large audience.
If you put into practice the strategies we’ll discuss next, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll prove yourself wrong.
And trust me: It’s well worth your time.
“Well, I set up a Twitter account a while back, but I’m not sure how to use it to grow my audience, generate leads or engage customers.”
Now this one I can help you with. Read on, my friend.
Benefits of tweeting
As I mentioned, Twitter can be a great way to generate new leads, but that’s not all. With Twitter, you can also:
- Engage with people who are talking about your industry, company and competitors.
- Build and manage relationships with your customers and fans.
- Position your company as a thought leader through educational content.
- Promote upcoming events.
- Develop relationships with media companies and journalists for potential PR opportunities.
In order to do all that, you’ll need to create and grow a strong Twitter presence for your brand. So, let’s get started!
Getting started with Twitter
Step 1: Create An Optimized Profile
When you set up your brand’s Twitter profile, customize it to:
- Look good visually. Be sure to use a branded avatar (such as your logo) and a custom-designed cover image and background.
- Tell potential followers who you are with a clear and descriptive bio.
- Give people a reason to follow you! This will come from displaying a fun brand voice and sharing engaging content.
Step 2: Make It Easy To Follow You
One of the easiest ways to start gaining followers is by showing off your Twitter account in places where you already have an audience. Be sure to link to your Twitter account from your:
- Website (perhaps on your About Us page, as well as the site’s footer or header).
- Other social profiles.
- Email signature, using a text link or Twitter “follow” icon.
Step 3: Write & Gather Content
Now that you have your account set up, it’s time to start tweeting. This is where it becomes imperative to have a good deal of content to share.
But what types of content should you share on Twitter? Be creative! You can share:
- Blog posts
- SlideShare presentations
In other words, look for any sort of resource, guide, or tool that is relevant, valuable, and interesting to your audience. If your content isn’t those things, you’re not going to see much success. (If you’re stuck on generating content ideas, check out these suggestions for brainstorming content ideas.
If your main goal on Twitter is to generate leads, put at least some of your content behind a lead gen form, which offers the content in exchange for an email address. Just be sure to balance this type of lead gen content with plenty of ungated content, such as blog posts or videos.
Finally, don’t forget: Every piece of content you share does not have to be your own. Twitter is all about spreading content love, so if you find a great article on another company’s blog that your audience would enjoy, give it a retweet or favorite. This can be a great way to form partnerships with other businesses in your industry, as well.
Step 4: Craft Engaging Tweets To Share Content
Once you have a good backlog of content, start crafting some tweets to share it. Here are a few pointers for crafting tweets to get higher engagement:
1. Don’t let your tweets sound sales-y. If you do, you’ll quickly lose your audience’s trust (and interest). A good rule of thumb is to have 80-90 percent of your tweets offer sales-free content that your audience will love, while the other 10-20 percent can push a more direct sale.
2. It’s okay to tweet a link with just the headline of the piece, but don’t do that every time! Experiment with questions or provocative statements that will pique a viewer’s interest, such as this example from LyntonWeb:
3. Make it clear why the viewer will find your content valuable or interesting. In this example, Inc. intrigues readers by offering tips for failing more gracefully:
4. Use images to make your tweets stand out. Just avoid using generic stock photos. Instead, create easy custom graphics with a free tool like PowerPoint or Canva. Note how IMPACT designed an image with their headline in the tweet:
Step 5: Measure Your Performance
No marketer’s task is complete without evaluating results. First, figure out what metrics matter to you based on your specific business goals, such as lead gen, engagement, followers or conversions.
Next, utilize Twitter’s proprietary analytics platform. It’s open to all Twitter users and tracks:
- Follower growth
- Follower engagement
- Website traffic from your tweets
- Advertising data (if you run Promoted Tweet campaigns)
If you’d also like to track the number of leads and customers you’re generating from Twitter (which I highly recommend), invest in a social media management and measurement tool to give you the insights you can’t get from Twitter Analytics.
All right! You’re well on your way to a well-designed Twitter account that’s optimized to gain followers, drive traffic and generate leads. Just track your metrics on a weekly basis (monthly at the very least), and keep that content coming.
Next up: Facebook!