ÔÇ£Though I have twitter for business, I really donÔÇÖt know how to use it effectively to drive businessÔÇØ said a worried friend of mine during our conversation about his business.
Most likely youÔÇÖve pondered on this same thought many times earlier. DonÔÇÖt you worry, you are not alone.
Most of us, who started a twitter account for business, expecting magical results, are all sailing on the same boat.
I wanted to understand if twitter actually helped business to grow or was it a waste of time. This question popped up in my mind quite often, and one fine day I decided to conduct a thorough research on ÔÇÿTwitter for your businessÔÇØ.
I started with my good old friend who has an established business and was very successful.
ÔÇ£I use twitter as an important marketing tool. I publish my content, promote my brand, build network and create value for others via twitter. Ask any questions relating to your business on Twitter, and I bet you will not have to go for any other marketing sessions. ItÔÇÖs such a wealth of informationÔÇØ, says my friend who has set up a successful business by using Twitter as one of the main tools.
I was amazed that how my friends, who used twitter for business, had praises about how twitter helped them to grow their brand.
But is this enough proof for me to believe that Twitter for business is indeed a great tool?
May not be enough. So I decided to dig deeper and have a look at the twitter statistics.
ÔÇ£94% of Twitter users Plan to buy from the brands they follow on TwitterÔÇØ
ÔÇ£84% of shoppers on Twitter search for deals, product reviews and gift ideasÔÇØ
ÔÇ£79% of Twitter users have Retweeted a small businessÔÇØ
ÔÇ£69% have already made purchases because of something they saw on TwitterÔÇØ
ÔÇ£42% of Twitter users use Twitter to learn about products and servicesÔÇØ
ÔÇ£38% have Retweeted a new product or service update on TwitterÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Twitter has 317 million monthly active usersÔÇØ
These indeed are highly impressive statistics about twitter that makes any business owner and a marketer to resort to a powerful platform like Twitter for their business.
By now I had understood the impact that twitter can have on the millions of users on a daily basis.
So now I was bent upon finding just one thing.
ÔÇ£How can I effectively use twitter for businessÔÇØ
After a lot of effort and time (and it was totally worth it), I came up with a detailed guide on how twitter can be used for business.
This article is for you if you are trying to find success in business by using twitter. We'll discuss:
What is Twitter
Why Twitter for Business
What are the Advantages of using Twitter for Business?
How to Build Your Brand on Twitter?
Tools that can help your twitter experience
Tools for Twitter chat
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social network that started in 2006. It is used by millions of people for real-time communication to share and discover information.
Twitter functionalities allow you to post updates, normally referred to as ÔÇÿtweetsÔÇÖ. There is no limit on the number of times a person can tweet. There is an option to follow people who are of interest to you and you can see their tweets. Similarly others can follow you, which will make your posts available for your followers to view and comment.
Twitter users can post, share, retweet and like any such information that is available on twitter. It is a constant stream of information in the form on articles, photos, videos and quotes. A tweet can have response from other users thereby creating discussions on hot topics, news and any other interesting content.
Why Twitter for business?
Though Twitter started off as a social network, it has gained popularity as a great platform for small and medium business.
In the recent times, Twitter has become a valuable resource for small and big businesses to build audience, improve traffic and generate higher leads. A great twitter business profile builds and improves your brand credibility on social media.
Michael Hussey, CEO of StatSocial says, "Every business, whether large or small, should build a Twitter profile. Twitter profiles rank very high in Google search results and can help your business gain additional exposure."
Every business should incorporate twitter into their marketing strategy.
Here are three major areas where twitter is used extensively.
#1 Twitter For Marketing Products
Twitter is a great platform to market products and services of a company. It has become the favorite for most businesses to launch their new products on twitter. Companies are using twitter for making importance announcements and business decisions.
Product designs are refined and improved based on the feedback received on twitter.
Many times a new line of product or service is introduced by companies based on the demand made on Twitter.
#2 Twitter For Networking
Twitter is a strong tool to build network for your growing business. You will be pleasantly surprised by the number of contacts that you get due to your twitter presence. A lot of people looking out for business partnerships and collaborations will be able to search your on Twitter and reach out to you which otherwise would not be possible on such a large scale.
Twitter makes it easy to reach out to potential customers with the help of demographics of various people who are on twitter.
Importantly, it also helps to connect to suppliers and influencers in your industry who can be of immense support for building your business.
Twitter is a great medium to reach out to investors and crowd funding, especially for a start-up company.
Twitter basically will spread the word and weave strong web of network for a business.
#3 Twitter for Customer Support
Today, with most of the small and big companies having a business page, there seems to be a higher tendency from users to post product reviews and complaints on Twitter business pages with an intention to get their attention without going through the torture of the customer support toll free numbers.
Twitter is a positive move towards better customer support.
Ensure that you track customer conversations closely and attend to the questions of customers. Never leave them unattended, simply because a negative post from an unsatisfied customer can have a cascading effect that can quickly turn into an outrage thereby negatively impacting the brand image.
What are the Advantages of using Twitter for Business?
Many businesses that are really serious about improving their brand image and increasing leads already have a twitter account. They swear by the benefits that Twitter has brought to their business. Twitter will enhance and expand your presence online.
ÔÇ£Twitter is TerrificÔÇØ,
is what one of my friend says. He has a long list of benefits that Twitter offers to business accounts. But, for your benefit, I present the top 7 uses of twitter for business.
Here are Top 7 Advantages of Using Twitter for Business.
#1 Lead Generation
Small and big businesses approach Twitter to generate leads. The secret is in using Twitter to first build relationships and nurture them, and not just use it as a sales channel by continuously broadcasting your product advertisements. Engage with your audience, provide valuable information and ask suggestions from your twitter audience.
To start off, offer free products that can be used to capture the emails of potential customers.
Blog posts with useful information relating to the product or the industry will attract potential customers.
When you connect with your Twitter audience by responding to their queries and conversations relating to the industry, it builds you brand image thereby generating leads.
#2 Increases Visibility
It can be very frustrating when you have a great product to offer and a great plan to share, but you are simply not heard since you do not have that reach.
Today, we have more than 300 billion people on twitter, and you have every chance of standing in front of the twitter audience who could be your potential customers. This was highly impossible without twitter.
Your tweets containing valuable information will show up in the twitter feed which can be accessed by millions, thereby making your brand visible across different groups and countries.
#3 Product Launch/Update
Lot of people follow at least one brand on twitter.
They look forward for updates and success stories of their brands that they follow. Not many are interested to read the lengthy press releases released by the company. They are interested to know more about the company and the news relating to the brand that they engage with.
With Twitter itÔÇÖs possible to take the customer-first approach to announce product updates that really matter to the audience.
Your consumers are excited to hear about your product launches, and what better when it comes on Twitter which is one of their favorite social media plat form.
Take your product announcements to the next level buy being creative about the product updates or launch.
#4 Drives sales
Twitter followers who engage with a brand on Twitter are more likely to perform a purchase in the future.
And as you already read that Twitter statistics says that 69% of Twitter users have made a purchase because they saw it on Twitter. ThatÔÇÖs an enticing number which can push any marketer to log on to Twitter.
A research shows that there is a twitter account created every 10 seconds which means the chances of your consumer entering Twitter is high. Twitter marketing can drive high sales with direct impact coming from your Twitter activities.
For example Etsy, an online seller of handmade, vintage and craft items, used Twitter to increase sales where it encouraged all their sellers to link their shops to Twitter, and the results were mind blowing with 200K new followers for their connected shops.
#5 Customer Connect
ÔÇ£What are you doingÔÇØ,
This was TwitterÔÇÖs tagline few years back.
Twitter is all about conversations that build the connection with customers. It happens all the time whether you are in it or not. And an intelligent marketer will definitely find ways to be a part of the customer conversations.
Have you thought why people follow you on Twitter? Definitely because they want to know your perspective about something that they posted on Twitter. They want to know what you think and feel about it.
Connect with your audience by providing a personal touch. Provide honest and genuine content. The reward is a better connection with your audience.
#6 Customer Service
Customer service is one of the biggest reasons why Twitter users follow brands.
To add to that there has been a 2.5x increase in customer service conversations on Twitter.
Twitter is a wonderful platform that allows you to engage with real-time customer service. Many consumers are turning towards Twitter to ask for product related questions and to provide feedback on the products that they purchased.
Customer service on Twitter can be improved by being friendly, being personal, being responsive and most importantly by being responsive.
There is a 31% higher likelihood of recommending a brand by the Twitter user who received a response and reached a solution.
Twitter has turned into a live, conversational, public platform where brands and consumers have access to each other.
#7 Watch Competition and Trends
One of the biggest benefits of Twitter is that it enables you to learn current trends in your industry. It gives access to local and global trends which otherwise would have been difficult to research and follow.
Twitter is a great medium to look out for your competitorÔÇÖs activities. It gives you an advantage to spy on their most successful campaigns and also to learn from their mistakes. You can follow the marketing strategies and content that your competitor is experimenting, based on which you can design your next move.
How to Build Your Brand on Twitter?
You are frustrated because you post 100s of tweets but you are getting just 1 or 2 replies. And then you might have decided to dump it thinking that it is not a viable option.
But twitter is not a dumping ground of your advertisements and you cannot expect people to follow you unless they feel you are valuable for them.
So what is the way to overcome this big hurdle? How can you build your brand on Twitter?
Here are 5 Import leads that will take your brand off to a flying start.
#1 Sharpen Your Twitter Profile
Does this look very basic? Yes on the first instance you may think you already have a profile.
But is it great?
Is it delivering the message that you would want it to do?
It is always a good idea to go back to the basics and sharpen your profile for a better impression.
Remember the first impression when people look into your Twitter profile will tell a story about your business.
Have a clear and relevant image for your brand.
An excellent cover photo will add more to your brand image.
Add an interesting Twitter bio that tells a story about your business.
Craft a unique sentence explaining your expertise to make an impact on your audience.
This sounds basic, but it is the first step in building your brand.
#2 First the Goals
Only an unplanned road trip can go wonderful at times. Without goals none of the business activities will take the shape of success.
ItÔÇÖs quite surprising to see that 41% of the companies who are into social media are not even sure if the efforts are getting them any results.
This could be because they have not set any goals and are not able to measure it due to the absence of goals.
A company that wishes to engage in social media marketing, can have some measurable goals such as ÔÇÿIncrease Traffic by xx%ÔÇØ, or ÔÇÿProvide customer service within 24 hours of the queryÔÇÖ.
Once you have your goal set, track it and measure it continuously.
With these goals, your efforts on Twitter will not be left to luck and coincidence.
#3 Content Strategies
Content is the medium through with you engage with your audience.
Offer meaningful and informative tweets that drive curiosity and interest among the Twitter users. You should thoroughly think through a content strategy that should address the content schedule and the tweet time.
Design the content schedule after analysing the most active time on twitter, different time zones and the time when your audience is most active.
Also remember to schedule the posts multiple times since it is very likely for the content to be lost in the ocean of tweets.
Reposting content at a different time and many times, will ensure to get your content on peopleÔÇÖs timelines.
Also remember to acknowledge great content from other people. Share interesting and useful posts that you found on Twitter, by a simple @mention their names.
#4 Twitter Chats
Participating in Twitter chats and hosting you own Twitter chats is an amazing way to converse with your fans and followers who build your brand immensely.
Twitter chats have the power to build network and promote your brand.
A Twitter chat is public forum on Twitter where conversation and discussion around a topic takes place. A unique hashtag will be attached to it so that it can be easily followed by interested people. People with similar interest participate in the twitter chats making it far more stronger connection than on any other forums.
Participate and engage with the chat by commenting on the topic, asking questions and providing answers.
This will bring your brand in front of the millions of people who are in the Chatroom. Over a period of time, your brand will develop a unique identify.
#5 Twitter Ads
Most of the marketers tend to forget Twitter ads. There are a variety of ads that you can choose from and it is not just restricted to getting more leads.
As you can see in the image below, Twitter ads can be run to get more followers, more tweet engagement, video views and much more.
If you want to promote your tweets, you can do it so by paying. It will enable visibility of your tweets to twitter users who are not yet your followers.
When users receive your tweet, they might like it and retweet it. And who knows they might start following you if they indeed liked your tweet. This has increased your brand image to a great extent.
You can also promote your account so that it will be placed strategically in front of your potential followers, based on the criteria and demographics that you have chosen. This gives a huge opportunity to build and grow your brand. You can set your target audience, target location, interest, and behaviour.
Running Twitter ads will give you an opportunity to get in front of the right audience.
Tools that can help with your Twitter experience
Now that you know most of Twitter, you would want to kick start the entire twitter experience. But you are worried that Twitter is an on-going commitment and if you would want to do justice to it, you alone may not be able to do it without any support.
So fret not, I will give you a list of tools that will help you with your daily interaction on Twitter. There are loads and loads of support tools that you can employ to get most of the services on Twitter.
Here are some of my favourite tools and I have segregated it based on the task that you would like to perform. The tools are capable of many more features though I have tried to highlight just one or two strong features.
Tools For Scheduling Content And Manage Social Media Activities
This is a wonderful all-in-one tool for Twitter management. It saves you time by scheduling your posts, monitors and tracks conversations about your brand, responds to the conversation and provides customer service.
Buffer is yet another social media management tool that allows scheduling your posts. It offers you complete control on scheduling multiples posts without having to post each one separately. Buffer then posts automatically throughout the day or week without you logging into Twitter.
Managing content and scheduling it across various platforms is made easy by Sprout social. Sprout Social brings advanced tools that efficiently schedules and posts content from a single platform
Cloohawk is a smart social media assistant that connects you with your audience. It identifies the most relevant posts that could be of interest to your audience. Cloohawk schedules your posts to receive maximum attention from your audience. With Cloohawk tool you will spend less time on managing your twitter account.
This is yet another twitter tool that allows you to schedule tweets. You can schedule your tweets multiple times in a month to make sure that your old posts keep getting traffic. It has a tweet scheduling feature that allows you to schedule your tweets as per your preference.
Tools for Twitter chat
TweetChat is a free tool to follow Twitter chats. You just have to enter the hashtag that you would like to follow. You can participate in the conversation from TweetChat without going into Twitter.
This tool is pretty easy with options to set the speed of the feed. You can set it from fastest to slowest. The unique thing about this tool is that you can search twitter chats by category and find new conversations in which you can participate.
TweetDeck is a freely available web-based tool which will help you to take part in Twitter chat. You will just have to add the hashtag of your interest. It allows you to add filters like language, count of retweets and likes based on which you can choose the twitter chats. You can send your tweets by just clicking on new tweet on the same tool.
This is a web service that makes it easy to participate in Twitter chats. All you have to do is simply enter a hashtag that you want to follow. The tool will give a list of all the tweets with that particular hashtag. It will also update the feed with real time tweets. There is an option to pause the feed, hide tweets and switch between different hashtags when you are following
This is a tool that allows you to create your own chat rooms, follow different chat rooms and also bookmark hashtags. In the chatroom you will be able to see new tweets relevant to this hashtag, you can send tweets and filter only the tweets that you want to follow. Like all other tools this will also add the hashtag automatically into your tweet. It also displays the latest chats and upcoming chats.
I bet you got all the information and ready to use Twitter for your business.
You have got all details about what twitter is, why use Twitter for business, benefits of using Twitter for your business and some of the useful tools in twitter management.
Twitter is a fast and powerful medium to deliver important messages of your business events, sales, and to even to offer coupons and discounts.
Twitter can be a great place to connect with your customers and find your potential customers.
Have you used Twitter for your business? What tools have worked the best for you? Please share your experience in the comments below.