Twitter is arguably one of the top 5 most popular social media sites and unfortunately one of the least understood by many small businesses. The big brands like Dell, Comcast and Best Buy figured out how to use Twitter for sales generation, customer service and help desk support. In the case of Dell, they have raked in more than $3 Million from Twitter followers and in December of 2010 Dell launched the listening command center which monitors 22,000 daily posts and has allowed them to be able to respond quickly which significantly improved both business and customer relations.
We hear case studies from all the big brands that seemed to have mastered Twitter while the smaller companies seem to go unnoticed. But truth be told lots of small businesses are doing well with Twitter. Companies like Kogi Barbeque, Teusner Wines, AJ Bombers and Triumvirate to name a few.
So you’re probably asking “what’s the magic formula?”
Well if that is your question, you’re right on track because it is a process and there is a formula. But before we get into the formula let’s take a minute to really understand what Twitter is.
Twitter is a microblog which means your posts are limited to 140 characters. The people who see and are able to respond to your posts are those individuals who have chosen to follow you – known as your “Followers”. The biggest misconception of Twitter is that you post things like what you’re doing, what you had for dinner and where you want to go out tonight. Twitter has evolved and matured so the most common types of posts are news articles, reviews and people seeking information/referrals on a product or service. People trust other people’s experiences with a service or product and before they spend their hard earned money they want to know about other people think. This doesn’t mean that dinner menus aren’t being discussed any more but it does occur far less.
Now let’s get back to the “magic formula” and break it into easy to follow steps.
- Begin with a clear Bio that is keyword rich and has a link back to your website
- Because of the limited number of characters you have to get to the point rather quickly and your message needs to be clear. Your message also needs to be compelling and stir curiosity in the reader so that they take action.
- Since you’re limited to 140 characters you can’t tell the whole story, so use Twitter as a lead generation tool and drive traffic back to your website.
- Social media is social. Don’t be a salesman all the time – provide value for your followers. Tweet tips, product reviews and other information that your followers will enjoy reading. Sales Tweets should be about 1 in 12 with a clear call to action. (subtle sales is best)
- Post frequently – The most active days are Friday and Saturday so post more frequently on these days but continue to post at least every 3 hours throughout the week. (use automation like socialoomph, Hootsuite or similar)
- Monitor your brand and similar products or services. Answer consumer questions, thank customers for the feedback, make recommendations and position yourself as an expert
- Use automation tools to auto-follow fans and manage thank you messages. (my favorite tool is Socialoomph.com
What are your favorite automation tools for managing your Tweets?