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How Should Small Business Use TWITTER For Marketing Advantage?

Author: Devesh Kumar <deveshk55@gmail.com>

Does Twitter help for small businesses? How can you get your Tweets seen? Should you invest time into it?

These are some of the most common questions we get in our mind about Twitter for marketing by small businesses.
For the marketers in small businesses there are many ways to use Twitter as there are businesses and people using it. Whatever your marketing goals, there is no question Twitter can be a powerful tool to help you achieve them. But from where to start—or if you have already done, maybe you are having trouble in compiling your Twitter strategy to your business objectives. So here are a few strategic pointers to use Twitter in your marketing strategy for small businesses.

Define objectives of your organisation

Start with a list of your organisation’s business objectives, such as:

  • Generate leads and sales
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Build brand and product awareness

From these objectives, design specific goals towards which you will work on Twitter, making sure your goals are measurable so you can evaluate progress.

Example: if your business objective is to provide your sales team with high-quality leads through social media platform, your goal might be “use Twitter to drive 50 email sign-ups per month.”

With objectives and goals in place, remember to take time to benchmark the current state of your team’s performance. This will help you measure your progress toward your goals, proving that your strategy is producing real, measurable results for your business.

Design an effective Twitter marketing strategy

A well-crafted strategy is the foundation for your success on Twitter. Without a clear and documented strategy, you and your team will waste time and money tweeting and retweeting without a clear understanding of how your activities are helping your organization meet its goals. And when it comes time to review your performance and budget, you will struggle to demonstrate what you have achieve.

1. Research the competition

Gathering information about your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses on social media is critical. Research and analyze the same to design a social marketing strategy that will help you to stand apart from your competitors.

2. Identify your target audience

Your brand cannot be all things to all people on the Twitter. Know who you are targeting and craft a strategy that focuses on delivering real value to them. This will encourage them to engage with your brand and eventually become your customers.

3. Audit and take charge of your Twitter accounts

Depending on the size of your company and your goals, you may want to use a single Twitter account or multiple accounts for different departments or functions. If multiple people in your organization are already using Twitter, auditing and consolidating existing accounts is very important for success.

4. Integrate your Twitter strategy with overall content strategy

Teams working in organizations can find themselves working in silos. If you find this happening to your social marketing team, make sure you keep tearing down those silos and stay connected to other teams. Their work can be a rich source of great information and assets to share with your followers and they may be actively gathering insights that can open up new opportunities for your Twitter strategy.

5. Keep your Twitter strategy unique

While it is possible and easy to post the same content to multiple social networks. Each network has its own unique characteristics and user base, so while applying the same strategy to multiple networks might be a shortcut, but does not benefit in the long run. Nail your strategy on one network at a time, keeping it unique and fresh.

Use Twitter tools to get more done

Twitter’s website and apps are great for sending the occasional tweet or direct message—but to manage your Twitter marketing at scale, you need the right tools for the job. Various tools such as Twitter Dashboard, Tweetreach, Twitter Engage, etc are available which can be of great help.

Here are just a few of the things these tools will help you do faster and better:

  • Generate leads by learning more about the people engaging with your brand, why they’re sharing your content, and who they’re sharing it with.
  • Find industry influencers to connect with.
  • Analyze your competition to find detailed information on their tweets, mentions, hashtags, followers, and more.
  • Find trending topics by content, hashtags, search terms, sources, and more.
  • Edit and add images to your tweets.
  • Manage who you follow (and unfollow) to add valuable new information to your Twitter feed and remove inactive and spammy followers.
  • Time your posts for maximum impact with tools that analyze both your tweets and your followers’ tweets.

Create great content

While you have only 280 characters at a time, you should still strive to write tweets that are on brand, easy to read, and likely to resonate with your audience.

Here are the basics for writing a great tweet:

  • Help your audience: To create content your audience will actually read and use, it helps to never stop learning about their interests, needs, and fears.
  • Keep it short: Even the limit is 280 characters, don’t use all those characters every time to create a great tweet. Mix up the length of tweets, and use a URL shortener to prevent links from taking up more space than necessary.
  • Incorporate content curation: You curate content when you sort through the massive amount of content online and share the best of it with your followers in an organized, meaningful way.
  • Use hashtags: Hashtags ensure that your content is being seen by as many followers as possible. Hashtags enable you to classify content so that your tweets are grouped with other relevant Twitter content. This helps other Twitter users find your content easily, just as it can help you find influencers and others in your industry.

Use multimedia to drive more engagement

The popularity and effectiveness of multimedia continues to rise on social media. A survey of Twitter users found that the majority (82 percent) watch video content on Twitter, and that users want to see more videos from celebrities, other users, and brands. Use Video, Images and GIFs to catch the eye of your community and encourage engagement and also add some relevant fun to the tweets.

Engage with your audience

It’s easy for marketers to get obsessed with the number of followers we collect on Twitter. But without engagement, your follower number is just that—a number. From the start, Twitter has been designed to help people connect and engage on a personal level. Use that strength to your advantage and engage daily with your audience.

  • Follow your network—Your followers’ tweets can provide a wealth of information about their interests, needs, preferences, and so on. Follow and learn from them.
  • Respond quickly—According to one social media research study, 42 percent of consumers expect a 60-minute response time on social media. Respond quickly and naturally to customers, as you would in person or over the phone.
  • Retweet, like, and follow—It feels good when people take a moment to retweet and like your tweets or follow you on Twitter. Return the favor and keep your followers happy.
  • Use @mentions and tag people—When you mention followers, influencers, or other brands in a tweet, including an @mention is a nice way to drive a little traffic their way. You can also tag people in photos when it’s appropriate to do so, as covered in our post on Twitter best practices.
  • Ask for a little help—It’s okay to occasionally ask followers to retweet, mention, or like your tweets.
  • Get interactive—Tweet a question and see how your followers respond, or run a Twitter Poll for customer service feedback, quick product or service opinions, and direct social listening opportunities.

Post at the right time

Tweets don’t last. According to an analytics research conducting firm a tweet has a half-life of just 24 minutes and reaches 75 percent of its potential engagement in less than three hours. That means you need to tweet at the right time to reach the most potential followers and maximize engagement.

  • Tweet regularly: We recommend tweeting at least once a day to attract and engage Twitter followers. Experiment with posting more than that, and then pay attention to how your followers react to find the frequency that works best for you.
  • Start with industry best practices: Research has shown that the best posting times are generally 12 p.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. Consider posting at these times in your initial strategy, then flesh out your schedule as you learn more about what times get the best results with your followers.
  • Use analytics to fine-tune your approach: Use engagement data from Twitter Analytics to adjust your timing once you’ve gathered some data about how followers are engaging with your tweets.
  • Schedule your tweets: Once you know the best times to tweet for optimal engagement, you can use tools to schedule tweets which will save you time and ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck with each tweet.

With opportunities for researching market, engaging with followers and building the brand, Twitter has come a long way since its 2006 debut as a simple platform to explain in 140 characters. It’s a powerful platform for building meaningful relationships that will drive the success of your organization.
Hope this helps you to put the strategies in action.


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