Featured Image Caption: Twitter Marketing Strategy
I have to say, in the last two years, Twitter has become one of my favorite social networks. If you are not familiar with it, it is a micro-blogging service similar to Blogger or Tumblr. The key difference between Twitter and other blogging services is that tweets are limited to 140 characters (including hashtags), which means that there is much less room for rambling if you want your message to be heard.
With nearly 200 million monthly active users on Twitter, 40% of whom access the site via their mobile device, the social network can be used powerfully for business promotion.
But before we get into actionable tips for building your brand on Twitter, let’s take a look at the steps to take to make sure your brand is authentically you.
I recently read a post on Mashable about business owners who “Google themselves” only to find their personal information landing them in hot water. If they run a business, it is important they know how Google thinks about that business. So if you are starting an online service company, have all the relevant pages verified with Google Plus Local, making sure they are accurate and that your username matches these profiles google.com/local/add#business.
Next, check out this video from New Rainmaker about building local SEO for small businesses.
And finally, if you want more help with Twitter’s advertising platform, check out this post from my good friend and fellow SEO expert Larry Kim.
Now let’s get into some Twitter tips. Here are the 9 steps by ghostwriting team that you should take to build your brand on Twitter:
Step #1: Make Your Profile Completely Authentic
This means your profile should include all relevant information about your company, even if it is not 100% professional. If you have a logo, add it to your photos, don’t just use a photo of yourself or an amateurish graphic. This will go a long way in building trust with potential customers, especially considering that 91% of consumers want to see the personal elements of a brand on social media. When creating a profile on behalf of a business, remember that you are not hiding anything; rather, you are showing the world what you stand for.
Twitter also allows users to attach professional profiles to their personal accounts, which can be helpful in building your brand further. To take advantage of this feature, go into your settings and select “Update info that appears on Twitter” under Your Twitter Data. You can then attach up to three different profiles that will appear below your name when someone clicks on them. For example, I have attached my SEO Agency’s LinkedIn profile, our company website URL, and a link to our Google+ page so people know who they are dealing with before they follow us or start interacting with our account. If you do not have any other profiles linked here, this is a good place to direct your Twitter followers to your personal blog or website.
Step #2: Follow the Right People
Not only is this important for building brand authority, but it also opens the door for many potential customers. I suggest taking a look at who you are following and what they are tweeting about then start matching up followers that you already have with these people. From there, use tools like Follwerlytics (free) to promote high-quality content so you can expand your reach beyond existing followers.
Step #3: Include Links in Your Tweets
People want to know where the info they are reading is coming from. If you do not include links in any of your tweets, you are less likely to drive traffic to your website. On Twitter, the links tend to be short but you can still include tons of information by making it clickable; use bitly.com or similar services instead of long URLs (this is also helpful for mobile users).
Step #4: Use Custom Tweets for Promotions
Using custom tweets allows you to promote special deals or events in a way that has not been done before on Twitter. You may find some success adding unique promotional codes or offers to certain tweets, but customizing each message is likely the only way you will get any significant attention. Each tweet should reflect what your company stands for, so when people see it they know exactly why they should click on it.
Step #5: Create Your Own Hashtag
There are many benefits to creating your own unique hashtag for promotions or contests, but the main reason you want to do this is that it makes these promotions show up in searches. This way people can find what you’re doing and they know you didn’t just spam them with something random (and uninteresting) like JunkFoodForFree.
I’ve seen some pretty clever hashtags used for this purpose; below are some of my favorites:
- BestFirstDateEver – Built around a contest where people could submit (via Twitter) their most creative first dates, the winner would get dinner at the restaurant of his/her choosing.
- RTtoWinIt – For this contest, you could only retweet to be entered into the drawing.
- TweetPerfectPhoto – A company started using this, which prompted their followers to change their photos while they offered a free trial of their service.
Step #6: Repurpose Content for Twitter
There are many ways to make your blog posts tweetable. The best option may simply be including links in your tweets so people can read more or look at additional content. You can also add an image if it is part of the post and create a customized message that might get more clicks than just a link alone. Be sure to find out what works best with your audience and do it successfully time after time until there is no doubt in their mind that they should follow when you tweet.
Step #7: Use Twitter Lists
This is a great way to organize your followers and break them up into different groups before creating tweets. You can create lists for people who help you in some way (e.g., clients, press) or just use it as a fun way to discover new people who might enjoy your content. Along with this effort, I suggest taking the time to search other hashtags and user names in order to get inspired by others — but don’t accidentally fall for any spam links if you see them!
Step #8: Add @replies & #Hashtags
Adding a plus sign followed by someone’s Twitter ID allows you to mention them in your tweet. If this is someone you want to connect with, be sure they check out the message and follow if they are interested. You can also add hashtags in tweets so that people searching for something, in particular, will see it when they click on one of your messages (see step #7).
Step #9: Organize Tweets in Lists
This is not just a good idea for appearance purposes; it makes sharing information even easier by grouping together similar content. List folders can help maintain order just like any email client would — except this one is right on Twitter! On top of making it look nice, this system helps you remember what was posted where and when.
Building a Twitter brand requires being consistent, in my opinion. As your brand and persona become familiar to your followers, they look forward to your Tweets. When you Tweet, you need to be interesting and engaging in order to get people’s attention. In order to build an audience of loyal followers, you must regularly deliver useful content while also entertaining them.