If you were to liken the digital world to a ‘real-world’ social interaction, Twitter would be like the cocktail party. Just as such a party is used to meet new people and to network, Twitter is used to discover new products and services that you want to learn more about.
Twitter is a great way to get more people interested in your brand and to start engaging with you. It’s a fantastic way to engage new customers. However, there is a certain way to do this which will get more engagement and will increase your brand’s traction.
Using Twitter for Marketing
The purpose of Twitter is to stimulate conversations and engagement. You won’t see the true benefit of the platform if you constantly broadcast your brand’s message. This will turn people off and cause you to lose followers.
As a rule of thumb, you should only be posting about 20% of your branded content and the other 80% of content that you put out on Twitter should be a mixture of retweeting other people’s content (which you feel is in keeping with your brand) and engaging with people. This will help you to engage new customers.
However, when you engage make sure that these are meaningful conversations that add value to the person/people you are speaking with and yourself. Don’t be inflammatory and make comments simply to get a reaction. Just as people at a cocktail party would abreact to people – who they’ve just met – making sensationalist comments people in the Twittersphere will do exactly the same thing. You’ll get a bad reputation and may even be banned from Twitter should enough people report you.
As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, your engagements on Twitter must be relevant. Don’t barge into a conversation with a totally unrelated comment. Make comments that are relevant to what is being discussed.
Many brands use hashtags to promote their products, events or companies. They encourage people who are speaking about their brand to use the specific hashtag so that the conversation can be easily tracked and found because other people, who want to join in the conversation, simply search for that hashtag to find what people are saying. This is how they engage new customers.
If you decide to use a hashtag, don’t hijack it for your own conversation simply because it’s trending. Chances are very good that people will ignore you and read the commentary that matters to them.
A lot of companies use Twitter as a CRM system to communicate with their existing customers. This is very successful as customers know that should they Tweet the company they will get up-to-date information and feedback. City Power, the power utility which is responsible for providing electricity to the City of Johannesburg, uses Twitter very successfully to communicate with their customers about interruptions with respect to power. They are so successful that customers have actually disregarded the utility’s website and follow them on Twitter exclusively as this information is more accurate and up to date.
Customers also use Twitter as a way to vent their frustrations about a brand. Should this happen, whatever you do don’t respond to them with equally negative commentary. Respond immediately and make sure that you address their concerns in a neutral and understanding manner.
For many people the first instinct is to request the poster to take the conversation offline. However, if you do this others will take this as you having something to hide and will be turned off your brand. So, when dealing with customer commentary make sure that you deal with it out in the open.
Twitter is a fantastic platform to promote your brand, to get people engaging with you and engage new customers. Stick to the tips that we’ve outlined above and you’ll be on your way to success!
The Digital School of Marketing’s Social Media Course will give you an in-depth look at Twitter and will give you the tools you need to be successful on this platform. To learn about the other online digital marketing courses, visit their website.
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