Since its inception in 2006 Twitter has grown from a modest text message service for allowing users to quickly communicate with each other into a global social media phenomenon. The microblogging platform has over 500 million Tweets a day and 230 million active users. This vast Twittersphere is a ready-made and active forum where people go to find news, engage in discussions, and get closer to things that matter most to them.
Twitter has become a primary channel in the global market place for advertising your brand and achieving business success. If you want to reach new customers then you need to meet them where they are, and that means getting active with Twitter.
Let’s jump right in with some strategies and guidelines for how to use Twitter to optimize your own business and brand.
Decide Your Purpose
To market your business effectively, think about your strategy. What is it that you want to accomplish with Twitter? Are you going to use Twitter to communicate? If you want to influence others or to promote or sell your brand, then your strategy should be to vigorously tweet, direct message, and engage with others? Or you may use Twitter to listen. In this case, you should plan to use Twitter to learn about your customer, keep up on news, or else to perform market analysis. Decide which users will provide the content you’re interested in and follow them.
Define Your Brand
Next focus on how you want to use Twitter to build and define your brand. In doing this, it’s important to consider your approach. Do you want to specialize on a particular topic to build a targeted audience or do you want to be more of a generalist? On this note, do consider well your strategy. As one blogger has well said, “Don’t be a jack of all Twitter subjects and a master of none.”
Learn How to Use Twitter and its Related Terminology
Make sure that you understand Twitter terminology. Know the difference between a tweet and retweet (RT), and a direct message (DM). Trending topics, or TT, are topics discussed by many users at a given time. Twitter has its own rules of social decorum and etiquette. Discover how to select a favorite tweet by clicking on the star; this shows appreciation for someone else sharing your content.
Research Keywords, Hashtags, and Trends
Use the Google’s Keyword Planner to locate keywords that are central to your industry, brand, or market. This is a great tool to use for designing your targeted ad and marketing campaign ideas. Next start looking into what Hashtags are relevant to your market. Enter some of your relevant keywords into the Twitter search bar to see what is trending in your area. There are many, many tools and resources on the market to help you better understand the latest Twitter trends and hashtags.
Start Tweeting and Sharing Industry-relevant Content
Next it’s time to jump in and start contributing content and introducing your brand. The idea here is to build your community. Think of your Twitter account as a new company that you’ve just set up on a busy street. Now that you’ve turned the lights on and are open for business, you want to go out and meet new customers, listen to their challenges and issues, and to help them find solutions.
Build Your Community One Tweet at a Time
On Twitter those who share the most win. To effectively build your business and brand you want to position yourself as someone who is eager to assist your community and potential customers. Listen in on crucial conversations and see where you can lend a hand. If someone is struggling with a particular challenge or issue in their business try to offer some advice or share a resource that can be of value.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
Twitter thrives on innovation and offers a great testing ground for trying new things. Consider holding a contest, or offering a poll, or making a Twitter-only free offer, asking a question relevant to your industry, or starting a hashtagged discussion thread. You can only lose by not trying. See what the reaction is and then pivot from there.
Market and Sell Your Products
The Twitter economy is booming and in order to get in on this new opportunity you’ll want to learn the ropes of Twitter marketing, ad campaigns, and selling. If you’re in the retail space then you can use Twitter to provide special offers or daily discounts to your Twitter audience. One suggestion is to establish creative Twitter promotions like the next 30 Twitter Followers will receive a free T-shirt or a 50% off coupon. There is no limit to the possibilities that you can try out to reach your Twitter followers in new ways.
Use Your Business Account to Become an Affiliate Marketer
There are many opportunities out there to become an affiliate for other companies that are also seeking to promote their products and gain new clients. Affiliate marketing allows people who advertise their products on a website to get the portion of a product’s sales. It’s a win-win because the developer of the product gains valuable advertising, while the affiliate marketer can expect a monthly check for a percentage of sales.