TopRank blog writer Lee Odden recently penned some very useful thoughts on cultivating an effective marketing strategy on Twitter. I know I speak with many members about social media, as well as how useful Twitter is as a marketing component. As Odden explains, these things seem to vary from industry to industry, so it’s important to understand yours. I really recommend reading the entire post, but here are a couple of key points:
Where does Twitter fit in?
3. Where does Twitter fit within your overall online marketing strategy? Is Twitter meant to be a customer service tool? Brand monitoring? Monitoring for sales opportunities? Promotion of other corporate social activities? (ie blogging, Facebook, YouTube, Etc) Does it support some other communications function?
As a communications and social networking tool, Twitter can connect with customers, prospects, journalists, employees, candidates, investors and marketing partners. Understanding where Twitter fits within the overall mix of online marketing and communications will help with: allocating monitoring and engagement resources, establishing a working social media policy, workflow management and reporting. You may very well find a number of synergies available through Twitter, such as connecting with journalists and bloggers for PR purposes but also encouraging link usage when citing the company to assist with SEO efforts.
Twitter is a tool and only as useful as the tactics you use.
4. A firm grasp of the first three steps really needs to be addressed before useful tactics should be implemented. If all you do is focus on Twitter popularity tactics without addressing a plan for reaching other goals (hopefully being popular isn’t the sole goal) then the investment in time and effort becomes more like guesswork.
First and foremost for tactics, the Twitter page needs to be designed and optimized. If a business has the expectation to be perceived in a significant way, then the Twitter page needs to avoid looking insignificant. Tweets need to be diverse, yet follow a theme that is consistent to the messaging and audience goal. Kudos to customers and offering tips are great but alone are not going to attract followers fast.
There are a few tactics with Twitter that are almost always a good idea regardless of the audience, goals and overall plan:
- Having a persona or target profile in mind, research Twitter users and follow them.
- Associate the Twitter account with something else that is social, such as a YouTube Channel, Facebook Fan Page and/or a blog.
- Make an effort to link to a small number of high quality and creatively written resources, daily. Mornings are best. Brand these with a hashtag like #yourbrandtips, where “yourbrand” is the brand within your company that this Twitter account is focused on. It could also be a behavior or action. Ex: #niketips or #runningtips.
- Schedule a #yourbrandtips Twitter event every month, two weeks or weekly. This would be run like #blogchat where a real person from your company hosts a chat on Twitter about survey topics. Ideally there would be influential guests involved so that their tweets attract new followers to your brand’s Twitter account.
- The company should really post their twitter handle everywhere their web site address is posted.
- Find a way to ask followers questions, then use those answers in blog posts, which are promoted via the business twitter account.
- Create a Twitter list of a segment of the target audience. One list for each segment. Then solicit followers asking for recommendations of people that belong in the “segment one” list or “segment two” list. Ex: ”librarians” or “network administrators”. Mention that anyone who retweets a link to the list can get added to that list – provided they belong. Lists must be relevant and managed to be of any use. Promote lists with Listorious.com.
- Use #FollowFridays or #FF to recognize people that retweet the brand’s Twitter content the most. Also mention influential Twitter accounts that you have had some connection with. They might retweet the #FF and expose the brand Twitter account to new audiences.