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Ever felt like that? You’d be hard pressed to find a small business that hasn’t experienced that at some point. This is especially true during a social media campaign’s early days.
Think about it like this… You start a new workout program at the gym, but don’t see early results. Pretty soon the program is over, and you’re eating pizza again. I’ve seen some Twitter profiles that resemble that experience.
One of the reasons that I believe this happens is because instant gratification can already be found with other forms of Internet marketing. Run a well-optimized PPC campaign, and convert clicks into sales. Place well-crafted banner ads on targeted websites, same thing. Maybe Twitter works the same way, some people assume. Tweet over and over, and… wait why is nothing happening?!
First let’s figure out why a platform like Twitter is different. PPC and SEO are largely dependent on search (SEO isn’t solely dependent on search, but it’s a big chunk). So, when someone is Googling a product, they are actively looking to buy, or at least learn more about the product, and websites like yours are ready to sell. Because of that active search component, the likelihood of a transaction increases. A person that finds your website through PPC or SEO is going to make a purchase decision sooner rather than later.
Twitter, however, is typically void of that active search component. Most smart businesses are on Twitter to interact first, and sell second. You already know that any time your company interacts with your target audience, you’re building, maintaining, or (Heaven forbid) defending your brand.
So, does that mean that Tweeting is a waste of time since you’re looking for more sales? No. But the expectations need to be realigned.
Use the following set of guidelines when Tweeting:
1) Don’t turn your Tweets into sales pitches all the time. Actually, plan on doing this very seldom.
2) Tweet content that provides value to your followers, not to you. This could include industry insight, like pitfalls to watch out for or how to choose between similar products.
3) Don’t just share industry news. Leave that to the news outlets. Instead, give your opinion and ask for opinions from your followers when you share industry news.
4) Instead of waiting for people to reply to your Tweets, try replying to others first sometimes. Maybe they could benefit from just a quick Tweet. They might even find value in a content page on your website.
5) Mix in some promotions. Provide a link to a landing page about the promotion. Encourage Twitter followers to become your fans on Facebook because you have occasional promotions just for Facebook fans.
6) Retweet posts that you think your followers would like to read.
7) Search for your company name on Twitter every so often to see what consumers are saying about your company. Then you can interact with more targeted people, even if that means addressing a complaint.
The second and third guidelines might not be able to fit in a 140 character Tweet. These are great opportunities to write a new blog post and provide the link in a Tweet. Now all of a sudden, you’ve added new relevant content to your site, which is an SEO boost, and you’ve provided value to your Twitter followers, which increases your opportunity to engage consumers.
The bottom line for most of these guidelines is that you’re now engaging with your target audience. Maybe they’re not in the market for your product right now. But all this work is still good marketing so that when they are ready to buy, they won’t need to do a Google search. They can go to your Twitter profile, then to your website, instead. They might also be inclined to recommend your company to their Twitter followers.
So, use Twitter to build your brand, engage your audience, and supplement your website content. Have any suggestions to add to the guidelines that I listed? Feel free to share them in the comments section.