Twitter is a terrific marketing platform for any size business. This social site allows you to actively search and find followers that match your target audience. Whether you are providing service in a specific area, looking to make connections in your own industry or hoping to market your product worldwide, Twitter can work for you.
However, in saying that, Twitter also comes with several irritants, and unlike other social platforms, it is not Twitter itself but the users who have become the problem. I believe that a lot of this has to do with the lack of understanding on how to use Twitter as a marketing tool as well as business using old strategies on an ever-growing and changing social site. If you want to get the best from this platform, then it’s time to use it wisely.
1. Stop feeding your Facebook posts to Twitter! It wasn’t that long ago that I would recommend this strategy in training, as well as use it for the social Facebook sites we managed. At that time this strategy was seen as a quick and effective way to get content to Twitter. However, there are several reasons why it is no longer a viable option when marketing your business.
a) You are assuming that everyone that may follow you on Twitter has an active Facebook page to check out the link. Remember these posts feed to Facebook, not your website. It also takes several clicks of a mouse to open the real information. This is seen as time consuming and therefore no longer an effective strategy to use for marketing.
b) Your Twitter success is heavily reliant on the successful use of #hashtags and your feeds from Facebook carry none of these. Hashtags should not be ignored in your Twitter marketing.
“Twitters own research into hashtags confirms that there is a significant advantage to using them. Individuals can see a 100 percent increase by using hashtags. Brands can see a 50 percent increase.” – Buffer
c) Twitter marketing is very reliant on great visuals. Your posts fed from Facebook carry no visible image with them. Twitter now allows you to load a link AND add an image to your tweet. Take advantage of it!
I understand how feeding your Facebook to Twitter was a time and cost saving approach for sharing content. It was a good thing while it lasted. Social marketing platforms change rapidly and to stay current with your business marketing strategies you must keep up with the changes. There are several other applications available for sharing content on Twitter. Many of them have free trials that you can check-out. Buffer, Post Planner and Hootsuite are some of the most popular options. Do your research. Find an application that best meets your needs.
2. Stop automating direct messages! PLEASE. I am not reading them. I am not opening your link. I promise you that I WILL NOT check out your Facebook, LinkedIn or view your YouTube channels if you Direct Message (DM) any of my accounts. This is “push” marketing and I find it annoying and interfering.
a) Twitter accounts that are using DM as way to communicate appear to be more often then not be spammers. Although there doesn’t appear to be a significant amount of “twitter hacking” in the past few months (that’s a good thing), accounts that have been hacked were as a result of “clicking a link” in their Twitter accounts Direct Messages or in an email notification. We have been contacted over the years by several business owners who have unfortunately had their accounts hacked because they fell for a variety of catchy reasons to open the link.
b) If a Twitter account truly wants to engage with you and support your social platform marketing attempts, there are many positive ways to do so on. (@) Mentioning your account is a great place to start. Accounts that are likely to be good connections will thank you for following, re-tweet your content and comment and share your post/s.
c) Automating Direct Messages gets in the way of possible clients and customers getting your business attention. Sorting through the “trash” could mean you miss a real contact. If you are managing one account then you may not feel as irked as I about the misuse of this Twitter feature.
I may soon start my own online campaign. Hope you join me! #STOPDM
3. Stop not following accounts back! Growing your account on Twitter should be a weekly goal, and one that you should have included in your Twitter marketing plan. Unless you are Justin Beiber, Nike or Coke, you need to not only actively search new accounts to follow, but also follow back accounts that follow you. If you are too selective, and pick and choose who to follow back, you could be missing out on some possible social tweeps who are more than willing to share your content.
a) Unless you are a rock star you should typically (I discuss exceptions to this below) follow back every account that follows you. I don’t care if they are an egg head account. If you sell a product or service in your local area, you may be missing out on not following accounts without profile pictures. While some of these accounts could be spam, which you can unfollow at a later date, i have found that many of these are actual citizens. Individuals who are using Twitter but don’t want their face spread about.
b) I am a true believer in keeping your account numbers closely balanced. This means that you are following the same number of accounts that are following you. If you are being followed by more accounts then you are following, it gives me the clear message that “I may not be good enough for you or your business to acknowledge or care about.” It shouts at me “Well, they’re not very social!”. In many cases I will not take the time to follow you or share your content.
c) In being more generous with who you follow back, I do want to be clear on a couple of exceptions. All the accounts that are attempting to “SELL” you followers for Twitter, Instagram, YouTube … are of no value to your marketing. I immediately block these accounts in Twitter and also highly recommend trainees do the same. With the rise of Snapchat, so has there been an increase in half-naked young girls on Twitter encouraging you to follow their “sexkitten” accounts. I immediately BLOCK these accounts, and if they’re half naked, REPORT them. If I could find their phone numbers I would take the time to call their parents!
d) Stop wasting time following your favourite news channel, athlete or musician. Odds are they won’t share your brand content or engage. If you want to check those Twitter sites use the search bar and check out what they are up too. Following useless celebrity and news accounts is just interfering with the balance of your numbers and remember after all you are supposed to be using Twitter to market. Nothing can be more troubling then watching local government accounts following Oprah, Ashton Kucher, Bill Murray and House of Cards and NOT follow back business and citizens of their own community.
4. Get rid of paper.li and clean up those Twitter permission apps! Paper.li was a fun application several years ago. It has long sense worn out its welcome. The reason it typically still exists is that Twitter users set up the free feature, which automatically posts, and now they are either ignoring it or have abandoned their Twitter account WITHOUT revoking access to the application. It is very important to routinely check and clean these Twitter permissions known as “Apps” on a regular basis. Paper.li is just one example where the account holder forgot to revoke access. If you have a Twitter you should take the time to review and update the applications associated with it.
TO CHECK & UPDATE YOUR TWITTER APPS FOLLOW THE STEPS BELOW
After saying all of the above, i don’t want to reiterate that Twitter remains my favorite social media platform for marketing a business. We often hear from clients who have new customers as a result of a Twitter connection or interaction. Twitter is a super platform for targeting your audience. You don’t have to wait until they come to you. I like to call it the “Go GetEm” social platform.
It is approaching nine years since we began using Twitter for our business marketing. Our data indicates that we have had 4x more referrals from Twitter then any of the other social media platforms we have use for our marketing. Learning all you possibility can about this platform and dedicating some time and energy into using it effectively, can make a significant difference in your brand recognition.
For more information on Twitter for business, check out our blog.
Sandi Booth is the CEO, web developer, content strategist, graphic designer, social media manager and trainer at Cktechconnect Inc. located in Chatham-Kent, Ontario. Sandi’s creative style and dedication to clients has ensured that Cktechconnect has become the online marketing company it is today. Since its inception in 2009 Cktechconnect Inc. has helped dozens of business and associations with focused successful, dynamic multimedia marketing campaigns.