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Using Twitter for Business: a Voyage Down the Social Media Rabbit-Hole

By Erin  |   Online Marketing

Using Twitter for Business

I'll get straight to the point.

While Twitter has the potential to be an effective marketing tool, few companies allocate the resources needed to fully realize these benefits.

As one blogger pointed out, the Twitter adoption-cycle typically starts with curiosity…. quickly followed by abandonment. Like the disused Ab Rocker in your basement, the lack of immediate results can be terminally discouraging.

What It Takes

Let's look at what running an effective Twitter campaign requires:

  • Setting, appraising, and tracking measurable goals
  • Developing a compelling engagement strategy
  • Diligently executing said strategy
  • Regular evaluation, analysis, and revision

Unless you're Kanye West and have ample time on your private jet to tweet about the in-flight peanuts you just ate, these things might seem dauntingly time-consuming. That's because they are. Being consistent is crucial and even that won't guarantee success.

Before you take the plunge, it's important that you:

  • understand how Twitter works
  • have realistic expectations
  • know why you're using it, and
  • be committed.

If you don't, you're setting a course for #FailCity.

Ready to Dive In?

Using Twitter for business could be a winning proposition for your company if you're up for the challenge. There are plenty of examples of Twitter campaigns that have resulted in better exposure, increased loyalty, and more leads, referrals, and sales.

The easily digestible, direct, and highly-sharable nature of this bite-sized, 140-character medium makes it ideal for building relationships and expanding your reach, but the bottom line is that Twitter is just a tool. The answer to “Should you use it?” really boils down to “How will you use it?” and “Can you use it well?”

If you're ready to take the leap, read on.

How to Run an Effective Twitter Campaign

  • Set measurable goals – Setting measurable goals is critical to assessing and improving the efficacy of any campaign. Even “intangibles” like brand awareness and loyalty need to be assigned relevant metrics—for example, percent of visitors that return, average number of pageviews, or average time spent per visit. Tracking leads or sales is even more straightforward. If you have analytics set up, it's relatively easy to segment out Twitter campaign traffic and analyze these metrics.
  • Identify your audience -- The better you know who you're talking to, the better you can tailor your content, messaging, and tactics for maximum impact.
  • Keep your eye on the prize -- Every tweet should be a part of an overarching strategy to achieve your goals, whether that be fostering brand loyalty, making new industry contacts, generating sales, or all of the above.
  • Be entertaining -- While the 140-character format might seem destined for banality, bucking the trend will set you apart. “Brevity is the soul of wit,” as a wise man once said. Humor is a great way to cultivate relationships and gain traction in an otherwise dull forum. If you can't be funny, at least be interesting, relevant, or preferably both.
  • Be consistent -- Social media tends to have cumulative effects. The more active you are, the more visible you are and the more likely you are to engage in productive conversations.
  • Aim for a 90% share, 10% ask ratio -- Make yourself a resource. Share relevant content that inspires interest and dialogue. You'll have much more success when it's time to ask your followers for something important to your business once you've gained their trust and attention.
  • Monitor, evaluate, improve -- If you aren't tracking and analyzing your results, then you're wasting your time: time that could be better spent exploiting effective tactics or discovering new ones. Monitoring your results will show you what's worthwhile and what's not, making your efforts far more efficient in the long run.

With a little creativity, some careful planning, and a lot of follow-through, Twitter can become a valuable ally that can help you achieve your marketing goals, but it's important to make sure you have realistic expectations and track your results along the way.

If you don't have the resources, time, energy, or dedication to devote to a Twitter campaign, you may want to consider another strategy or outsourcing the work to a reputable agency.

Questions about using Twitter for your business?
Contact us and let's determine if Twitter is right for you.

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