VIEWS: 26 PAGES: 26 CATEGORY: Marketing Plans POSTED ON: 2/1/2013
The ideal guide for small business owners who want to take advantage of the power of Twitter to grow business. Learn about everything from creating a new Twitter profile, to how to engage and build a list of followers. Download for free.
Twitter Automation for Small Business Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! This guide is for small business owners or individuals starting out with Twitter automation or want to get a refresher on the basics of Twitter marketing. After reading this, you will be able to execute successful tactics related to the topic. Twitter Automation for Small Business By Michael Cusden Michael Cusden, Inbound Marketing Manager at SimplyCast, is responsible for creating ebooks, whitepapers and online marketing guides. Michael is a prolific blogger who also manages content for SimplyCast’s website and user application. He is an expert in content marketing, social media marketing and occasionally has time to Tweet about it. Follow @michaelcusden Grow Business Automatically in 140 Characters Or Less Twitter is one of the top marketing tools at our disposal today. But many small businesses fail to see the value and still view it as waste of time. This is far from the truth. By adding Twitter marketing automation to the mix as well as a few minutes of organic tweeting, any small business can: Research showed that in 2012: • 34% of marketers generated leads using • Build Brand Twitter and 20% closed deals. • 30% of Twitter users have an income over • Drive Sales $100,000. • Solve Problems • 100 million active Twitter users log in at least once per day. • Win New Customers • Become An Authority Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 2 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Table of Contents 04 Getting Started with Twitter • What is a Tweet 4 • Setting Up a Profile 6 • Making a Beautiful Account 6 • Defining Your Goals 6 • Start Following 8 09 How to Engage • Listen 9 • Choose Your Voice 10 • Set a Habit & Automate Process 10 • Create Sharable Content 13 14 Twitter Automation for Business • Overall Goals 14 • Marketing 15 • Lead Generation 15 • Customer Service 17 18 Amplify and Grow Reach • Promote Twitter Account 18 • “Get What You Give” Mentality 22. • Measuring Impact & Performance 23 25 Conclusion Before setting you on your way, we will review everything that you will have learned by reading this guide. A printable quick tip sheet will also be included at the end to help you out. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 3 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Getting Started With Twitter Twitter is a critical business communication tool as it allows businesses of any size to engage with customers in real-time which makes it a highly effective medium. More and more, tech-savvy users are turning to Twitter before using more traditional methods of researching and reaching out. The Advantages of Twitter • Immediate • Observed • Measured • Open Dialogue • Public & Organic Conversations • Accessible & Flexible • Unlimited Content Via The RT • Community Building Points to Remember • Public Conversation • Easy To Start Controversy • Mistakes Can Snowball • Careful Of What Is Posted What is a Tweet? A Tweet is a post or status update on Twitter consisting of a maximum of 140 characters. Tweets have evolved to more than everyday experiences, and take the shape of shared links to interesting content on the web, conversations around hot topics, photos, videos, music, and, most importantly, real-time accounts from people who are in the midst of a newsworthy event, crisis, or natural disaster. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 4 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! A Retweet (or RT) is a post or status update that is shared from another user. Retweeting is how Twitter users share interesting Tweets from the people they are following. They copy and paste the original Tweet and send it out. To give credit to the original person, users usually put “RT” plus the originator’s username at the beginning of the Tweet. Hashtags are a way for people to search for Tweets on a common topic. If you want to find out what people are saying about the latest Smart Phone, you would search for Tweets with the hashtag #iPhone, #Android or even #BlackBerry. Or better yet, Tweet using one of these hashtags so others can find what you are saying. Direct Messages or DMs are a way to interact with another Twitter user privately. Twitter allows you to send a direct or private message to anyone who follows you. Be cautious of automatically sending a DM to everyone who follows you. If done poorly, it is a big turnoff and can make you look unprofessional. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 5 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Setting Up a Profile Setting up a Twitter profile only takes a few minutes and offers quite a lot of customization for your business. First you need to choose the right handle or public name. This will be your Twitter nickname and will be displayed publicly. It is a best practice to use something branded or related to your company. This could be your actual company name or a persona that you create to represent your brand (think mascot). The name cannot be more than 15 characters so you will have to be a little creative. From there, write a short bio about who you are and what you plan to share on Twitter. Think business card catchy. Do not just copy the standard boilerplate from your website’s About Us section. Make it catchy. Also try to include a few keywords related to your business and of course your company website. Making a Beautiful Account With Twitter’s limit on characters, the overall design of your Twitter profile needs to be eye-grabbing and create an association with your product. This does not mean “Las Vegas” style with too much flashy design, but instead a simple design that brands your company in the eye of the follower. The two main areas to focus on are your profile photo and the background for the entire page. Choosing the right profile picture for your business really comes down to the message you want to send. Best practice says to use your company logo for your profile picture but it could also be the initials of your company or like mentioned before, the persona or mascot that brands your company. Try not to choose something obscure or hard to see or it will appear unprofessional. For the background, keep in mind what parts of the screen are open for your content and that different monitors will influence where things appear. A pretty standard way to go is to add a logo and contact information. Once you build up a following you can update your background design. Defining Your Goals Now that you have your handle picked and design elements added, it is almost time to start using Twitter. Before you do though, it is a good idea to define what your goal is for using Twitter for your business. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 6 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! What are your communication goals and overall Twitter strategy? Some examples of a communication goal would be: • To expand reach of company. • Providing customer support for product. • Providing information based content on a topic in order to be seen as an authority. • To simply entertain and put your name out there. All or one of these communication goals can be implemented. Ask these questions to help develop your overall Twitter strategy. • What does your business hope to gain from Twitter? • How will Twitter work with already established marketing strategies? • Who is the target audience? • Which industry leaders, organizations and businesses should be followed? • What is our Tweet frequency? • How much automation should be used? • Who is the point person for our Twitter account? • What kind of oversight will be in place for Twitter? • What will the Tweet tone be? • What are our Twitter metrics? • How are our competitors using Twitter? • What keywords are important to our company? • What trends are we going to monitor? After answering these questions, you are ready to start tweeting and following. The name of the social network was originally “Twttr,” later changed to Twitter. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 7 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Start Following It is important that you don’t follow too many new people at one time. Twitter spammers aggressively follow a large number of people in short bursts. If you act like a spammer, someone might report you as such and Twitter might suspend your account. You will also be limited by Twitter on how many people you can follow in one day. Use the search feature on Twitter or hashtags to quickly find potential users to follow. It is a good idea to monitor new followers and engage in conversation either with a simple public thank you or a DM. It is very popular to automate the DM sent when someone follows you but in the beginning, it is good to establish connections, so take that extra time. Automation will come later. Getting Started With Twitter Takeaways • Select a username that fits your company image and will help grow the brand. If your desired name is taken, get creative and have fun with it. • Make your profile page appealing to the eye, which includes a profile logo and a full background. I recommend keeping it simple. • Define the goals for your Twitter account. You can have more than one, but you need to decide before you get started. • Start following in small doses and targeting who you follow. Monitor daily and establish connections. 50% of Twitter users are using the social network via mobile. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 8 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! How To Engage Twitter is a two-way conversation. This is the only way you will be able to build a loyal and engaged following. Simply setting up automated Tweets won’t do it. We will cover the correct way to implement Twitter automation later in this guide. Many brands, businesses and marketers already know how powerful Twitter is for finding and engaging with their audience. The low cost, immediacy and viral nature makes it a favorite tool for everyone from news organizations to small businesses. But for those using Twitter for the first time for their business, they often wonder why they don’t get an overwhelming response to their first few Tweets. Well the simple answer is you need to develop and engage a following. Here is how you do that: Listen When you first start out with a new Twitter account, the first thought is to go and follow hundreds of people to get the ball rolling. While this is not totally wrong, it is a good idea to have a plan on who you will follow. Like I mentioned already, target groups of people and add them in small doses. As each branch of followers opens up, you will find new lists of users who match up well with your company. By taking it slow, it will allow you to listen or read what is being said by each of the newly followed tweeters. By listening, you will find new directions to take, what the hot topics are and what is trending. Don’t just start sending out Tweets without taking the time to read what others are saying. Twitter is full of interesting people, who want to answer questions and engage with you. The key is to start a conversation. It is also a good idea to infuse a little personality into your profile. I feel this is a must, otherwise your feed will have the appearance that you are just posting messages like a robot. Few will want to engage or follow you if this is the case. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 9 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Choose Your Voice Every company needs a voice on social media. Some stick to their corporate vision, some try to add a little humor. Whichever is your style, you should implement and stay true to it. This is especially important if you have multiple people managing your Twitter account. Here are a few best practices that I always tell those new to Twitter to use to help decide on what the voice of your company should be. • If you can’t say it to your mother, grandmother or spiritual adviser with a straight face, then never, ever Tweet it. • Don’t Tweet under stress. You are prone to lashing out and posting something that you’re going to regret, regardless whether it is complaining about a project or supervisor. Don’t. Just don’t. • Never Tweet if a phone call or a face-to-face meeting is better or more productive. It’s unprofessional and, quite frankly, lazy. • Don’t Tweet about private company information. This should be obvious. • Don’t gossip about internal politics. No one cares whether your cube-mate steals from the communal fridge. • Never, ever blow off steam with your personal thoughts on your customers. If your customers are frustrating you, or not spending as they should, keep it to yourself. • Even if it is a company sanctioned happy hour or holiday party, don’t Tweet or post pictures of your CEO doing Jell-O shots in a dive bar. Pretty common sense stuff but you would be surprised what some people will put out into the Twitterverse. Remember, your business account is all about your company whether it be projects, promotions, employees or views. It should never be a personal soap box. Form A Habit & Automate Process Just like any type of Internet user, Twitter readers are creatures of habit. By creating your own habit of when you post Tweets, you will make it easier for followers to see your content. This is also where Twitter marketing automation can save you a great deal of time. As long as you remember that full automation is not welcomed by everyone and that you should sprinkle in a few daily Tweets that your write yourself to avoid coming off as robotic. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 10 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! As a small business, one cannot actively manage multiple social media accounts, as well as other aspects of business without some level of automation. Twitter has set guidelines and best practices for automation: https://support.twitter.com/arti- cles/76915-automation-rules-and-best-practices. Adhering to these guidelines ensures you are playing safe without any worry of account suspension. Sometimes, Twitter filters out robot-like accounts from search results before the suspension process is initiated. If the bulk of your Tweets are automated, it is advisable to check Twitter search results everyday. An absence from T witter search is a clear indication your account has been pinned down by Twitter and it is time to re- think your strategy. Now that is the dark side or quick fix of Twitter automation. Yes, it will get you some notice and link backs, but it won’t do anything for your engagement or growth. So what should you use Twitter automation for? In short, anything you can schedule ahead of time that will add value when it is posted. • Time Sensitive Information ie. Reminders Or Special Promotions. • Company News Or Product Launches. • Holiday Greetings Or Birthday Wishes. • Blog Posts And Industry Articles. • Links To Other Social Media Profiles. You can also schedule automated Tweets about: Short profiles about company staff Customers love to learn about the people behind their favorite products. They want to learn about the people in your company. Too often, companies on Twitter are more focused on selling that they miss how much of a sales impact a little humanizing does. If you have a customer support team, put a face to their helpful advice. Your customers will appreciate having a better idea of who they are talking to. Company press releases Whatever is going on inside the walls of your business – unless, of course, it’s top-secret – is great fodder for Twitter. Try to Tweet fuzzier, heart-warming press releases than those that may be more technical. Happy news – such as how your product changed a family’s life – is read, commented on and Retweeted more often than non-fuzzy news. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 11 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Teasers about almost-released new products This tactic works especially well with an upcoming holiday or a highly anticipated product. Perhaps you release a new product feature every week or what the initial price will be. Twitter is a fantastic tool at creating buzz, and buzz is what every marketer wants. Don’t go overboard or it will be a buzz kill. Reviews and articles about your company products Link to articles and product reviews. Even better, try to link to reviews by trusted consumer agencies and websites. Essentially, you’re not saying how fantastic your products are, someone else is. Customer testimonials on your website People trust other people. People trust people they’ve never met more than they trust the company that’s pushing them to buy their latest product. Let your customers do the selling for you. By creating and automating Tweets ahead of time, you are not only spending less time on Twitter, you are creating a more structured Twitter attack that allows you to stick to your vision and voice. Not to mention allowing more focus on other areas of the business. Once automated Twitter marketing campaigns are in place, it makes it easy to take a few minutes a day to add more personal Tweets and engage with anyone trying to reach you. Over the span of 16 days, the London Olympics generated 150 million tweets. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 12 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Create Sharable Content To fully engage readers and build a greater following, you need to create highly sharable content. This is content that people want to share over and over again because it is trending, innovative, beautiful or just down right awesome. If you have looked at your Twitter feed lately, you know what I am talking about. Don’t just write what everyone else is doing. Come up with a new vantage point. This could be written content, infographics, videos or photos. Just take a look on Twitter and see what other brands are Retweeting and posting. Top 10 lists and How-to guides are gold when creating sharable content. Twitter Engagement Takeaways • Don’t just post constant Tweets without reading what others are saying. Twitter is meant to be a two-way conversation. • Before Tweeting, choose your voice. What kind of personality do you want to portray? • Create a habit of Tweeting with automation. Preset a few Tweets daily to engage and inform audience and add in your own live Tweets when you can. • The best way to engage readers is to create highly sharable content. If it provides value and is presented in a new and exciting way, people will share it. The average business has over 14,000 Twitter followers. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 13 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Twitter Automation For Business With everything set up, a better understanding of Twitter automation and a small following established, what do you do next to explode your Twitter profile and grow business? Overall Goals Step one, plan out what you intend on Tweeting about and what the goals are for doing so. Are you strictly sending out marketing materials about your product? Maybe lead generation initiatives? Or are you planning to do mostly customer service? Regardless of which you plan to use (maybe all), here are five areas to focus on after you set your goals for Twitter. Link Tweet links to your articles, blog or news archives on your website. This is especially effective for those new or potential customers to learn a bit more about you and what you do. Further, if you’re ever stuck or lacking Tweet-inspiration, post a link to your most commented on or most controversial article. Tease Post teasers about what is coming up in your other marketing campaigns, including exclusive offers in your email newsletter, member-only tips in your fax blasts or contests on your other social media sites. Think of your entire marketing strategy as a giant machine: each part needs to support the rest in order for the entire operation to be successful. Review Link to recent consumer product reviews from trusted sources and newly added customer testimonials from your website. Customers who are on the fence about you will learn much more from other customers than anything you’ll ever Tweet will. Offer Tweet exclusive promotional codes. You’ll be able to then track how much business your Twitter page is generating and how many people “cash-in” on your deals. To make it easier, write your codes so that they have some reference to Twitter, like TWEET25. Retweet Always, always, Retweet fascinating or interesting links or Tweets, especially those that are related to your industry. By taking a break from shameless self-promotion, you’ll show that you are tuned in to what others are talking about. And, as an added bonus, the more you Retweet, the higher the possibility that you’ll gain new followers and be Retweeted by others. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 14 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Marketing Two of the main reasons why Twitter is a powerful marketing tool is that, one, it is instant, and two, it is inexpensive for the most part. Anyone can follow the steps to setting up and building a strong Twitter account. The biggest hurdle for many is the time or resources to remain active. Again, this is why Twitter marketing automation is a very helpful tool for small businesses. You will reduce the time you spend Tweeting and still maintain an active profile. It is still vital to take at least 10 minutes every day and read your feed, engage with followers and show that there is in fact a person behind it. Lead Generation Since you have started using Twitter for your business, it is only natural that you will want to leverage Twitter as a lead generation tool. The beauty of Twitter is that it allows instant conversation for someone looking for the product or service that you are offering. By keeping your eyes open and being ready to act helps. By just using some simple search tips, you can mine Twitter for all kinds of potential leads. Then when someone is looking for a specific service that you have the solution for, you could suggest it and bring in a new lead. The problem with this is, you can’t browse Twitter all day looking for these people. The whole idea is to reduce your time on Twitter, not add several hours to it. Here are some quick and easy ways to find potential leads in only a few minutes. Twitter advanced search If you use Twitter, you are probably aware of the basic search function. This lets you save a tremen- dous amount of time while you run searches using your name, or your business’s name, your brands, your competition and other tags. This will help keep track of your online business reputation as you look at the response to your Tweets. However, the advanced search function is what you should really take advantage of because it lets you run a search for your keywords by geographical location. So, if you live in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and run an advanced search for who is in Dartmouth, you can see who is saying what in that area. This is real-time data you can filter and develop into business opportunities. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 15 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Being responsive is the key Twitter is full of people who post questions, opinions, requirements and just about anything and it is up to the marketer to utilize these Tweets. If someone is looking for something, they would be pleased to have someone respond to their need. Whether it is to identify, filter or respond to people asking questions or complaining. This becomes even more valuable if it is someone from their local area. As a marketer, you can plan and set up a series of Tweets that could very well convert into hot leads on a daily basis. Remember, you must take care to insure readers don’t consider you a spammer. Instead, identify your niche and target people in that segment by triggering an interesting conversation and being helpful, eventually generating leads. Distribute content Using Twitter as a way to distribute content and information can help drive leads for other content properties such as blog posts, contests, webinars, eBooks, etc. When distributing content via Twitter, either use Twitter’s reporting metrics or another URL shortening service to track statistics for the clicks and shares of your content on Twitter. This will be an important set of data to better understand what subjects and types of content drive the best traffic and leads from Twitter. McDonalds employs 10+ people to run their Twitter account. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 16 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Customer Service Using Twitter for customer service is something that should only be considered if you have the resources. Due to Twitter’s instant nature, when a person asks for help on Twitter, they are really expecting an answer in under 10 minutes. Even if it is to say their request was read and the necessary people are looking into it. Engaging with followers is important but when someone is seeking your help and you leave it for a day, they will be irritated and less likely to engage with you again. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to monitor your feed for questions and to respond in a timely fashion. Use DMs For more detailed problems, keep information private using direct messages. If it is a wide spread issue, send out one Tweet to explain, but don’t try and answer everyone publicly. This will keep your feed clear and make it easy for people looking for the problem instead of having to scroll through endless Tweets. Twitter For Business Takeaways • Determine your goal for using Twitter and match your content accordingly. • Use tools like Twitter’s advanced search for lead generation purposes. • Being responsive is key for marketing, lead generation and customer support goals. • Use DMs or direct messages when working with customers on unique questions. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 17 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Grow Twitter Reach The final stage of using Twitter marketing for your small business, is amplifying your profile to reach a much wider audience. The more engaged users you have, the better right? Remember, you want to have followers who read your content, do something with it and help spread your posts to new users. Having an account of 50,000 followers who don’t even know who you are is not the optimal situation. Here are some simple ways to grow your Twitter reach. Promote Twitter account It is easy to create a Twitter account and start posting messages. That only takes a minute or two to get started. If you are entering the world of Twitter marketing however, it will take more time to see results. The tricky part is building an engaged following that not only helps brand your organization, but also becomes a source for new leads and new sales. Here are 8 simple ways to improve your Twitter presence and expand overall reach: “Answer Monday’s” Regardless of what you call it, setting aside one day per week to answer your customers’ top questions is an invaluable strategy to immediately improve your Twitter presence. It not only shows that you care about what your customers are struggling with but also that your company is proactive when it comes to customer service. If a handful of customers have the same issue, then, chances are, there are others. Compile a list of the top questions from the previous week, collecting them from all of your customer service channels – instant messaging, forum postings, Facebook, Twitter, emails and over the phone. Cover all possible areas in which a customer may have an issue including customer service, technical assistance, sales and promotions, and products. Then, Tweet the answers. In order to see a significant change in your Twitter presence, this act can’t be fly-by-the-night, Tweeting irregularly. Instead, pick a day of the week, and publicize that your company is going to answer these questions. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 18 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Internal Shout-Outs People who follow businesses on Twitter want the occasional reminder that, in fact, there are actual, real, live people running the show. The common perception of companies – regardless of size or type – is that they’re nameless, faceless automated machines that spit out products for a profit. One of the best ways to break the mold and increase your Twitter marketing stature is to remind the public that your company is comprised of real people. Tweet high-fives, kudos and shout-outs to your fellow cube-mates. Tweet excellent work. Tweet completed projects. Tweet an amazing brainstorming session. Tweet whatever that makes your company proud. Welcome New Clients Similarly to Tweeting internal kudos, sharing with the Twittersphere how happy you are for gaining a new client or customer makes everyone’s day. This practice not only reaffirms your new found connection to your new client but also shows that your company takes relationships very seriously. On another level, by publicly welcoming new clients, it shouts that you’re not all about the cheddar, pushing deals or self-promotion. Deals Some of the most successful businesses Tweet a daily or weekly deal, something that’s entirely exclusive to Twitter. Posting regularly increases followers’ anticipation, conversion rates and even attracting new followers. Another useful and proven tip to increase Twitter presence is to link to your on-going deals through coupon sites like Groupon or Livingsocial. Tweeters (and the general public) love to get deals, and one of the fastest growing searches on Twit- ter is for any sort of discount or promotions. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 19 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Use Hashtags (#) Hashtags are an incredibly powerful and wonderful Twitter tool. As mentioned earlier, hashtags (or #) are words that point to a specific subject or trending topic. The # separates the word from the rest of the Tweet to underscore the importance. Hashtags are searchable, ranked and organic, meaning that anyone can add a hashtag to a word to start a trending topic. One of the biggest mistakes that Twitter marketers do is to overuse hashtags in their Tweets. By littering their posts with every other word hashtagged out, they assume that it increases the searchability and relevance. Sadly, the opposite is true. By using hashtags sparingly and correctly, you’ll tap into the current topics within your industry, highlight critical information in your Tweets and possibly start a trend. Also, do some research for the week’s (or month’s) top hashtags within your industry. If there’s already a conversation going on about a certain topic, tap into that collective power. Follow Twitter Trending Before falling headfirst into the powerful world of Twitter hashtags, do some research into what are the trends for your industry. Besides Twitter’s own trending system, several other online directories update the top hashtags and topics. • What are the most popular subjects? • What are the least popular? • Is there something that your industry is not Tweeting? Watch for any seismic shifts in industry hashtags or if new topics pop up. Look for any patterns. Also, monitor which hashtags your competitors, clients and potential markets use. Create Your Own Hashtags After doing some research and monitoring, you’ll probably come across a void in your industry. Why not fill it with your own hashtag? Or, even further, your business is unique, so why not write a specialized hashtag just for your brand? Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 20 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! When writing hashtags, keep them short, relevant and memorable. Try to avoid using all lower case lettering, but opt for Title Case, which makes the hashtags easier to read and identify. After which, promote your new subject not only through Twitter but all of your other online marketing channels. Tweet Photos Sometimes a picture is worth a 1,000 words (or Tweets!). There’s so much more power in showing rather than telling. And, sometimes there aren’t any words. By using a website like TwitPic, you’ll be able to Tweet whatever image you’d like to promote. Post Product Tips What Twitter provides is an informal platform from which your customers can chat about the weird, amazing, interesting and fascinating ways they use your products. YouTube was one of the first champions of the odd product uses (remember that blender guy that took the “blends anything” promise to the extreme by shoving every object in his house into his new appliance). Or, look back in the day, when Arm & Hammer baking soda started launching individual campaign ads based on their customer’s feedback. Who knew you could brush your teeth, sanitize a litter box and whiten whites all with one cooking product? For every 10 customers that suggest amazing ways to use your product, one is always entirely hare- brained. So, sort through your posts, emails and messages and see what the chatter is on different uses for your product. Tweet the best. Infographics shared on Twitter get 832% more Retweets than images and articles. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 21 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Tweet With Some Pizzazz Yes, yes, you know already! Experts alway say it helps to improve the overall quality of your content. Yes, it is one of the most universal tips I blog about regardless of marketing tactic. Yes, improving writing quality is entirely dependent on the person doing the writing. But, out of all the tips I have ever given, it is, hands down, the most critical piece of advice I can pass along. Writing is everything. Content is everything. As for Twitter, the only thing that will help you rise above the masses and be noticed is the overall quality of Tweets. Since you have such limited space to get your message across, not only do you need to write with some skill but with some flare. Flare is what gets you noticed, Retweeted, forwarded, search and followed. “Get What You Give” Mentality When it comes to building a strong following, if you stick to the “you get what you give” mentality, you will see success. Simply setting up a long list of automated tweets to promote and sell yourself, your business or your product, won’t engage anyone. You can still use these Tweets of course, they just need to be mixed in with other types of messages. The Retweet is the greatest way to improve reach without doing much other than reading and ac- knowledging that something is interesting. Retweeting others in your industry, customers, and large brands is a great way to get noticed. If you help promote someone else, there is a good chance they will do their best to return the favor. Scroll through your feed at least once a day and Retweet a few posts that you find interesting. Again, this will show that you are using more than automation and that you are putting effort in to engage and add to the conversation. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 22 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Measuring Performance Your follower number isn’t the only metric you should be looking at to determine how successful you are on the popular social networking site. With Twitter, bigger is not always better. Measurement is the key to ensuring your efforts are taking you in the right direction. They reveal which campaigns were successful and which fell short. Here are the main areas to focus on when it comes to metrics. Follower Count It’s right there on your Twitter profile and it’s the most common way the media (or anyone else) reference success on Twitter. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most flawed metrics available to you and easily gamed. Anyone can take the time to manually add followers and keep the ratio of followers to following pretty even. But all that shows is someone had a lot of time to click the follow button. A good sign of a strong and engaged Twitter account is a very low following number versus a very high follower number. Mentions You hear about the importance of conversation on Twitter all the time, and mentions are one of the primary ways to measure how engaged your Twitter community is. This shows how engaged your account is but it is does not give any context to who is engaging. If it is just your friends for example, it is not really growing your account. Retweets A Retweet is a very strong endorsement that can lead to more followers, clicks and conversions. Again, while it is good to get a lot of RTs, it is better to get a lot of RTs from those who are influential. The RT is what can make something go viral or “trend” on Twitter in a matter of minutes. Now do you see why shareable content will be handy. Impressions In an effort to make social media metrics comparable to advertising buys, the impressions number has become popular. Impressions measures your potential reach and is the number of times your mes- sage (or mention of you) could have been seen, based on the follower count of those talking about you. You can think of it as similar to impressions for a billboard, where you have an idea of how many people drive by it every day, but it may not truly represent how many people saw it. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 23 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Measuring impressions generally requires a third party service but there are certainly plenty to choose from. Clicks /Traffic back to your site If someone clicks on a link you send out, you know they have not only seen your message, but they’d also like to hear more. Link shortening services allow you to track how many clicks each link you send out gets. You can also see how much traffic Twitter drives back to your site from Google Analytics or other web analytics services. Whether or not this is a helpful metric for you depends on your goals on social networks. If you are focused on brand awareness and recall, visits and clicks may not be as important. If instead, your goal is visits and sign ups, this would be a vital measurement for you. Clicks /Traffic back to your site Yes, just like all other areas of marketing, it comes down to measuring ROI or return on investment. This requires some fancy math or the services of a third party to find out how many new users or purchases you gain from Twitter and comparing that to the effort you put in. As a small business, this may not be important in the beginning unless you are spending a lot of money on your Twitter presence, then you of course, want to see a return. Grow Twitter Reach Takeaways • Promote your Twitter profile wherever you can. Engage your audience by letting them get to know you and your company. • The best rule of thumb when it comes to Twitter and other social sites for that matter, is, you get what you give. Share what others are posting and they will do the same. • Measuring the performance of your Tweets is the only way you can learn about what your readers like and don’t like about your posts. 11 Twitter accounts are created every second. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 24 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Conclusion If you want Twitter marketing to work for you over the long term, then you have to focus on building a loyal base of followers. These followers need to be targeted and not random, which sets you apart from your competition. Then and only then will you see the benefits of promoting products and ser- vices and having your followers share with their followers. It takes a lot of quality time to build an engaged list of followers who want to read your daily Tweets. Thanks to Twitter automation, you can reduce the time you spend posting messages and spend that time focusing on business. Go ahead, establish a voice, set your goals and form a routine posting highly sharable content. Twitter is just waiting for you and your business to jump on board. Happy Tweeting. About SimplyCast SimplyCast.com is a leading provider of interactive marketing software and services for organizations worldwide. The company’s multi-channel marketing platform is a feature-rich solution used by thousands of customers in over 175 countries, including many of the most recognized brand names around the globe in retail, non-profit and hospitality industries. With thousands of organizations using SimplyCast solutions to automate email, survey, event, voice, SMS, Twitter, fax, Facebook, press release, landing pages and autoresponder marketing needs, they now have the power to effectively reach customers on their preferred mode of communication. Get In Touch www.simplycast.com twitter.com/simplycast facebook.com/simplycast pinterest.com/simplycast 1.877.312.4979 Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 25 Twitter Automation For Small Business Share! Quick List of What to Tweet About 1. Tweet or post company press releases or news updates. 2. Comment on what you’re competitors are doing. 3. If you’ve had a recent failure or public relations disaster, share with your followers what happened and what you’re doing to fix it. 4. Launch support for a charity or non-profit that your company supports. 5. Write responses to what your followers say about your posts or Tweets. 6. Ask a question to your followers about your products, their experience or what they’d like to see you do or try next. 7. Answer general customer questions about your company, products or services. 8. Interview your CEO or president. 9. Post a touching story about how your products or company, itself, made a difference in a community. 10. Recommend articles written by industry leaders. 11. Talk about the history of your company and how it grew to be what it is now. 12. Comment on legislation or governmental regulation that could positively (or negatively!) impact your business. 13. Write about what the mission of your company is. 14. Congratulate staff for their hard work. 15. Search for the top keywords in your industry. 16. Tweet or post best practices within your industry. 17. Google Alerts, RSS Feeds, Flickr (sometimes a picture is all the inspiration that you need!). 18. Retweet or link to a timely news article that will interest your followers. 19. Link to product reviews. 20. Tweet or post a well-received archived article or blog. Copyright SimplyCast 2013 #learntwitter 26
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