UPDATE: If you have seen my Twitterin’ about Twitter 4Sight I talked about Statusbrew If you follow this link you will get 20% off their normal price. Not just for one month, but forever! It’s an awesome piece of software so don’t miss out!
The other awesome service I spoke about was Socialoomph – follow this link
(Socialoomph allows you to have a fortnightly subscription which is easier for budgeting)
I meet a lot of people in my professional life who say they do not use or do not understand Twitter. Worse still I have spoken to people who think that Twitter is dead. I am pretty certain nothing could be further from the truth. There is just under a billion Twitter users and may 250 million of those are active.
Many think Twitter is just for the self promotion and fans of Celebrities,The media, Rockstars, Executives, Influencers, Well-known authors, Politicians, World leaders and Big corporations
There are many advantages to using Twitter for small business.
- It brings you closer to your customers
- It allows you to spy on your competitors
- By the same token it allows you to keep up to date with what is going on in your industry
- Drive traffic to you blog/web pages (especially if you are informing, not selling)
- Allows you to distribute your content
- Network with other businesses. Some may say LinkedIn is a more appropriate medium, but LinkedIn is underused
- Communicate your brand
- Help your SEO with backlinks
- Reach a bigger audience
- Increase authority and position yourself as an expert
So, you log onto Twitter.com and create your account. Then what? As with all marketing you cannot metaphorically sit there aggressively waiting for the phone to ring. You have to network. We can also take advantage of an unwritten rule, which is when someone follows you, you follow them back. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens often enough for us to build an audience.
Who to follow
Firstly, identify your customers and their habits. I’ll use my own example here. I promote a matched betting service where people can make money by betting on sports events. My market is people who are already involved in betting to some degree. It is easier for me to get them to listen to my message. The next steps are quite straightforward….
Open a Twitter account specifically for my matched betting activities. After all, I don’t want a confusing message.
Next find someone that my potential customers are likely to follow. In this example it might be @betfred with 104,000 followers at the time of writing.
Following Betfred’s followers. Now we could do this manually but that it hard work. We need a facility that will do it for us. There are lots around and I have used quite a few, but the one that works best for me is Statusbrew.com. This will allow you to connect up to your Twitter account and load up all the followers of a specific Twitter account. You can then filter out the people you don’t want. In my example I only want to follow people who live in the UK (London Timezone). I don’t really want to waste time following people who have not logged in for the past 15 days. The best chance of my posts being seen are if my targets are actually logged in. I can then quickly follow the remainder.Twitter will only allow you to follow up to 1000 people a day, to a maximum of 5000. Thereafter you can only follow the number of people who are following you +10%. As not everyone follows you back, after 7 days or so you will run out of space. Again Statusbrew gives us a tool to deal with this. If someone hasn’t followed you back within 7-10 days then the odds are they never will. Statusbrew will allow us to list everyone who is not following back and apply a filter for everyone we have been following for more than 7 days. We can then quickly unfollow everyone who remains on the list, giving us perpetual space to follow more accounts.
Now we need to start Tweeting. And Tweeting A LOT! Eventually about 10 times an hour at least. Again we are not going to do this manually. Some larger businesses use Hootsuite but there are quite a few web based services that will post for you. I know a few people use Social Jukebox, but the free version doesn’t really do enough for me, and the paid for version is relatively poor value. It will however put inspirational posts up for you if you have nothing else to say. I think these are pretty much a waste of time. The service I use is Socialoomph – it is way more flexible and I find it easier to use. You basically creates ‘queues’ of posts that are posted according to your schedule. You can even get it to randomise the length between posts. Obviously you need to find a hundred ways of saying the same thing, so don’t post every 5 minutes if you only have a queue of 10.
The most important thing to do is test, measure and improve. Throw out the posts that underperform. This step is the one that most people leave out and ultimately it has been shown that that will decrease your number of leads by 500% after 6 months. Test and measure and use what works.