Digital Marketing Advice - How can my business best use Twitter?
Twitter is a platform for which we receive a huge amount of questions about when we run Social Media Marketing workshops. For some businesses it is an unknown entity, and for others it is time consuming and yields little or no results. Some are using this platform but have received a backlash about how it is being managed, from the general public. Whether your company falls into one of these situations or you have a different barrier to successful Twitter use, the platform can indeed be a tricky one to master.
So what simple things can you bear in mind when using Twitter from a business perspective ?
1 – Customer Service
The primary reason why people contact a company on Twitter is to complain - a quick 140 character rant about why your company has disappointed them as a consumer of your product or service. If you are not monitoring Twitter these tweets can fester and in the worst case they can go viral, so treat Twitter as any other form of customer service and respond as quickly as possible. The rule used to be 24 hours in Customer service, but with Twitter 1 hour is the longest you can really leave a tweet out there without a response.
There is also a positive side to the customer service element in that people will say nice things as well - whether it is a picture and post from a restaurant saying “@yourbrand just served me an excellent meal – Look at this picture” or “Speaking to @yourbrand on the phone today was painless – [employee name] was so nice it was wonderful”. These are things that can be retweeted, shared and used to promote your company for the positive responses from customers.
2 – Content Sharing & Conversations
Twitter is a great place to share content and comments on other people's content. Many experts will share blogs, articles and tit-bits of their own knowledge via Twitter – You may have even discovered this blog via Twitter.
The joy of sharing content online is that if it is of a high enough quality other people may re-share the content via retweets and favourites extending the reach of the original post.
You can also build some great content sharing relationships on Twitter with other companies, experts or even customers by having public conversations about certain topics relating to your company’s area of expertise. These conversations will once again raise exposure and show you are not just a programmed update machine but an active, contributing user on the platform.
3 – Bulletin Posts
There is nothing wrong, however, with keeping people in the loop with short, sharp and snappy bulletin posts along the lines of “This week we will be at [insert event here] come and join us” or “For one week only [insert special promo]".
You can even let people into the background of your company, celebrations of company anniversaries, staff achievements or some facts about your company as long as people would actually find them interesting. Twitter is, after all, a place where people come to be entertained and informed 140 Characters at a time.
4 – Use the people in your company as spokespeople
Real people can sometimes carry more weight than a company on Twitter so using your team as formal or informal spokespeople can be great. We would however, recommend a social media code of conduct. If an employee is a prolific personal tweeter, adding a “These views are my own and not that of my employer” may be worth it to prevent company embarrassment or the need for disciplinary action.
These real people can talk about the things they do in the company, personal projects and build online relationships with customers they speak to on a day to day basis as well as promoting and sharing company content.
It is easier to build a relationship with a person than a brand so always bear in mind the human element when creating a Twitter strategy.
5 – By not using it to “Market” yourself or your product
“Marketing” and “Advertising” on Twitter can sometimes be ill-received by the users. Large brands have sometimes received rather negative responses (especially with the Twitter Ads popping up in “targeted feeds”) No one really wants to be sold to on Twitter - as stated previously, people use the platform to be entertained and informed.
Look at Twitter as more of an inbound marketing exercise than outbound. Like fishing, you bait the hook and wait to see who bites. If your content is strong with links back to your website there should be plenty of opportunities to convert the lead into a customer once they are better acquainted with your business.
6 – By taking a step back and thinking “Does my company really have something to say here?”
One of the big mistakes that can be made by companies is jumping on the bandwagon with a popular #Hashtag to gain further exposure even if the company has no real relevance to the topic.
Recently Comedian John Oliver used his satirical news show as a chance to warn corporations away from hashtags (find a great article and link to the video here) where he made some valid points and shared some NSFW examples of companies jumping on a hashtag inappropriately. Our advice would be quiet simple - if the hashtag does not directly relate to your company or something your company would have a valid opinion on please avoid, it’s just not worth it.
Also if you create a hashtag, always get someone to double check it before you go live or else this could happen….
If you’d like to amuse yourself whilst learning about more Hashtag fails there is a great article from thesempost.com with some truly terrible Twitter choices on display.
So there you have some simple non-technical tips to bear in mind when using Twitter for your business.
If you would like to develop your digital knowledge looking at topics from Social Media to SEO then you may want to look at the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing. You can download a Digital Marketing Prospectus or contact Professional Academy for some advice on the right course for you at any time.