It was Twitter's birthday last week, and if the past eight years has showed anything, it's that something as little as 140 characters has massive potential for users everywhere. As such, Twitter marketing has become an art form. So much so that social media experts and "gurus" have created blogs, books, videos and all types of how-to guides to help businesses achieve Twitter marketing success.
Although many of these Twitter marketing guides offer solid advice, many also seem to offer the same types of information. Such generic, one-size-fits-all approaches won't always work for small businesses. Instead, we've gathered the following Twitter marketing success tips and how they work in the real world.
Ron Robinson, founder of BeautyStat (@beautystat), a beauty products comparison and shopping website, told Business News Daily about his success running Twitter marketing campaigns. "BeautyStat enables consumers to comparison shop their favorite beauty products," Robinson said. "But our business-to-business (B2B) revenue comes from creating content marketing that creates a consumer path to purchase." [Twitter Marketing Success Stories]
One such marketing campaign involved a partnership with Procter & Gamble's Secret antiperspirant brand. The objective was to create engagement and buzz that drove consumers both online and in-store to purchase Secret, Robinson said. "The campaign was super-successful and we even trended on Twitter," he said. "The brand was thrilled."
How did BeautyStat do it? It basically boils down to being strategic and having a plan. To elaborate, Robinson shared the following tips that helped fuel BeautyStat and Secret's Twitter marketing success.
- Set objectives. Decide what you're looking to get out of the campaign. In our case, we wanted to grow awareness, increase share of voice and to trend.
- Choose a meaningful topic. We picked a topic that was relevant and meaningful to our followers, as well as being consistent with our brand positioning. For this campaign, we chatted about how effective the Secret antiperspirant is and provided great beauty tips.
- Pick a compelling hashtag. Pick one that is short, catchy and relevant to your brand and/or topic.
- Combine forces. We recruited a couple of other influential Twitter accounts — who also had followers that were interested in beauty — to partner with us on this campaign. We have more than 80,000 Twitter followers alone and we partnered with two other brands. Combined, we had a Twitter following of more than 250,000.
- Divide and conquer. When combining forces with other Twitter accounts, we decided in advance how our partners would keep the engagement going, such as by retweeting and answering questions tweeted by followers.
- Incentivize. We also did a giveaway/contest to incentivize followers to engage and contribute.
Like BeautyStat, many other businesses are finding success with Twitter marketing every day. We asked other businesses about their secrets to Twitter marketing and this is what they had to say.
1. Alerts are your friends.
In my social media marketing efforts, I have found that programs like Mention.net is great for finding leads. Mention.net is an alternative to Google Alerts that allows you to track terms within your business or industry as well as collect leads. For example, I set an alert for repricing software and find real-time tweets of people looking for one. From there I can reach out to them directly on Twitter and tell them about our offerings. — Izabella De Souza, marketing coordinator, Appeagle (@appeagle)
2. Twitter chats get you noticed.
Hop in on a tweet chat — especially if it's a chat that's within your industry — and offer up short, savvy replies to questions asked using the event-specified hashtag. Many Twitter accounts that host these chats will retweet your response on their own feed and the larger the following for the outlet, the better chance you have of getting your small business noticed by a whole new audience and, in many cases, followed. — Heather Taylor, social media manager, MyCorporation.com (@MyCorporation)
3. It's a team/company effort.
Imagine needing to focus global forces — employees, influencers, partners, and multiple agencies — on a single target: blasting your new brand out into the socialsphere. That's the challenge our client Siemens Enterprise Communications faced when they asked us to make them a social star, with only six weeks before a global rebrand launch as Unify. We dove in and guided global social practices for employees and partners; coached partner agencies on best practices; interacted with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter staff; and went hands-to-the-keyboards to catalyze global engagement for both Unify and its key thought leaders. Results? A double trending topic that raised our two hashtags #HarmonizeNow and #UnifyNow to the very top of Twitter conversations — eclipsing even the Federal #2014Budget hashtag. — Heather Kernahan, general manager and senior vice president, Eastwick Communications (@eastwickcom)
4. Geolocation is the gift that keeps on giving
Always make sure geolocation is turned on, especially if you're a local business. You can use search features to find Twitter users that are local to your business and engage with them. It's social media, so be social. Find out who the top twitter users in your area are and reach out to them. And if you can get local power users to engage with you, this can be very powerful to help grow your follower base. — Michael Streko, co-founder, KnowEm LLC (@KnowEm)
5. Saved searches save you time
Use saved searches regularly and bring your brand data to the table. For example, if you operate a whiskey brand that's popular among a Texas country fan-base, then save a search for mentions of popular Texas country artists. Each time somebody tweets something along the lines of a concert they're attending for one of these artists, you can make it a habit to tweet back to them that you're excited about it too, or better yet, that you might see them there. Coming from a brand, this can build some major loyalty. Consumers like to know that brands have personalities that are aligned with them, and this practice is a very simple way to illustrate to your target audience that you're very much alike. It's also a great way to introduce your brand for a very first-time, and a highly cost-effective method at winning exposure. — Sara S. Helmy, chief executive officer, Tribu Advertising (@WeAreTribu)
6. Current customers need love, too
We are a new small business focused on building custom, high quality, sustainable bamboo skateboards for kids age 5-10. We've just introduced #tweetmyride. When our customers order a skateboard, we offer to tweet them photos of their custom skateboard as we build it. Since we build a lot of boards with colorful grip tape and wheels, these can be pretty fun and special for kids and family to see. So far the program has been a great hit for us. We are creating tangible engagement with our customer base like never before. Our photos get retweeted and we've gotten a couple great replies including photos of the kids' reactions to seeing their boards built! We are tiny and just a blip on the radar, but I can't tell you how excited we are to feel like we've actually found a novel way leverage Twitter to engage meaningfully with our customers. — Bryan Tracey, president, SkateXS (@SkateXS)
7. Stay organized, stay inspired
One of the best ways to use Twitter that many people don’t seem to take advantage of is to keep track of the things you favorite and use those things as inspiration for future content. A great way to do this is through IFTTT and bringing your favorited or retweeted tweets to Evernote or a Google Drive spreadsheet. Then you can write blog posts and create other content drawing inspiration from those tweets. It's always great to quote or credit the inspiration as well and that can lead to a new start of a relationship between the brand and influencer. — Kamila Gornia, social media and content marketing strategist, KamilaGornia.com (@xokammie)
8. Create a human connection
I recognize my target users' goals and work through how I name the twitter lists to which I add them. For instance, if you make a Twitter list for small business owners, instead of naming it "Small Business Owners," name it "Small Business Owners with Big Plans." If your target is nonprofit groups, add them to a list called "Those making a big difference in the world." I've had more people and brands follow me back after adding them to these lists, and they always tweet a sincere, heartfelt thanks for adding them to such a special list. Remember: in social media, human connection goes a long way, and people want to be recognized. — Jess Harris, founder, Social Sniff (@SocialSniff)