How to WIN on Twitter in 2015 and beyond – the pull no punches edition

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    This isn’t going to be another airy-fairy blog post telling you politely what your business should be doing on Twitter. In this blog post, I will be telling you what you need to do on Twitter… to WIN, not to win in 2010, to win in 2015 and beyond.

    I’ve read a lot of comments recently on forums and on social media itself saying “Twitter hasn’t done anything for my business.” Well, you’re probably not using it correctly then. Nothing will work if you’re not using it right. How’s your vacuum cleaner supposed to work if it isn’t plugged in?

    Here’s how to get it to work:

    80/20 or 95/5

    You shouldn’t be overly promotional on Twitter. That much is agreed. There is an unwritten rule that you should be 80% topical industry news and 20% promotional (e.g. plugging your own site). But, is even that too much? There’s no doubt that driving sales in your product or service is important and is ultimately why your business should engage in social media. However, plugging your product 24/7 or even 20% of the time is not going to engage or retain followers and it will not sell your proposition. For smaller businesses, this maybe especially true. As a small business, you must establish a content strategy that involves thought provoking pieces and insight. This is your social media meat, the reason why people will continue to follow you. This social media meat enables you to add in your promotional content, without fear of coming across as sell, sell, sell.

    One great way of promoting your proposition without ramming it down people’s throats is through the use of carefully placed Twitter Website Cards.

    These can be far more effective and can become the focal point of your Twitter home feed. As Twitter elegantly puts it: Website Cards showcase your website content within a Tweet to get users more interested in your business. Basically, they are more attractive and visually more enticing then a run of the mill tweet and include a nice call to action, which you can tailor based on your desired response from the recipient. Here’s an example for an upcoming workshop we’re involved in:

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    You can also setup a similar card, called a lead gen card. This will grab a user’s email address and store it in Twitter. You can then download these contacts or integrate them directly with your CRM. This is ideal for getting people to sign up to a newsletter without having to fill in a form, or having to migrate away from Twitter – which Twitter users don’t like to do!

    Use marketing automation right

    The best way to get the most out of your marketing, not just social media, is through the use of a marketing automation system. Marketing automation is at a point where it is not an either or scenario. If you want to take your business to the next level, you need one. SharpSpring, Marketo, HubSpot… there are a number out there. The benefit? It links all your marketing channels together and that includes social media. It will tell you if a prospect is active on Twitter, and will tell you if they are a lead worth chasing up. Why chase a list of contacts who you have no idea for sure whether they are interested in what you have to offer?

    Put yourself in the mixer

    Do you want to attract businesses in a certain sector? Then talk about that sector. Put yourself in the conversation. For example, if you’re a P2P business lender and one of the key sectors looking for finance is manufacturing, then talk about manufacturing. Share online content about the manufacturing sector, including stats and topical pieces, even if the content hasn’t been produced by your business.

    Spend time identifying hashtags that people actually use

    Oh! hashtag this, hashtag that… hashtag my a***! Hashtags are great if other people are using them, or they serve an overall purpose of putting your tweet into context. Other than that, you shouldn’t be using them. People like to hashtag every other word! Why? It makes your tweet look like the boot up screen of an Apple 1. Identify the correct hashtags for each tweet and your tweet will travel that much further.

    Set up other Twitter accounts

    You want to engage with a certain sector – so how about setting up a separate twitter account. For example, if you wish to be noticed and attract customers in the construction industry, why not setup a Twitter account dedicated to construction. You could have a page which shares articles on the latest construction news, whilst complementing it with your own content, increasing the reach and attracting the desired audience.

    Stay patient

    It is possible to get tweets to go viral, but in most cases using Twitter and making a success of it, requires you to stay the course and play the long game. If you remain regimented to what’s been outlined above, then Twitter will prove a valuable asset to your marketing mix, and it will drive business… you will WIN.

    If you need help with Twitter or any elements mentioned in this blog post – please get in touch.

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