According to a recent study, conducted by Twitter, 43% of people will buy from the SMBs they follow on Twitter, and 60% have already made a purchase based on something they’ve read on Twitter about the given product or service.
Twitter has surely picked up lately. It now has more than 302 million active users and hosts almost 500 million tweets every day.
Recently, Twitter has introduced a number of advertising and targeting solutions for brands and businesses (e.g. 1, 2, 3). As a matter of fact the organic reach on Twitter is much higher than that on Facebook. Businesses tweeting two or three times a day can reach up to 30% of their followers, while the same posting activity on Facebook will result in the measly 3% – 4% audience reach.
Bellow you can see a screenshot of the Twitter profile of a Manchester based restaurant called Australasia.
As you can see, they have more than 21k followers (and a quick look at their followers profile confirms that the followers are real people). Now, simply by tweeting just once or twice a day, they will manage to reach around 6000 people of their target market FOR FREE.
Even better, they can receive and re-share real-life testimonials and endorsements posted by their customers.
What is more, they can promote their products and services without even a hint of a forced pitch.
It’s important not only to maintain an active presence on Twitter, but to build a wide pool of followers, especially when your target market consists of millennial or tech savvy people.
Here’s how to get your target audience to follow you on Twitter.
1. Setting up the account:
Creating a Twitter profile for your business is the same as creating an individual account. The only difference is that you should use your business or brand name as a user name and your logo as a profile picture.
In the header image, you can highlight your main products or services, or share some of your strong points or achievements.
Next, describe your business, products, or services in the bio section. Keep it simple and brief: you have to fit in the 160 character limit.
Add a link to your website and you are good to go.
Don’t forget to link to your Twitter profile from your website. Add a referring link in your email signatures or online author profiles as well.
You can also drop a link to your Twitter profile on your “Contact Us” and“ Customer Support” page, but only if you can ensure quick response time.
2. Posting Strategy
Uberfacts, for instance, have more than 10.8 million followers and more than $500,000 earnings in ads. And what is their engagement strategy? They simply tweet random, interesting facts.
Look at the number of re-tweets and favorites they get.
You think this strategy is too hard to be copied by small businesses?
Then what about the following tweets by a NY dentist?
The tweets are quite interesting and relevant. No wonder Michael Sinkin has more than 6000 followers, pretty impressive, right?
Your first goal should be to become the source of relevant and interesting information by offering expert advice and tips every once in a while.
It won’t hurt if you are sharing links to your blog posts or one of your products now and then, but spare your followers from a stream of 24/7 promotional tweets.
Try to tweet at least once or twice a day, to maximize your organic reach. Use photos in your Tweets because they significantly improve your chances of getting replies and retweets.
3. Engage Others:
One of the best ways to promote your business on social medias is to get the influencers in your niche to talk about you. Influencers are people with a lot of followers and a knack of producing interesting, share-worthy content.
Once you’ve identified these users, you can offer them freebies or you can simply try to engage them in a conversation. You can also use re-tweets to get in their good books.
Make sure that you are responding to users who share your content or mention your business. Here’s a great tool that allows you to track such Tweets.
4. Maintain a casual but positive tone:
“Smile and the world smiles with you, frown and you frown alone. “
People are always more attracted to cheerful and optimistic people; this stands true in the world of Twitter as well. It’s very important for businesses to maintain a positive and uplifting tone in their online communication.
Try to be a good sport and you will make more friends than if you are trying to be the most intelligent block out there.
5. Try to Get into Twitter’s Suggestions
It sounds a little absurd but following more people can actually result in more followers, and there’s some science behind it. When you are following more people, Twitter will start showing you in “You might also want to follow” suggestions. So focus on attracting more followers in order to enjoy greater online exposure via the Twitter suggestions functionality.
That’s not the only way though, Twitter also makes suggestions based on your location.
Similarly, once you’ve got some followers, their friends will start seeing your profile in “users to follow” suggestions. To speed up the process you can prefer to also use paid advertising and thus further promote your account.
6. Be an authority on the subject
“If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts.” – William Deresiewicz
Nothing attracts followers more than thought leaders or people who are considered an authority on the subject.
Keep an eye on all relevant events or seminars in your industry. If you can get in the panel of speakers, you could start building authority. If there’s no suitable event, you can go ahead and organize one (it’s actually quite doable, especially if you can get some partners or sponsors on board).
Invite local bloggers or other influencers to your event and you will get instant recognition.
If you are an online business, you can use webinars, relevant forums (as a member), or blogs (as a guest contributor) to share your thoughts. Soon, people will start seeing and following you as a true expert.
7. Entice them:
Nothing catches the customer’s attention more than a special discount.
Offer giveaways or special discounts to customers who are following you on Twitter.
Even if you offer only a small discount or a freebie to get your target customers to follow you, it’s worth the investment, because Twitter followers tend to engage with your content much better than newsletter subscribers.
8. Use Tweetable Quotes:
The ideal scenario for SMBs would be for their users to massively share their content with each other. This seems to be a difficult task, yet it is easily achievable, especially on Twitter, thanks to the ‘Tweetable Quotes’.
The tweetable quotes are all the rage these days, the idea is to provide your target audience with a smart or interesting quote that they can tweet by just clicking on a ‘tweet it’ button.
This post at HubSpot makes for a perfect example: it lists inspiring quotes presented in Tweetable form. The post was retweeted 847 times, which is great for a post that’s a mere compilation of quotes.
Remember … Twitter is not a place to blow your own horn. The idea is to connect with your target audience, and to try to cultivate relationships. If you manage to do that, the sales will follow naturally.