Twitter has become not only a popular way to stay in touch with friends, but a way for businesses to create fans and nurture relationships.
One way to make Twitter work for you is to create a strategy.
You certainly can jump on Twitter and talk about everything under the sun; but it’s better to know what you want to promote first, and then create a plan around that.
For instance, say you have a conference in a September. On Twitter, you can start to ask for volunteers and promote the event by sharing developments. This creates excitement and anticipation, plus can draw in new followers who will also retweet your updates to their followers.
Here are a few other ideas:
Get the staff involved
If you have one Twitter account (@GreatCompany), you could ask some of your staff to create accounts that would feature their first name and then the name of your golf course. Such as “@Jon_GreatCompany.” Another way to handle multiple users in a business is to allow several people access to the account and ask that they type their initials after an update. So Jon could update the @GreatCompany account and after his tweet, type ^JS.
Keep track of any mentions you receive on Twitter
It’s polite to thank people for their retweets since it creates a sense of goodwill. You also want to track questions. You can save the URL of the tweet by going to the bottom right of the Twitter home page, click “More” and you’ll have a choice to either embed or email the tweet. This comes in handy when you need to forward a tweet to someone in an email for follow-up.
Follow other industry accounts
Find the thought leaders in your industry and follow them. Many times, you’ll learn of breaking news on Twitter before it hits your email inbox through a PR agency.
Also, if you follow media people in your industry and occasionally send them a tweet about a new offering (such as a webinar or new white paper), there is the chance they’ll look into it. This could lead to a story or being interviewed as a source for one. Make sure you send links in your tweet. You can use the Twitter URL shortener or a service such as www.bit.ly to both shorten your link and track it.
Engage as much as possible
Scan through the hashtags search feature on Twitter to see if there are others you can follow and share information with. You may find some interesting websites you didn’t know about before that could become a partner with you in your promotion.
Engagement has become more important with social media. When I look at a company’s Twitter account and just see a steady stream of one-way announcements and promotional tweets, I know that company doesn’t understand engagement.
Conversations are very short on Twitter. But it doesn’t take that much time to respond to someone responding to you (it is only 140 characters, after all). Look for ways to join a conversation or contribute your thoughts on a particular issue. Your company will look much more interesting as a result. The more you respond to people, the more you’ll receive direct questions and comments. This gives you more opportunities to show that you’re a company that cares about connecting with people.
Developing relationships takes time, but Twitter is a great place to start them. Once you start connecting with people on Twitter, don’t be surprised to find a whole new world opening up. Someone may decide that your conference is the perfect one for his company’s training budget or another person may decide to reach out to you when they’re in the market for your product or service.
Twitter is fun and yes, can be addictive! But once you have a strategy in place for promoting your business, it could also end up becoming one of your favorite promotional vehicles.