How to create connections on Twitter

Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Today, there are more than 300 million active users posting more than 1 billion tweets a day. Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has become one of the main social platforms to promote brand identity; it allows to reach a wide audience, directly interact with customers, promote offers and generally improve the overall perception of a business. Here are few -more- tips on how to start promoting your brand on Twitter.

Run your Business on Twitter

Twitter is a great platform to reach a bigger audience and therefore generate business awareness at basically no cost. People love buying into brand they share an emotional connection with and Twitter represents a great social media tool to encourage this bound between a brand and its buyers. In addition to how great Twitter is to generate a connection between a business and its followers, it could also become a great business aid. For instance, Twitter could be used as a platform where the customer service could take orders directly from their followers. This strategy would have a double advantage: create a big Twitter follower list and generate an easier and cheaper ordering service. You could even handle complains in a more direct and personal manner, address issues faster and show your customers that you truly care of them; for instance you could post an update on the account letting customers know that your company is currently handling the reported issue. Another tool, such as the direct message (DM) board, could be used to address single customers when they are reporting a fault in the product. Be on top of every issue, deal with them quickly and professionally. People do not mind issues, but they lose faith in a brand that is not concerned about their customer satisfaction.

Use Twitter for business promotion

Twitter is a great social media platform for Business promotion as it promotes call to actions among followers, such as entering a contest  or using a Twitter code to buy products at discounted rates. In the first case, you can encourage people to follow your brand by entering a contest when they re-tweet one of your tweets or by leaving a message such as “Why I love your brand”, followed by the hashtag of your company name. This approach has the advantage to promote brand awareness and potentially generate loyal customers. In the second instance you can offer a discount/special price to customers who enter a Twitter-related promotional codes during a short period of time. This strategy creates a sense of urgency which can help to boost sales at specific times. In both cases you encourage people to follow your brand, create a special connection and hopefully with time turn them into loyal buyers.

Use Twitter Search to find niche people

Twitter.com/search-advance is a great tool for finding people who have already mentioned you or your business on Twitter. It is indeed a good idea to add people in your circle who have already shown an appreciation to you or your business even if that was sometime ago. This tool is also great for finding people who might be interested in your business even if they have never used your brand before. How? The tool can help you to search for followers in your niche before they find you. A good way to get them interested into your brand would be to offer them the solution of a problem related to your brand niche. For instance, if you are selling custom made running shoes, you can start searching on Twitter for keywords such as “runner”, “running issues”, “running shoes” and start connecting to experienced runners who complain about never been able to find shoes that fit their feet and their running style. In short, where looking for new people to connect with, always start by tipping into a problem you can solve, do not simply (over-)promote without giving your audience a reason to follow you back.

Create Lists of Followers

Building a great Twitter account means that the number of followers could grow exponentially and include a wide variety of people such as customers, fans, business partners and so on. An easy way to organize our followers is to create Twitter Lists. Each list clarifies the identity of the followers included and helps you filter out unwanted noises. For instance, among 100 followers, you can decide to include only 10 as they represents your 10 most important clients or your most valued business partners. In order to create a Twitter list you need to click on your Twitter icon on the top right-hand corner of your page. Then, click on the icon and select “List” from the drop down menu. In the new page click on “Create List”, give it a name and a description. Finally, start adding people by typing their name or Twitter address.

Boost your brand on Twitter, one tweet at the time

Twitter has become one of the main social platforms to promote brand identity; it allows to reach a wide audience, directly interact with customers, promote offers and generally improve the overall perception of a business. Here are few tips on how to start promoting your brand on Twitter.

Set up your Twitter Profile

First, make sure that your Twitter profile represents who you are and your brand in the best possible way, in the first case create a personal account in the second case a business page. In the last instance, use your brand name as Twitter username (@yourbrandname). In case you have a specific individual dedicated to the Twitter account, use their name followed by @yourbrandname. This method gives a personal touch to your brand, giving the impression that behind your brand there are real people to whom they can directly interact. After choosing your Twitter icon which should be your brand logo in case you open up a business account, create a Bio that summarizes your brand identity in few key words. Your Bio is a chance to show off your potential followers your unique selling point (USP), your style should be professional but informal at the same time, a representation of the style of your business,  something to pique people’s interest, attract readers and be remembered by; it is a chance to differentiate yourself from thousands of others. Let’s say you are a web developer with a strong experience on JavaScript, a way to set yourself apart from thousands of other developers could be something like “Web developer, JavaScript is my first language, English my second”. In addition, you can use a physical feature or eclectic style to make yourself more visible, something like “SEO strategist, you will recognized me by my yellow bow tie”.  In this case, a Twitter icon of a yellow bow would be perfect as it is the item that distinguishes that SEO strategist from the rest of the crowd (again, something to be remembered by). However, independently from the photo chosen, try to use the same image among multiple platforms (in case your brand is promoted on different social media) so that people will recognize you and your brand everywhere. Finally, you can also add URLs or hashtags to your Bio to facilitate people from finding your profile; however, do not overuse them as people would read it more as an advertisement than a personal description. 

Connect

Twitter is a social platform based on micro-blogs of 140 characters. Good practice and general etiquette requires that each Tweet should be delivered in 140 characters as multiple tweets would be difficult to read among a busy feed. Therefore, deliver your message in 140 characters (or less) and eventually add images to make your Tweet more appealing. It is important that you do not overwhelm your followers with too many tweets, a good number is no more than 2-3 Tweets per hours (don’t spam!); it is much more efficient to spread few tweets throughout the day than delivering several tweets in few hours. In order to find out what’s the best time to tweet, you can monitor at what time your followers are the most active or at what time you get the highest number of re-tweets and replies. You can use Apps such as Bufferapp or Hootsuite to schedule tweets in a way that they get delivered at specific times (so you don’t have to waste time).

Do not be afraid to re-tweet old posts, or to deliver the same tweet using multiple entries to see which phrase catches the attention of your audience. Do not forget to balance your personal tweets with re-tweets, likes and replies; engage with your followers, offer help and suggestions. Among your peers select a few with whom you want to build a one-to-one relationships. To encourage the interaction show a real interest in their activity; re-tweet their tweets, leave comments, ask questions; in short promote everything that can generate a real conversations!

Show Twitter you (and your brand) are human

A good way to show that you care is to respond to your followers and show gratitude every time your name shows up in @mentions. You could even re-tweet it so that more people will know that your brand is loved! In case people leave a negative comment about you or your brand, be prompt to address the issue, to show that you care about your customers and want to solve any problem they might have. You could even use Twitter to communicate with your customers about having people looking into the issue or update them about the issue being resolved.

In case you receive a direct message (DM), answer it back and try to use it as a chance to build connections at a more personal level. There is also an option that allows you to “Receive direct messages from anyone” (and not just from your followers). Again, show appreciation by thanking your followers in different ways such as replying to their DM, by following them back  or adding one of their tweet to your Favorites…etc.

A little bit of marketing

When joining Twitter, you need to start interacting with the right crowd. Whatever your business, social media marketing would not make sense unless you are addressing the right people; for instance, if you are selling sport apparel, it would make no sense to have followers that are not interested in spending money for sport clothing. A good app to find followers in your niche is a website called Twellow, by finding like minded users in your area or in your line of business. Another cool  tool is the hashtag #justtweetit which allows Twitter users to discover what people are saying about them, or TweetDeck a personal browser for staying in touch with what’s happening on Twitter. You can also add Twitter widget to your website to encourage sharing or pin important tweets on your Twitter profile so that people will be reminded of something important of your brand/business when they visit your page.

Track Progresses

In order to know how effective your Twitter strategy is you can use several tools to make this task easier. First, you must have a Google Analytics page. For more information on how to do this visit my “Albums” page, I have posted several presentations on how to start on GA from scratch. To make life easier on Twitter, use mytoptweets to find which tweets among those that you have posted have been the most popular, so that you can focus on producing more tweets of that type. For instance, if people really liked a specific topic (such as Cheap Hotels in Paris) focus on making more tweets on that topic by adding more value each time (for instance, talk about new budget hotels, do not constantly talk about the same one). If you are not sure where or how to start when you join Twitter, use a tool such as tagboards to find the most tweeted tweets related to a specific topic/hashtag. Do not forget you can even create your own hashtag!