So here it is: Twitter. It’s everywhere being hyped as the next great thing, but what can it do for your business?
Like any emerging technology the uses are somewhat open ended and there are still many questions.
A few things are absolutely certain:
- Twitter offers you an opportunity to engage a large number of people who are comfortable online. Which means they will either purchase online or talk a lot online.
- Twitter is growing dramatically. How long that growth will last is up for debate but the reality is that it is here now and barriers to entry are very low. It’s free and only requires and strategy which is embracing.
- Twitter can benefit your company through customer service, product promotion, marketing and PR just to name a few.
I’ve put this guide together to get you started on your Twitter campaign and strategy. It is our hope that you find this guide useful. Please forward this to your friends, colleagues and relatives!
Also I'm looking forward to your comments, additions, thoughts, and general input on any of this.
50 TWITTER TIPS FOR CONVERSION
- Engage your followers. Simply throwing promotional offers at people will only add to the white noise on Twitter and you will not stand out. Send @ replies, help out, discuss and be real.
- Reference your site frequently. You don't even need to always reference your newest content, reference your most useful content. With the stream of messages on Twitter. There is nothing wrong with referencing.
- Create a custom Twitter landing page and direct users there. Use the KISS approach, one offer specifically for Twitter users, you'll notice a huge difference.
- Do not be afraid to unfollow people who are adding to your white noise. Like any list you want to target your audience, some affiliate marketers out there will only Tweet offers and junk. Lose them.
- ReTweet valuable tweets from your followers. This is a huge thing and extremely complementary. I find on my lists that there are about 5% if the users that I ReTweet multiple times. Is that a new rule 95/5? 95% of your ReTweets come from 5% of your users.
- Ask your users questions. There are two ways to do it. Informally by simply throwing it out there and asking for a response. Formally by using TwtPoll, which will track responses. Either way ask engaging questions of your users, something that will incite debate and opinion.
- Exclusive offers. When I say exclusive I mean exclusive, don't just regurgitate another offer, make it exclusive and time limited to Twitter users otherwise you risk being in the "white noise" category.
- Incentives for followers. We effectively use $50 Cash Cards for the nth Twitter follower for doing nothing more than simply following. We do it every thousand followers but pick your metric and follow-up on it.
- Monitor Twitter Search. You would be amazed at how many active discussions you can miss if you don't watch the buzz. Get in there!
- Join Twitter Business Directories. Two good examples are WeFollow.com and Twellow.com, add yourself to relevant categories and search out potential leads on a regular basis.
- Engage a key individual in the Twitter dialog. A good strategy is joining your CEO's profile to your corporate profile. Not only will you gain a wider following, you'll have the ability to channel directly to your "go to guy (or girl)".
- Follow PR and News Sources. You'll create a direct dialog to the people who can get your message out there.
- Engage Anger. If you're a business there is likely someone ready get annoyed with you. Don't shy away from them, embrace and communicate them, you may have your next great advocate out there screaming good things about you.
- Live Updates from Events or Conferences. This will create buzz and excitement from your user base. No one cares if "it's a hot day here in Glendale Arizona" but they might care about "The boss just gave a great tip on our newest product release".
- Follow people. Alot. I can't stress this enough. Some people think it is a badge of honor to have significantly more people following you than you follow. Not true. What you are really saying is I want a one way conversation, not very social at all.
- Figure out "Social Engagement". How do you engage social media? You be social and engage. Why many people don't understand this I will never know.
- Twitter about your competition. Why not? Even link to them, if you are confident in your product then you have an opportunity to show the world you have the superior product.
- Complement your competition. When your competitors do something right then do not shy away from it. Give them a shout out. It shows strength and confidence.
- Send useful links which may not be directly related to your business. It could be a news event or something you found useful. People appreciate tips and advice.
- Create a custom background for your Twitter page with your contact information. You would be amazed at how many people will reach out to you directly. Check out the Honeypot Marketing Twitter page, nothing fancy but it works.
- Add your Twitter profile to your email signature. Sounds basic enough but emails get passed around quite a bit.
- Add TwitterCounter and Twitter badges to your site. Not rocket science but highly effective. Internet marketing is a two way street, go both ways.
- Engage in polarizing discussion. Is @oprah adding nothing of value? Tell her, it will polarize but it will get you engaged.
- Auto Follow people who follow you. I use Tweetlater.com to automate this process but it is (to me) a common courtesy and I just think it works well, saves a ton of time too. You can purge lists once a month or so to keep your list up to date.
- Provide customer support. Whatever you do or sell, people will have a problem. Utilizing Twitter as a rapid response tool is incredibly effective and generally people only need a minor tip to get on track.
- Create a daily digest of your tweets for your blog. This not only incites the search engines into ranking you quickly (more customers!) but it provides a history and a sense that your company has fully engaged the community. That's a good thing right?
- Twitter your knowledge. No matter who you are and what you know, your background and experience will help those and could position you as a thought leader. Cheesy term but true. You'll become an expert and people will respect that and as such respect your company.
- Stay on Target. You want to communicate with people and lead them to and end goal. Never lose sight of that. Sketch out your conversion path (whatever it might be) and make sure you are achieving that goal. You will be surprised at how quickly results will happen.
- Don't necessarily try to sell "stuff". Selling "things" may or may not work for you on Twitter. Be realistic about your end goal, branding, customer service, lead generation. Generally using Twitter as a conduit makes it a great lead generator, not a closer.
- Talk about how your product helped a customer. If they are on Twitter ask them to participate in the dialog and back you up. Bringing it full circle will provide you incredible benefits.
- Create a Twitter Interview. I refuse to engage in the mangling of the English language for the purposes of branding Twitter. Some people call them Twinterviews - horrible. Set up a series of 10-15 questions and ask the your interviewee to @ reply them. You can even ask your followers to DM you specific open questions. Works like a charm.
- Ask people to ReTweet but not everyday. Asking people to ReTweet directly on occasion will indicate that this is an important message. With a good following you'll get help.
- Don't be afraid to go offline. Sometimes you can't engage completely on Twitter so take it to phone, email or face to face (if possible). Only so much can be communicated in 140 characters.
- Ask your followers what they think of your offers. It's a form of Direct Market Research. Example: "Would you rather get 20% off or a free movie pass for two? Let us know!".
- Use TwitPic. Post pictures of your events, office, people in your office. Be human! No likes a marketing driod Twitter profile. You can *really* connect with people by being just like everyone else.
- Tweet company events. Did Joy in Accounting just have her first child? Tell everyone about it and how happy you all are for her. Unless of course your company is a sweatshop, which I highly doubt it is.
- Tweet the success of your customers. If you are B2B Congratulate your clients on a successful promo or campaign. Spread the love.
- Don't insult people. Unless this your personal account and you'll do whatever you want then fine. But never insult a client or competitor, you'll look bad for ages and you can damage your own future reputation. Trust me there can be an idiot factor on Twitter and it can be difficult sometimes. I know I've lashed out a few times on my personal account. Oopsie.
- Conduct Website Testing. If you have a new promo or landing page ask your users which they like better. You are after all trying to appeal to them are you not?
- Define your objectives. I have alluded to it earlier but make sure everyone in your company understands what you are trying to do. Maybe directly selling your product won't be successful but selling your service will be.
- Test, test, test. Twitter is an emerging technology; to be honest no one quite knows what to do with it just yet. That makes testing your message and conversion flow critical.
- Don't be afraid to change course. Things change and you should change with them, if you found a sweet spot for communication or sales try to move in that direction without being scared to do so.
- Automate your blog and Twitter accounts in both directions. We love WordPress so it's a no brainer for us. Every post gets an automatic tweet which will drive your customers to you. Simple.
- Integrate Twitter into your online strategy. We are huge proponents of integrated marketing. That includes Traditional and Emerging Marketing with the same message. Tip: when going online don't change the message just go a bit more grass roots style.
- Tell people who exactly is Tweeting. You may have a corporate profile like http://twitter.com/honeypot_mkting but start out by saying "Morning All, @dannomatic is here this morning". People like to know who you are and will be far more willing to engage you.
- Create a corporate Twitter Meetup. Admittedly this is a bit nerdy but it doesn't have to be. Have an open house meeting to invite your Twitter followers to the office, then Tweet about it. Buzz is amazing.
- Create time limited promotions and update it on Twitter. Real and effective time limited promotions could include giving out a free whitepaper or case study for a limited time. Link via DM to a PDF but only keep access open for a few hours. When it's over redirect the link to a thank you and registration for email download. Then you'll capture the traffic, which is bound to happen after time has expired.
- Create a Twitter only contest. Be creative but run it exclusively on Twitter and give away your product as prizing. It doesn't need to be fancy, just fun.
- Create a tone of helpful information. Example: "Did you know that the Magic Bullet can slice and dice? Check out the top features here..." and link to a blog post or information sheet - product knowledge is important and leads to the conversion or sale.
- Deep link people into your website and blog. You've likely invested heavily in that glitzy shiny website. Point out useful company information, employee profiles, product information, review, and news. It surprises us to see Twitter being used to link to one page on a website. Deep linking encourages people to dig deep into your site, increasing the opportunity for the conversion.