Marketers everywhere are discovering the value of Twitter for sharing content and insights with customers and prospects and creating top-of-mind awareness.
I used to be skeptical of Twitter but I’ve become convinced of its marketing power. As I approach my 1,000th tweet on Twitter as @jeangianfagna, here are 21 tips I’ve learned for using Twitter in a smart marketing strategy:
- Write a great company description. You have 160 characters to describe yourself. Use them all to say something interesting and show how you benefit your customers.
- Aim for the briefest copy in your tweets, ideally 115 characters or less, so that if your content is retweeted, your identity (RT: @companyname) will be preserved along with the full text of the original tweet.
- Use your company logo as your profile visual.
- Create a custom background for your Twitter page that reflects your brand, states your key value proposition, and lists your website and social media addresses.
- Avoid self-promotion. Helpful information about using your products is valuable; a sales pitch is a turnoff.
- Curate content. Find and share information from other sources – the news media, bloggers, and other social media participants – that your followers will find valuable and interesting.
- Include links to content in the majority of your tweets and use a URL shortener like bitly.com to reduce the number of characters required for a link.
- Add your point of view to content you share from others. Tell your followers why they should read what you’ve just posted or visit a link.
- Be active but don’t overdo it. I recommend posting tweets at least three to four times daily, but also being careful not to over-post. Keep tabs on the volume of tweets in your industry to gauge how much is too much.
- Welcome new followers. You can set up an automated welcome message, though a personal message is more effective. Suggest a visit to your website, blog, or Facebook page in your welcome message.
- Thank those who retweet your posts or mention you via a direct message or tweet.
- Follow-back people who follow your company if they have a clear interest in your industry and are posting on related topics.
- Follow reporters in the news media who cover your industry.
- Follow your competitors.
- Check who’s following your competitors. Review their profiles and follow key tweeters; many will automatically follow you back. Retweet their content if it’s interesting.
- Create lists of people and organizations you’re following on Twitter. Tweet your lists to show people who influences you.
- Use a Twitter management tool like HootSuite or TweetDeck to manage tweeting and to time your tweets for delivery on weekends and in multiple time zones.
- Use and follow hashtags (#) related to your industry to flag your posts for followers of these topics and see who’s posting information on topics that interest you.
- Use conference hashtags to send tweets from conferences and trade shows you attend.
- Use the #FF (#FollowFriday) hashtag on Fridays to tell your followers about tweeters you recommend.
- Have a plan and a process in place to respond quickly to negative tweets about your company.
Final Tip: Take Twitter Seriously
As a marketing consultant who develops marketing strategies, I believe it’s time for every marketer to take Twitter seriously. I’m encouraging my clients — even business-to-business (B2B) marketers — to view Twitter as an effective way to share information, connect directly with prospects and customers, and spot trends.
My final tip: Get on the Twitter bandwagon. Start by following your industry, then join the conversation. I think you’ll soon see why Twitter should be part of your smart marketing strategy.