When most business owners think about the benefits of social media, some will be unsure, others will be convinced that it’s not for them and the rest will tell you that social media is important in order to be connected to customers. They aren’t wrong, but Twitter alone can offer so much more than just that. Twitter is a great place to start when it comes to getting your feet wet in regards to social media due to its relative simplicity and small character limit and fairly easy to use interface and concept.
In this article I want to explain some of the frequently overlooked benefits of the social network when it comes to gaining new customers.
Increase Clickthrough Rates
Creating what some refer to as a ‘clickable tweet’ is an important factor when it comes to gaining leads via Twitter. The most important ‘click’ can be thought of as the URL posted within the tweet although other important ‘clicks’ are:
• clicking ‘follow’
• clicking on your display image
• adding tweets to favourites
• expanding the tweet
The above are some of the common interactions but pretty much anything that could be considered as interacting with the tweet is still important.
There’s somewhat of a knock-on effect by gaining more clicks and interactions – The more people that read your article, the higher the chance of it being shared. Assuming that Google uses these factors as a ranking signal, this will end up helping with your overall SEO.
Make those 140 characters count
You need to really think about how to best make use of the character limit on Twitter, you need to create a ‘headline’ that stands out and really draws people in. Ultimately you are looking to drive traffic to your website so the tweets you post and how to best capture people’s attention needs to be well thought out. If you aren’t sure how to best utilise this space, think about the following:
• Consider asking important questions that gain the curiosity of others. Alternatively, use exclamation marks to really emphasis important news, again, making others interested and curious which increases the changes of them visiting your links / website.
• Be careful with capitalisation of words, this can turn some users off and seem too much like spam rather than anything that is interesting.
• Make use of the 140 character limit to help your audience by providing solutions to their problems – don’t just post about your successes, set out to assist and show your worth.
• A lot of the time we seem to stress about the character limit but you should realise that it works to your advantage! It’s a blessing in disguise, most users have short attention spans online. Twitter makes you think hard about what it is you want to say and refine it so you are left with only the relevant and important information.
Think About What Your Audience Want
Users on Twitter have decided to follow you so really think about why and what they hope to gain from that follow. Think about why you follow certain accounts and what you would like to see those people post. Would you find their tweets interesting if they just posted about their successes all the time, or would you prefer useful updates and help regarding their product or service?
Before you can create your content with lead generation in mind, you should really ask yourself these questions:
• Why have users followed you?
• What are users looking to gain from that follow?
• How can you provide solutions to their problems or answers to their questions (before they even know they have one)?
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” ― Henry Ford
Sometimes you have to offer solutions to your customer’s problems before they even know that they have one. Getting into this mind-set and running your Twitter account like this will make your account a ‘must follow’ for anyone looking for foresight and industry knowledge as well as receiving the latest information about your own product or service. Provide worth, don’t just exist on Twitter because your competitors have a presence on social media, really think about how you can best utilise the platform to your advantage.
As you are likely aware, Hashtags are present on nearly all social media platforms. When it comes to using Hastags, It’s important you strike a right balance as overuse can actually result in less engagement and can make your tweets look like spam.
You should use Hashtags with the words that best describe your product or service without being too generic. Make your tweets and content easy to track and follow by keeping your Hashtags specific to your industry, brand, product or service.
Interact with Others and Share Useful Content
A great way to kick-start your popularity and ‘get the ball rolling’ can be to follow other accounts that can provide useful information to you and your audience. The reason behind this is to firstly gain access to information that you might have missed keeping you ‘in the loop’, but also to share their content as, more often than not, if your updates are relevant to their audience they will return the favour and share your content too thus increasing the chances of driving traffic back to your website.
You will also want to interact with your ‘followers’. Just thank them for the follow, retweet or like – let them know that you appreciate it. This will only take a few seconds and further increases the changes of them sharing your content in the future.
Automation and the Scheduling of Your Tweets
We have briefly written about this before, scheduling allows you to really tune into a certain part of your audience once you have established what their browsing habits would likely be in regards to when they are browsing the web and social networks.
Once you have this information, you can use tools such as Hootsuite to schedule tweets to go live at specific times and even include Hashtags, links and images in the tweet. The great thing about tools such as Hootsuite is that they provide detailed tracking and statistics so you don’t have to guess if anyone is viewing your tweets at those times.
As good as scheduling can be, don’t rely too much on it. A lot of businesses find some great tools and then just start scheduling all of their updates. This is a bad thing as you won’t be around to interact and engage with real time discussions that are happening right now. You will want to find a healthy balance and experiment with how many of your tweets are scheduled. It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out once you have an idea of when your audience will likely be looking on Twitter.
To conclude, you should strike a healthy balance with a lot of the tips here. You shouldn’t go overboard with Hashtags but at the same time make sure you include them when it comes to talking about important aspects of your business or industry.
You should stay consistent with your approach once you have a clear answer to the question of why your audience is following you. Track the success or failures of your strategy and change accordingly, again the beauty of social media tools is that they can provide a lot of detailed statistics in addition to Twitter’s statistics.