Note: I was fortunate enough to be asked to write an article for the Jan/Feb issue of Indiana Insurance News. This is the article which appeared there. I will also be publishing a future article for their Nov/Dec issue on De-Mystifying Social Media.
If you’ve done some research and you know that your customers, vendors, prospects or influencers are using Twitter, it might make sense for you to incorporate it into your marketing mix. Whether you’re considering a new Twitter account for your business or have an existing account, what is the most effective way to post on Twitter for maximum effectiveness?
1) Start with a goal: Is it simply for brand awareness? Are you seeking sign-ups for your e-newsletter? Selling a specific product? Or simply to be seen as a resource or expert in your industry?
2) Who is your Audience? Who might be a good source of information to share with your audience? What companies or individuals that sell to a similar audience or who are in your same industry are also on Twitter? This too help you when following others and finding Twitter users with which to watch and interact.
3) Who will be the face of your Twitter account? For businesses, you have the option of having one company account on Twitter but also a personal account with your name and photo. If you are representing a national agency, but your goal is for brand awareness for your firm or yourself, you may want to be the official “face” of your Twitter profile, with your photo in the profile picture. Just remember to let your personality come across too, without hiding behind your brand. With multiple employees, you consider separate employee accounts, as long as you maintain consistency with branding and content.
4) 80/20 Rule: On all social media sites, it’s best to keep your tweets 80 percent conversational/educational, and 20% promotional. Excessive promotion will discourage followers. Do promote your latest blog post, new product offering, special discount, or press release, but make sure this is not all you are doing on Twitter.
5) What to tweet? Develop your own personal style for tweeting. Some people enjoy commenting on others’ posts, and engaging in conversations with other Twitter profiles. This can serve as a cross-promotional tool, but overdoing back-and-forth conversations on Twitter can result in your Twitter feed looking like a bunch of private chats, thus frustrating your followers. For most B2B businesses, stick primarily to sharing business-related content on Twitter, and interject some personality here and there, but don’t simply talk about what you ate for dinner.
6) Add some fun to your Tweets. Try to incorporate something interesting into your Twitter feed, rather than to simply post links to your blog, other content or re-tweets of another post. Comment on something in the news (don’t forget to follow your favorite reporters), pose a relevant question to your followers, boast about one of your customers’ successes, or provide a resource to your followers that they might find useful. The key here is to mix it up a little bit.
Hopefully this post helps you think outside the box a little bit about how to engage your Twitter followers and find new ones. If you follow trends, engage in thoughtful conversations, share meaningful content, do a little promotion, and all while keeping your followers’ needs in mind, you’ll be on your way to success.