Another week, another ‘expert’ screams, “Twitter is dead”. “Twitter is bad for marketing”.
When more and more industry people say the same thing over and over, nobody can blame you if you actually start to believe the hype. You may even be beginning to doubt the efficacy of the campaign you paid for. What many fail to realise and build on is that, social media is about understanding your customers and interacting with them.
Since its’ launch in 2007, Twitter has moved steadily from where the worlds’ conversations were held in real-time, to where many brands only communicate by sending out scheduled tweets. Some brands send out 20+ tweets per day, many do not respond to tweets from customers, others are not even using hashtags to classify their content.
Yet, in the midst of this waste of marketing budget, some brands have refined the art of communicating and engaging existing and potential customers in 140 characters or less.
Social media marketing, like all marketing is not a push button solution. You will start campaigns, let them run their course and measure the results. There are no instant fixes. If you are patient though, you can reap unprecedented results.
The following examples show how small businesses like yours are harnessing Twitter for exposure, repeat sales and building an engaged community.
1. Use THEIR Voice
What do people rave about? Good services and experiences, right? Find the influencers in your industry and give them an exceptional experience using your product. The management at the Roger Smith Hotel in Manhattan did just this. They invited journalists and other social media influencers to sample their services.
Experiencing the good service given, these influencers took to Twitter to share the experience. The mixed reviews, led to the Roger Smith Hotel getting more exposure to a much larger audience.
2. Don’t be a Stick in the Mud.
Twitter is seen as a waste of time by many brands. Though the core demographic is roughly 18 – 34 year old urban dwellers, you shouldn’t underestimate their buying power. To attract and engage more people, create and share fun & interesting content.
If a domain registrar like Namecheap can do it, you can too. On SuperBowl Sunday, they posted 40+ interesting questions related to both the game and information technology. These tweets kept their followers entertained, engaged and still stayed in the companys’ niche.
3. Cross Promote.
While you may provide a niche product or service, it is possible to share information about related products & services that your prospects may be into. To put a twist on their core service of running gas stations, Mendez Fuel started tweeting about the different and unusual products they stock.
Understanding your core audience and the smaller sub-sections that exist as part of any large market, will allow you provide services that are unique and mentionable. Knowing this, the owner of Mendez Fuel started offering hard-to-find craft beers in his stores and tweeted about the availability. Stocking an unusual brand or product line was a sure way to get customers in the stores; tweeting about definitely caught their attention.
4. Mobile is in!
Providing a platform for established labels and upcoming brands, the pop-up stall phenomenon has swept through the UK by storm. Organisers take advantage of their limited, one-off appearances and the viral nature of social media to create a buzz. They use Twitter to update their followers about secret locations,discounts and offers. This trend also works for food vendors. In the USA, the Kogi Korean BBQ, a popular L.A. food truck, regularly tweets menus and locations of their food trucks.
How does all this relate to mobile?
How often are you away from your smartphone? Almost never, I guess. Same goes for your followers on Twitter. This means as soon as that notification comes in, followers and fans are quick to share it.
Remember to keep your mobile users in mind when using Twitter.
5. Be genuinely HELPFUL.
To round up this list, let me introduce you to Dr. Sinkin, A New York City based dentist who actively uses the search function on Twitter to handle his marketing. He looks for queries and conversations on Twitter related to his field of dentistry, and offers helpful advice .
The free, actionable and helpful advice he gives out, leads to people ultimately being so blown away, that they follow him and become advocates. Twitter is the perfect place to search for people who need what you offer and to surprise them with helpful advice.
In closing, Twitter marketing like all marketing, campaigns need to gain traction before the rewards start flowing. Pay attention to what your followers and customers are saying. Respond when you can. Keep them in the loop regarding your special offers. It can take a while to gain followers, but when they start to follow you, you know they are engaged, raving fans.
At Search and More, we like to say we know a thing or three about social media. Contact us and let us work on your social media presence.