Whatever your business sector, Twitter is a highly effective way of engaging with industry experts, raising your profile in both domestic and global markets and attracting potential clients.
In the UK alone there are approximately 13 million people using Twitter with 330 million monthly active users worldwide. So regardless of industry it’s highly likely that you can massively expand the reach of your organisation with an effective Twitter strategy.
But how do you implement a strategy that is going to raise your profile and, more importantly, win you new business?
In this step-by-step guide we explain how you can build a long-term strategy that will promote you as an organisation that’s streets ahead of its competitors and generate a regular stream of leads.
Once you’ve set up your Twitter account it can be tempting to start firing out tweets left right and centre, promoting your goods and services.
However, a more effective approach is to think about how you would conduct yourself at a networking event or conference.
Your Twitter strategy isn’t all about you
While your ultimate aim is to win new business from networking events you would treat the very first few that you attend as an opportunity to get your face known, familiarise yourself with the concept and build up some trust.
This is exactly how you should also treat your approach to Twitter.
You wouldn’t stampede in and start pushing your product on the first group of people you find. You’d be more likely to listen to what your peers were discussing, which is likely to be the major trends or challenges affecting your industry, and when the opportunity arises give your thoughts on the subject.
After you’ve spent a decent amount of time contributing to the discussion you might then offer your solution, when it felt appropriate.
Involve your competitors with your Twitter strategy
While you wouldn’t directly recommend a competitor’s product or service you certainly wouldn’t ignore them at a network event or refuse to attend a roundtable or presentation they’re involved in.
In fact you’d probably be quite interested in what your competitors have to say. You’d also want to contribute to any discussions they’re having.
If you’ve heard them make a valid point, or quote an interesting statistic, about your industry you might even repeat that point to your network.
And if you’re a lot smaller than your competitors by contributing to discussions that they’re involved in will help get you noticed, particularly if some of your service or product offerings complement or improve on what your competitors are providing.
Your Twitter strategy is long term
The first time you attend a conference or networking event it’s likely that you’ll attend as a delegate. The next time you may have a small stand. As you grow as a business it’s likely your presence will increase, with a bigger stand in a more prestigious location at the event.
Maybe you’ll eventually become a main sponsor, be invited to contribute to a round table or give your own presentation.
But you wouldn’t expect this to happen overnight. It would take time to build your reputation and profile to get in this position.
Unless you are a celebrity or a household name it will take time to build up your Twitter following.
How do you build up your Twitter following?
Creating a Twitter following from scratch does take time. But there are a number of ways you can accelerate the process.
By identifying and engaging with influencers in your industry (whether that’s bloggers, prominent indivduals, organisations or trade publications) and identifying the most used hashtags in your industry you will soon be seen as an industry leader.
And don’t get too hung up by how many followers you have in the early days of your strategy. Getting on the radar of a handful of industry influencers who share your content to their huge following is more important than having 1000 followers who have minimal reach and influence themselves.
If you are consistently sharing engaging, relevant industry news and engaging in the right conversations your following will steadily grow and it will be the right people and organisations following you.
Twitter and other forms of social media aren’t going anywhere. Yes, the concept and platforms are constantly evolving but it’s certainly not a short-term fad.
If anything your customer base will increasingly be interacting and communicating on Twitter. According to Hootsuite 36% of Americans aged 18 to 29 years old use Twitter, more than any other age group, while 22% of those aged 30 to 49 use the service.
So as well as asking yourself whether your customer base is using Twitter now, you need to be asking whether they will be using it in five years’ time or in the next decade.
Twitter strategy checklist:
• Identify relevant Twitter accounts (influencers and competitors), hashtags and keywords to monitor
• “Listen” to the conversations that your customers and peers are conducting
• Benchmark against a relevant industry competitor/peer to set SMART objectives.
• Provide a continuous Twitter presence that demonstrates you are an organisation that has its finger on the industry pulse which is a highly effective way of boosting your brand’s profile.
• Have a personalised “human” Twitter presence – don’t rely purely on retweets and automatically generated content based on generic search terms. Engage in industry conversation.
• Share curated (industry news from a variety of sources – even from your competitors) as well as your own content, whether that’s blogs, White Papers, infographics or industry comment.
If you want to know more about how deepsocial can create and manage a Twitter strategy, to help grow your business online and offline please get in touch.