How can you leverage Twitter to effectively market your brand or business? The answer isn’t simple, and it’s certainly much easier for some businesses than others. However, here are 3 general tips that will help you grow your organic following, and engage your community…
1. Identify what motivates your community
For the first time in history, we all have the ability to choose the companies and brands we follow. If you take a moment to think about it, this represents a major paradigm shift in the way we consume advertising. Why? Because throughout my life, I‘ve listened to thousands of hours of television and radio commercials, and I’m rarely motivated to act upon their offer. The reason for this indifference is push advertising.
Push advertising methods like television, radio, billboards, and newspaper interrupt what we’re actually trying to do. We didn’t ask to hear about someones offer, but they told us anyway – and interrupted our show along the way! Push advertising is great to build brand recognition and attention, but the cost per lead is exorbitant, and the residual value is minimal.
On the other hand, Twitter is one platform that represents the modern shift towards pull marketing. Customers are empowered because it’s an opt-in program, and this is invaluable. Firstly, if someone chooses to follow you they have clearly demonstrated an interest in your products or services. Secondly, you have an opportunity to communicate directly with your customer, or potential customer. This is a huge advantage because most businesses can’t physically meet all their clients, but they can scale those conversations and interactions through Twitter.
So how do you effectively engage your community? You have to identify the factors that motivated people to follow you in the first place. If you are looking for a practical example, look no further than celebrities. For instance, people are obsessed with Kim Kardashian. So, what does Kim West do on Twitter? She feeds that obsession by sharing information that her followers want to consume. Obviously celebrities are a special case, so let’s look at a non-celebrity example…
One great example that comes to mind is Earth Pics (@Earth_Pics). This person has accumulated nearly 1.5 million followers on just over 2K tweets – and all they do is post awesome pictures. Do you want to see awesome pictures from around the world? Of course you do, everyone does. Earth Pics has identified a motivating factor of humanity, and they are giving us what we want.
2. Don’t push so much
If I was trying to explain Twitter to my grandma, I’d say that Twitter is nothing more than a digital cocktail party. Everyone is hanging out together, and the most interesting people will carry the conversation. So, what are the rules to being fun at a cocktail party? It’s pretty simple – don’t be self-absorbed. No one wants to hear you talk about yourself all night.
Think about it, if you showed up to a cocktail party and spent your entire evening telling people about your job, your life, your troubles, your successes, and your failures, people will tune out in a hurry (unless you are a celebrity or athlete). There has to be a balance between talking and listening. With this in mind, follow something I call the 2-1-1 rule…
For every two tweets you post about yourself or your business, make sure you retweet and reply to others at least once. This will ensure your community feels validated, and you will position yourself as someone that cares.
3. Use Twitter To Research
Did you know that Twitter handles 1.6 billion search queries per day? It’s true, and there’s a reason why Twitter has become the most powerful platform for breaking news – information on everything and everybody is available in real time.
Are you a real estate agent in Toronto? Well, search twitter for real estate in Toronto and answer the questions of everyone you see. What’s that? You run a hockey school? Well, search by geography and find parents or kids that represent your target market. You can literally reverse engineer the entire sales process.
So there you go, three tips that will help you become a better citizen in the Twitterverse. Identify why people would be interested in following you, give back to your community, and use the search function to connect with your target market.
Now go out there and get some followers!