While there are many social media platforms that are rapidly growing, Twitter continues to be a leader for companies looking to connect and engage with their followers. For a small business, that means a free marketing option that is providing many companies with outstanding customer communications tools.
The companies who are adding in advertising on Twitter are seeing tremendous benefits, as well; advertisers reported that more than 80 percent of their inbound social customer service requests take place on Twitter.
The platform began in 2006 as a micro-blog option, giving users 140 characters to tweet their thoughts, opinions, reactions to news, and respond to the tweets of their followers. Now, the company counts more than 1.3 billion registered users, with more than 320 million of them considered active users who are regularly logging in and tweeting.
With the recent addition of GIF posting, polls, enhanced video viewing, and the soon-to-be-added photo stickers, Twitter is working to not only provide users with an even better experience, but to add users — a growth model that can only help businesses looking to reach new prospects.
If you haven’t been using Twitter, now is the time to sign up. Recent statistics show that 69 percent of users are more likely to buy from a business they follow on Twitter, and 73 percent of users feel better about a small or medium business after reading its tweets. If you’ve already opened an account, but haven’t been as diligent in maintaining a regular posting schedule, now is the time to dust off your keyboard and take advantage of all Twitter has to offer your business.
1. Expand your Company’s Reach
While this can be said for most social media platforms, Twitter offers an excellent way to find new followers, who in turn are more likely to become new customers. With so many businesses reporting an increased number of sales communications as a result of their activity on Twitter, learning to harness this tool can bring a number of benefits.
- Your tweets will be viewed by the audience you set — if you’re a small business, you’ll want to keep your posts public, to increase the visibility to those who are new to your brand.
- If you want to tag, or credit, someone, make sure to include their tag, with @username, later in the tweet, as making that the first part of your tweet means only that person or brand will see what you’ve written.
- When you incorporate hashtags, you’re making your tweet shareable. Keep the hashtag usage to about two or three per tweet, and make sure they are relevant and clear, so that your tweet shows up in a user’s search results. Hashtags also increase the likelihood of your tweet being shared — the main goal.
As your followers consume and share your content with their followers, your brand will show up in the feeds of new prospects. If they appreciate your content, they’ll more than likely begin to follow you, and your sales or branding posts will begin to reach them, as well.
2. Better Engagement and Connection with Followers
Twitter makes it easy to connect with your followers, which is vital for your company’s customer service. “Out of sight, out of mind” applies just as much in Twitter as it does in real life.
A recent study shows that customers who received replies on Twitter from airline companies were more willing to recommend that airline, more satisfied with their overall experience, and most importantly for your bottom line, more willing to pay about $9 more per ticket, on average. When an airline responded in less than six minutes, customers were willing to spend almost $20 more. You’ll only be able to respond promptly, though, if you’re active and regularly checking your Twitter feed.
Think about what that extra boost could do for your business. You’ll be learning more about your customers, and what they want and need. This will help your business grow, as you’ll be able to tailor not only your message, but also your products, to meet the demands of your followers. Once you’ve honed your content, Twitter’s platform gives you a way to directly communicate with followers, both publicly or privately.
Followers are looking to make a connection with a brand, and tweeting the information they are looking to read increases the likelihood of driving a higher engagement rate. Using text-only tweets, even with so many new options, is just one technique that companies have found increases their reach. These brief snippets can be a request for an opinion, a story, or another call-to-action that prompts customers to move closer to your brand. Twitter users love informational and educational content, and these posts will not only teach your customers something new, but will provide the kind of content that attracts new prospects to your brand.
3. New Communication Options
In order to bring in new users, Twitter is continually looking to expand their own offerings and features. Some of these newer additions are extremely beneficial for companies using Twitter for their marketing. Regularly using Twitter not only allows your company to be one of the first adopters of Twitter’s new releases, but also puts you at the forefront of their new technology with your customers, showing them that you care about reaching them on the platform they are using.
- Direct Messages: This option, released earlier in the year, allows companies and followers to move their conversations from public chats that will appear in their friends’ and followers’ news feeds to a private chat between the two parties. Companies can add a deep link to their tweets, allowing customers to quickly click through to a direct message. As a result, companies can provide more enhanced, thorough customer service.
- Customer Feedback: Followers are able to privately share their opinions about a recent transaction or communication with a business. This tool lets the company place a link to a survey directly in their messages, and customers can select their numerical rating. As a result, companies can learn more about how their followers and customers are using Twitter, and can work to ensure their Twitter representatives are meeting the needs of customers.
- Connect Tab: If you’re creating content that your followers find valuable, they are more likely to want to connect with you. This tab makes it easy for new followers to find you, based on their likes and your content. Twitter provides users with a detailed list of accounts, for both businesses and individuals, that they might want to follow. What does this mean for your business? If you’re tweeting a wide variety of content that spreads across a wide range of interests, you have a better chance of showing up in a new prospect’s connect tab.
- Promoted Carousel Ads and Promoted Moments: These two newer advertising options allow your business to reach even more followers. Your company can pay to have a boost of your moment or ad, which will highlight the moment for 24 hours. Twitter does make a note to show users when the moment or ad is promoted, but it appears like a regular moment.
4. Quick Research
Small businesses are finding that Twitter allows them to find in-depth information that helps them direct their company’s marketing efforts. Many companies will follow, or at least regularly check on, their competitors’ Twitter pages. You’ll be able to glance at their high-performing tweets, learn more about their marketing campaigns, and see what keywords and hashtags they are using. As they post information about their company, you can keep an eye on the new trends and see how they share and interact with customers.
Through Twitter’s analytics panel, you can see how people responded to your posts, whether they identified it as a favorite, retweeted, or shared your content, or commented or replied to your content. The panel provides details about the top interests of your followers, the cities where your followers are responding, the other accounts your followers follow, and the basic demographics of your followers. Once you know what your followers like and when your followers are responding to your tweets, you’ll be able to provide better customer service for each follower. If you aren’t regularly using Twitter, your analytics won’t be as complete, and you won’t have a well-rounded picture of your followers’ likes.
5. Saves you Time and Money in your Marketing Budget
Regular, planned Twitter usage allows you to save time and money in the long run. The tools that Twitter has put in place are excellent for directing companies to meet the needs of their followers. Rather than spending money on unproven or untested ideas, Twitter helps companies track and strategically plan their future tweets and advertising to expand their reach and see overall growth.
Once you’re ready to begin adding Twitter to your marketing plan, contact us. We’ll help you put together a strategy that will help your business reach its full potential.