Among all the social network platforms, Twitter represents the best network to grow an audience because of the variety of ways to achieve it. Twitter is be best marketing tool for young contemporary businesses, particularly internet companies.
The advantages of Twitter offers businesses include:
Twitter allows any user to see what people are interested in an talking about in the present.
Twitter allows users to search of people by navigating to their profiles to discover who they are and what groups they are a part of.
Twitter allows users to view the audience, “followers”, of competitors.
Twitter offers tools that allow users to directly interact with all of these people.
Here we examine a number of ways individuals and business can leverage the powerful features and tools of Twitter to grow an audience, and transform users into engaged customers.
To begin with, the mechanics of Twitter include a number of ways to reach a person or profile account. Once you have created your Twitter account, you are able to:
Follow a user
Mention a user/account/someone in a tweet
Twitter at a user
Retweet a post
Favorite another user’s tweets
Add a user to a list
Direct message a user
Compared to other Social Networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, etc… Twitter offers the greatest number of ways to reach people and create engagement.
Hashtags can be fun to use, however they are not particularly useful to grow an audience. Few users employ hashtags to grow a following because their effectiveness can be hit or miss. So don’t depend them for your Twitter growth hacking strategy.
The first thing business leaders should consider is setting clear short-term and long-term goals for their Twitter growth hacking strategy. Embarking on a growth hacking campaign is like any other marketing activity.
Entrepreneurs should be clear about what the Twitter goal is and transparent about the objective with everyone involved in the process. Without a clear vision, your tweets will lack focus and could send the wrong message to flowers.
Fundamentally, the gaol of using Twitter to grow an audience centers on discovering 5-6 users everyday who love what you as an individual, or what your business offers.
To begin this process, begin by:
1. Create a Twitter account.
Follow the steps Twitter guides you through when first navigating to the website and electing to create an account.
2. Upload a profile image & create a concise description.
Your profile says a lot about your Twitter brand image, and should be reflective of your personal or professional mission. Elements to consider include:
This should never be blank. Use your company logo or something that directly reflects your brand.
This visual should be representative of your product or service, or something that ties into the message your brand delivers.
Keep this simple. Use relevant key words that describe your business and that resonate with your target audience.
Don’t be too creative. Keep this simple, clean and straightforward. Don’t mislead.
3. Follow as many people as possible who may be interested in your account.
Navigate to thematically similar accounts to your own, or competitors and follow all of their followers. Do this repeatedly across all the accounts in your niche.
Search for people and accounts through the Twitter search feature. It is a powerful means to discover potential followers. Use keywords and hashtags associated with your brand to find relevant user accounts to follow and engage with.
A great way to take advantage of Twitter's search feature is to add values to your search to refine the results. For instance if you operate an athletic store that sells soccer equipment, you can search for “soccer fans” on Twitter, and view the results. However if you refine your search to “need soccer cleats” you can populate a list users that can represent direct leads for your business. Always enable the “all” feature for your searches, that way you populate users, groups, hashtags, etc…
Twitter only allows accounts with less that 2,000 followers to follow 2,000 accounts. Profiles with over 2,000 followers can follow up to 1,000 accounts per day. This means that you can get the attention of 1,000 accounts per day. Even if you have a 10% conversion rate, meaning 100 accounts follow you back from following 1,000 accounts, that can still build to 36,000 followers over the course of one year.
Try to find people with a follower to following ration of 1 to 2 because they are more likely to follow you back. Following others is a sign of respect, and the favor is often returned in kind.
Tools that can automate following users en mass include; Twitter Follower, a google chrome extension.
4. Post rich content with calls to action.
Include calls to action to your Tweets so people can easily visit your website, or app page if your business offers a software solution. Use variety of creative online tools to discover great content to use, and edit the content so that it is tailored to your specific needs.
5. Engage with as many relevant Tweets as possible.
Spend time on your home news stream. Engage with content by liking Tweets that are relevant to your business, and retweet the Tweets that are interesting and can elevate the conversation on your Twitter profile. Liking tweets shows solidarity, and typically people will like your tweets back.
6. Engage with influential people.
Engage with as many influencers within your domain through the above listed methods in “Twitter Mechanics”. Comment on and retweet interesting Tweets from prominent individuals within your domain and send direct messages to possible influencers asking them to endorse your Tweet(s) and your Twitter profile.
By adopting this broad strategy, individuals and business alike can to double their customer leads per month compared to those who elect not employ Twitter as a means to grow their audience.
To facilitate your efforts to develop a rich Twitter account that can yield positive results for your business consider adopting the following tips.
A. Steal Content.
Use all the good stuff you find, pictures, quotes, clever Tweets, any relatable content with good aesthetics.
B. Positive Energy.
Only retweet compliments, positive feedback, or positive comments about any related to your business and even unrelated topics.
Pictures are the most likely content to be retweeted, so use pictures in all of your tweets. Pictures drive engagement.
Use videos as much as possible too, they are the second most likely form of content to be retweeted.
E. Multiple Accounts.
If your are just starting to use Twitter to grow an audience for your business, consider creating multiple Twitter accounts to reach more people. Creating 4 accounts is a solid strategy. With them, you can reach 4 times as many potential followers who can become customer leads.
F. Tweet a lot and often.
Tweeting as many as 50-100 times a day is appropriate for a business adopting a growth hacking strategy. Tweeting more than 300 times a day over 4 different accounts is amazing, though admittedly difficult.
At this point, businesses should consider creating a social networking team to do this intensive work. But, adopting this strategy, 5% of followers will unfollow your account, however the other 95% will be engaging with your content, clicking on your links and turning into leads.
G. Never stop following people.
It is important to continuously demonstrate that you are committed being an active participant of the Twitter community and eager to grow your audience.
Should you have any doubts the listed tips to facilitate your twitter growth hacking strategy, remember the Golden Rule of Twitter:
If you follow people, they will follow you back.
8. Create Twitter lists.
The list feature embedded in twitter allows users to create groups of accounts according to similar interest or characteristics. With lists you can easily search for people who are related to your niche, and who would respond favorably to your Twitter account, social content, and business product and/or service.
Use the search field to discover accounts related to a given search topic, navigate to their profiles, and select the “create a list” option from clicking on the gear icon. Lists can be designated private or public, and from the lists, you can interact with individual users on a daily basis. A good strategy is to curate 100 of the most influential people in your space; bloggers, potential partners, clients, leaders, journalists, etc..
9. Embedded Tweets.
Another popular feature that is growing among the online community is embedding Twitter conversations into off-twitter sites. In this case, users can take a stream of tweets from Twitter and place it on their personal or business website.
Embedded Tweets allow business leaders to share their Twitter content with a larger audience by encouraging visitors to navigate to your Twitter profile where they can follow your account and engage with your content.
Embedded Tweets offer the following additional benefits:
Provide a means/space for customers to offer testimonials of your business via twitter comments & messages.
Share invitations of events related to your business listed on Twitter, and encourage users to share the information with their Twitter community.
Encourage people to communicate their ideas and opinions about your business from Twitter, and connect with new contacts through your Twitter profile.
Inspire people to blog about your Twitter conversation topics. Embedding part of a Twitter conversation in a blog post is also a great way to reach more people.
Share positive comments about your business & services from Twitter users with audiences outside of the network and offline.
Share positive audience comments from Twitter of promotional events like trade-shows on your website, blog, or offline. For instance, if your business hires a speaker to deliver a motivational speech, sharing positive Twitter comments that praise the event/speaker can provide great testimonials about your business.
Including your Twitter handle in Email Signatures provides a great way for audiences to navigate to your Twitter profile from there email. With the embedded link, users can easily become followers and discover more about your company. This is a great tool to increase interactions between your business and customers.
Growing A Following:
In order to grow your twitter following with the aim of transforming followers into potential leads for your business, business leaders should adopt a disciplined strategy.
Consider applying the following methodology:
By applying this methodology, entrepreneurs can achieve surprising results. The goal is to build your followers day-by-day to a point that people or accounts being to follow your Twitter profile automatically by sheer user volume and by the vitality of your dispersed content across the Twitter Network.
Overtime you want to develop a positive Follower Gain (FG). Use the following formula:
Follower Gain = Followers - Unfollowers.
The goal is to get more followers on a daily basis than people unfollowing your Twitter profile.
Another important metric to gage your growth hacking performance on twitter is engagement. To determine your Twitter engagement, use the following formula:
Engagement = Retweets + Favorites + Mentions / Number of Tweets.
The objective is to Tweet fewer times, but with richer content that creates a higher level of engagement among your Twitter followers.
To facilitate your growth hacking efforts on Twitter, as well as other social networks, consider employing the help of dedicated staff. Social Media experts are important for your social growth and outreach campaigns because people engaging with your Twitter profile will expect to interact with a representative that is familiar with the business.
Interns can be effective, but their limited employment can create visible gaps, a mixture of tones, and confusion among your social interactions with users who could be customers. Interns may be able to identify your audience, but they will not be able to identify with your audience. Achieving a great relationship with your audience takes time and dedication.
Twitter chats are a great way to accelerate the process of growing your audience by creating a live conversation among followers and the Twitter audience. Chats on Twitter are attached to original hashtags.
A Twitter chat is achieved by organizing a series of Tweets with an attached hashtag that corresponds to the specific topic that drives the conversation. While Twitter chats can increase your audience, they are best employed once a solid Twitter audience has already been curated.
Follow these steps to create a Twitter chat conversation,
1. Define an objective:
Determine an objective for the tweet chat, and find a topic that will appeal to your target audience. To run a successful chat, it needs to provide some form of value to your audience, so it is important to tailor it in a way that an help your community.
A great way to build a perspective of how to manage your Tweet Chat is to examine similar conversations managed by competitors or similar organizations in your space. Study how they controlled the conversation, who the participants where, what questions were posed, and at what times the chat was hosted. And, apply your findings to your own Twitter chat strategy.
2. Create a Hashtag:
Create a clever and relevant hashtag for your company or the topic you would like to lead a conversation about. Brainstorm 10-20 different options and pick the best one by searching how many hashtags are loosely associated to the topic. The more the better. Choosing the right topic is the key challenge. It must be timely and interesting enough to pull people into engaging in the conversation.
It is important to recognize that twitter chats may not be an effective tool for your particular business. Ultimately, it depends on what your business focuses on. Still, examine the contemporary blogs or trends related to your industry for inspiration on creating an attractive and effective chat topic.
3. Create a list of Questions:
Once a topic is defined, create a list of questions to drive the conversation during your twitter chat. Questions should not be too similar, and should be open-ended to offer participants the opportunity to share diverse answers. Anticipating answers beforehand can help manage the conversation and create a flow of questions that logically lead to one another. Keep the questions short and precise, and be conscious not to ask too many questions, otherwise the community will not have enough time to provide quality answers. Generally speaking, allow 10 minutes to pass between each question.
4. Choose a good time:
Timing can dramatically affect the quality and popularity of a twitter chat. Think about what time is convenient for your targeted participants, where they are located, and what other chats are occurring at the same time. For global companies, time zone differences can prove to be challenging, but always try to host a chat during the best time for your top location. Generally speaking, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM offers the best window for the highest Twitter chat engagement.
5. Promote your chat:
To maximize your potential audience, invite key influencers to join your twitter chat. You can identify good influencers by searching for them directly on Twitter, or by using tools including Followerwonk. Ask influencers to tweet, retweet or comment on your promotional post about the upcoming Twitter chat. Getting them to create buzz about the chat increases the level of enthusiasm and awareness about the chat event.
In addition to inviting influencers, make sure to promote the chat on as many channels as possible. Twitter lists are a great way to find potential Tweet chat attendees.
Also, consider partnering with other relevant Twitter chats by asking their communities to join your chat before or after the other chats take place. You can then reciprocate by promoting the other chats among your chat audience.
6. Running the chat:
One the day of the chat, introduce yourself or your company to with the #[chat name] 5 minutes before you plan to initiate the conversation.
When it is time to start the conversation use the following, or similar script:
It’s time for our [#chat name]! Tonight’s guest is @_____ from _____ who will share _____ with us.
Everyone, please welcome our guest _____ from @_____ to our [#chat name] tonight!
During the chat make sure you are very engaged and participating in the conversation. Block off any possible distractions and follow the conversation as closely as possible. Like and retweet great tweets and contributions to the conversation. Tweet rich content to add flavor to the conversation. Tools including Canva offer easily graphic tools to create effective visuals.
Don’t forget to connect with engaged followers, and introduce them to other participants in the conversation. In addition, copy the URLs of the top tweets as they happen into a separate document to track later on.
Lastly, to make things easier for you employ simple conversation management indicators for instance Q1,Q2, etc.. for your questions, and A1,A2, etc.. for your answers. Be comfortable breaking responses over several tweets, and indicate what your doing by listing them as A.1.1, and A.1.2, etc…
And, 2 minutes before the chat is scheduled to end use the following, or similar script:
Everyone, please thank @_____ from _____ for adding so much value to our [#chat name].
Next week we’ll have @_____ from _____, who will be discussing _____. See you next week!
Don’t forget to join (other Twitter chat that you partnered with) now! They have @_____ as their guest.
The goal here is to engage your audience as much as possible by making them feel as though they were critical to the conversation and made a real impact on the audience.
Always, finish by thanking the community and asking people to follow-up by following your Twitter account and tweeting @[your account name].
A great tool to help you manage your Twitter chat is TweetChat. Not only does it allow you to hide retweets during the conversation to that you only see mentions from users, which enables you to respond more quickly, but it also automatically adds your Twitter Chat Hashtag to your tweets during the conversation.
After the chat is finished, it is important that business leaders track the results. Use a number of tools including; Hashtracking to get live insights on your Twitter chat so you can see how well they are performing. Another great tool is Sprout Social Twitter listening report which offers a comprehensive set of tools for your Twitter needs.
Among the key metrics business leaders should consider:
Number of Tweets in the chat conversation is a good indicator of how popular the topic is and if it is steadily increasing then you know your heading in the right direction.
The Number of Participants also indicates how popular your chat is, and over time are becoming.
Referral traffic is also a great indicator that shows how many people are navigating to websites or pages affiliated to your business from the chat conversation.
And, Community Growth indicates how many people followed your Twitter account after the chat.
Twitter chats can be an effective tool to build an engaged audience for business and individuals engaged in tackling important social issues, popular trends, or current events. It can also be helpful for business who are trying to get valuable feedback to improve their product or service in a commonly understood space.
Twitter As Customer Service
Another great feature about Twitter is its customer support capability. The limit of 140 characters per tweet encourages the customer support staff to be very focused on how the manage the relationship between customers and the business. Developing a positive customer support relationship with Twitter users that responds to their needs in a timely way can foster endearment for your business and drive users to follow your business.
To transform Twitter as an effective customer support channel, business leaders should ensure that their customer support staff are:
Support staff must know what their customers want. What they are sharing about your brand, what Tweets drive the highest engagement, what issues are important to them, and what handles and hashtags are closely associated with your brand. Create a Twitter response criteria or framework for your customer support staff tor respond to customer needs, but, do not use scripted responses. Users can easily identify canned responses, and don’t respond positively to them.
Create 2 accounts, one for your company or brand, and one for your customer support. This way the company channel can curate positive tweets and content, while potentially negative engagement can be curated on the customer support channel. And, share the typical response time to a particular customer issue. Users want to know when to expect feedback.
Give your customer support staff the authority to make judgement calls on how to handle customer feedback and engagement on your Twitter. Customers want quick response times, and will not have the patience to wait for a response request to go up the chain of command for authorization of how to respond.
Twitter can be a great resource to inform your customer base about company updates, important industry trends and regulatory changes, or even phenomenon that affect your business operations like inclement weather. Informing customers through regular updates is a great way to make them feel valued and improve engagement.
Customers enjoy knowing who is managing the social accounts and their customer service needs. Set guidelines and share details about your staff, either their personal company Twitter handles, their names or initials.
Twitter represents an excellent and controlled means to share information about your company with your following and the greater Twitter community. Be proactive and disclose as much information that encourages positive engagement as possible. Moreover, by being proactive you demonstrate how much your company cares about your customers and their needs. All of which can meaningfully elevate your brand’s perception on the Twitter, across the web, and in your market.
Business Who May Need Twitter
Business who may require Twitter to help them grow an online audience that can generate leads of their business include:
Apps/software/platforms looking to get a large (+10,000) user base.
Businesses where creating and sharing rich content is important.
Any business looking to reach a certain demographic for their customer base.
Event driven businesses. Twitter can be an amazing tool for event promotion.
Generally speaking, more and more business should consider adopting Twitter as an effective vehicle to grow and manage their customer relationships. Among the diverse social networks currently available to businesses, Twitter offers the greatest variety of means to reach out to people and the easiest mechanisms to support your customer interactions.
Twitter Growth Hacking Tools
To facilitate your efforts to grow a twitter audience for your personal or business needs, consider employing any of the following Twitter growth hacking tools.
Each service offers a variety of services that can dramatically simplify the process of growing an engaged Twitter following.
Tweetdeck is a great tool to manage your Twitter followers, conversations, messages and overall engagement. The service allows you to create multiple defined Twitter streams in one window and incorporates many of the built in features Twitter offers.
Twitter Cards: Twitter Cards
Twitter Cards makes it easy for users to express interest in what your business does in an expanded Tweet. Users can easily and securely share their email address without leaving Twitter or having to fill out a cumbersome form. When someone expands your Tweet, they see a description of you offer and a call to action. Their name, @username, and email address are already pre-filled within the Card, and by clicking a button they share their information directly to you.
Audiense allows users to discover who would be ideal followers to target on Twitter and key insights to help businesses grow a valuable audience on Twitter. Users can search for profiles by gender, job title, location, profession, and by their actions (when they tweet, how they tweet, and what they tweet) on Twitter, as well as any relevant trends across the network the business can tap into. The service offers amazing targeting tools and comprehensive analytics.
Tweepi automates how your search and gain followers. The service can literally get you several thousand followers in one day. Twellow offers a similar service.
Buffer is a great tool to schedule your tweets in advance. With the service you can organize when your tweets will be posted at once for however long a period you would like. It is simple to use and even informs you of when the best times to post content are during the day. Buffer can be a real time-saver. Plus, it helps automate the engagement from your community. Hootsuite offers a similar service.
Crowdfire provides users with a more efficient way to manage their Twitter account. The service lets you see who is following you and helps you discover new followers. Crowd fire can also keep track of your updates and how much engagement they receive from your audience, and analyze you customer relationships between different social platforms.
Hello Bar: hellobar.com
Hello bar offers a service that integrates a toolbar on your website or webpage that provides social likes to your social network profile accounts. It is an easy way for visitors to navigate to your social profiles and engage with your content.
Click To Tweet: clicktotweet.com
Click to Tweet offers a convenient way to share content on Twitter by including a click to tweet functionally in the statements of your Twitter content. The more people share, the more traffic you get associated to your Twitter profile. Tweets go out with your Twitter handle attached so you can easily gain more followers.
Klear provides a sophisticated search engine to find influencers on Twitter. This tool can be valuable to growing your Twitter audience by providing comprehensive information on valuable influencers within your niche.
Bluenod offers a service that maps hashtags on Twitter. It provides valuable information to help you build conversations around events, or chat with your community. The map feature displays influential hashtags and topics that you can leverage for your promotional and growth hacking needs. Hashtagify offers a similar service.
Mention is a web application that enables you to track people who are talking about your business on Twitter. With that knowledge you can follow the users, engage wit them, and reply to any comments they might have about your brand. Twilert offers a similar service.
Twitter Counter: twittercounter.com
Twitter Counter provides new businesses with great tools to understand the progress they are making on Twitter. The service provides comprehensive analytics about your community with guides to optimize your tweets with content that speaks to your audience, and suggests when you should tweet to get the highest possible engagement. It even offers comparative features to understand how your business is preforming against competitors on Twitter. Twitonomy offers a similar service.
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