Where your business is concerned, how do you use Twitter? Do you listen? Do you create connections? Do you sell?
(I do none of those things. Mostly I just tweet links to new posts. I know, shame on me.)
But someone that does know a lot about using Twitter for business is Mike Dane, the PR Manager for TruConversion, an analytics and feedback application that helps you improve revenue with tools like visitor session playbacks, heat maps, conversion funnels, form analytics, surveys....
While there is no one right way to use the platform, success leaves us clues. That is why we've come up with twenty strategies to help you get the most out of your Twitter marketing efforts:
#1 Build Relationships with Prospects
Let's start with the most important strategy. You need to build relationships with your prospects. One tool that has been highly effective for a number of entrepreneurs is the Advanced Twitter search feature.
Take @TeusnerWine, for example. The winery searched for prospects on Twitter using wine-related terms. Since they implemented this strategy, the company has had more people touring the winery, an increase in website traffic, and a jump in the number of people from the US and Canada inquiring at local stores and restaurants where they can purchase Teusner wines.
#2 Show Different Ways to Use Your Product
One of my favorite Tweets of all time is the "Oreo dunk it in the dark" tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl. Within an hour of the tweet, 10,000 retweets went out and Oreo was the champion of the ads on the Super Bowl.
#3 Take Orders through @Reply and @DM
Coffeegroundz uses Twitter to help customers pre-order their coffee and other foods through @DM and @Reply messages. Now CoffeeGroundz has more than 10,000 followers, and business is double what it was before they started.
#4 Customer Service
Sometimes Twitter strategies are not about acquiring new customers, but about keeping current ones happy. Many Fortune 500 companies discovered that Twitter is a great place to address customer questions and concerns.
One of the best and earliest adopters of that policy is @JetBlue. With over 1.6 million followers now, they have their hands full ensuring customers are satisfied.
It all started with Morgan Johnston, Jet Blue's corporate communications manager.He noticed that "some people were asking for help, and others were saying things that weren't correct."
It inspired him to start using the platform to answer customers' questions while they were at the airport or buying tickets from their home.
#5 Increase Engagement
Another key component of Twitter marketing is engaging followers in your brand. Take the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Show. It targeted potential fans around the world to encourage customers to follow the fashion brand and to learn about the fashions coming down the runway.
The entire campaign generated 460 million organic impressions and resulted in over 4,000 followers per day during the fashion show.
The long-term benefit can be seen in how Tommy Hilfiger turned these followers into clients.
#6 Generate Publicity
Two years ago, Fiat wanted to demonstrate to their followers how fast their Abarth 500 car was. Instead of building a following the way companies have traditionally done, they decided to block all potential followers from the account.
They claimed that the car was "too fast to follow." While maybe not the best long-term strategy, it generated significant press coverage.
In the end, it is hard to quantify the impact of the campaign. Without followers, other metrics became challenging as well.
The benefit for the car company was getting into the press. Since that time they have taken a more traditional approach with other campaigns, and you can follow their Fiat on The Web account.
#7 Use in Combination with TV Advertising
The commercial shows a 30-second spot where a couple is in the midst of a car chase. Unlike the predictable TV commercials that car manufacturers usually produce, this one had a twist.
The users got to decide upon the ending. Mercedes encouraged users to tweet which of two endings they wanted to view.
This ingenious example of integrated marketing generated a lot of free publicity for them.
Everything is tracked. Based on the results, the coupons on Twitter outperform ads on social media and PPC campaigns.
For small businesses that complain about not getting business through Twitter, this is a great solution. Now they have a trackable system to determine the ROI of their Twitter marketing strategy.
#9 Share Products Through Tweets
In addition to providing tips and tricks to sellers and information about events on the site, Etsy uses Twitter to promote the products their sellers create on the social network. That way when top sellers create products, Etsy can share them with their 2.62 million followers.
#10 Generate User Content
Twitter is highly effective at generating user content as described above with Mercedes Benz. That is how Chobani used Twitter to increase sales 225% from the previous year.
The yogurt company used original videos, photos, and social posts to talk about their favorite Greek yogurt.
Consumers shared their love of the brand, and Chobani placed some of their favorite comments on billboards across the country.
#11 Increase Brand Awareness
Twitter is a terrific way to increase brand awareness. With one of the most recognizable brands in the world, McDonald's would agree. McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" slogan has been around since 2003.
In an effort to spice up the theme during the Super Bowl this year, McDonald's launched a 'Pay With Lovin' campaign that they promoted through Twitter and other social media channels.
The campaign showed ads of customers coming into the store and being offered free meals in exchange for warm gestures to family and friends.
The Tweets that were sent out during this time promoted various giveaways the company offered.
#12 Guerilla Marketing
Marketing can sometimes be rigid, especially among car manufacturers. They tend to believe that big, expensive TV ads do the trick all the time.
Instead, consider how a great idea combined with a sense of humor can go a long way in marketing your business. Honda proved that last year with a guerilla marketing campaign that reached a younger audience on Cyber Monday (the busiest online shopping day of the year).
How did they do it?
Honda hacked their own account on Twitter last December with images of the He-Man's nemesis, Skeletor. They took photos of the 80's toy that was sold to millions of kids around the world.
Skeletor even took potshots at other brands like Toyota and Burger King. The tweets were funny, and the concept drew a lot of attention from younger drivers on a busy online shopping day.
-- Honda (@Honda) December 1, 2014
#13 Apologize For Mistakes
It is not all fun and branding on Twitter. Often, Twitter has become the social network of choice to let users know they're sorry for mistakes. For example, on January 13th mobile provider Optus accidentally had the wrong time set on customers' alarm apps. The problem caused countless smartphone users in Australia to wake up an hour early. To amend the mistake they posted on Twitter (see below) that they would pay for a free coffee. You are bound to make mistakes in business. So remember to apologize for them and find an appropriate way to amend them.
#14 Add Email Subscribers
Let's return to how Twitter can be used to build your lead funnel. Consider using the social network to build your email list.
Many entrepreneurs have successfully done this by creating free offers that they promote on Twitter.
Real estate investor Than Merrill added 9,000 subscribers to his email list and over 150,000 followers in 5 months using this strategy.
Even more impressive was that he built his subscriber list by spending only 5-10 minutes per day on this network.
#15 Drive Traffic
Drive the followers you have to your website or blog. The more you can direct them to your own media, the more likely you are to convert that traffic into deals.
Take Jeff Bullas. His blog receives over 5 million views per year.
As Jeff stated, "Twitter has been my secret sauce to building an online brand.
It became obvious to me early on that Twitter had the potential to drive traffic to my blog."
As you can see from his screenshot below, he received almost 40,000 visits from Twitter in April of this year alone. That number continues to grow because he continues to use the social network for increasing traffic to the high-quality blogs he posts on his site.
You do not need to use Twitter solely for the purpose of gaining or maintaining new clients. Twitter is also a useful vehicle for connecting with power partners.
For example, if you have a blog that you want to promote then you need to spend as much time promoting as you do writing. That is what Brian Dean of Backlinko stated in a recent blog post.
Twitter is a valuable tool to find, connect, and maintain relationships with a wide variety of power partners at once.
#17 Keep Up With Trends
Are you up to date with the latest goings-on in the world? What about in your own industry? If not, then use Twitter to stay current.
The easiest way to do this is through hashtags. Hashtags are the short keywords or phrases Tweeters use to mark a topic.
For example, hit pop sensation "One Direction" just celebrated 5 years together. Fans around the world used the #5YearsofOneDirection hashtag to share their joy about the band's milestone.
Whenever companies want to cluster tweets, they create hashtags similar to this one.
By using sites like Hashtags.Org, you can research which topics are popular on Twitter at the moment. That way you can keep up with trends in business and in your industry.
A few years ago, it seemed like you could not go to an event without it being a Tweetup. While still popular today, the Tweetups have become an established part of events.
Tweetups are effective because they combine online and offline social networks in one place. In doing so, you can enhance your relationship with people you speak to on Twitter when you're in person.
For businesses looking to increase their relationships with prospects, customers, referral partners, and vendors this can be quite useful.
#19 Testing, Testing!
Twitter is a terrific source of cheap or even free traffic. That means that you can also use it to test what converts best.
Use TruConversion to create A/B split tests of landing and squeeze pages on your website. That way you can benefit from the quality traffic of Twitter, and test out different elements of your site like the design, buttons, content, and headlines.
Finally, use Twitter as a listening tool.
By hanging out around Twitter, they can listen and help you when necessary. That is the power of Twitter. It is a two-way communication tool that is valuable to businesses both as a listening tool and as a broadcast.
Twitter is a valuable tool for any marketer looking to increase their brand awareness, lead generation, and customer service.
While Twitter limits users to 140 characters, those characters can pack quite the punch when used properly by businesses.
The biggest question any marketer needs to ask is how will they use the platform effectively for their business? Look through the strategies listed in this article, and select 1 or 2 that would best suit your business.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel when so many other companies have successfully used Twitter for their business. Instead, learn from their successes.