How to use Twitter to generate buzz around your brand
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At present Twitter has about 80 million users worldwide, which seems nothing compared to Facebook’s 500 million. However, when it comes to business promotion, Twitter is arguably more effective because of its openness. Usually Twitter updates are available for anyone to see, making it an attractive platform for brands to promote themselves.
Twitter can be used by companies in a variety of ways. Recruitment and customer services are two examples of how small firms are using Twitter, as well as the obvious tweeting of company news or industry insights. What many businesses fail to do is to retweet and reply to other peoples’ tweets, and consequently they are missing an opportunity to build community and influence around their brand. Businesses must be there to engage with their audience when they discuss their products or services and give them the chance to converge with the people behind the brand. This also provides a channel by which businesses can educate customers about their products, and promote themselves further.
With Twitter, it is even more important that businesses are available to engage with their customers because it is an immediate channel. It is quick and easy for businesses to set up alerts to inform them when people have mentioned their brand, thus allowing them to connect with that person on a more intimate level. Whether they are complemented or complained about, businesses ought to be on top of any discussion about their brand.
Top tips for businesses using Twitter
- Keep it simple – with only 140 characters at your disposal, it can be difficult to convey your message in a concise way. To keep followers engaged, tweets must be clear and to the point.
- Think as a human, not as a company – engage conversationally with followers and look for opportunities to humanise your brand.
- Encourage followers to click your link – whenever possible you should include a link to your website in your tweets. By keeping tweets interesting you will persuade more click-throughs.
- Show your company’s personality through your tweets – don’t be afraid to use a lighter tone on Twitter. You are more likely to build relationships with your followers if you appear more approachable.
- Create a list of useful contacts – use Twitter Lists to assemble a record of key people in your industry, including useful groups and relevant people.
- Reply to tweets swiftly – always try to respond as quickly as possible to any messages directed to your business. This will help engage your followers, who will appreciate your good customer service.
- Use web analytics – link your Twitter to a web analytics service to identify what drives web traffic, and then how likely this traffic is to convert into customers.
- Ask questions – this is a great way to encourage engagement with your followers. You could ask for feedback on your latest products or services, or even content ideas for your blog.
- Be original – try not to constantly tweet about the same thing. The most successful brands on twitter provide a good balance of diverse tweets, some serious, some purely promotional, and some of a lighter tone, to keep followers interested.
- Update your profile look – keep your Twitter page fresh by using company colours and logos. If your profile is in tune with your company’s brand, it will look more credible.
Examples of companies successfully using Twitter:
- Naked Wines http://www.nakedwines.com/ Online wine market that supports independent wine makers from around the world. They boast nearly 3,500 followers and make effective use of retweets, to enhance their Twitter experience.
- Notonthehighstreet http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/ Internet retail store selling products designed and made by independent small businesses. There is a link to their company blog at the top of their Twitter page, helping draw followers towards their brand.
- Zoopla http://www.zoopla.co.uk/ Online property finder that combines property listings with market value data, local information and community tools. With almost 4,000 followers, Zoopla are making a name for themselves in the Twitter-sphere. They make excellent use of their page by tweeting regularly about industry news, keeping their followers interested.