In the world of B2B marketing, Twitter ranks as the #2 social media network, behind only LinkedIn. As such, it should be an important part of your marketing initiative.
But read any article on how to best employ Twitter and one of the guidelines you’ll see from many pundits is to Tweet daily, if not several times a day!
Seriously?! Who’s got that kind of time?
Well, we might have an answer for you. Following is an easy, 5-step process that will help you to establish and maintain a daily Twitter presence to support your marketing strategies.
1. Know your audience (clients & prospects). What’s important to them? What are their pain points? What will help them to do their jobs better? Keeping those questions in mind will help you to create Tweets that are relevant to your audience – increasing readership, re-Tweets and the number of followers you attract. Knowing your audience will also help you to select the appropriate hashtags to use.
Note: A ‘Hashtag’ (with the # symbol) allows you to categorize your Tweets around a certain topic; it also helps you when searching for Tweets of a certain kind; e.g. all Tweets containing“#surveys” will have content related to surveying. Rule of thumb: no more than three hashtags per Tweet.
2. Create the relevant content. There are primarily two ways to do this:
- Write something original – either the Tweet itself, or having it point to other original content you’ve developed (and posted on your website or blog).
- Find content created by someone else and use the Tweet to point to that (hint: just make sure it’s not content from a competitor).
Note: If you choose to send your readers to someone else’s content (which we do very often), the question is, “How do you find it?” An easy and no-cost way that we’ve found works well is to sign-up for Google Alerts to search out and report back to you on what it finds. It’s very easy to use – select your search term(s)… Google scours the internet… then reports back to you daily (or weekly) with links to the articles/posts it has found. What search terms should you use? They could revolve around methodologies, applications/uses, vertical industries… or, more likely, some combination of those.
The key is to provide value & benefit with your Tweets… not to sell!
3. Catalog your findings. If you decide to use Google Alerts as described above, it will very likely deliver more content than you can Tweet about daily. And that’s great! When that happens, keep an inventory for future use (simply start a list of URLs that the Alerts deliver). That way, when it’s time to post your Tweets – or if you have a week where you just don’t find that many – you can go to the inventory list and pull from that.
4. Schedule ahead of time. Use a tool like Hootsuite (with no-cost/low-cost options) to help manage and schedule your Tweets ahead of time. At Harpeth Marketing, we do a week at a time, scheduling next week’s Tweets at the end of the current week. We also schedule each Tweet to be posted twice – once in the morning and again in the afternoon (to account for people’s Twitter reading habits). Hootsuite will also allow you to post to other platforms like your LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn groups, Google+ and Facebook. Note: posting on Hootsuite is where you’ll apply those hashtags we discussed in point #1.
5. Measure your work. Hootsuite can help you to track clicks, re-Tweets, etc. to help you understand if what you’re Tweeting about resonates with your audience. The more ‘activity,’ the better. In addition, if your Tweets point back to something on your website (e.g. a blog post), Google Analytics can help you track that, as well. Use what you learn from these measurements to continually fine-tune what you Tweet about.
Note: When someone re-Tweets one of your Tweets, it is accepted courtesy to thank them via a direct Tweet.
BONUS RECOMMENDATION: Build your list of Followers. In addition to the Tweeting described in the above steps, spend some time (preferably a little each week) scanning through Twitter to find others to follow. Generally, when you follow someone… they will follow you back. The best way to find them?
- Some will be recommended right on your Twitter home page (look for “Who to follow”)
- Do a little searching using the appropriate hashtags
Bottom line: Twitter is a lot like every other marketing tactic… when you do a little bit every day, you’ll make slow, steady progress and good things will happen. In this case, Tweeting will become a habit. Then, the more you Tweet, the more impact it will have on things like your awareness, positioning, thought leadership and developing industry connections.