Successful companies on Twitter may be big, may be small, may be known or completely unknown in the “offline world”. The beautiful thing about Twitter is that any average Joe can become a superstar (look at @AskAaronLee – no offense). The same applies for companies – any company can become huge thanks to Twitter.
Unlike many other forms of advertising, the size of your company or your budget doesn’t matter on Twitter. The company with 5 employees can have the same or greater impact as company with 500 employees. Just look at Hilton Quebec, for example. @HiltonQuebec has 754 followers comparing to lets say @WigwamMotel that has twice as many. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that any business on Twitter can be successful if one “driving the company’s Twitterwheel” knows the map and follows it. I am here to give your company the map to Twitter success. So here it goes.
Successful companies on Twitter…
Tweet regularly. I personally don’t follow accounts that I see didn’t tweet for a while. Let me explain “for a while”. For a while on Twitter means at the most couple days. Twitter is fast-paced, so updating every couple hours is desirable. If you can’t devote it that much time, aim for at least one tweet a day. To ensure regular updates with ease, schedule the tweets 1 week ahead via Twitter scheduling tool like Hootsuite or SocialOomph etc.
Follow “Quality not quantity” principle. This is a point that I could spend hours explaining, but to sum it up: what really counts on Twitter is quality, not quantity. You can have thousands of followers, but if they don’t retweet you, don’t pay attention to you, don’t really interact with you, you are not any better off than the tweeps who have only few followers who actually care. You should aim for building quality following, not only quantity following. This can and should go hand in hand and the only way to do this is by putting your followers’ interests before yours. THINK about what your followers may like to know, what you can give them or help them with. You can send many tweets a day every day, but if all you feed your followers with is what interests or helps you, you are never going to be successful. Therefore, put on your potential customers’ shoes and walk (tweet) – you will walk much further this way.
Follow others. I will take on the example of Hilton Quebec again. The company follows 195 people. In other words, the company is relying on people finding them. The problem with this approach is that this takes a lot of time for people to discover you, so your Twitter following will grow veeery slooowly. It is way easier and more effective if you go and reach out to people who you think may be interested in following you. In this case, it would be travel agents, travel guides, hotel review tweeps, travel bloggers, people who live close to Quebec etc. You don’t need to follow everybody who follows you or everyone you see, just follow people who you believe could be interested in what you have to say or those who could inspire you (btw. competitors are always a good bet ).
Monitor their brand regularly & respond. Use Twitter search on regular basis to see what tweeps are saying about you. Just put the name of your company in search box and see what goes around Twitterverse. Bad, good, you will probably face it all, but the golden rule is: engage and respond APPROPRIATELY. If you read something positive, react positively. Praise the person, retweet it and better yet, go the extra mile. Give them something they may want – free drink at your bar, special discount, whatever you think would create positive buzz and encourage more people to give you positive feedback. If the feedback is negative, don’t get all defensive. You really are better off following “customer is always right” principle, no matter how much you disagree. If you don’t think you can resolve the situation in a delicate manner (if the person bad-mouthing you is not reasonable), then be silent. The main point is never to engage your company in an argument over Twitter, no matter what. Always respond nicely, but if that doesn’t work, just leave it alone.
Interact. I know I am starting to be boring with repeating this all the time, but this really is the most important part of marketing successfully on social media sites. Ask questions, respond to questions, RETWEET, comment on others’ tweets. Don’t just sit there. There is no space to be passive or anti-social on social media sites. Social media (hint, hint – social) is to socialize, so why so many companies still don’t get this? This is not a newspaper or TV style of marketing. Those rules don’t apply on Twitter or any other social media sites. What is effective in other forms of marketing doesn’t work here. People don’t want to just hear about what you sell. They come to you to talk to you, to connect with you, to help you or because they need help. Don’t you worry, once you build trust, you will sell, but you cannot build trust if ALL you do is sell.
I am normally not too good at reading maps (I can’t believe I said that ), but this one is really plain and simple. You follow it, your company will succeed – guaranteed (or your money back: that is, if this advice was not free….:D)!
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