January 25, 2013
Social networks have proven themselves to be a very powerful asset to the business world. Through them, we have the convenience of sharing, discussing and networking with others who have similar interests. A large majority of small businesses apply these social networks as their primary marketing strategy because they can reach so many people easily and inexpensively.
Twitter has proven itself as a powerful networking resource that is dependable and extensive in its ability to reach a large audience effectively — as long as you know how to use the tools provided. Like most social networks, Twitter is perfect for using word-of-mouth marketing. People share with each other, as long as you share with them. This is the primary principle to keep in mind whenever using a social network, because you must first talk to people to start a conversation.
What you say matters
Because Twitter has a character limit, there is only so much that can be said at one time. But, you don’t need to say a lot to make a point or start a conversation. In fact, keeping it short and to the point often stimulates the best responses.
One thing to refrain from is tweeting one part of a statement and completing it in a second tweet. If it’s too long to put in a single tweet, find a different way to say it or link back to a reference that will say it for you (other social networks or blogs). Therefore, anyone tweeting must be able to use words effectively.
Find a different way
New tweets help keep fresh material flowing and improve visibility, but it’s important that you take the time to comment on responses. The more times you tag participants’ names into your conversation, the more visibility you can achieve. Serious Twitter users will regularly check out who and where their names were mentioned on a regular basis, so this is a great way to meet new networks and interact with your audience.
One technique to apply is the art of asking questions. A short statement would work to start, but finish by questioning the value of the subject at hand, such as how it applies to the reader’s life. This is a very effective way to stimulate a reaction and is applied to various marketing strategies because it tends to create a recall in the mind of the reader. They familiarize with the issue and are apt to respond far more effectively.
Be a good investigative reporter
A great source of new material is to respond to popular questions, even those not posted directly to Twitter. Consider a FAQ or topics that are related to your business, and then offer a solution to them. Often-asked questions are often the prime meat of search results anywhere on the Internet. “How to” and “Why is” questions litter the minds of readers and it’s great to bring this up in conversation to draw attention. One technique would be to bring up the topic in a question form. Then, offer a solution during the conversation when you know you have attention. This will help to demonstrate that you are an expert in your field.
Twitter is a gateway
Twitter is a window through which readers can get a taste of material and explore its source. This brings up the importance of titles in your tweet. When tweeting your content or from an outside article or blog, choose select valuable information to share. Quote yourself or share the purpose of the project, rather than simply using the title of the content. The trick is to offer valuable information to readers; don’t just list a source and tag it with a link. Give readers a taste so they will want to search for more.
Of course, this also brings up the importance of watching where you place your links. The end can sometimes get cut off or hidden on Twitter feeds, meaning you will have to reformat it and tweet again. However, this can often become an eyesore on your feeds. You want them right up there in plain view, preferably in the middle or near the beginning where you can explain the relevance.
Twitter can be a powerful marketing and networking tool for any business, as long as it’s used effectively. Make the most of the space you have and keep your content applicable to your audience to generate interest so you can develop a quality network in your social outlet.
Maria Elena Duron, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks, a word-of-mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks “work” and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz, she facilitates online visibility services and word of mouth coaching and workshops — taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy, buzz2bucks.com.