Today’s marketplace has become increasingly social. In fact, advertising publication AdWeek reports that 78% of social media users said that company’ social media posts impact their purchases.
Social media use by consumers is two fold –to research brands and to share information about an experience.
Over the next month, we’ll be looking at how your business can use social media to get ahead. Let’s start with Twitter.
With 66 million users around the world, Twitter is one of the world’s most popular social networking sites.
Compared to other social networking sites and applications, Twitter’s product is fairly simple. Twitter is functionally similar to old-school text messaging in that an individual post is limited to a small number of characters. The limit on character count is set at 140. As such, the information you send out in a ‘tweet’ has to be short and to the point.
Partially because of its simplicity, Twitter is one of the easiest ways to build a community around your company and your product, and allows companies to communicate and share content quickly among networks. Many companies use Twitter as a means of interacting with their customer base, so instead of simply posting your own content, consider also sharing or ‘retweeting’ posts that come from your followers and even interacting directly with them. For example, if you sell sunglasses, you may want to consider tweeting a link to an article about 10 tips for sun tanning safely.
On Twitter, you choose a username which is signified by the @ symbol. For example, our username on Twitter is @WaFed. You can track who is referencing you in tweets or who is reaching out to you using this ‘handle.’ If people are seeking out answers to customer service questions or other prompts about your business, you should feel comfortable replying to them over Twitter and building a connection with them.
Keep an eye out for trends and ‘hash tags’ that are relevant to your brand and feel free to add your individual take as you see fit. A hash tag is when a pound symbol (#) is put in front of a word or string of words and becomes a hyperlink to other tweets using the same hash tag.
Respond quickly to customer inquiries.
Dedicate one or two people on your team to manage your company’s Twitter handle. Make sure they’re checking and responding to any inquiries, complaints or other interactions in a timely fashion. Twitter users expect quicker replies than other social media platforms. Make it a point to respond to followers within an hour, even if you just thank them for their question and let them know you’re looking the issue for them.
Track your results.
Twitter’s free analytics tool makes it easy to see which of your tweets are getting the most engagement. Review the prior week’s tweets -which ones earned you the highest number of re-tweets or clicks? Are they tweets about products? Factoids? Customer testimonies?
Also look for trends that indicate the days of the week or the time of day that your tweets get the most results. Typically Twitter users engage with the platform early in the morning or early afternoon.
With just a little creativity, you may be able to put your business in front of this evolving social trend. Happy tweeting!