For some reason that I don’t understand, people tell me Twitter is like a black hole. Or that Twitter is difficult. Or that Twitter is easy for personal accounts, but using Twitter for business doesn’t make sense.
Trust me, folks. Marketing on Twitter isn’t a big mystery.
In our second article in the Twitter Decoded series, I’ll teach you how to:
- identify your target market
- engage your target market
- build a relationship with your target market
- turn your target market into clients
I’ve used Twitter since 2010 when I established this blog. I’ve learned many things since then and want to pass what I’ve learned to you.
Setting Up Your Twitter Account
When you’re setting up an account on Twitter, remember that this account is for your business. If you’ve got a personal Twitter account, don’t use it for your business. Use your business name for your Twitter account (i.e., @biggreyhorse). This builds your brand and makes it easier for others to recognize your business.
Finding Your Target Market
Once your account is set up, you’ll want to follow others. My advice is do not go crazy and follow hundreds of accounts. You can get your Twitter account banned for what’s termed “aggressive following” and “aggressive follow churn.”
This means follow accounts that are meaningful to you. If you’ve got 50 accounts that you want to follow, by all means, go for it. The hope is those accounts will follow you back.
I’ve had good success on Twitter with my target market following back. What’s surprising is when someone influential from outside of your target market follows your account, and then some of their followers become interested, too.
Big Grey Horse Media’s target market is Texas. I’ve followed wineries, companies I like, restaurants, people, businesses and individuals that compliment what we do, etc. It was easy to find accounts to follow because I simply did a search for “Austin.” Or “Texas winery.” Or a person’s name. See how easy that is?
For your target market, you want to follow the businesses or individuals who are your customers. It really doesn’t matter if your business is set up as B2B or B2C. Twitter makes it easy to find people who will be interested in what you are doing.
There’s a search function in Twitter. Go to it, type in the name of your target or a search string that will help you find your target. Hit “search” and boom! There’s a handy list of accounts related to your search.
Remember that your target market is businesses and/or consumers who buy your product or service. While it’s fine to follow others who will never be your customers, it’s more important to follow accounts that might need your product/service than it is to follow your friends or your mom.
Engaging Your Target Market
There are two methods I’ve used to market Big Grey Horse Media on Twitter. The first is to simply be honest and state what you do and how you can help. There’s nothing wrong with this method, but I’d use it with caution.
The reason I caution you to market yourself honestly on Twitter is you don’t want to spam others. I also haven’t had anyone choose Big Grey Horse Media simply because I offered our services via a Twitter DM (direct message) or a tweet. While some people do this and secure new gigs, I would be very careful. It’s a fine balance between doing a little marketing and spamming someone who doesn’t know you.
My ideal way to engage Big Grey Horse Media’s target market is to follow accounts (whether you initiate the follow or are following someone back) and listen to what they say.
As you listen to the tweets, look for patterns. What is your target market talking about? Who do they follow? Who do they interact with?
Sometimes you have to follow the chain to get the complete picture. I guarantee, however, that when you begin investigating you will find a way you can help with your products/services. But you have to listen and be patient.
There’s two ways I’ve had great success with Twitter:
1) Obtaining interviews
2) Developing relationships
Both of which can lead to greater things down the road. You gotta pick the low-hanging fruit first, though.
Marketing on Twitter is all about relationships. Unless you are already doing business with someone and decide to follow them on Twitter, you have a cold relationship. Having someone follow you, or following them, doesn’t mean the plate’s hot.
Take your time. As I mentioned before, listen to what the business or person is saying on Twitter. What do they talk about? Who is their target market? Who do they follow?
Over time, you can develop awesome relationships that will spread to your other social media channels. If you have folks following you across the board, that’s great! You’re definitely taking the right approach.
I’d caution to take your time and allow things to happen naturally. I would not stalk other Twitter accounts or try to engage them in ways that aren’t natural. I also would NOT push my business on anyone. That’s not Twitter’s purpose.
Another way you’ll build relationships on Twitter is to tweet your blog posts, announcements, PR, etc. Make sure you do this so folks know what’s going on, but never use your Twitter account simply to toot your horn.
Social media’s about relationships. Say it again. Social media’s about relationships. Burn this into your brain.
No one wants to know every thought that you have, as you have it. Unless that’s your purpose and you have a large following who digs your humor, make Twitter be about others, too.
Re-tweet things that catch your eye. Things that your followers will enjoy.
Send a tweet when someone you admire wins an award or receives positive PR. Spread the love.
Favorite tweets you dig.
Turning Your Target Market Into Clients
If you do all that I’ve suggested so far, you’re building credibility and trust with your target market. Only you can say when the time is right to approach with a deal, but if you’ve warmed your targets up, they will begin to come to you.
The best way to get business, and the only way to get business, is to solve someone’s problem. If you’re doing your job right on Twitter, you’ll solve problems and earn the position of an authoritative source. Once you’re seen as credible, you’ll have no problem closing the sale.
Bottom line: Twitter’s a blast. I’ve learned so much over the years and the fun continues. I’d say the biggest mistake people make is going full steam ahead with a Twitter business account and then petering out in a few weeks or months. If you decide Twitter isn’t for you, the best thing you can do is close your account. Nothing smacks unprofessional more than a Twitter business account with zero followers and one or two tweets.
If you’re still scratching your head and confused about how to make Twitter work, reach out. I’m happy to help you grow your online presence.