Online engagement works as well for businesses as it does for individuals. Entrepreneur or not, success rides on being active and available.
He talked with entrepreneur Madalyn Sklar about how to boost Twitter marketing.
Social relationship experts from Hootsuite offered preliminary advice about engagement.
“Start by replying to the people who mention you,” they said. “Madalyn does this well, and it’s part of why she has such high engagement.
“Go where the engagement is,” the Hootsuite experts said. “Participate in Twitter chats. Answer questions, and take the time to engage with people and build relationships.”
To make tweets pop, Hootsuite advises those online to use images, GIFs and emojis to attract people and entice them to engage.
Entrepreneurs should have an overall marketing strategy. What you do in social media — with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram — are tactics within the overall strategy. That ensures you present a consistent, coherent voice to the world.
“Twitter marketing strategies are a major source of growth within any business,” Tompkins said. “So yes, they are very important. Never get stuck on one option, though. Other outlets — Facebook and Instagram — represent big pieces as well.”
Sklar emphasized that businesses can connect and grow their community on Twitter.
“Having a Twitter marketing strategy is extremely important for your overall online business,” she said.
As they develop their marketing strategies, entrepreneurs must overcome several misconceptions.
“I’ve encountered many businesses who don’t believe Twitter builds your credibility,” Tompkins said. “With a Twitter marketing strategy, it’s important to note how personable the outlet is. Back-and-forth conversation is a powerful tool. It allows perspectives to be shared.
“Some businesses will focus on the idea of competitive advantage and say Twitter isn’t worth it,” he said. “That’s invalid when you see the outlet has over 330 million active users engaging regularly. With numbers like that, your audience is out there somewhere.”
He added that the growth of Instagram “leaves some blind to the success that can be had from other outlets.”
While social media is all about social first, Sklar constantly fights the notion that free enterprise is forbidden.
“The biggest misconception I’ve seen is that people think you cannot sell or get customers using Twitter,” she said. “They are always shocked when I tell them 80 percent of my business comes from Twitter.”
Both Tompkins and Sklar had tips for creating an easy-to-follow and effective Twitter marketing strategy.
“One of the first — and maybe most important — steps behind an effective Twitter marketing strategy is the story,” Tompkins said. “What are you talking about? Who are you? Is your content mix clean and following a consistent format? Strategize to represent something.
“You have to relate to your audience,” he said. “Pushing sales on them will do the opposite and can even alienate them.”
Sklar’s marketing strategy is what she calls her #TwitterSmarter secret sauce:
- Be consistent.
- Tweet every day.
- Go through notifications daily and respond.
- Use Twitter lists.
- Participate in Twitter chats.
- Engage. Engage. Engage.
Her exclusive recipe also is available as a free mini-class.
To create the perfect content mix to publish, share and distribute on Twitter, Tompkins cited competitive analysis.
“You’re trying to perfect your content mix,” he said. “What are the people around you doing well? Pull good ideas from them, look into their interactions and their engagement. How do they talk to their followers? Electronically pick their brains.”
In a Twitter marketing strategy, video should be special — seemingly spontaneous but with thought behind it. Marketing is done for a reason, even if it’s just the right and honest thing to do.
“Video is a great way to spice-up your content,” Tompkins said. “When you’re scrolling through your feed, you don’t want constant stock images. You want something that’s visually captivating.
“That said, mix it up,” he said. “Never post only video, and never post only images. Also remember GIFS.”
Endorsing video to Sklar is like preaching to the choir.
“I love video,” she said. “I’m a big fan of using it regularly on Twitter. I started #VideoReplyDay to encourage people to get in the habit of replying to tweets with a video. It’s simple and easy to do on your phone.
“If you struggle with video, you may want to check out my Video Like A Rockstar program for women,” Sklar said. “It’s part mastermind, part online training.”
Metrics tell all
“They provide great details on your return on investment.,” he said. “Additionally, there’s outward engagement: What’s happening to the posts on your feed? Remember your direct messages. Are you receiving actual messages and not just spam? If yes, you’re doing great.”
Sklar said tweeters should check Twitter analytics regularly to evaluate how their Twitter activities are doing.
“Two major tools for Twitter strategy are Hootsuite and TweetDeck,” Tompkins said. “I enjoy them for different reasons. Hootsuite provides me with great analytics and lets me know how an account is doing. TweetDeck is superior when it comes to stream and list monitoring.
“Twitter analytics are the most straightforward as far as data tracking,” he said.
Twitter marketing fails when users expect to see results as fast as a tweet. No matter the platform, social media marketing is not hit and run. There is no overnight success.
Tompkins finds fault with entrepreneurs not being consistent.
“Content needs to have a formula,” he said. “The formula can be altered, but it needs to be familiar. Stick with what’s effective.
“It’s also important to note that Twitter is a marathon, not a sprint,” he said. “Don’t give up due to a small audience from the get-go.”
Tompkins and Sklar continued their discussion on Facebook Live.