You’ve heard it before but I will say it again…when it comes to Social Media, you can’t just “set it and forget it.”
If you aren’t “all in,” chances are you are not getting much out of Twitter at all. Those who truly benefit from the opportunities that Twitter offers are the ones who make it a part of their lifestyle. They are both consistent and focused in their actions.
The purpose of this article is not to overwhelm you, but to help you effectively use Twitter to put your brand in front of the right people and get real results.
You do this by participating in relevant conversations, developing a keen eye for opportunities, building real relationships, earning credibility and building a positive reputation for yourself and your brand. That’s a mouthful, I know. Don’t worry – I’m about to break it down for you.
At Gbox, we work with a lot of video creators who have been primarily using Facebook, Instagram, Vine and YouTube to do their social selling. They look at us with one brow raised when we tell them how useful Twitter is.
Unless you are a B2B company or sales professional, you might do the same. But the numbers speak for themselves!
Twitter has more than 500 million active users. These users tweet 400 million times and enter 1.6 billion search terms, each and every day.
One business owner found that by contacting people on Twitter before sending them an email, they were 150% more likely to open the email. That’s powerful stuff!
When Gbox first started, I decided to find out just how much we could benefit from Twitter.
I started with a three-month plan and committed to spending 25 minutes a day implementing it. At the end of the three months, I would measure and determine whether Gbox was catching any momentum through Twitter.
Here is how I did it and how it worked!
- Get an Assistant (for free)
My first concern will likely be yours.
I really thought that I couldn’t afford to take time away from other business tasks. The thought of adding Twitter time to my list of “to-do’s” overwhelmed me. I needed an assistant! But I was persuaded enough to prioritize it temporarily.
The first step was to get an online assistant. I picked Buffer and learned how to use it in ten minutes.
Instead of spending all 25 minutes per day on researching and posting, I found that with the Buffer browser plugin I could easily add articles to the Gbox queue as I browsed throughout the day. Each Monday I checked to make sure there were enough posts so that Buffer could send out 3-5 tweets per day.
By queuing posts, I was able to spend the rest of my dedicated 25 Twitter minutes enjoying reading posts, engaging and performing the other steps of the plan. Buffer also offers analytics tools, which I determined to use in an effort to choose purposeful and effective posts. This brings us to number two on the plan.
- Post Wisely
Our Gbox audience consists of individual video producers, sports organizations, media outlets and anyone creating online video content. Hence, I naturally began posting lots of relevant articles and quotes about video creating and related topics.
After month one, I used the analytics tool on Buffer to check out what posts our followers engaged with most. I found that Gbox got the most re-tweets when posting links to videos and/or posts that included photos.
Those results allowed me to enhance posts by including photos in every post and linking to videos (new or old) each day
- Hit The Bullseye
What engages your customers? How can you reach these people specifically?
A great way to find your niche audience on Twitter is by using “Twitter Lists.” It’s worth reading a couple of tutorials on how to use them effectively!
A Twitter List is a curated group of users. I decided to subscribe to 3 relevant lists per month. I chose lists that avid video watchers and video producers would likely be a part of.
As a result, the Gbox feed was flooded with great content related to our audience’s interests. I had great opportunities to comment, retweet and get more involved in the Twitter space.
Using Buffer, I was able to post directly to lists.
As my next step, I reached out to the influencers that owned some of the well-known lists.
- Build Relationships with Influential People
Twitter is a great place to reach out to influencers. A good rule of thumb is to send them a personal message first. If they respond, follow them. If they respond back, keep talking to them.
Relationships are a two-way street. Your Twitter actions should reflect an expectancy to actually engage and converse with people! The takeaway here is that your time must be used wisely.
I decided not to spend any wasted time focusing on people who wouldn’t reciprocate. By focusing on those who did, my list of people who retweeted our Gbox posts and mentioning us in their own started growing!
My plan included reaching out to three influencers per week. Eventually, I was able to cut this number down as my relationships flourished and began naturally leading to more and more connections.
- Posting Best Practices
Unlike Facebook, it is hard to post too much on Twitter (It’s not impossible, though, so don’t go overboard!!). A good recommendation is to post 3-5 relevant posts per day. If you queue these up in Buffer, the app will automatically post these during peak hours so you have the best chances at reaching a large audience.
Post a mixture of photos, videos and links to relevant information.
And the most important “best practice” of all…DO NOT FORGET TO ENGAGE! Yes, that’s right, you need to be social!
Retweets are great, but don’t stop there. Look for hot posts with lots of comments, and join the conversations! If you’re invited to a Twitter party, do your best to attend. Make your presence “lively.” If your Twitter life depends on robotic posts by your social media assistant tool, your followers will be much, much less likely to respond.
As you watch influencers and popular posts, pay attention to what makes them great.
- Take the Leap off of Twitter
To make Twitter really work for you, it should be extending outside of the platform. As you develop relationships with influencers and prospects, email them personally or send them an invitation to connect on Linked.
Start by messaging the person on Twitter so that they know who you are. Ideally, you will already have a budding relationship (at least) before you go emailing them. No one wants to be spammed, so you need to establish yourself as a legitimate “friend” first.
This step is where I found a lot of value for Gbox as a business. My three months on Twitter allowed me so much more than I had expected! Some of the influencers I reached out to began mentoring me (either indirectly or directly) as I connected with them via LinkedIn.
Eventually I started to network with these connections in person at conferences and local networking meetings. I gained insights and connections that opened the gates for new opportunities for Gbox!
When Twitter really “works” is when you take full advantage of it. Buying followers or scheduling a years’ worth of posts and then walking away will not earn you the types of valuable interactions your business needs.
Instead, try making Twitter an enjoyable part of your life.
The above steps from our Gbox 3-month Twitter plan resulted in dozens of new business relationships and opportunities for BreakFree! Yoga. I hope you use each and every one of them; but even more than that, I hope you learn to ENJOY Twitter so that whatever you do is sincere and profitable rather than overwhelming and discouraging.