Why Twitter? People ask us this all the time. To be honest, it’s not for everyone. If you check your email but once a week, don’t bother with the face-paced information-overload that Twitter is. If you find yourself social connected on Facebook and you don’t need any new strategic partners, then don’t bother with tweeting. If you just think Twitter is for annoying your kids with a status update about what you had for lunch, then why bother?
While there are countless ways to use Twitter, I’ve tried to categorize them into 6 reasons. I hope this helps:
Likeability – our favorite definition of marketing says it’s all about “getting people with a specific need to know, like and trust you.” Twitter is a great tool in your arsenal to have people experience your knowledge (see “Credibility” below), skills and abilities in addition to your personality. No one has ever been fond of long-winded types (I border on this even in this blog post!), so the 140-character limit showcases those who are innovative, creative and relevant to communicate value with brevity! And if you are going to Twitter as a business, please have a personality behind your tweets! Alot of businesses will have a corporate Twitter account and their corporate logo will be their Twitter photo. But logos and corporate (self-promo) speak are stale and do little to add value to your followers. Jonathan Fields demonstrates this in an article about the pizza joint Twitter smackdown!
Noticeability – driving traffic to your ancillary sites is crucial. Your tweet about a new article on your blog not only drives readers to your blog site, but hopefully they’ll see more about you and your offerings while they are there. When you send your Twitter followers to a unique video you recorded for your target market, they follow you to your own YouTube Channel where they find other great stuff. These are great traffic drivers to your main hub of information which is often your website. Without it, your site sits idle hoping someone stumbles upon it. But frequent tweets gives your followers insight into who you are, what you do, what sets you apart and why they should do business with you. While you certainly want to sprinkle in plenty of tweets going to OTHER people’s links, getting yourself discovered is a great function of Twitter.
Credibility – sharing links to other articles that will be helpful to your target market or strategic partners establishes you the credible resource in your industry. They may be links to articles or blogs that you have written, or connecting your target market with other helpful resources. Credibility is rarely secured by self-promotion; it is established when your target market realizes that you have their best interest in mind. Those who know alot but only to monetize every bit of knowledge they have will have few followers. Those who give generously will lead with many following close by to tap into your wealth of information. When those people are at a transaction moment, your name is likely to be top-of-mind because you have led them.
Searchability – For the growing number of Twitter users (7.2 billion at last count!), they will rarely Google search any more – they will start with Twitter search. To find out what people are saying about your service, even blogs are not that easy to locate – but with Twitter search, you can find out immediately who’s been talking (it’s called reputation management). If you are a service provider of any kind, you can encourage your clientele to tweet about their experience and then actually follow-up with them to see what they say. If other searchers find their words helpful and you as part of that conversation, you will get more followers. I guarantee it!
Connectability – Twitter is like texting in that you are most effective in shorter tweets – but the reach of your Twitter presence is far from short. I’ve never connected with like-minded individuals and their fans faster than with Twitter. Every week I find more people who are in my target market or who become significant resource people or strategic partners. When you do that, you open up more streams of communication, networking, resources, and hopefully revenue. Speaking of which . . .
Profitability – VOILA! This is the one we all want to crown as the only legitimate basis for Twitter, right? “If it doesn’t help me make money, then it’s a waste of time” is the rally cry of many impatient naysayers who have dollar signs in their eyes. Just keep in mind that all the other reasons listed above do a lot to encourage the Know-Like-Trust relationship you are trying to cultivate with your potential customers. So while Twitter is not guaranteed to create a telethon-like phone frenzy where the cash register sings with every tweet, I believe it adds quantifiable profit – based on the amount of traffic driven to your brand (having the right analytics documents this). Alot of people ask us, “well how many times should I tweet in a day to make receive a noticeable ROI?” It’d say, as much as you can! You likely spend time on the phone with prospects, attending networking events in the community, or schmoozing with strategic partners over lunch – so all of that is time that you ultimately generates revenue, right? Look at Twitter as another arm of your marketing mix, but one in which prospecting, networking and partnering are all together.
Now that you see the need – why not let us help you get started:
Twitter court image credit: Jef Poskanzer