It was considered a fad when it started, it turned into a niche network and it’s now become one of the most important marketing tools for marketers, brands and businesses alike. Twitter, the micro-blogging social network which started in 2006, has grown into one of the most effective tools in penetrating new markets and spreading news.
For businesses, Twitter can play an important role in local marketing efforts because of then unique opportunities that it provides. Twitter provides an array of tools that can be used to find potential customers, new trends as well as networking opportunities with other businesses that might help form strategic partnerships.
One feature in particular that every business should utilize is the robust social monitoring tools available today. Through Twitter’s advance search, a business can search for keywords or phrases with specific target searches that include by user, mentions as well as place/location.
If you are just starting out with Twitter keyword monitoring, the first step it so identify a specific area to target. Remember, just how with Google searches, the more specific you are in your searches, the better the results. Example: “Dog” versus “Gold Retriever.”
At first glance, Twitter may look like just a bunch of noise, but if you look closely and take the time, you can turn that noise into relevance.
[For a complete list of how to use Twitter's Advance Search, read this great writeup published by Twitter.]
Let people know you are on Twitter
When using Twitter as part of your marketing strategy, letting your customers know that you are using Twitter as a communication device (as well as any other platforms), is a must. Aside from letting customers know directly at your business locations through signage, if your business has a website, you can have a link on your website that allow customers to know how they may reach you on Twitter.
If your business has a website, we suggest using Twitter’s Widget Creator which allows you to customize a widget for your website or even for your Facebook page.
Find the influencers on Twitter
Another great way that Twitter can play into a businesses marketing strategy is in identifying key influencers. Using tools like Klout, you can find out who are the most active, most followed and most influential users in any given area and/or expertise. Here is a snapshot of Ben & Jerry’s Food Truck:
As you can see, if I were a business that is looking to partner with someone who is influential about Ice Cream in the Seattle area, they might be the perfect candidate. As Twitter is like a megaphone, finding the user with the biggest ‘voice’ is the perfect way to make sure that your message is getting heard and by the right audience.
Once you have identified the influencers that attract the audience that you are looking to build relationships with, reach out to them and to see what kind of synergy there might be. Some creative ways to build partnerships include offering special access (ie: early access to products), invitations to dine at your restaurant (great for reviews) and creating titles/groups for your biggest supporters (ie: Mike’s Super Sub Twitter Team.)
Is your business using Twitter? If so, what are some strategies and best practices that you use to drive brand awareness and conversions? Let us know in the comments below.