Twitter, one of the top three social media sites (Facebook and YouTube are the other two), reached the 500 million mark of registered users earlier this year. While not all are active users (estimates pegged it at 140 million active users), the number of unique tweets sent per day is staggering: more than 340 million.
These numbers make the microblogging site one of the most important ones businesses, large and small, should utilize in their social media marketing strategy.
Here are a few best practices to follow that will enable companies to not only take advantage of the features of Twitter, but also enable them to improve their company standing with clients. Many of these suggestions would fare well throughout other social media networking platforms as well.
Businesses that listen to their customers will not only be able to better service them, but also create an emotional connection that will potentially last a lifetime. Customers are keen on what they want and need from a product or service, and they will stay loyal to a company if their needs are provided. Hence, listening well– i.e. monitoring your customers’ tweets and replying to questions, concerns, views, complaints and suggestions– facilitates direct customer feedback. This information can provide your company with valuable information for improving service and marketing strategies, and bettering relationships with your clients.
Apart from listening, asking questions is also important in the social media conversation. By asking your Twitter followers for their opinions and insights, you are not only gathering useful information for your business, it also shows that you care about what they think.
Share photos and information, including behind-the-scenes activity about your company. Post updates on milestones and new products, giving your followers a first glimpse. Your loyal followers will most likely share your information through their Twitter network and spark a buzz about certain updates or developments regarding company ventures or projects, and generate interest amongst their followers. That really is the gist of the whole social media-networking world: sharing information.
It is common courtesy to respond to a question, a comment, or a statement made by individuals to each other. The same principle applies in Twitter. Reply as soon as possible, in a concise and direct manner. In this way, followers will know you are taking note of every tweet, and making an effort to connect with them. Failing to do so would create a poor public image, because customers do not want to be ignored, and more often than not, they want to feel special. Hence, responding to tweets will go a long way.
Reward Your Followers
Send out tweets about special offers or promotions. This gives your Twitter followers another reason to feel special and to stick with you and share you information.
Articles written for a company’s blog should reflect that business’ intelligence and expertise in their specific field. The same goes for certain Tweets. Keep your followers and clients updated about articles and other content that relates to your company’s field.
Retweeting your followers posts not only shows that you are actively involved in what they have to say, it also can expand your reach by the hundreds, thousands even, to new customers and followers.
In summary, the best practices to use in Twitter should be applied overall to a company’s marketing strategy: Listen, Engage Inform and Reward.