Navigating through social-media territory can be intimidating. With so many social-media networks available and so many tools for each of those networks, you may often feel like you need an instruction manual to learn how to get around! Twitter is the trump card for driving traffic to your site and the best way to attract the interest you so desperately desire. Generating interest using Twitter will increase sales and leads and convert eyeballs into customers. Whether you are an individual looking to build your own personal brand, someone who is tossing around a new business idea, or a player in a growing company looking to expand, this is just the post you’ve been looking for! Here’s what I like to call my “Unofficial Twitter Playbook”:
1. Create Tweets That Speak to Your Brand
Twitter is a highly effective way to spread your message at great lengths with the slightest effort while incurring the least amount of debt. Twitter is an effective tool for drawing in attention, conversing, and engaging, if done right. Staying on topic and being true to your brand authenticity are fundamental qualities that should never be overlooked. Here are three components for branding yourself on Twitter that you should pay close attention to:
- Lead with Your Company. Putting your company name ahead of yourself as the account name will build your company’s brand while putting a name with a face.
- Mutual Branding. Companies are recognizing that their employees are the lifeblood to a successful social-media campaign, and so mutual branding just makes sense. Mutually brand Twitter accounts so the user’s profile has the company logo and the individual’s picture. Employees and partners are your number-one fans—leverage that, and encourage them to promote your site.
- Personal Branding vs. Corporate Branding. If your focus is to promote a personal brand instead of your company’s, then turn your bio, avatar, and Twitter handle 100 percent on you.
Find and engage with new followers by downloading one of the most effective Twitter marketing tools—TweetAdder:
2. Tweet Useful Links
Your followers will appreciate interesting links to great content and your sites, but do keep in mind that if the URL is too long and breaks between lines of text, you’re likely to miss out on engagement. Try using TinyURL, Bitly, or Google Analytics to shorten URLs. You’ll like how easy TinyURL makes tweeting URLs:
Bitly is an awesome tool for bookmarking, organizing, and sharing your links. Bitly enables you to bundle links privately or publicly around a theme and invite collaborators. What I find really cool is that you can see how popular your shared links become and how you can maximize your efforts by sharing your links across various social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
3. Keep Tweets Timely
Take notice of the Two-Hour Rule. If your tweet hasn’t been read within two hours, the likelihood of it getting read is slim. Consider this time frame when retweeting your tweets.
4. Build Engagement
Businesses that have shown great success using Twitter to drive traffic to their site avoid egocentric tweets and encourage conversations. Take @NASA, for instance, with 4 million followers—they’ve excelled in their Twitter efforts. Social -media manager John Townsend explains, “What we do in NASA resonates with everybody. Every walk of life, with people from all over the world. We’re helping to fundamentally change the way we view our place in the universe.” In order to adopt an attitude such as NASA’s, build a similar following by listening and engaging from the get-go. Here are four ways to get you started:
- Ask questions
- Reply promptly
- Encourage feedback
- Tap into others’ conversations.
Here’s a recent example of how to start a conversation by proposing the question Which grad schools have top entrepreneurship programs?
5. Use Twitter and Blogging Together
Actively blogging is a great way to engage and interact with customers. Always include Follow me on Twitter (include handle) and tell me what you think in your blog posts, your sidebar Follow Me button, or both. Doing this will drive traffic to your blog and your site.
6. Brevity is Key
Keep your tweets short. You are allowed a maximum of 140 characters, but less is more. It has been shown that staying around 100 characters commands a 17 percent higher engagement rate, and your followers will appreciate you keeping on topic. It’s not always easy, but being creative and simple is the name of the game.
7. Use Hashtags
Get seen! Incorporating hashtags in your tweets increases the likelihood that your tweets will come up in search results. When people are searching for a specific topic, they search for those hashtags. Increase the chances of your tweet landing in their feed and redirecting them to your site. If you aren’t sure what a hashtag is, Twitter’s Help Center offers the definition as:
Here’s an example:
Here are a few cool hashtag tricks:
- Create a group chat using a tool such as TweetGrid or TweetChat.
- Collect ideas. Ask a question such as What is your favorite workout? and use a hashtag people can access to share their answers (#coolworkout)
- Share an experience.
8. Stats, Quotes, Videos and Pictures
Tweets are more likely to get clicked, shared and retweeted when using direct and bold content. Don’t miss out on Vine:
9. Real Time
Getting information in an instant as it is currently unfolding is huge! Your followers will find value in tweets containing breaking news or what’s happening moment to moment as it applies to your niche. Twitter is being used on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices for immediate real-time conversations.
Be tuned in to your business objectives, and know your audience. Create a calendar. Researchers have found that most tweets are sent on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, but to find out what days your followers are most active, you can utilize analytic tools such as Followerwonk. Popular tools like SocialFlow and Crowdbooster will most aptly help you to determine peak times for you to post. Knowing when your audience is most likely to see your tweets will allow you to be most effective. Now that you know when you should tweet, increase your productivity by using a scheduling tool to automatically tweet your tweets for you. Check out TweetDeck and Buffer App.
11. Attention to Detail
Don’t miss a tweet! Use these tools to make sure nothing gets past you!
- Seesmic Desktop
- Google Alerts
- Twitter Search
12. Don’t Waste Time with the “Wrong” Followers
Don’t get caught up in the pure number of followers that you have. Focus your efforts on finding the right followers, for instance. those people who want to actively talk about your business and industry. You will be able to find more customers as you engage with others in your industry and follow them as well. Make the most of your time to follow and be followed by heavy-hitting influencers in your market. You want people retweeting your content within Twitter or use of a TweetMeme button. If you come across something cool, regardless of who created it, share it! If you retweet awesome stuff, good fortune will come your way in the form of others being more willing to retweet yours. If you mention a person or a company, tweet them directly and let them know—it’s likely they will send you a thank-you.
13. Stay Fresh and Clever
Twitter is a global service whose core purpose is to bring people as close to their interests as possible. It’s a simple concept, but with so much competition out there, it’s even more important than ever to remain current.
Contests and sweepstakes are surefire ways to get more followers and drive traffic to your site. Offering prizes for tweeting a particular update, for following a particular user, or for posting updates with a specific hashtag is most enticing when there’s an attractive reward. For more detailed information, be sure to read up on the guidelines and best practices at www.support.twitter.com.
Here’s an example of a contest powered by Wishpond:
15. Keep Tabs on What Others are Doing
You can find out information about the actions being taken by the people you follow. Twitter’s Discover tab’s Activity timeline can show you whom your followers have retweeted, followed, replied to, and so forth. This is a smart way to reveal the ins and outs of your industry and strategize on how to get the right followers that will be attracted to your site. You can find out all this in one place:
There’s no doubt that Twitter will drive traffic to your site if used in the right way. The most common mistake first-timers make is forgetting to listen. When using Twitter for business purposes, don’t think of it as a forum to bomb people with information about you or your business. Twitter is a place to hold conversations and develop trust. You can drive traffic to your site organically by leveraging these useful tips. You’ll find that you’re making the most out of your Twitter account and positing yourself as an authority in your field who can provide something of value to your followers.
Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @matthewtoren