Twitter is one of the most popular social media, that if it is used correctly, it can help you drive quality traffic to your website or blog and build a loyal group of supporters. In this article we will focus on how to build a successful twitter campaign, how to maintain and increase your followers and what you should do in order to increase the traffic of your website.
The Twitter Philosophy
Twitter is a place that allows you to communicate & interact with others and learn what happens now across the world. Since you are allowed to send messages smaller than 140 characters, you should keep your posts short, witty and descriptive. As happens in all social media, you need to invest time and lots of effort in order to build strong relationships and affiliations and improve your online reputation. So for those of you who don’t have the time or the means to invest in a Social Media campaign don’t use Twitter, since you can negatively affect your company’s online marketing profile.
Now that we have made clear what Twitter is and what it can help you do, let’s see 12 important things that you should have in mind while designing and implementing your Twitter Campaign:
1. Know your industry and analyze your competitors
The number 1 rule is to know well your industry, what your target audience wants and what your competitors do on social media. Spend time searching for what people discuss on twitter, find influential members of your industry, analyze your competitors’ campaigns and see what works and what doesn’t in your field.
Twitter search can be a very handy tool to see what the hot topics of your industry are. Use topsy search engine to track the influential people of the field and follow them. Check the websites and the twitter profiles of your competitors and monitor their follower growth. By spending some time on twitter and by becoming a regular user you will learn what topics become popular and what users like.
2. Support your tweets with blog posts
Twitter is a great place to find interesting articles and blog posts. The “Top 10” articles and the “How To” guides become very popular on twitter. Have in mind that since you only have 140 characters per message you should be very brief but at the same time attract user’s attention. So make sure you write a helpful and well structured article for your field, find a short and attractive title and post it on Twitter along with the URL of your blog. In this way not only you will increase the number of your followers but also you will lead traffic to your website.
3. Promote fresh content
As mentioned above, users try to find on Twitter what is going now around the world, what’s new and what’s hot. Try to tweet about fresh articles, tips and news. Of course this doesn’t mean that you can’t from time to time tweet about older “best seller” tips and articles that are still valid and useful to the users.
4. Create a list of useful messages
It’s very important to tweet often and give quality messages and tips to your followers. Since you can’t be on Twitter 24/7 and you won’t have always something useful to say, create a list of interesting articles, tips and references and use them when you are stack. This list should contain information about your industry, useful tips and references to your blog.
TwitterFeed and similar services can be handy tools that will allow you to connect your blog with twitter or schedule your future tweets when you are not available. Just remember that even though such services can be helpful, they should not replace you on social media.
5. Answer questions
People tend to use Twitter to ask questions. Monitor regularly what people ask on subjects that you know or on topics that you have already covered on your blog and try to help them out. Not only they will appreciate your help and they will follow you but also this could be a great inspiration in order to find new topics for your blog.
6. Be responsive
The number 1 mistake that people make on twitter is not to monitor what others say about them. Not only you should regularly (daily) check what people say to/about you but also you should reply to them. Thank the people that support you and try to help them when they ask you a question. This will help you develop e-friendships and alliances with other people of your industry, get feedback or even have the chance to reply to negative comments before they spread. People appreciate it when you reply to them, especially when you start becoming influential.
A great example of a company that is extremely influential and at the same time very responsive is Microsoft. The twitter teams of Microsft (@bing, @MicrosoftSB, @adCenter etc) are doing really great job, since they help and interact with twitter users. On the other hand Google does not seem to do good job on twitter since they hardly reply to any comments.
In order to ensure you read all the tweets about you and your site make sure you check 4 things: a) The replies of your twitter account, b) the ReTweets, c) the Keywords and terms that are in your brand name and d) the results of Topsy.
7. Create affiliations
There are many interesting and influential people on twitter. Make sure you retweet messages that you find useful and give credit to the original authors. Contact persons with similar interests, exchange views, provide feedback to them, invite them to do guest posts on your blog, help them support their projects or spread the word and build affiliations. The secret is to be honest and transparent and never try to use them. Try to get into win-win situations and invest on long term alliances.
8. Reward your supporters
If you post quality tweets, people will follow you. This will not happen over night but if you stay for a while as a regular user you will get your own loyal audience. Remember that it is of outmost importance to reward your top contributors and the people that supported you. As we said above not only you need to monitor what users say and be responsive but also to make sure you provide something back to the people that helped you spread the word about your business. This could be a “Thank you” for their support, a #FollowFriday mention, a free eBook, a premium subscription on your service or a discount if they are already your customers. The point here is not to get into a situation where you exchange their tweets for a reward, but to make people understand that you appreciate their help.
9. Place twitter buttons on your website
You need to make it easy for people that like your website or blog to share it with other users. Make sure you place social bookmark buttons in a strategic position on your blog in order to make it easier for people to spread the word. My suggestion is to stick with the default bookmark buttons (addthis, twittermeme or Facebook like button etc) since people tend to trust them and understand better what they do.
10. Create special offers
If you have a relatively big target audience it would be a great idea to create special offers only for the twitter users. This can help you create a buzz, increase the number of your followers and reward people that follow you.
11. Build landing pages for twitter users
In cases where you promote content for twitter users or when you have a special offer for them, you need to consider creating landing pages especially optimized for Twitter. This can help you manipulate the average time that people spend on your site, improve your effectiveness and increase your revenue. If you want to learn more read the article how to build effective landing pages.
12. Be cool & honest
People can understand it when you try to use them or spam them. Approaching them in order to get something in return or forcing them be part of your “evil” plan is the wrong way to use Twitter. Be honest and cool. Try to have fun on social media and avoid spamming people or posting only about your business. If you are too busy to invest time or too hasty, social media can harm your business because you will get labeled as spammer.
Remember: In order to be successful you need to like what you are doing. Have fun, be honest and transparent and post quality content. This is the way to build a successful social media campaign.
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