Your Twitter followers are an asset to your business and to your brand. They deserve attention and value from you as you draw their interest to your tweets. Posting good content to Twitter and making your users happy to follow you is the best thing you can do.
Spam isn’t the path to success on Twitter. The path is reached by providing followers the value they deserve. You want your followers to think of you as a valuable member of the Twitter community, not as a spammer. If you continually post good, interesting content, people will follow you and listen to you; if you don’t, you’ll lose your followers.
Make Your Tweets Useful
What do your followers want you to tweet about? Good users try to stick to the themes and topics they are known for. Letís look at some examples of ways to use Twitter well.
@travelzoo tweets travel deals from across the web.
@ChrisBrogan offers interesting articles related to social media.
@TechCrunch links to articles and news related to start-ups.
What Do Your Readers Want to Read?
Think back to your original reasons for wanting to use Twitter. What are you trying to accomplish? Who is your target audience? In the same way you would write a business plan for a new company, you should have a plan for the content you will tweet to your followers.
Decide upon your target market. Then, think from their perspective: what would you, as a reader or follower of your own site, want to read? What content would a reader want to see from you? Readers want to see content that is valuable to them.
The following are some good examples of content that readers want to see:
1. Relevant Articles and Links
What does your company focus on? Chances are, if you are interested in what your company does, your readers will be interested in similar things. Tweet links to articles relevant to your business.
Articles and links are probably the best way to offer value to your followers. Twitter is limiting only 140 characters for you to send updates, but by sharing links (and with the help of URL-shortening services, such as http://bit.ly), you can lead them to more content.
2. Discounts and Coupons
People love deals! If you broadcast coupons and discounts to your service, followers will definitely find value. Other users often share links to coupons and could help drive traffic to your profile (this strategy works especially well if you offer these discounts only on Twitter). Even if your readers donít actually utilize the discount, they will still see the value in continuing to follow you.
Additionally, consider tweeting discounts from related (but not competing) companies. You can do this by looking up coupons online or by using Twitter search.
3. Company Updates
Twitter lets you contact your customers directly and quickly. This means that it is the perfect way to let your customers know about updates or issues with your service. For short updates, posting directly on Twitter is perfect, though updates that require long explanations should point to a blog article or a relevant notification page.
If you want to gain a sizeable amount of followers, try a contest! People love free things and blogs will often promote these contests for free. Just make sure you add “Please RT” to the beginning of your tweet, because you want everyone passing on these messages to their followers.
Please note that while this method may get you a lot of followers, it doesnít always bring high quality ones. People might just be following you for the free stuff, not to learn more about your service.
5. Responses to Questions
This is very important – if any follower asks you a question or sends a message directed to you, make sure to respond. The power of Twitter lies in its ability to let users connect directly with each other. If one of your followers asks you a question or sends you a direct message, be sure to give him or her an excellent response. Building your business requires that you make your users happy by building personal connections.
Frequency of Posting
There is a delicate balance between posting too much and not posting enough. Post high quality content, post often. The worst offenders do not tweet good content or they are completely inactive. Both are sure-fire recipes for Twitter failure.
As with most things, it’s best if you can create a routine schedule for tweeting. It can definitely be hard to keep active with Twitter all day, especially because it can divert your attention from other tasks you need to complete.
If you have a lot of items to post, you can schedule them to be posted every few hours, one by one, with Twuffer. Twuffer is a great service that allows you to schedule your tweets to be posted in the future. This will allow you to batch your Twitter posts without unleashing a flood of posts at the same time.
So what is the optimum frequency of posting?
HubSpot did an excellent survey of the best number of tweets to post per day and found that 22 posts per day was the optimum amount for the users with the most followers. This is about 3 times per hour if you tweet during normal business hours. Be careful though: don’t tweet too much, or all at once, because your users won’t be happy. No matter how much you post, don’t forget to focus on sending only good content.
Connecting with Your Followers
To truly deliver value, you must make a connection with your followers. You need to open a line of communication with them – easily done, thanks to the nature of Twitter. Twitter lets you ask, respond to, and comment about tweets from any other user. By talking directly to your followers, you can help create a devoted base of fans with a personal connection to you.
You can do this by beginning conversations with your followers. When your followers ask a question, spend time and send a detailed response. One of the best ways to open a communication channel is to ask your followers a question. You’ll discover which of your followers are active and truly paying attention to you if you watch the responses to your questions.
Publicly thank the users who respond to your question by tweeting their names. They’ll be glad you did so, and will be a lot more likely to help you in the future. You can help create some very close fans of your service if you can create long term question-and-answer relationships with them.
Why Delivering Value Will Help Your Company
By spending time and building a presence on Twitter, you will connect more deeply with your clients. You will be able to provide better service, be able to see what your users want, and be able to market your company better if you have a solid fan base. Twitter lets you turn nameless customers into people who know you as you, not as a corporate figurehead.
By building this personal connection, you will be able to get people to love your service – thereby continuing to market your product by word of mouth. The power of Twitter lies in its ability to provide personal connections.
In a nutshell, you can deliver value to your Twitter followers by taking note of these tips. If you follow these, your followers will thank you. Remember: Delivering excellent value is the key to making Twitter work for marketing your business.
- Decide upon a target market and topic. Try to predominately post content relevant to this market.
- Post excellent links to articles, blogs, and sites on the Web.
- Try to post discounts or coupons, either for your own products and services or those of others.
- Post updates about your company’s work and progress.
- Hold contests for your followers.
- Always respond to messages and replies from your network.
- Ask your followers questions and publicly thank those who answer.
- Post relatively frequently, but not too much. Three per hour is the best.
- Consider creating a backlog of good content and set it to post in the future using Twuffer or any relevant service.