I was surfing around my Facebook account yesterday and noticed that my daughter-in-law, who works for the largest cement and construction materials manufacturer in the world, had just joined the Facebook page of her employer.
We all can agree, I think, that being a cement manufacturer is neither the most exciting or tech oriented business. That being said, however, even Lafarge recognizes the need to establish a social media presence. Has your business made the same move to social media? Has your business recognized the need to develop your brand and to add to your customer base?
If you business isn’t using social media, you are doing something wrong. Isn’t it about time your business made the jump and began using social media to develop and protect your brand? Here are ten tips that offer you a road map to help establish your business at Twitter.
1. Create your Twitter strategy. Develop a plan about what Twitter can do for you. Make it a written plan. Everything has more impact when you write it down. Twitter can be used in many ways; as a listening tool to hear what others (including your competition) are saying about your business; as a method to share news and updates about your company or product; as a customer service forum where you can resolve issues related to your customer experience; you get the idea. There are many, many ways to integrate a Twitter strategy into your overall business plan. How you do so takes considerable thought. Don’t short change the planning of this strategy as proper planning is a key element in the success of a Twitter campaign.
2. Become an expert in using Twitter Search. Using Twitter Search will allow you to track what others are saying about your brand. It will also allow you to track your competition and to learn what they are doing right – and what they are doing wrong. Spend some time learning how to use Twitter Search to best serve your business.
3. Show your human side. Remember, Twitter is a social media forum. You absolutely need to show your customers, and potential customers, that you are human. You need to interact with them. If you use Twitter as a one way exchange it simply becomes another form of direct advertisement to your followers. Most people can smell an advertisement a mile away. Pretend, instead, that you are sitting in your local coffee shop with your Twitter followers and exchanging information with them. Remember to be polite, friendly and to respond to their needs. Learn how to use Twitter’s retweet and respond features. Use them liberally. Be prepared to react quickly to both customer complaints and customer praise alike. Be human. We all know what that means. Just do it.
4. Work hard to solve customer’s problems. Everyone understands that your Twitter strategy will involve advertising the benefits of your business. But it’s important to always remember to help solve customer problems as they appear in your Twitter stream. The praise of a happy customer travels fast over Twitter – but so does the complaint of an unhappy customer. Which side of this transaction do you want to be on?
5. Make your Twitter experience easier by using third party software. Managing your Twitter accounts is much easier if you use third party software to do so. I prefer TweetDeck, but your preference may be for another tool. Take the time to check out the various third party software tools for Twitter. It will be time well spent.
6. Follow people involved with or interested in your industry. It’s also important to use Twitter to follow your competition and others who are integral in your industry. Pay attention to what your competition is saying. Pay attention to what your competition is doing. Once you see what they are doing successfully with their Twitter stream find a way to integrate a similar approach in your Twitter stream. Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
7. Learn about the Twitter @ feature and respond to it. It is absolutely imperative that you respond to @ requests from your Twitter followers. It’s the equivalent of calling you on the phone or sending you an email. You would not ignore those two methods of contact, would you? Don’t ignore the @ contact from a Twitter follower, either.
8. Ask your Twitter followers what they want. You have developed a base of Twitter followers who are interested enough in your business to follow you on Twitter. Don’t forget that you can learn much from your own followers. There’s an easy way to learn what your followers want from your business, what’s working and what’s not, etc. Ask them! It’s that easy. Then, when they have answered, don’t forget to say “Thank You” via an @ reply to them!
Plan your Twitter campaign before you roll out your new Twitter presence. But don’t waste any time getting involved. Your competition is already Tweeting away. Isn’t it time you got on board?