Is your company routinely active on Twitter? If not, your business is missing out on countless leads and endless sales. You should take advantage of everything Twitter has to offer, from promoting products to reaching new customers and growing your brand. To find out how to take advantage of such a platform, please keep reading:

How to Use Twitter: Starting with the Basics

TweetThe popular social networking site Twitter boasts over 300 million active users, with 500 million users total. Unlike Facebook, where users can post paragraphs at a time, Twitter posts (called tweets) are limited to 140 characters each, except when replying to direct messages. The site is great for personal use, boasts countless celebrity users, and is an ideal way for businesses to connect and interact with potential customers. In fact, many users want to connect with companies as a way to voice their opinion, obtain behind-the-scenes information, and learn about promotions and discounts. A single tweet can reach thousands or millions of followers within an instant.

Utilizing Twitter to Promote a Product

Twitter promotionTwitter continues to develop new ways to help businesses advertise using the site. For example, according to Karissa Bell for Mashable, Twitter now allows businesses to share or promote tweets from their analytics dashboard.

Having this capability makes it easier for small businesses to promote their product and gain sales using a secondary channel. In addition to employing promotional tweets, ways to promote products on Twitter include:

  • Posting a series of tweets as part of a gradual unveiling
  • Sharing clues and having users guess the answers
  • Introducing the product, and then hosting a Q&A with users
  • Post links to product-related posters, articles, videos, and press releases
  • Retweet customer feedback about the product

Sharing an image, in particular, is an easy way to increase customer interest and engagement.

More Ways to Engage Users

Since tweets are limited to 140 characters, you may think it would be difficult to engage users. In actuality, having a short allotted space makes it easier to respond to consumer complaints, comments, or suggestions quickly and easily.

The more active your business is on Twitter, the more new followers you will gain.

Twitter hashtagFor single tweets, try posting witty one-liners or generating buzz with discount codes only found via Twitter. If it is relevant to your business, you can also utilize trending topics or hashtags to help increase visibility. You can encourage your followers to share tweets, or even run a promotion to help grow your audience.

To attract even more attention, embrace the ability to include a link within your post connecting people to a flier or video clip. Do not be afraid to share other relevant content or interesting information, as that is what will keep users coming back. Also, do not forget to review your analytics dashboard frequently. Studying data and demographics will help you determine and focus marketing on your target audience.

Building a Niche Follower Base

If you have a product that could be aimed at a particular niche, do not be afraid to follow people within the group.  For example, if you have a carpet that’s designed for children, you might want to build your following base towards teachers, libraries, and stay at home moms who would order such a product.

It’s easy to get excited watching the number of “likes” and “re-tweets” accumulate. You feel important, like someone is listening to you and agrees with your brand. But does the number of “likes” you get on a social media post translate to brand recognition and more sales?

Counting your follows and tracking the amount of “likes” or “favorites” you get is an easy way to track success but it’s missing a few key metrics like, why people liked the post and whether or not the post converted anyone from a prospect to a sale. There are a lot of reasons why someone might click the like button on your Facebook business page or post including things that have nothing to do with your business, like the fact that their friend liked it or maybe because they thought the image you used was cute or funny. You’re not really going to find out if your social media accounts are making an impact until you start engaging with your followers.

Engagement is the conversation that happens about your brand online, it could be between you and your customers or it could be between your customers and their sphere of influence. With engagement an intentional action takes place that raises awareness about your business, your article or your post. Interaction is a much better validity test to your social media endeavors.

So how is engagement measured? There are several paid services out there but you can do some research yourself for free as well. Here are three easy and cheap ways to track your engagement:

  • Track individual accounts yourself. Facebook has a tab called “Facebook Insights” that makes tracking engagement a snap. Remember you are looking for comments and shares as well as likes and post clicks. For other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram you can track the number of “@ mentions” and comments your posts generate.
  • Klout – Klout is a free web app that helps you track your posts popularity and level of engagement all in one.Klout logo.
  • Cloze – also free, this web app will not only track your engagements but also your online relationships, alerting you when you’ve been neglecting people and posts that you should be paying better attention to.Cloze logo.