Calculating the return on investment of social media for business is still a challenge for many companies but that doesn't minimize the positive effect it can have on a brand. The exposure and virtual engagement that occurs across social media platforms is not only effective advertising - it's free!
So, whether you're an entrepreneur looking to launch your dream start-up or a small business owner who wants to grow a community of engaged users and potential customers - it's time to embrace social media. Facebook and twitter are two platforms that are great for building an audience and improving a brand's image.
Read on for five ways you can increase interactivity on Twitter for your business and improve your company's bottom line.
Produce Relevant Content
Always tweet content relevant to your product or services. There is so much noise on twitter that the best way to stand out is to become a reliable source of information that is directly related to your industry. If you're running low on ideas, look to others in your field to guide you. The merchant account provider, Highriskpay.com, originally struggled to compose interesting industry tweets. But, by following the twitter activity of competitors and bigger brands, HighRiskPay developed a "voice" and discovered tactics that worked for credit card providers in social media.
Optimize Tweet Times
You're most likely to get your tweets noticed and retweeted if you send your messages out at optimized times. For example, in the afternoon, most people are tired and a bit lazy after lunch. This is the time when you should compose a really great, original tweet, with a trending hashtag (more on hashtags later). You're more likely to get retweeted when others are too lazy to compose their own. You might also find it useful to try scheduling certain messages through Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. These programs will auto-send messages at your requested time and even email you a notification when the tweet goes out. Though it's not a good idea to rely completely on these types of scheduling services, it can make for a more efficient marketing strategy.
Ask for Retweets
Make it easy and convenient for others to retweet your messages. In fact, you can even outright ask for retweets. Get users involved by tweeting posts like, "RT if you're a night owl." Or, you can include a link to a recent blog post or Facebook status and tweet "RT if you agree."
The best way to gain followers is to mention others and participate in the discussions they start. If there are industry experts who you particularly admire, you can even send a Direct Message letting them know that you're a fan. When you want to include others and call attention to a particular tweet, just make sure you add the @username to the end of your tweet so they don't miss it!
Hashtags are a great way to expose your brand to a large number of followers who ordinarily wouldn't see your tweets. Look for trending hashtags on your twitter home page and include a relevant one to a tweet you send out. This way, users who are following certain hashtags will see your tweet in their home feed. You'll gain exposure and you're more likely to gain followers and retweets.
Remember, the best twitter approach calls for building a community of friends first and going in for the "sale" later. Don't use twitter solely as a sales platform or you will immediately turn people away. Produce funny, relevant, interesting content and follow the tips above to build a network of potential consumers. It might be hard to calculate the direct monetary worth of Twitter for your business, but as a brand promotion tool, it's priceless!
About Author: This is a guest post written by Brian Patterson.