Social Listening and Other Twitter Features to Boost Your Bottom Line
By Ben Read
Engagement is the key to sales, and social media channels give businesses a way to directly engage with fans, customers and potential customers. Small businesses need to be on social media because their customers are on social media. And with the right customized strategy, they can build communities and loyal fans who will share and retweet posts and help recruit new customers. There is a unique authenticity to social media – it recreates a one-on-one “white picket fence” conversation feel, but in today’s technological age.
Our clients tell us one of the biggest challenges with social media is managing all of the channels. Each social network has its own type of audience and style, and businesses will find the most success if they tailor their strategy to the individual social network. Just having a presence on Facebook or Twitter isn’t enough for a small business to reach its goals. They have to maintain closer relationships with customers to understand what they’re looking for and what you can offer to help. For example, when it comes to Facebook small businesses can’t simply create a page and forget it. They must consistently post and engage – especially to respond to negative comments. Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are all about the visual – pictures speak much more loudly than copy-heavy text.
Twitter is unique because as a public forum it allows for intent-based marketing, or opportunities for small businesses to join in on relevant conversations in real time, in a personal and direct way through @Replies and popular hashtags. And with the right listening tools, like SocialCentiv, small businesses can easily find conversations about their product or service happening right in their neighborhood.
For example, if a local coffee shop uses keywords like “caffeine fix” and “need coffee”, a great social media listening tool will find those Tweets within the shop’s vicinity and flag them, giving the shop owner an opportunity to reply directly with a special offer to get the consumer in the door. And because the software finds that consumer right when he or she is looking for the product or service, in this case a cup of coffee, chance are high that the consumer will visit the shop.
In addition to social listening software, here are five ways to get the most out of Twitter:
- Use favorites to save and organize Tweets recommending your product. This catalogs a business’s favorite customer Tweets for easy access when pulling together a website page, ads, presentations, or other marketing pieces.
- Create and update lists for a virtual Rolodex. Business owners can create a Twitter list for different fan segments and top prospects so they can send customized Tweets to each segment. For example, a business would send a coupon to someone local who’s visited their brick-and-mortar store, or a link to a blogger who Tweets about recent purchases.
- Invest in two-way dialogue. Thanks to Twitter’s public forum, small businesses can extend their in-store customer service by Tweeting in real time, directly to a customer, leading to more engagement and word-of-mouth advertising.
- Join trending conversations for boosted visibility. Trending topics make it easy to see what everyone is talking about relevant to a business’s product or service so the owner can join into the conversation via the popular #hashtag. Trends also allow businesses to send Tweets that reach a larger audience, greatly increasing the likelihood that users will view, follow, or engage with their account.
- Embrace promoted accounts and Tweets. These campaigns can help businesses reach a targeted segment with a targeted ad campaign, which helps integrate marketing efforts. Because an owner has the option to only pay when another Twitter user engages with the business’s account by retweeting, following, or clicking, it can be very cost-effective.
Small businesses that put these tips to use can expect to see an increase in ROI from their social media engagement as Twitter continues to grow in importance for social media marketing.
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