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Twitter - Overcoming hurdles and attracting the right customers

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Twitter - Overcoming hurdles and attracting the right customers

Beyond Pixels

Don't let Twitter frustrate you

Twitter - everyone's doing it, business of all sizes, celebrities and even dogs, if you're not on Twitter you're missing out. So you create an account, find a suitable profile photo and description, then spend an hour trying to come up with something witty as your first tweet, that isn't 'well we finally did it!' Who'd have thought 140 characters could be the source of so much writer's block? For some people it might be hard to see the benefits of posting 140 characters to complete strangers but you never know who is listening.

Persevere and the rewards will come

Twitter is a bit like taking up a new sport or learning an instrument - initially, it seems like you just can't do it, however the more you practice, the better you get. It can seem very difficult at first, no one will retweet you, you have no idea whether your hashtags are right or not, and your followers consist mainly of your friends and family, plus a few spambots and a strange looking guy from Brazil.

Having a social media plan in place to target specific specific keywords could help provide you with a structure to follow and something to work towards. But if you have limited time to keep trying you need to get to grips with it and fast! Free software such as Hootsuite can help you manage the day to day running as well as helping you find people who mention a specific term or keyword. Software such as Buffer can also help you schedule posts in bulk helping you focus your attention elsewhere.

Work to your strengths

Just like your business, growing your Twitter presence requires you to focus on your strengths - people are nosey and want to know what you're up to. Be chatty, show photos of things you do that people might like or have not seen before, and strike up conversations with other tweeters who respond to you. By providing your followers with interesting and unique content they are more likely to engage and share your content.

Don't turn every tweet into a sales pitch

Many companies new to Twitter make the mistake of turning every tweet into a sales pitch, this is often where the downfall begins because people don’t want to be bombarded with sales tweets. By all means if there is an offer on or you have a sales then of course customers need to know but when every tweet is trying to sell a product or service it can become very boring and your followers will quickly unfollow.

Engage with influencers

Whatever your industry, you'll find there is always a handful of people who influence others. They may be fellow businesses, specialist press or even local people who seem to know everything that's going on. Follow these tweeters and get them to help you promote yourself more widely. You can also attract followers with a particular interest in your business by retweeting articles of interest and generally wanting to share your enthusiasm. A great resource to help you identify influencers in a specific area is Klout. Klout gives every user a score out of 100 based on their activity and engagement with other users. This will also give you an idea of how content is working for you.

Use Hashtags and follow trends

A quick easy win is to engage with a trending hashtag, locally or nationally. These are easy to find and are often amusing or topical, so not tough to get into. If you can link it to your business, all the better, though don't forget you are trying to get people interested in you, don’t be going celeb hunting and trying to get a retweet off Justin Bieber if you are a handyman from Newcastle, chances are he won’t reply and it will look out of place on your timeline.

Investing a bit of time in twitter can prove to be an excellent marketing tool, expanding your business in new directions and keeping apace - and even ahead - of your competition.