Greetings SMW Lagos family!
The day you’ve been waiting for is finally here! Our June guest blogger, Social Media Strategist & New Media Expert Jesse Onomiwo shares his 7 Steps to Maximizing Small Business Results with Twitter below!
Each month the SMW Lagos blog will showcase Africa’s most outspoken voices sounding off about everything from new media, technology, fashion and everything in between! Watch this space for the next installments. Check out the last guest blog from Bassey Ikpi here.
It’s amazing how Social Media has given all forms of businesses, both small and large an equal measure of leverage for maximum exposure and eventual conversion. Most businesses are on Twitter; however, not all are making the level of impact they ought to be.
It is on this premise that I have thought to share with that small business or street corner but highly valuable startup TOP STRATEGIES for using Twitter like the pro mega firms that have dedicated or outsourced Social Media capacity.
Welcome on the ride as the following 8 steps will help you stretch beyond limits as a small business:
- Determine your objectives for using Twitter
You pretty much need to ask yourself “Why is my business on Twitter?” If the primary (or only) reason is to drive traffic to your website, you need to rethink your strategy. The Twitter community values interaction with real people. If the only thing you’re adding to the conversation is a push to visit your website, then you’re hardly going to ever have a strong and valuable reputation on Twitter. Anything short of ‘natural’ engagement will not work.
- Determine your target audience.
Pinpointing who you want to reach on Twitter will help you curate content that appeals to their interests while reinforcing the relevancy of your message. You have to look at their demographics such as their age group, the kind of content they love to share, career stages and so on. I nurse admiration for the GTBank brand in Nigeria because they understand their Twitter youth audience who live the urban lifestyle. This alone makes them mix varieties of content around music, art and style, fashion, career and broader entertainment.
You need to find the right mix that appeals to your audience.
- Create KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and measure your progress doing on a regular basis.
Based on your defined objectives as advised above, the measure of success varies from business to business. You should be friends with your Twitter Analytics dashboard. To some, the number of Retweets matters more than the replies to their tweets, especially when you are concerned about brand awareness. In that case for instance, you would like your hashtag or tweet to appear on as many timelines as possible. For others it might be the number of clicks on the attached images or links, number of new followers, enquiry rate of followers, or say the reach and impressions of your tweets. As much as a strong social proof (ratio of followers to following) looks good, I still value depth(of engagement) over size any time. It is the level of engagement that guarantees greater conversion.
- Create a daily or weekly workflow and measure how much time you’re spending and what you’re doing.
Determine when you will be sourcing for content to share, when to customize the tweets bearing the content or when and how you intend to repurpose the content into new media. You might find a viral blog content for instance and determine you would convert yours into an infographic, or animated GIF. Determine who on your team handles what, and if need be, who approves a tweet before sending it. Design your own quality control system. Regularly take a step back on a monthly or quarterly basis to see the results of your work, and regularly tweak your daily workflow so as to maximize your effectiveness.
- Use Twitter Lists
One of the most under-utilized features of Twitter, Twitter Lists help you focus on conversation streams. Not only are they a simple solution to controlling your Twitter stream, lists also let you group your followers and those you follow together based on a common theme, interest or industry. A list allows you to see the tweets from the list members as a separate Twitter timeline. This distinguishes them from the crowd so you can pay attention to what these people say, and thus respond to them accordingly. This helps create that engagement. Treating lists is a different topic entirely, whose details are not covered in this post.
- Follow people with similar interests
Find people to follow and connect to within Twitter directories such as Twellow and WeFollow, or from inside Twitter Analytics’ Followers tab. Both sites can introduce you to Twitter users that have similar interests. You can also exlore Klout and Kred.
Staying focused on your niche or location will make it easy for you to build a community centered purely on similar interests.
- Share content and update your status daily
One of the biggest struggles for busy small business owners is content creation and curation. The question is always where to find it, what to talk about and how best to manage it. There are a lot of tools out there which you can use to simplify these tasks. I would be dealing with this comprehensively in subsequent posts. But for now, you can explore Buffer, Feedly and Scoop.it.
I can say for a fact that if you systematically follow the above steps, you are on your way to making a huge impact in your industry.