Twitter: Yours to Discover - Social Media Stage
Twitter is a real-time information network and microblogging service that allows users to send and read short messages of up to 140-characters, which we all know as 'Tweets.' Since the creation of Twitter in March 2006, the service has quickly evolved into a worldwide phenomenon. With such a large number of active users, more than 140 million, it's no surprise that Twitter reports seeing an estimated 340 million Tweets per day (Twitter blog, March 2012). The Twitter Blog post, #numbers, is filled with record breaking numbers that we thought you might enjoy. Here is one interesting fact that caught our eye: 3 years, 2 months and 1 day is the time it took from the first tweet to the billionth tweet; it now takes 1 week for users to send a billion tweets.
Twitter's ability to easily reach and engage an audience in a real-time manner can help you to build and maintain common ground between you and your customers. You can quickly share deals, discounts, news and information with people who are interested in your products and services, as well as gather real-time feedback from customers. Twitter dashboards HootSuite and TweetDeck, along with Social Mention are great CRM tools you can use to regularly monitor the conversations about your brand, product, service, or industry; plus measure your influence and analytics. You can utilize the information you find to make your interaction with users more personal and useful.
Responding to feedback, both positive and negative, in real-time, is critical to building a good reputation. Twitter makes this simple with the ability to retweet and reply to others' tweets. When a fan mentions your brand in a positive way, retweet it and add a personal touch such as a 'thank you!' If a fan mentions your brand negatively, take advantage of the reply and address the customer's concern. You can group related tweets together by topic by utilizing hashtags, which are words or phrases that begin with a "#" sign. Hashtags are a good way to reach a specific audience focused on a niche topic. For instance, E-Power Marketing includes #SocialMedia and other industry hashtags in our tweets when appropriate to reach a larger audience. Overall, Twitter is an exceptional channel for communicating in real-time with customers and has become a must for businesses.
Twitter provides brands with a unique opportunity to build a brand presence in an interactive way. The microblogging network offers an exceptional place for businesses to establish their brand as an industry resource by providing resourceful content in a real-time environment. With Twitter, the goal is to gain quality followers. With quality followers, your tweets are more apt to spread providing more exposure for your brand. In addition to being great for branding, Twitter is also a valuable channel for PR management as it offers many possibilities for Website integration!
Twitter has created not one, but multiple integration tools that make it effortless to integrate your Twitter account with your Website. The Twitter button, Twitter widget and Twitter Feed are three of the more common tools used to combine your Twitter account with your site. WeFollow is yet another excellent feature to take advantage of when building your online community. As you can see, there are multiple ways to incorporate Twitter with your site, thus creating endless opportunities for brand exposure!
Incorporating links to your Website within your tweets is a good tactic to use to encourage users to visit your site. However, there is a fine line between promoting your brand too much and not doing enough for your brand. Promote too much and followers will get bored and start to ignore you, don't promote enough and risk being swallowed up by the competition. Here's a good rule of thumb to follow: 80 percent of your shared content should be about your industry in general, whether it's recent news or interesting insight to get the reader's attention; while the other 20 percent can be self-promotion. Be sure to mention other Twitter accounts by using the "@" symbol when tweeting about industry news. This is also a good way to interact with other users while getting more exposure!
Simply creating an inactive or automated account may be tempting, but without engaging your followers and building relationships your search rankings will not be affected. Google takes into account the author authority of the tweeter, which is determined by multiple factors; one being the overall influence you have on Twitter. The more influential the people tweeting about your brand, the better off you are in the eyes of the search engines. Twitter accounts will also rank highly in the SERPs for its username. Therefore, your username should simply be your brand/company name; take for example our username, @EPowerMarketing. As you can see in the screen shot below, in a search for E-Power Marketing, our Twitter account is in the 4th search position. Optimize your Twitter account for search engines as well as your Social Media fans!
Have you created a Twitter account for your brand yet? How are you using this Social Media platform, or what's holding you back? Let us know by using the #SocialMediaStage on Twitter, posting a comment to our Facebook Page or leaving a comment below!