How should you be using Twitter to market your business? In the fourth installment of NetSource’s Social Media Marketing series, Brent Haeseker and our social media expert, Veronica Buhl, delve into the Twitter’s advertising and marketing tools, demographics, and tips for maximizing your marketing potential on Twitter.
Brent Haeseker: Hi this is Brent Haeseker, website consultant with NetSource Technologies, and once again I’m here with Veronica Buhl, who is our social media expert here at NetSource, and we are doing our fourth installment on our Social Media Marketing Series. This week, we are going to talk about Twitter. Twitter is a neat little service. I actually will admit, I was kind of a power user of Twitter back in the day, one of the early adapters, I guess you could say. I set up my account in 2008.
Veronica Buhl: Yeah, I think I did the same thing.
Brent Haeseker: Had a lot of fun with it, used it for a number of years, but ask me how many times I’ve used it this year.
Veronica Buhl: How many times have you used it this year?
Brent Haeseker: Maybe once, so I’ve kind of strayed away a little bit from Twitter. Not that it is a bad service, it’s just there are so many services out there. Facebook tends to be easier to use and socialize on where Twitter is a little different and that’s what we’re going to talk about today, and kind of talk to you about what’s the good way to use Twitter for business. Of course, we are talking about, my Twitter account is for personal, but how can you use it for business to make it work for you and what are the best methodologies and what is available with Twitter to be able to be able to market with that service. So, let’s go ahead and get started. Our first question of course is who should use Twitter for marketing?
Veronica Buhl: Well, as far as I’m concerned, it’s pretty similar to Facebook. Generally, business to consumer and business to business can all do well there, but it takes a little more effort on Twitter than Facebook.
Brent Haeseker: What are some of the demographics, kind of the breakdown. We do that every time with these services. So what’s a good breakdown of Twitter’s demographics?
Veronica Buhl: Well Twitter has a younger user base than Facebook or LinkedIn, especially LinkedIn. LinkedIn has a little bit older demographic. The target age here is between 18 and 29, that goes both men and women. It’s not set towards any one, like Instagram tends to be a little bit more towards women, but this is pretty evenly distributed. Basically 74% of Twitter users use it to follow a business that they like or one that they are researching. So it’s a good thing to know. That’s what they’re looking for. Another statistic, 66% of Twitter users say that they have discovered a new small or medium sized business just by using the platform. So if you’re looking to get new followers, it might be a place to at least get their attention.
Brent Haeseker: Okay, and again these are younger people that are using it, 18 to 29 which may be a reason why I’m using it less as I get older because maybe I’m just not falling into their demographic. So if you’re trying to reach that millennial market, Twitter is another good service that you can consider. Or if you’ve got an interesting product line that is always putting out some interesting news and product updates, then it could be a service for you to post to. Well, tell us a little bit more about how it compares to Facebook, actually we kind of just did that. On the amounts(financials) you had said $50,000 or more a year, 60% of Twitter users, so they have got pretty good income. Even though a lot of the audience may be millennials, it’s not necessarily poor, broke millennials, it’s people with some financial authority to be able to make some purchases.
Veronica Buhl: It’s a good variety of people. Of course, you can find a lot of younger people that are tweeting what they had to eat, but for the most part the average income is $50,000 or more a year. So these are probably millennials or entrepreneurs, new entrepreneurs that are doing quite well or business type people. Just because they’re younger, doesn’t mean that they don’t have the money to invest in your product or services.
Brent Haeseker: So we had mentioned hey are using it a lot for getting product information, but I know Twitter is a good tool for customer service. Can you explain a little bit about that?
Veronica Buhl: One of the differences between Facebook and Twitter is that on Facebook, people are engaging a lot more deeply, more one to one. Twitter users tend to go there more for gathering information on a product or a company or a service or even just news. One of the interesting things when I researched I found that a lot of people are using twitter for customer service. Meaning they may not be interacting directly with the company, but if they have a problem that needs to be solved, many of them are going to Twitter to contact them. Businesses are replying fairly quickly, so it has become a very big customer service tool. On Twitter, they are not engaging with the companies as much, but they will engage if they have an issue or something that they need to know.
Brent Haeseker: So they’re watching for the product information updates, and then they are engaging when they have a problem?
Veronica Buhl: Right, so it’s a good place if you’re an entrepreneur. You want to make sure that you are replying to anybody that is sending messages to you because most likely they’ve got a question for you about your services or a problem that you need to resolve.
Brent Haeseker: And Twitter being that you are dealing with such small posts, you don’t have a lot of characters to work with. I know they’ve expanded that lately, but still your goal is to keep things down to a certain abbreviated form there. It does allow for quick communication because you don’t have somebody posting a novel long complaint that they have to your customer service. They’re just quickly stating what the issue is, and it’s able to get taken care of a little bit quicker without a lot of research by the customer service rep.
Veronica Buhl: Yes, you have to be very concise on Twitter. It used to be that you only had 140 characters. Now I think it’s 230, 230 or 240, somewhere around there, but it’s still not a lot of room.
Brent Haeseker: It was kind of fun when it was 140. It was like a challenge, and you were always kind of editing your posts to get it down to that perfect amount.
Veronica Buhl: It was kind of like a crossword puzzle, like what can I fit in here?
Brent Haeseker: Sometimes just posting to 140 characters took longer than if you had unlimited space because you had to spend so much time whittling it down, but it helped whittle it down to the most important words.
Veronica Buhl: That’s it’s power is if you can be very concise, you’ll have a good message to get across.
Brent Haeseker: So what are some of the marketing tools and techniques that you can use on Twitter?
Veronica Buhl: Like every other social media product, they have ads. They have three types of ads, they have promoted tweets, promoted accounts, and promoted trends. Briefly, just to let you know what each one means a promoted tweet is just a regular tweet that you put out there that you have decided you want to promote, and when you promote it, it goes into the feed of people who aren’t following you so hopefully you will attract more people to follow you. A promoted account is the same type of thing except instead of promoting one specific tweet, you’re promoting your account, your business account or even your personal account. But you’re promoting your business account, and those show up not only in people’s feeds that aren’t following you, but it also shows up on the sidebar in Twitter, and if you have it on your phone, it will show up at the top like “other companies you may be interested in.” Promoted trends is the has: the sharp sign in music or the number sign or the pound. When you promote a trend, you know, Nike does the #justdoit that was one of their campaigns and everybody knows it now because they did it everywhere. If you go on to Nike right now, you will see the hashtag justdoit. If you’ve got a hashtag trend that you want to catch on, you’ll promote that and this way it’s put in front of people, [people start picking up on it, and then more people will follow. It’s like making something viral.
Brent Haeseker: In a lot of ways, it’s kind of similar to what you can do on Facebook with their promoted stuff. Is it as easy to use as Facebook’s promoted stuff?
Veronica Buhl: I don’t find it as easy to use as Facebook. Facebook is a lot less challenging. It can be done on Twitter and is being done, it’s just a little bit more challenging, a little bit harder to do.
Brent Haeseker: I don’t think they have the layout worked out as nicely as Facebook.
Veronica Buhl: Yes, Facebook has it down. They’ve had a long time to figure it out. It’s not as easy , but if you can be concise and creative, it’s a good place to try.
Brent Haeseker: Now, outside of doing the promoted stuff, what are some of the general best practices on Twitter that you can do that can hopefully yield some good results for marketing?
Veronica Buhl: Like I said, you’ve only got a short amount of space to promote or to tweet. You need to be short and concise, and you need to do something that gets people to want to click on your tweet and go to where you want them to go. One thing that always works: free offers. You give free stuff, people show up. Doesn’t have to be anything big, it could be a Whitepaper, it could be if you order now, you get ten percent off, throw in a small product if they buy another part of your product. Anything free, I wouldn’t give away junk, but give away something that people will go oh I kind of want that, pique their interest. As I said, intriguing posts, some examples are: ” FOUND cure for lack of motivation. Click here to find out how you can inspire yourself to go to the gym every day.” Something that makes people go “Oh well if you can make me do that then let me see.”
Brent Haeseker: So appeal to whatever it is that they are curious about or interested in.
Veronica Buhl: Whatever you think the pain points are of the people that would follow your product. Try to make it intriguing and draw them in. Another thing is cliffhangers which is kind of like an intriguing post, but cliffhangers are kind of like you write something and then “…”
Brent Haeseker: You make use of the fact that you have limited characters on Twitter so that you run out of characters before you get to the end of the tweet and then you have the”…” meaning they’ve got to find out what the rest of it is., making use of the limitation of the characters.
Veronica Buhl: Exactly, you kind of make them go “but wait, I want to know more.”
Brent Haeseker: But wait, there’s more, after this commercial
Veronica Buhl: Yeah. Another thing is people love how-tos. Like I said, Twitter is more informative. People go there for information on products and services. So if you put a how-to on there, people are liable to click on it because they’re there for that kind of information. One interesting thing I found out is that if you use numbers in tweets, like “the 5 best ways to do this” or “60% of people say this” people like to see those numbers for some reason. We’re all like that, we like seeing numbers, statistics and top ten lists and stuff so that’s always a good thing to use. Ask questions too. Ask quick questions that ask them to tell you what they think. That’s another great way to use the lack of space that you have there. Also, be funny. People love humor, everybody likes to laugh.
Brent Haeseker: I don’t, I hate to laugh.
Veronica Buhl: You hate to laugh? I thought that about you. But yeah, you can promote your product and service with humor. People admire that, and they’re liable to follow you. If you look at it, there’s a lot of celebrities and brands that are really good at this, and people follow them just to see what they’re going to say next. Some of them have been pretty controversial. The singer, James Blunt, his comebacks on Twitter are known and people follow him for that. There’s other brands that do it as well, but it’s a great thing because people love to laugh. Except for him. Also, two other things to do is anything to do with current news. If you can find a way to link it to your product or service or something like that.
Brent Haeseker: Tie in a current event to a product that you offer or service or things like that.
Veronica Buhl: Exactly because the current event is in everybody’s mind at the time and when you show that this is what’s happening, but our product can help, people are going to want to see the answer to that. My last thing, I always include this on every single social media platform, is be creative. Don’t be like everybody else. If somebody is doing something that is working, it’s doing really well, it’s okay to emulate them, but don’t copy them blatantly. Just take what they’re doing and do it yourself. Be creative with it, find out ways that you could do it differently that makes you unique. That’s with any social media product. Try to find your spin on things, and that’s how you get people to follow you, people to get intrigued, people to like your brand.
Brent Haeseker: So that’s kind of our quick wrap-up of Twitter. This is again our fourth installment of our social media series. So we’ve already covered Facebook, we’ve covered LinkedIn, we covered Instagram, and then now Twitter, so we’ve still got a few more to go. So stay tuned next week and we’ll have another video, but thank you for watching today. If you’ve got any questions on Twitter or you’re trying to do Twitter on your own and you just need a little bit of help on it or any other social media service that you’re working with, feel free to give us a call, we can help you out. You can reach us at 1(800)709-3240. Again, I’m Brent Haeseker and this is
Veronica Buhl: Veronica Buhl
Brent Haeseker: And we’re with NetSource Technologies also at netsourceinc.com thanks again for watching, we will see you next time. Bye.