“Tweet, tweet… Uhh… Hello? Is this thing on?”
Sound familiar? Have you been using Twitter for business, but feel like you’re tweeting to a lonesome abyss? Are the returns you’re receiving from Twitter not enough to justify the time you spend there?
Twitter is an excellent platform to generate leads, provide customer service, and interact with users who are interested in you and your product. As a small business owner, you already know this and you love the potential of Twitter to help new customers find you. You already created and embrace your social media strategy, and feel like you’re doing everything right – but yet Twitter isn’t producing the promised results for some reason. Stop pulling out your hair. You don’t need to feel alone. Let’s evaluate your Twitter presence and make sure you’re not falling victim to any of these common mistakes:
1. You’re not engaging.
“Me, me, me, me…” Sound familiar? We all know that guy (or girl!). Not very interesting. You wouldn’t only talk about yourself and how awesome you are (although I’m sure you sincerely are) in real life, so why do it on Twitter? Keep engagement high by interacting with relevant users. Use Twitter lists to organise contacts, and follow hashtags that your target demographic are also following. Set a target of at least 1 in 3 tweets you send being conversational with other users mentioned. In life and in social media, displaying genuine interest in others always pays high dividends.
2. You tweet too much.
Do you talk too much? Are you spamming my newsfeed? Chill out, please! Users who tweet far too much end up getting unfollowed, or even muted. Tweet every 5 minutes and you’re starting to bother me. Just… chill.
3. You tweet sporadically.
Do you sometimes get hit with a wave of Twitter Inspiration (Twitspiration?) that unleashes a rapid-fire of 16 tweets in 16 minutes, subsequently followed with a week of silence before another wave comes? Inconsistency makes it hard for your followers to get to know you. We know it’s hard to send a steady flow of timely tweets throughout your business week – scheduled tweets are your friend.
4. You tweet at the wrong times.
Small business owners are obsessed with trying to figure out the best time to tweet, and without the aid of a crystal ball, they are left with pouring over stats and web analytics to solve this puzzle. As a general rule, post when your target audience would be online. B2B will see more results during working hours, while B2C will see better results before/after school or on lunch breaks. If you always post at the same time and aren’t seeing results, try mixing it up. (And always track your success).
Happy Cinco de Mayo! If you celebrate by eating the population of Mexico in tortilla chips, remember, we've #GotYouCovered.
— Pepto-Bismol (@Pepto) May 5, 2014
5. You’re not hitting the right balance with promotion.
Do you toot your own horn too much? If almost all of your tweets are directly promoting your business, that’s not very entertaining for followers. Remember that Twitter is a social platform – you’re not here to advertise. Check your Twitter feed and make sure you fall under the Golden Rule of <20% direct promotion.
… Or perhaps you’ve forgotten to toot your horn at all? Sounds silly, but it happens! If you never deploy the Call to Action, or forget to share a link to your website in your bio, no matter how much users love you they may never find a way to becoming your customer. Make it easy for people to give you business (but keep #5 in mind, please).
6. Your followers aren’t relevant.
If you have too many followers that aren’t potential customers, it will be hard to get anything out of them. Yes, I’m talking about purchased followers. I hope you didn’t, but in case you did, purchased followers are literally useless to your business. While it’s nice to have a big number of followers because it makes you look super-cool, they will never buy anything from you. Because they are robots. And robots are notoriously low consumers.
7. Not measuring the right metrics.
Like any process in your business, you already set goals and measure your success towards them. Twitter is no different. You should be measuring engagement (replies, RTs, favourites), web traffic, and customer feedback. Obsessing over Likes isn’t great – wouldn’t you rather have 50 followers who all become customers, instead of 500 followers you never hear from? Remember: Followers are not a measure of engagement.
8. It’s all about personality.
Twitter is a social platform. Its demographic tends to be the savviest of your customers, so bring the brighter side of your personality to the table. Let your brand shine
— Surrey Police (@SurreyPolice) December 11, 2012
9. You’re ignoring the ‘sales funnel’.
(I know… Marketing jargon alert! I’m sorry. Really, I am.)
Digital marketing and traditional advertising make the sales funnel process complicated for most small businesses. Where customers find you, when they start liking you, and the day they actually buy from you, can be increasingly difficult to track. It’s important to understand the role that Twitter plays in this process. Is it possible that some of your customers already follow you, but you aren’t attributing sales to this platform? Do some old-fashioned market research: Ask for feedback. You probably have some great customers who love what you do – ask them if the follow you, and if they enjoy your tweets! Do it.
Social media changes fast, and your strategy needs to flex with that. Continually monitor your social media success with SocialBro, and if it ain’t working, let’s get fixing!