Last Tuesday, I participated in a workshop at Temple University’s Center City campus that focused specifically on Twitter and LinkedIn. I presented the Twitter portion, while Ed Callahan spoke of LinkedIn. We had about 35 people attend the workshop. I found that to be a very comfortable number of attendees. With a show of hands, we asked the audience who was currently participating on Twitter and LinkedIn. Far more people were on LinkedIn than Twitter. Most of the people who said they were on Twitter were relative newbies.
My presentation was geared for the small business owner who is just getting started. I focused on the basics of setting up a good profile, Twitter search, etiquette, and viable reasons for using Twitter for business. There were many questions from “Should I put my email address in my profile?” to “How do I get more followers?” It’s clearly evident that small and medium-sized business owners and executives know they need to leverage Twitter as a business tool, and there is still a lot of confusion on how to use it effectively.
I’ll tell you what I tell everyone before they embark on a marketing strategy: know your goals. Develop obtainable objectives around those goals. Then brainstorm and experiment on the tactics and actionable items that may accomplish those goals.
Let’s face it, the major goal of any business or company is to increase revenue, right? But increasing revenue can only take place if you have qualified sales leads. So, an example of a sales-driven objective and some action items could be:
Increase prospective client & qualifed lead pipeline
- Create search-friendly profile and tweets
- Download/use desktop or mobile phone-friendly Twitter client
- Use Twitter search for specified and relevant keywords
- Manually follow and monitor appropriate Twitter users
- Follow thought leaders in your industry or area of expertise
- Review daily Twitter stream
- Tweet daily
- Share relevant links and information about your industry or area of expertise
- Join relevant conversations
- Engage Twitter followers: ask questions! give answers!
- Respond to replies or direct messages
- Promote your product or service moderately
- Monitor and analyze traffic to website
Your social media mileage is going to vary. What works for someone else, may not work for you. Test often, but always keep your objectives in mind. Revise & refine as you need to. Twitter, or any social media for that matter, is not a sales & marketing cure all, nor should it replace other, successful methods you’re currently using. They are one of many tools you may use in your business-building efforts.