Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts exploring Twitter and how to improve your social media output. We’re starting with ‘Building an audience’ and making sure you’re not jumping in at the deep-end before you’ve even put your trunks on.
Did you jump straight into content building and posting? What’s a message that can’t be heard and never seen? Well to be blunt, it’s pointless so…
Let’s start at the beginning:
To succeed online, you have to create content that engages an audience. However, if you’re new to Twitter then you should probably spend time developing your audience first.
How do we do that?
There’s a good chance people and companies you already know are using Twitter. Let’s start by using Twitters’ search bar and finding your current customer base, as well as associates, exhibition organisers and suppliers. These are people who are already aware of your company but they may not be aware of every capability and/or service. Think about how much potential business could be obtained through your current customer base. Lots? There probably is so let’s not remove them from our audience.
Another way to find twitter accounts for people you already do business with is to visit their websites. Companies are advertising their presence on twitter more and more. You may even find their handle (@username) on business cards and marketing material so keep an eye out and get connecting.
You can use the same techniques to find prospects that are already a part of your overall strategic sales plan, but the world of Twitter is more than likely full of companies that have the potential to be very relevant targets but one’s you were never aware of.
How do we find those new prospects?
Easy, as you begin to follow companies you’re aware of, Twitter will begin to suggest similar. Usually found in a little column on the right hand-side of your timeline or profile page called ‘Who to follow,’ click the link to reveal page after page of suggested companies and people that are likely to be of interest to you. Start visiting these profiles or at least, read their little description and make a judgement on whether they’re relevant to you.
There’s another way to find new prospects and it calls for a little deeper digging. Alarm bells! Digging? Deeper? How deep?! Stress not, this is nothing you’re not capable of as a new, enthusiastic user. Am I right? Only very slightly deeper into the Twittersphere, you’ll find the remarkably useful world of ‘Lists.’
Lists are built by fellow users and could be anything from recreational lists of that particular users’ favourite authors or football players to business orientated lists that may collect Automotive Tier 1 contacts or manufacturing groups and associations. Wouldn’t that be nice? Make sure whenever you follow a relevant user, you check in their profile’s header bar to see what Lists they may have set up. These lists could be full of prospect gold!
As a new user you may be wondering what these hashtags (#) are all about. #this #that, it’s confusing with all the @’s and trends and notifications isn’t it?
Here’s a simple breakdown,
“The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.”
See, nothing to get confused about. There are likely to be hashtags that your audience and contacts use regularly and it’s always worthwhile looking out for hashtags that are relevant to you. Hashtags will always appear as links on twitter and when they’re clicked they send you to all tweets that use that particular hashtag or keyword/phrase. Keep an eye on the users using relevant hashtags and follow them. Here’s one for you to get started with: #UKMFG.
This particular hashtag is used by UK Manufacturers and associated bodies, get it? UKMFG. Check it out and now that your trunks are on and tied up tight, you can start thinking about your content.
Need content advice? That’s funny because our next blog post will be on just that.
Have fun tweeters and until next time, The MARKETING for MANUFACTURING blog bot.
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