Twitter is awesome, it can be used to interact with fans, people who like and appreciate your brand, allow for instant crawling of new pages that you want to be indexed on Google and for reaching new customers as well as offering customer service to existing ones. But we’re willing to bet that you already know that. Currently, Twitter is six years old and has in excess of 500 million users worldwide. That’s quite a vast and varied audience, don’t you think?
We began to buy into Twitter big-time a couple of years back, and as an online fancy dress retailer our market is one that is quite often easily visible. I’m sure we all have friends that go to fancy dress parties and will tweet about not being able to find a costume or sharing a photo of what they’re wearing. This is something that led us to want and need to engage with potential customers as there is a thriving market on Twitter that is discussing what to wear and where to wear it.
Regardless of your market, I feel that there is space for you and your business on Twitter. If you’re not on the site already open an account, seriously, even if you only use it to link to new pages that you add to your website there will be a benefit. Google is constantly crawling the site and indexing the millions of tweets and your links should be among them, you’ll get the pages indexed quicker.
So now you’re on Twitter how can you better use the social network? Here are a few insights that I hope you find interesting and useful.
What are your customers saying?
Listen to what your customers say, even if the majority of comments are complaints (which they probably will be), after all, how many customers are quick to give you a pat on the back? Use the feedback to improve your business. If you have a product that several people just cannot find on your site consider its visibility, where is the page? Can it be 301 redirected to another location on the site, can you add the search terms to make it appear easier in the site search? Using Google keywords can you make it more content rich and rank higher on Google in the natural results? Listen to feedback, don’t be defensive, your customers are a conduit to improve, utilise them!
What your competitors are doing?
If you make a list of other competitors in your industry that are using Twitter it can help you understand not only how they are using the micro blogging site, but if they are actually adding any value. Are they making people want to follow them? If not why not? Make notes on what you like about competitors on Twitter and do it, but do it better. Look at what they are doing that you hate and make sure that you do not do the same. It’s also a good idea to check out some big brands and see what they are up to. Think Pepsi, Heineken and Subway. What can you learn from them?
Don’t just use Twitter to use Twitter
An interesting thought isn’t it? The Twitter website is pretty well designed and okay at best for usability. There are a range of different pieces of software that you can use to better manage your Twitter account. For example, TweetDeck will allow you to view your mentions, trends, direct messages and friend feed all on the same page. It’s super easy to use and can be beneficial from a usability standpoint. Also, and this is awesome, you can schedule tweets to be sent out while you are away from your computer. This is good because you are not spamming your followers with a cluster of updates and you should be able to reach more people if you are tweeting at various times.
The above heading was delivered in my finest Patrick Stewart impression. Don’t forget that Twitter is a SOCIAL network, be social, have a brief, concise chat with some of your followers, build relationships. For example, every Friday Twitter embraces follow Friday. Most people add the hash tag #ff and list people they think their friends should follow. A nice idea. Some people however, do this very wrong. Do not tweet 140 characters of user names to your followers, it is annoying. Also give a reason to follow them. Below are two examples from our Twitter page. One looks awful and one does not. One would, personally, annoy me and one not. And, I’m willing to bet you agree with me.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
The Twitter medium has many potential benefits, most of which may not be realised without a certain degree of experimentation. Play around, see what you can discover!
This is a guest post, as such the author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of OnlineRetailingBlog.com.
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With thanks to Ian and Joke.co.uk.