Regardless of whether your brand is new to social marketing, or already well established, there are some very important basics that you just have to do well and repeatedly.
In this article, we are going to share some important principles you can apply to growing a Twitter Audience that will ultimately be the asset you want it to be, namely a loyal and engaged group of fans and progressively customers. Fortunately, it is not rocket science but you do need to focus on the things that count, and you need to maintain the effort until you move past the point of audience growth inertia. The Metigy team have observed what moves a brand past the point of inertia, across thousands of brands, and we are sharing the key actions that will make a difference. So lets get started.
Concept 1: Know why you want to be on Twitter
This might sound obvious but it is amazing how many marketers start to build an audience on a social channel, because they feel compelled to do so because everyone else is doing it. Let’s set that straight. You don’t need to be on a social channel unless you know why you want to put that effort in and because you appreciate there is value in doing so. If you can’t see how that effort will help you achieve a goal or grow your customer base, then don’t do it. And let’s be really clear about this, having 20,000 followers on Twitter because it looks good on your monthly data report for social, is not a goal you want to spend time on.
Ok, lets assume you have a goal and Twitter has a purpose for you. How do you get started and go from zero to hero on this channel?
Concept 2: Zero to Hero with a purpose
The good news is that getting started on building an audience on Twitter is probably easier than on any other channel. Just in case you don’t understand Twitter, it works on the basis of “Followers” rather than friends or fans. All you have to have in common with someone or a brand, is a common interest, and there is a very good chance they will follow you.
So the approach is very simple. Setup your profile, which can be created for you personally or for your brand. Be clear on your profile about what you stand for and the topics you want to talk about, as this helps everyone understand you.
Then simply start following other profiles. As the behavior on Twitter is to follow back on people who follow you, you are going to see probably 25%+ of the people you follow, subsequently, follow you back. In fact, that percentage will only increase if you are following the right people, who share an interest.
However, before you race off and start doing that, you should be absolutely focusing on profiles that have indicated an interest in the topics you are focused on. That reciprocal interest is the most important basis for ongoing engagement. And, more importantly, adding a relevant audience will have huge benefits down the track when you are creating great content and decide you want to fast track your growth and conversion rates from social, because you can paid ad units to target like audiences across Twitter. The better the quality of your audience, the more effective this return will be.
While you are enthusiastic to get started, why not follow a few hundred people. It is easy to find the right people by searching for them, then following them. You do this by going to Twitter, login obviously, and then using hashtags to search on topics. In the example below, we are searching for other people who share an interest in “#contentmarketing” which we entered in the search panel at the top of screen, then selected “People” on the navigation options below. You are then presented with a range of people to follow, and just progressively go through and follow people that look interesting. Then let the magic of Twitter start happening and if you have picked common interests then people will start following you back, and you are off the mark. (not to skip an important topic here, the use of the hashtag “#” is a key element on Twitter because it indicates a topic is being referenced and this is searchable).
But the real secret to all social media audience growth is not about doing it once, and expecting everything to just happen. What you need to do is to come back every day or two and follow 20 more. And just repeat and repeat. In the matter of a month, you will have an audience. A year later you will have a big audience and be generating customer leads and sales.
The secret to all marketing is consistency. Metigy will give you Insights and the Strategy to be successful, but you need to be a consistent marketer to get the outcomes. So never stop following more people, as it is the key to keeping growth ticking over. Think of it as starting a conversation with a potential new customer, and it feels good!
Concept 3: Continuous engagement
If establishing an audience is important and not that hard, then creating a connection is equally important, and fortunately no that hard either. It is all about being relevant and visible to your followers, by creating and sharing content that is relevant to them. So that is where the clarity and focus you had when you started, becomes valuable in making content decisions each and every day. We have a range of great articles about creating great content, and of course Metigy as a product is dedicated to that task. Suffice to say for this process of growing an audience, it takes consistency and relevancy to convert followers into customers.
Concept 4: Using a paid strategy to fast track everything
Most people understand that sharing content on social, when Social was a new industry and the channels themselves had not become so revenue focused, a lot of your audience would naturally see the content. However, each of the channels have progressively throttled the organic reach of your content, in a move to get brands to move to a paid support strategy. By that, we mean advertising or the process of investing ad dollars to get more people to see your message. That is not unreasonable and can be highly effective.
At Metigy, we are developing a continuous approach to using AI to make sure this process is effective for you. No one minds making an investment if it is converting to growth and sales right! Our Recommendation logic is focused on helping you understand which messages should be promoted. So you need to start that process rolling following concept 3, so we can analyze the results and start to help you.
Once you have done the groundwork for establishing and growing a quality audience, and testing the logic of what people want to hear about from you, you can supercharge the reach, engagement and conversion for your Twitter presence. This is a fairly big topic, and a very important one, so we will deal with that in a separate post, coming very soon.
But first, go back and work on Concepts 1, 2 and 3 or you won’t be ready. You don’t have to keep this up forever as eventually your content program will take over and build momentum, but you must focus to start.
If you follow these steps, then you will build a considerable audience on Twitter and master the art of turning that audience into customers.