Strategies, rules, and tools are constantly changing for social media. Because the topic is broad and deserves a course in itself, I'm providing a general overview to get you started with social media marketing.
Twitter was the first and primary social media channel I used to grow my audience. I started using Twitter for blogging purposes in July 2012, before Pinterest and Instagram became as insanely popular as they are today.
Here are a couple Twitter tips:
- For the best branding when selecting your handle, use your complete brand name, if possible, or an abbreviation of your name, like @travlfashngirl and @worktravllive.
- Use your face as your profile image, not a soulless logo or graphic, so people feel connected to you. (This applies to all social media platforms!)
- As with any other social media platform, don’t be 100% self-promotional—reply, retweet, and interact.
Tweeting relevant content from reputable sources is a good way to let your followers know that you are aware of what’s going on in the world and that you’re a reputable source of information, too.
Don’t be afraid to make connections.
This is the place to do it. Think of Twitter as a party without the awkwardness of having to approach a stranger face to face. Retweet to break the ice with people you want to engage with.
Direct Messages (DMs) tend to get overrun by spammy automated “hellos”. This has somewhat reduced the power of DMs, since some people ignore them. Go ahead and DM people, but also tweet them to let them know you sent a message.
Join conversations in the communities you want to attract. You want to be associated with a certain genre and as an expert in a topic. Help others with your knowledge and you’ll familiarize them with your business.
The following are strategies I used to find new readers using Twitter:
- Research existing Twitter accounts that complement your own. This could be a direct competitor like Macy's or Bloomingdales, a complementary product like Europe Travel Agency (if you're a travel blogger with a European focus), or a complementary account, like a recipe-focused blog (if you are a restaurant review blog).
- Ask your new readers questions or respond to questions people ask on Twitter by searching for topics or a relevant hashtag.
- Build relationships by participating in Twitter chats that complement your content, like Fashion, Beauty, Foodie, Parenting, or Travel chats.
Now, I no longer use Twitter, as I mentioned earlier. I started out spending 6 hours a day there then cut back to 30 minutes a day. Currently, it brings me minimal traffic and not much return for my time.
Remember, focus your efforts strategically where you see the most opportunity. What works for one blogger and one topic might not work as well for another. Your time is limited; spend it wisely.
For me, Twitter is the most helpful when I want to meet other bloggers, start a conversation with a brand, or introduce myself to a PR company. Twitter is a popular place for businesses to network.
Because people and brands are easily accessible on Twitter, this is the ideal social media platform on which to reach out to them. All it takes is a well-thought-out tweet.
BONUS SOCIAL STRATEGY: TARGETING BRANDS
Let’s say you wrote an article on your 5 favorite countries or the 10 best places to buy garden supplies. Once you publish the post, tag any brands you mentioned!
For example, I wrote a post about Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale and shared it with @Nordstrom on Twitter. Guess what? They re-tweeted it! What company doesn’t want free promotion, especially when an entire article is about their services or products?
Likewise, I wrote another post about the top retailers for women’s travel clothing then shared it with the corresponding brands on Twitter. But hold on—this one’s trickier.
You don’t want to list all the brands on the same tweet because you may list two competitors next to each other and neither will share your tweet with their audience.
If you do tweet to more than one brand, make sure they're non-competitive. For example, when I wrote about my top five travel essentials, each company I listed was not related to the other so I included them all on the same tweet.
I find Twitter to be most effective for this but it can also work for Facebook and Instagram.
I don’t have a secret formula. My strategy is based on traditional, standard social media growth methods combined with hard work and time—lots of time.
Remember, even though having a large social media following attracts brands, it’s more important to grow your audience with quality leads, not just quantity. Engagement is becoming more important to brands than numbers.
The biggest takeaway from this lesson is to have the right mindset. Focus your growth efforts by keeping your target market top-of-mind in everything you do. Growing a strong audience takes time, so invest your efforts in attracting the right people (your target market).
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE THE SIX-FIGURE BLOGGER
Here are the Key Things to Consider from the Lesson
Of the Twitter strategies that you learned in the lesson, which ones are you currently not using?
Determine if Twitter makes sense for your business model. If it does, how will you use it?
Are there any Twitter chats in your niche that you can participate in?