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« connecting with your public through social media | Main | want to build your business? it's time to join in the chat »

are you reaching your true potential?

As with all marketing channels, your twitter activity can only build your business if you’re maximising its reach. 

Who’s following you? Are they key to your business (potential customers? existing customers? suppliers? stockists? bloggers or journalists from your sector?) Are they responding to your tweets?  Are you creating dialogue and interaction? Are you getting re-tweeted?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’.  Then it may be time to take a few minutes to rethink your strategy.

If you only have a small group of followers and they’re not re-tweeting you, then your reach could be pretty minimal.  The online equivalent of advertising in the parish gazette.

As a result, the return on any time you invest in twitter will also be minimal.   So, what can you do?

Take a look at the competition. 
(But try not to obsess about their follower numbers. They may seem huge in comparison to yours, but this may just mean that they’ve been on twitter for longer)  Check out who follows them, look at how they interact with those followers.  Compare this to what you’re doing.  Followerwonk can help with this.  I’m not suggesting for one moment you start imitating your competitors tweets, but do check out whether there are any general lessons you can learn.

Take a look at your content. 
Specifically look at what you’re tweeting and see how people are responding.  Look back over your @mentions and re-tweets. If you use twitpic, take a look at how many people are viewing your snaps.  Work out what’s popular and build on it. 

Why not check out your klout score?  Klout can be a interesting tool to help gather insight into topics you’re influential on, who you influence and what your reach is.  Using your twitter account activity, and facebook if you link that in too, klout offers a quick snapshot of your overall influence.  Useful, but not comprehensive so don’t take the results – in isolation – too seriously.  It’s best to use these types of apps and tools in conjunction with your own analysis.  But do use them to identify new opportunities and create interesting new directions in which to take your online activity.

Get the balance right. When you’re tweeting for business, it’s vital that you get the balance right between business and social tweeting.  If you are constantly banging on about free p&p, or your latest discount code, you are going to switch off followers fairly quickly.  Likewise, endlessly tweeting cute pictures of your cat, or your morning latte, is unlikely to build your business.

As holds true in most areas of business, an 80/20 split between social and business tweeting seems to be a good balance.  So for every five tweets you send make ensure four are less hard sell more general interest, but still relevant to your brand, sector and expertise. 

And finally, don’t forget the basics  …

Maximise your profile.  Many people check out full twitter profiles before following new accounts, so make sure your profile works as hard for your business as you do.  Upload a good profile pic, create a strong bio that reflects your business (making sure to include your web address) and rework your profile design to reflect your branding.  

Mind your p’s & q’s. Scan tweets before sending,  check for missed words and typos.  Make sure you’ve shortened any links you share (check out for help with this) and that they work correctly.  And finally, remember this is business, so try to avoid self indulgent ‘woe is me’ tweets … and of course, no swearing!

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