Building off our previous post on branding during the off-season, we’re going to discuss the specific ways in which you can improve your branding through Twitter.
Twitter is useful during the busy season because you’ll be able to live tweet updates during events, provide promotional information, and engage enthusiastic followers at their highest peak of interest. Even during the off-season, although your methods will differ your priorities remain the same. Your primary tasks on Twitter are as follows:
- Stay in the know
- Build a loyal following
- Keep your followers engaged
Here are 3 tips to help you achieve these goals.
Build Awareness using Twitter Lists
Awareness goes both ways. You need to stay aware of what’s happening in your industry, but your industry and followers must also stay aware of you. If you’re an ice cream parlor, you could follow @BenAndJerrys and @EarnestIceCream so their information shows up on your homepage. You could also follow prominent Foodies in Vancouver so you know what’s hot in the Vancouver dessert industry. Although you could go wild following everyone that’s relevant to ice cream, we recommend that you go one step further using Twitter Lists.
Action Item: Build Your Twitter Lists
Use Twitter’s Lists function to segment your home feed into separate groups – “Frozen Dessert Stores,” “Ice Cream Lovers in Vancouver” or “Ice Cream News Canada.” Instead of packing your news feed full of unsorted information, you can use Lists to view only the information that you want to see. Interested in what consumers are saying about ice cream? Visit your Ice Cream Lovers list. Interested in knowing what’s new in dairy regulation laws? Visit your Ice Cream News Canada list. Do you want to stay up to date on industry events? Your Frozen Dessert Stores list may give you hints on Dessert Conventions and Events happening locally.
The ultimate goal of using Twitter Lists is to build awareness about your industry; what’s new, what people say about you, and what potential opportunities are out there. Your priority during the off-season is to grow opportunities to support sales during the busy season, after all!
Establish Authority with Post Promotion
You’re in business for a reason. You offer something cool, something unique that people want. Let your customers know that you are the authoritative expert on the subject matter. This is where you push content. Your blog posts. Your case studies. Your research results. Post content that engages people; content that people actually want to read. No-one wants to read a sales pitch unless it means solving an issue. If you sell ice cream, you can let the world know that you have a groundbreaking new formula or a smashing new flavour. Get people excited and make them want to follow you.
Action Item: Schedule Your Branding Material
Frequent, engaging content is how you reward your followers for being loyal to you. You supply them with the expertise and content that makes them want to come back again and again. You want to stay on your consumer’s mind all year long! Do this by hosting fun contests, posting fun pictures and updates, or supplying cool infographics. Think to yourself: If I were the customer, would I want to see this? If the answer is a resounding “Yes” then you should go ahead and post it to stay on their minds.
Use a social media management tool like Sprout Social or HootSuite to schedule your posts. If you’re posting blogs or promotions on a regular basis, you can schedule them far in advance to ensure that your content flows regularly. Some marketing managers use a ratio of 50/50 for scheduled/unscheduled content posts. Some prefer 30/70 or 60/40. Whatever your style is, ensure that your content flows on a regular basis to avoid stagnation.
Your followers follow you for a reason – don’t disappoint them.
Reciprocate through Engagement
“Engagement” is the word that should come to mind when thinking of Twitter. There are so many ways to engage with the community! If you’ve followed Step One correctly, you’ll have a well-sized list to engage on a regular basis. Start a conversion, join a conversation, or retweet a conversation for visibility. You can direct the flow of conversation using your expertise. If you’re posting infographics and research results on a regular basis, slip them into your conversation to provide a well-augmented stance on the matter.
The key here is to be available. Wherever ice cream is discussed, your parlor is there to provide information and enthusiasm. This is where branding really happens – through natural conversation. If your brand is happy and fun-be happy and fun. If you’re professional, stick to the facts and be respectful. Treat your brand like a person, and your tweets like their words. Ask yourself – What Would My Brand Say?
Action Item – Keep Your Twitter Tabs Open!
You want to quickly respond to any and all conversations involving your Twitter handle or industry keyword. To do this, keep multiple Twitter tabs open on your internet browser at all times. Whenever there’s an update on your Notification page, for example, you’ll see a (1) symbol on your tab which is a signal for you to respond to something on Twitter. You can also keep Twitter tabs open for all your top keywords so that whenever you need to take a break from writing your report, you can scan Twitter for any places to jump in to a conversation.
And there you have it-3 tips to improve your branding on Twitter. Grow your opportunities by becoming more aware of the digital space. Reward your existing followers by cultivating them in the off-season so they’ll come back during the busy season. Stay engaged and show the world exactly what your brand is and why you’re an expert in the field.