This is coming from the girl who resisted. And resisted. And….eventually caved and joined Twitter October 30th, 2008 as @LaurenRICHPR.
I too was skeptical as to how this could benefit my business, and if the time investment would really show a return. Now almost two years later, I can’t even imagine my life before Twitter. I have developed valuable business contacts & relationships, received numerous client inquiries, and discovered new opportunities I otherwise would not have access to.
Now of course being in public relations & communications, it’s a given that I should be on Twitter. However, as someone that now manages Twitter accounts for brands, I can tell you with confidence that if you are a) smart and strategic with how you use it, and are b) willing to put in the time required to show results – yes, Twitter WILL make a difference in your business.
Here, some quick tips on how to make Twitter work for you:
1. Follow, follow, follow
You scratch my back, I scratch yours. One of the easiest way to get followers is simply by following others. Of course, be strategic. Don’t just follow anyone. Are you an emerging clothing brand trying to get your name out to media or your line into stores? Draft up a list of your target media outlets and stores, find their Twitter accounts, and follow them.
Follow a list of quality accounts, and you’ll start to build a list of quality followers. One caveat: watch your follow-to-follower ratio. If you’re following 2000 accounts and only 300 are following you, you run the risk of looking like a spammer or an otherwise unreliable source. And – if your follow-to-follower ratio gets too high, Twitter will put a block on your account so you cannot follow more people until you get more followers.
2. Twitter Stalk
That’s right. Stalk away. While emailing a store’s buyer every day will do you more harm than good, what I like to call “Twitter Stalking” – strategically tweeting, retweeting and utilizing Follow Friday (see #3) – will put you on their radar in a good way. Every time you tag someone in a tweet or retweet, you’re essentially promoting them as your followers will see your tweets, and hence the people you are tagging.
Case study: My team and I “Twitter Stalked” select boutiques we wanted our client (a fashion brand) to get into. We tweeted, retweeted and put these target boutiques in our Follow Friday every week for two months leading up to the next tradeshow. Two of our top store targets stopped at the line’s booth, placed orders and told the designer they had found her line via – Twitter! (One retailer even specifically mentioned “We just keep seeing your logo on Twitter!”) Being we were novices at the time as far as managing Social Media for brands, you can imagine our excitement that – it works! Twitter REALLY works!
3. The power of Follow Friday (#FF)
Yes, this is one more thing for you to do, and yes – this is one thing you definitely should do. Every Friday Tweeters everywhere send out what’s called a “Follow Friday.” This is where you plug other people on Twitter you know, like, want to know, or in many cases, people you basically want to suck up to. Whomever you’re tagging, you’re vouching for them as people that your followers should also follow.
Some people do themes like “#FF fave fashion mags,” “#FF retail therapy,” etc., but you can also just do a simple #FF and tag whomever without a connecting theme. You can do as many FF’s as you’d like. For example, you might want to set up FF’s for media targets, retailer targets, client targets, influential industry members, even celebrities. You never know whose radar you’ll end up on.
And don’t forget to acknowledge other people who put you in their FF’s with a thank you tweet, a retweet, or putting them in your FF next week. Used strategically, FF can be a valuable promotional and networking tool. You scratch my back, I scratch yours, right?
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