Connecting with your audience on social media might seem as simple as a post and a follow, but it’s actually a lot more complex. Twitter as a marketing tool can apply to PR, thought leadership, brand building, and lead generation. Selling on Twitter takes some skill and practice, but it’s a viable platform for growing your business that is definitely worth the effort.
What can I sell on Twitter?
The short answer is: Anything! The great thing about social media marketing is that it can be used to sell such a wide variety of products. There’s a lot of business to be done on the internet across many channels. There is a niche somewhere on the web for anything you may have to sell. To tap into your niche and sell on Twitter like the pros do, follow these best practices.
The internet can be unpredictable, but there are some specific actions you can take to make sure you get a positive ROI from using Twitter. No sale is guaranteed, but utilizing some of these best practices will help you get the most out of Twitter as a tool for sales.
1. Interact with your audience.
Social media was created for people to be social, so don’t be shy! Respond to your mentions and retweets, do Q&A sessions, and be active with not just your followers but other relevant people in your industry. This helps build interest and trust that will encourage your audience to participate in the conversation, too.
2. Share things your market is interested in
Your stream of tweets shouldn't only be about what you are selling. Users will be more likely to follow you if they see that you are sharing content they want to see and posts they can relate to. And the more eyes you can get on your profile, the more potential leads you’ll have.
3. Monitor your company’s reputation.
Keep track of what users are saying about your business online with routine social listening. Anytime you or your product is mentioned, check out what is being said so that you’re aware of how people are discussing it. Analyze the information for any helpful insight to improve what might be preventing leads from becoming customers.
4. Be consistent.
The Twitter algorithm favors users who tweet frequently and consistently. To help you do this, there are a lot of social media management tools that allow you to schedule posts in advance. This way, you don't feel pressured to open the app everyday and think of something new and insightful to say. A scheduling app can keep your Tweets consistent, which means your leads will stay consistent, too.
5. Take feedback.
Don’t just watch what users are saying about your business or your product, actually listen. Customers who have had a negative or positive experience may voice their opinion on Twitter. Take the free feedback you would usually need to pay a focus group for and apply changes that can improve your sales.
6. Stay updated on industry news.
Stay on top of big (or small) changes in your industry by checking Twitter frequently. For example, if you heard that your competitor made a big announcement but you don't know the details, search on Twitter for the competitor's name to find out the latest news and what people have to say about it. Twitter's real-time updates are great for getting wind of big news before it's even published across the web. This upper hand will inform you of ways to gain more sales over the competition.
Social media has grown immensely as a business tool which means you will always be behind the competition if you’re not using it. In fact, Twitter’s monetizable daily active users (mDAU) amounts to 206 million people. That’s a ton of opportunities to sell on the platform. Some of those users could fall within your target audience. Unfortunately, a large following alone doesn’t guarantee sales, so use these tips to best take advantage of the platform for business revenue.
Using Twitter as a platform for selling your product can be really effective if you do it right. It’s not just about building a big following or promoting the most content. Focus on the following tips to improve your sales through Twitter.
1. Have a plan.
Don’t dive into selling on Twitter blindly. Create a strategy for Twitter marketing that works for you and your product and then execute it.
2. Determine which trends and hashtags will benefit you.
You don’t need to go viral in order to be seen, but you do need to put yourself in a position to be found. Following relevant popular trends and using hashtags will put your profile in front of the users that are seeking your content.
3. Build a great profile.
It’s easy to completely customize your Twitter profile with adjustments that fit your product. Even your “handle” doesn’t necessarily have to simply be the name of your business, it could be related to your product or your branding. And this also includes having a special pinned tweet that you want to call attention to as part of your profile.
4. Establish a personality.
Are your tweets going to be humorous? Serious? Lighthearted? Memes? Decide what you want users to see from your brand and how you want your Twitter profile to express it.
5. Connect with influencers or relevant followers.
Find people who are changemakers in your industry and keep up with them. Continuously check on what they are saying and decide what collaborations could benefit your business. For example, co-branding partnerships are a mutually beneficial offer you could make to another successful brand that you connect with on Twitter.
6. Mind your following to follower ratio.
Believe it or not, the myth that users care about your follow-back ratio is actually true. It’s a signal of the success of your account, so be more selective about which users you choose to follow.
7. Don’t be afraid of promotions.
Twitter ads are an awesome tool that you should take advantage of. They are a smart way to promote your brand and your product once you target the correct audience.
Use Twitter Effectively as a Selling Tool
Different social media platforms require different strategies to be effective. For instance, Twitter is focused on text while Instagram is focused on media. Consider the unique aspects of Twitter as a platform and use them to your advantage as you’re developing a strategy. Social media is an important tool for selling your product that can't be ignored as you continue to grow your business.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2009 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.