Talking Twitter at #AMASV

After a friend had to go out of town on business at the last minute, I was asked to fill in during today's American Marketing Association Sacramento Valley luncheon. My topic ... Twitter.

Below are a few of the things I told my groups as they came by to talk (each table discussed a different topic). I've also included a few of the things I had planned to say, but in 10 minutes didn't have the chance. I know it's not an exhaustive list, but my goal was to give a brief introduction on how it could help their business start on Twitter.

1. Everyone that is on Twitter quit and then started again. Yes, even I signed up for an account, used it a few times, forgot about it and then eventually came back to it.

2. Be conversational. I don't know a single person that loves when a company (or a person) only provides one way information that tries to sell them stuff. Every good company interacts. Royal Caribbean has an almost daily post asking "Where's Royal?" and then shows a picture of a port their ships travel to. Yard House restaurant says thanks to customers who check in on Foursquare or mention them on Twitter. There are so many great examples. Converse with your audience first, then also let them know you sell something.

3. Network. There are a few ways to do this. First you can find people on Twitter who are writing about your industry, follow them and engage with them. Yes this is very similar to #2. It's also important to go to in-person events. It can be a Chamber Mixer, a Tweetup or a charity dinner. If you're not actively meeting people in real life (IRL) and online, you are not fully benefiting the power of social media. One of my favorite local examples is Chick-Fil-A Arden Fair. They engage with customers through Twitter and they're at events almost every day of the week including SMC Sac, River Cats games, the Sacramento Zoo and tweetups.

4. Be where your customer is. I love Twitter. However if my friends weren't on Twitter it wouldn't make sense for me to be on it, I like asking them questions, providing answers and just seeing what they are up to. The same is true for business. If your customers and potential customers are not on Twitter, it's a waste of time. You have no one to be conversational with.

5. Search. Twitter is an open platform, you can search for almost anything that people are saying. Hashtags are an amazing invention, but even without them, it's still easy to find something. When someone mentions "Napa" in a tweet, @NapaDowntown (client), might just reply back to them with a restaurant suggestion or let them know about a new website full of resources.

6. Check out the cool infographic I found over the weekend from Touch Agency. Why? Because someone spent a lot of time making it.

7. Use tools. Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are probably the two most popular programs to manage Twitter accounts, for the record I prefer Tweetdeck (and so does Twitter, they bought it).

8. Klout. It's not perfect, but it does help measure how interactive you (and others) are on Twitter. The more people you interact with (and that interact back), the more likely you are to have a higher score. Klout also lets you know who you influence, what topics you are most influential about and provides some other good insights. In my opinion it's not perfect, but it's the best tool of its kind.

9. ROI. Although it's difficult to say, there was a recent study that said a Facebook fan spent an average of $71.84 more per year at a major retailers if they "Liked" that retailers' Facebook page. I would imagine Twitter numbers are similar. Most people just want to increase their followers, I however say it's more important to follow and be followed by the right people. You can pay services that will get you 20,000+ "likes" on Facebook or that many followers on Twitter, but that does no good if they don't interact with your brand and never shop in your store.

10. Complete your profile. I want to see a picture of you or your logo, not an egg. I want to know where you live or do business and I want a brief description of what your do, what you sell or what you're going to tweet about. It's not that hard and it's the basic information you should provide if you want people to follow you.

What are your tips for Twitter and social media in general?


goodlaura said…
Great tips Mr. Bradley! "Listening" to what people are saying about your business via google alerts or just via a search column on Tweetdeck or Hootsuite would be my recommendation. And responding to any mentions -- especially handling any customer service issues promptly and with grace.
Nicole France said…
Great information. Twitter provides value to both businesses and individuals if used correctly. I am an advocate.

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