Moving Machine Parts of Marketing
You will be aware by now that Twitter cannot be viewed in isolation. Of course, for micro-businesses, it is a start if you are beginning your marketing on a shoestring. Marketing, however is as broad and deep as you are able or wish to make it. Every business comes to the stage where they know that they need to be doing more, but they are either over-whelmed with options available, or confused by what they try to learn and implement. This is natural. You are running a business and savvy as you may be about aspects of promoting what you do, there is always much more to learn and piece together to maximize returns on your marketing investment.
Marketing is a vast discipline; it always was so and is now mushrooming into so many new areas as the technology continues to erupt out across the economic landscape. With so many streams to online marketing, it is harder for small businesses to know where to start and in which direction to move.
The reassuring part here is that the more you do, the more you achieve, so whatever effort you make online, so long as you measure and compare results regularly, then tweak to optimize your campaigns, you will see returns. The point is to start.
Arguably, Twitter is not the place to start however. This might seem a strange thing to say in an ebook about Twitter marketing. So, let’s explain that statement. Before you even start to look outwards and reaching out to your audience, you have to get clear on who you think you are, where you want to go and who is going to be helping you get there. This is in essence your brand. Being aware of the ‘personality’, look, feel and voice of your brand will keep you focused as you begin to roll out marketing campaigns. Your brand will maintain consistency and as a constraint on the vast array of possibilities open to your business, will help narrow down decision making. Focus is a good thing when budgets are also constrained.
Your marketing then is driven by your brand; this in turn dictates your strategy online, offline, or both (ideally). As this ebook is focussed on Twitter and Twitter is a digital medium, you will need to develop a digital strategy. This will look at all aspects of how other digital marketing you undertake relate to Twitter and back to your original brand strategy.
By way of example, Twitter relates to:
- Your website – the central hub of your online sales. Twitter can drive visits to your website, either via blog links, promotions, competitions or surveys, general sales campaigns
- Other social media which can mutually reinforce Twitter impact or stand alone or be connected to other strategies. So for instance, Tweets can drive to Facebook sales pages or newsletter sign up campaigns, competitions. Some of your Twitter followers will have specific preferences for different platforms. Twitter may point to your YouTube channel, for them to receive notifications in their inbox of your latest video updates, or on threads of conversations in which they get involved. The interconnections between social media platforms is by rights a chapter in its own right and explains why social media management is a mushrooming specialism. Maintaining links across platforms is also good SEO – the juice that oils the cogs that push your company up the online ranking machine. However, the main point of each social media profile is to continue to drive website sales, or to encourage people to pick up the phone to place an order or make a booking.
- Your E-newsletter. Whilst many emails will eventually be unsubscribed from, if you offer regular value for your newsletter subscribers, you can continue to sell, upsell, cross-sell, entertain and inform for a long time. Of course your e-newsletter will itself point back to your central hub online i.e. your website, which takes the reader closer to buying in the sales cycle.
- PPC: Twitter and other social media may also play a role in Pay Per Click or similar sponsored advertising campaigns. The name of the game is visibility with a strong offer, often time-limited.
- Social Media can also broadcast news about Press Releases, TV and radio campaigns, banner adverts and even be linked to magazine, newspaper or journal published pieces.
Campaigns are often run in tandem, in order for one to support the other, based on the assumption that the average consumer needs to be exposed to a buying idea several times before they act. Early adopters who like to try something whilst new are a minority. The vast majority will follow later. For instance, Patak’s campaigns on social media, which ran alongside radio features, with DJ’s eating prepared recipes and who then talked about these to drive listeners to a local supermarket promotion, where shoppers were invited to watch a display of Asian dance, whilst handed a voucher to buy Patak curry cheaper in-store.
Integration of campaigns is about knowing where your customers are and tying in messages to drive footfall to stores, or online sales. Such campaigns need advance planning e.g. at Christmas, where the marketing noise will be huge and customers are busiest. Campaigns generally require a long-lead in time, to allow for lining up all the ducks and allow for effective post promotional appraisal of results.
Whilst we have focussed deeply on the ‘How To’ in this e-book, to help you make more of Twitter for your business, we understand that joining up the cogs and wheels of your marketing machine can be a huge undertaking if you are thorough and have longer term growth and development aims from your marketing.
Of course, you may just be a high-street hairdresser, butcher, or estate agent, who has a slow day midweek that you want to make a modest weekly push with.
Twitter is of course, just one marketing method amongst numerous other on and offline strategies for attracting more custom. How you employ it and how you integrate it with other media is down to budget and objectives. Whichever medium you decide upon, all need to be integrated with a systematized sales process that connects each element and drives followers towards specific purposes, be they sales, registering customer contact details with you, crowd-sourcing solutions during development, researching opinion, or enlisting them for promoting new products or booking or saving for launch events.
Essentially, it is important to remember that Twitter is a social platform, i.e. it offers two way dialogue, which requires your regular and consistent management and that the majority of your communication will be about warming the audience up or keeping them warm, whilst gently moving them towards or deeper into your sales funnel..
Whilst the focus of most of your Twitter activity is brand management, if you do this well, selling via this channel will be effortless, once you have sufficient followers and are systematized. The fact that the larger corporations use social media, there is a solid financial reason for this. The beauty of this platform is that you can compete with them on virtually equal terms if you are prepared to learn or outsource this element of your business.
In summary, having a presence on Twitter is largely about keeping your company’s profile upper-most in the mind of your ideal customers and doing whatever you can in terms of planning, consistent engagement and regularly reviewing results. Dabbling will generate negligible interest and zero sales. Like all sales, marketing is a numbers game. That means putting in the time to generate the levels of interest required to convert further down the line.
Wherever you are in your business development, now is as good a time as any to get yourself set up! . The important thing is to do something and test the water. Only by putting yourself out there, will you learn what you need to know for the future and what your limitations are, to ask the questions of the experts.
Millions of people are tuning in globally. Whether you are a high-street business selling to a local community, or a fast growing business wanting to steam ahead online, there is an audience out there who you can be drawing from your competitors. If you are up against a local supermarket, social media is a powerful tool for claiming back your slice of sales. People like buying from people. That is what makes Twitter so huge; we all like to be social.