It is easy to create a Twitter account and start posting messages. That only takes a minute or two to get started. If you are entered the world of Twitter marketing, however, it will take more time to see results.
The tricky part is building an engaged following that not only helps build a brand for your organization, it is another source of new leads and new sales.
Here are 8 simple ways to improve your Twitter presence:
1. "Answer Mondays"
Regardless of what you call it, setting aside one day per week to answer your customers' top questions is an invaluable strategy to immediately improve your Twitter presence. It not only shows that you care about what your customers are struggling with but also that your company is proactive when it comes to customer service.
If a handful of customers have the same issue, then, chances are, there are others.
Compile a list of the top questions from the previous week, collecting them from all of your customer service channels – instant messaging, forum postings, Facebook, Twitter, emails and over the phone. Cover all possible areas in which a customer may have an issue including customer service, technical assistance, sales and promotions, and products.
Then, Tweet the answers. In order to see a significant change in your Twitter presence, this act can't be fly-by-the-night, Tweeting irregularly. Instead, pick a day of the week, and publicize that your company is going to answer these questions.
2. Internal Shout-Outs
People who follow businesses on Twitter want the occasional reminder that, in fact, there are actual, real, live people running the show. The common perception of companies – regardless of size or type – is that they're nameless, faceless automated machines that spit out products for a profit.
One of the best ways to break the mold and increase your Twitter marketing stature is to remind the public that your company is comprised of real people.
Tweet high-fives, kudos and shout-outs to your fellow cube-mates. Tweet excellent work. Tweet completed projects. Tweet an amazing brainstorming session. Tweet whatever that makes your company proud.
3. Welcome New Clients
Similarly to Tweeting internal kudos, sharing with the Twittersphere how happy you are for gaining a new client or customer makes everyone's day.
This practice not only reaffirms your newfound connection to your new client but also shows that your company takes relationships very seriously.
On another level, by publicly welcoming new clients, it shouts that you're not all about the cheddar, pushing deals or self-promotion.
Some of the most successful businesses Tweet a daily or weekly deal, something that's entirely exclusive to Twitter. Posting regularly increases followers' anticipation, conversion rates and even attracting new followers.
Another useful and proven tip to increase Twitter presence is to link to your on-going deals through coupon sites like Groupon or Livingsocial.
Tweeters (and the general public) love to get deals, and one of the fastest growing searches in Twitter is for any sort of discount and promotions.
5. Use Hashtags (#)
Hashtags are an incredibly powerful and wonderful Twitter tool. For the uninitiated, hashtags (or #) are words that point to a specific subject or trending topic. The # separates the word from the rest of the Tweet to underscore its importance. Hashtags are searchable, ranked and organic, meaning that anyone can add a hashtag to a word to start a trending topic.
One of the biggest mistakes that Twitter marketers do is to overuse hashtags in their Tweets. By littering their posts with every other word hashtagged out, they assume that it increases the searchability and relevance.
Sadly, the opposite is true. By using hashtags sparingly and correctly, you'll tap into the current topics within your industry, highlight critical information in your Tweets and possibly start a trend.
Also, do some research for the week's (or month's) top hashtags within your industry. If there's already a conversation going on about a certain topic, tap into that collective power.
6. Tweet Photos
Sometimes a picture is worth a 1,000 words (or Tweets!). There's so much more power in showing rather than telling. And, sometimes there aren't any words.
By using a website like TwitPic, you'll be able to Tweet whatever image you'd like to promote.
7. Post Product Tips
What Twitter provides is an informal platform from which your customers can chat about the weird, amazing, interesting and fascinating ways they use your products.
YouTube was one of the first champions of the odd product uses (remember that blender guy that took the "blends anything" promise to the extreme by shoving every object in his house into his new appliance?).
Or, look back in the day, when Arm & Hammer baking soda started launching individual campaign ads based on their customer's feedback. Who knew you could brush your teeth, sanitize a litter box and whiten whites all with one cooking product?
For every 10 customers that suggest amazing ways to use your product, one is always entirely harebrained. So, sort through your posts, emails and messages and see what the chatter is on different uses for your product.
Tweet the best.
8. Tweet With Some Pizzazz
Yes, yes, we know! We always say it helps to improve the overall quality of your content. Yes, its one of the most universal tips we blog about regardless of marketing tactic. Yes, improving writing quality is entirely dependent on the person doing the writing.
But, out of any tip we've ever given, its, hands down, the most critical piece of advice we've ever passed along.
Writing is everything. Content is everything.
As for Twitter, the only thing that will help you rise above the masses and be noticed is the overall quality of Tweets. Since you've such a limited space to get your message across, not only do you need to write with some skill but with some flare.
Flare is what gets you noticed, ReTweeted, forwarded, search and followed.
Do you have a tip for your fellow Tweeters that we have not included?