I’m not talking about a "scary monsters under our bed" nightmare. Instead, I'm referring more to the struggle marketers face every day trying to calculate the perfect strategy to attract the right Twitter followers and effectively engage with them.
Recently, I learned that 93.3 percent of people plan to purchase something from a small or medium-sized company they follow on Twitter, which shows how important it is to use it in your marketing strategy.
However, just like a lot of you, it's been a challenge to come up with the perfect Twitter strategy that will bring all of those potential prospects to my door. Especially since the platform already seems so noisy, with self-proclaimed "experts" broadcasting on every topic known to man.
So, how do you stand out in such a crowded online space?
A few weeks ago, a client came to us and said they wanted to concentrate on strengthening their Twitter presence. But they didn't just want to attract more followers - they wanted to attract the right kind of followers.
This is key, because it doesn’t matter how many people are following you on Twitter if they aren’t the right people.
At first, I thought I was going to need a sophisticated Twitter approach to make this happen, but I quickly realized that a few simple tactics might just do the trick. Now, to be fair, my exact strategy might not fit your unique situation. That said, I would highly recommend using the four steps below as a way to jump start your own Twitter engagement efforts.
1. Figure Out Who Your People Are
If you want to attract the right people to your account, you need to determine who those people are. You can develop buyer personas to go after. There are numerous ways to break down your personas. In this case, my target audience was nonprofits.
I began to compile a list of small to medium-sized nonprofit Twitter handles by simply Googling “small to medium-sized nonprofit Twitter handles." Honestly, it was that simple. Within seconds, I had a list of close to 50 organizations to consider.
Learn how to develop content that generates attention and gets people talking.
While your personas may be a little more complex than what I was looking for, the moral of this story is that you'd be surprised how much information is already out there, waiting for you to discover it. But you have to know what you're looking for first, before you can start digging.
2. Refine Your List
Do you use HubSpot? Great!
Using HubSpot’s “Search for New Prospects on Twitter” feature, I discovered a great way to make my initial nonprofit Twitter handle list even better. By placing the nonprofit’s handle into the search tool, it provided me with a list of anyone on Twitter associated with the handle. I was able to find board members, CEOs and other employees working with the organization. (You can also search the handle inside Twitter then click on “People” to see a similar list.)
Since our client provides a cloud-based software directed towards nonprofit marketing departments, I took down the Twitter handle of any influential employees I found. This made my list even more streamlined for the exact audience I wanted.
If you don't have HubSpot, the process can be a bit more time-consuming. But if there are particular organizations or influencers on Twitter you are interested in attracting, start by taking a look at who they follow. If it's an organization, you may also uncover potential opportunities, if they follow their own staff. You may also come across shared connections.
3. Monitoring Your Prospects
With the crazy amount of content we push out on social media daily, many of us rely on social publishing platforms such as Hootsuite, MavSocial or HubSpot to keep us on track. Lucky for us, we host all of our clients on HubSpot, which has a great social media dashboard, called the "Social Inbox." Through the Social Inbox, we can monitor, publish and even discover prospects on social media.
I mention this, because I used HubSpot’s monitoring tool to complete the next step - but other applications have similar features. Using this tool, I was able to create different streams of the Twitter handles I wanted to attract, and see what content or topics they are talking about, sharing and retweeting. This is a great opportunity to engage with them and track the social conversations that matter to you.
During this step, I start to follow them too. (Sometimes with the hope of a courtesy follow back, but it usually doesn’t happen that easily. Continue to step four...)
4. Interact with Purpose and Persistence
This final step is the most important. This is where the strategy to attract more Twitter followers all seems to come together, driving the results we want to see.
Sit down and determine your best piece of content that speaks to the persona or vertical you chose to go after. You can even pick one blog post and one conversion offer - like a whitepaper - alternating between the two, to help switch up the content you push out.
Next, craft a scheduled tweet to each person on your list, featuring that relevant piece of content. You can even add a personalized message. And if you've been monitoring them in your stream, you may have noticed an issue they mentioned that you could address! Each day, send out a total of three tweets. (You don't want to blast your whole list all at once.) One tweet to one handle in the morning, one in the afternoon to a different handle and one later in the day to your third.
Lather, rinse, repeat this process until you've gone through your list. Then, once you have gotten to the end with that piece of content, pick a new piece and start again at the top.
Now, I am still currently making it down my list of nonprofits, which makes it hard for me to give any feedback on the true success of this plan. However, I have definitely seen positive short-term results in the small steps we have taken so far.
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