So lets say you are a business owner and you have a business blog? Great! You are already ahead of the game. But, other than making brilliant posts, what can you do to drive people to your blog? And will this result in getting more sales? Business bloggers need to utilize Twitter to optimize their presence in the great Web 2.0 world. And yes, if you utilize this network correctly by conversing with other Twitterers, pay attention to their updates, and post helpful and interesting information- people will notice and visit your blog- which will in turn result in eventual sales. Twitter is the hot, powerful social media “it” tool of the moment and we have to pay attention to this.
Allow me to propose some ideas on how to make Twitter work better for you to promote your brand:
1. It is usually a good idea for your handle (username) to reflect the name of your blog or company or brand.
2. But it is an even better idea to include your actual name in your profile (unless you are a widely known brand such as Starbucks, Whole Foods, Zappos, etc). It is a widely accepted truth that most people on Twitter want to follow other people and not a brand they do not recognize.
3. The photo- many Twitter users will judge whether to follow you based on your photo. Your photo sends an immediate message to Twitter users about who you are, who you want to meet, and what you will be Tweeting about. So, do you post a real photo of yourself or do you post a company logo? Do you post a “fun, casual” photo or do you post a professional head shot? Before you decide- ask yourself who you want to attract, and the answer should come clearly to you. Most social media experts feel that a real photo should be used- but I think you must decide based on these factors: What message do you want to send? Who do you want to follow you- College students? Then post a more relaxed photo of yourself. Outdoor or sports enthusiasts? Then post a good action photo of yourself. Professionals? Consider posting your company logo or a professional head shot. Parents? A photo of you with your kids would appropriate. You have to think about WHO you want to attract.
4. Import your blog into your account using Twitterfeed. It will update your account regularly- so you will have more time follow and converse with your Twitter friends.
5. Like the photo- make sure your bio reflects who you are and who you want to meet in Twitter. If you are promoting your business blog or Website- define your role within your organization and include interesting and appropriate details about yourself. ( ex/ Bill Smith Founder and CEO of Better Blogging, Inc, Writer, Reader, Family Guy, Facebook user, Dodgers Fan). Let your bio reflect a bit of your personality. Most Social Media users do not want a professional resume- they want to know who they are talking to!
6. VERY Important- post a link in your profile! You can post ONE live link. So choose wisely. If you own a business, post that link. If you have a blog, post that link. But if you have a blog that is tied to your business- I advise posting THAT link. It is better to attract people to your blog so they can read your insightful posts and get to know you- then eventually become your customers rather than people who will quickly scan your business site- and move on.
7. Equally important-make constant weekly updates that are thoughtful and interesting and easy to read- announce news about your business or what is going on….announce a few personal updates here and there (Ex/ Taking my kids to the park today and enjoying coffee)- these are all appropriate to post in Twitter. You will attract more people if you are not making salesy pitchy advertising updates (no spamming)
8. Pay attention to your followers and comment on their status .It is usually not a major stretch to read someone’s blog post they announce in Twitter and reply to them by hitting the @ button and saying things like- Great post, I agree (or disagree) with this point…etc. Conversing with your followers is the best best best way to get their attention, cause them to go to your site- and that can result in referrals, publicity, and more sales. People who use Twitter just to blindly post their updates and not converse with others are really missing the boat.
9. If you are able to this, encourage your staff to use Social Media also. Have them open company accounts as well with a link to your blog or business- and make sure their bios reflect who they are and their role with your organization. They can also import your blog into their account with Twitterfeed and share professional and appropriate personal updates. There are a number of articles coming out that are reporting many savvy businesses (like Dell, IBM) encourage their employees to utilize social media channels like Facebook/Twitter/Linked In and blogs- and wisely so.
Whatever your mission is, Twitter is a fabulous resource to connect and interact with people you would never have meet in other circumstances. Make sure you are following these guidelines to optimize your presence!