“The oldest form of marketing – word-of-mouth – with the newest form of technology.” Marc Pritchard, P&G.
While this could be said of all social media platforms, Mr. Pritchard’s quote more directly aligns with one outlet, the one that is the busiest, and noisiest, of them all – Twitter. In 140 characters or less, the platform that many liken to a Town Hall can most certainly get loud – chock full of news reports, motivational quotes, punchlines, and spam. With all the commotion, businesses big and small wonder how they can get their voice heard among the headlines neatly packaged in succinct clips of verbiage.
The answer: your followers.
Notice that I didn’t say the number of followers that you attain. Simply, your followers.
The amount of followers that you have, in all reality, means nothing. You could have 500 followers that follow just for the sake of following, with no interest in what you have to say or sell, who don’t interact directly with you or with the rest of the community. Or, you could have 5 followers, each of whom have a legitimate interest in your business and in your brand, who engage, question, and share your information with the rest of this noisy society. The big picture here is that you want to have followers of value, who in turn value you – your brand, your product, and the content that you are putting out.
How do individuals share on Twitter? The retweet.
A Twitter marketing strategy shouldn’t start right away with selling, promotions, and advertising. You need to first build a foundation by interacting, engaging, giving advice and feedback – in summary, you must be an active member of the community. Putting out high quality content, about your business and topics surrounding your business, will gain traction in the form of retweets.
This is then retweeted information, by followers of value, to their own followers. The Twitter version of ‘word-of-mouth’, as is the case here, then enables more eyes to see what you have to say, to familiarize themselves with your brand. And, yes, the more followers you have, the more retweets you’ll get. And so the domino effect begins as more retweets leads to additional readers, and, in turn, you guessed it…more retweets. The key is sharing content that is both of high quality and is engaging – this way the tweets aren’t just read and disregarded, but are read and retweeted, spreading the knowledge.
Twitter users want to read content that is of interest, we all do, be it online or offline. 15 years ago, the conversation in the work place around the water cooler was, “Hey did you read that article in Sunday’s paper?” Now, the equivalent of spreading that knowledge is a click of the retweet symbol. As more and more followers retweet your content, more and more people will know what your company and your brand…it’s not just about dollars and cents outright, Twitter is first and foremost about brand awareness and consumer (albeit potential) loyalty.
As you work to boost awareness and loyalty on the platform, you will notice that, over time, your sales are steadily improving. No one will buy from you based off of only one of your tweets, no matter how creative it is – they will instead follow you, read and retweet your content, and get to know you. Then, when it then comes time for them to buy a product that you sell, they will make that purchase from you.
In summary, (1) the more followers you have the more retweets you’ll get, (2) the more retweets your tweet gets leads to additional followers and more retweets, which then turns to (3) brand awareness and and Twitter user loyalty, which, in time, (4) turns into sales. It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason…be social. Be patient, but be persistent, and always be social – build relationships, chat, talk – and, in time, others will have a reason to be social about you.