Tapping into Twitter Power to
Showcase Your Expertise and Drives Sales
Some people promote their products on Twitter like they do in traditional media - they broadcast their promotions and listen for the echo. In social media, that is also called utterly annoying spamming.
The key to winning in social media is providing value and activating your audience. Your evangelists and promoters are people who are going to be helping you in any way. They do that because they like your business. They are excited about it, they enjoy the benefits it brings and they want their friends to share the benefits too.
Only a small number of your followers are going to fit into this category, though. The rest are just going to be people who are interested in what you do and want to know what you are doing now. But even those people can still bring a huge amount of value.
They can help you in all sorts of other ways. In Activating your Advocates: How to Engage and Grow Your Customer Base Using Twitter, we showed you how they can help you spot problems before you launch products. Because Twitter is filled with experts who possess all sorts of specialized knowledge, the site can be a one stop shop for whatever you are struggling with. The easiest way to find help is simply to ask the people you know if they can supply it.
Obviously this is always going to work best when you have a giant follower base. The higher the number of people following your tweets the greater the chances one of them will be able to lend a hand. That means as we build your followers its worth paying attention to what each of them does and consider the help they might be able to offer in the future. You are building a large network - these are the trappings of true star power.
Followers with lots of followers of their own can be an outlet to plenty of help. As you look for specific individuals to follow, its worth looking at the number of followers they have. If you can get followed by a few people with large audiences, there’s always a chance your requests for help will be passed along.
How do you ask for that help?
You certainly can come straight out and ask if anyone knows a skilled programmer, great copywriter or affordable web designer.That would be very simple and depending on the size and make-up of your followers there is a good chance that it would give you results. You could also ask your followers to retweet your message to help you find the assistance you need. Again, every time you do this, you’re spreading your name across the Twitterverse.
People like to help and they like to show off their own expertise too, so when someone tweets back with the information and advice you are looking for, you get to appear in their timeline and they get to look like an expert. Everyone wins.
This approach is about extracting help from your followers, but it works the other way too. Yes, you should be offering solutions whenever you see people asking questions in your field. Getting recognized as an expert will help you drive sales. That is where tracking keywords related to your business is so important.
It would be nice if every tweet that mentions you or our business is going to say how great you are and that everyone should buy absolutely everything you are selling. Then buy one for every member of their family. And friends. And friends of friends.
Welcome to reality. Life just isn’t like that.
Inevitably, you’re going to see tweets from people who just weren’t happy. Some of them won’t be happy with the quality of the product. They’ll find that it did not do what they hoped it would do - even if their expectations were way off base. Others will complain about the customer service or miniscule things that went awry. And for others, they’ll have encountered a bug, mistake or inaccuracy that they want to highlight. Whatever the reason, whenever you see a complaint that relates to your product, jump on it. Ask them what the problem is. Show that you are prepared to work with them to try and fix it. And when you do fix it, let them know by sending them a reply tweet so that everyone can see.
There are several benefits of doing that. One, you stop that bad publicity in its tracks. If positive viral marketing can have fantastic effects on your sales, negative tweets can seriously restrict your growth. Two, you turn a complainer into an unpaid member of your quality assurance team. The old saying “the customer is always right” might not always be right but you can always learn something from a customer complaint. There’s a risk that your account could morph into a customer help desk so rather than broadcasting messages you want to put out, you could open a separate account that functions as an online real-time help desk. Let your customers know that you are dedicated to meeting their demands, then broadcast your solutions on your main Twitter account.
Remember, Twitter is more of a conversation tool than a broadcasting device. You can have conversations that help you spot problems, do prelaunch market research, get feedback and win glowing reviews.
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