With 336 million monthly active users by March 2018 and millions of tweets sent every single day, Twitter presents a massive opportunity for businesses of all sizes to increase brand awareness, generate leads and showcase their content, products or services to their target audience.
Twitter is experiencing rapid growth and gaining traction rapidly which stems partly from last year’s inclusion in Apple’s new mobile operating system
which is now embedded in its mobile menu system. More than 80% of the platform’s active users access it from a mobile device.
Twitter users are among the most educated social networkers – more college graduates use Twitter than any other social network, and 51% of Twitter users earn more than $50,000 per year
. If your target market is on Twitter, you should be there too. It’s FREE and with the right marketing strategy, Twitter can be a formidable tool for your freelancing business.
Here are a few stats that emphasize why freelancers cannot afford to ignore Twitter as a marketing channel:
- According to research by Convince and Convert, 49 percent of monthly Twitter users follow brands or companies, compared with just 16 percent of social network users overall. In other words, Twitter users are three times more likely to follow brands than Facebook users.
- Hootsuite reports that 94 percent of users plan to purchase from a small business they follow on Twitter
- Twitter users research and engage with companies—42 percent learn about products and services via Twitter, and 41 percent provide opinions about products and services. 67 percent of Twitter followers (versus 51 percent of Facebook fans) are more likely to buy from the brands they follow.
- Twitter research shows that 66% of Twitter users have discovered a new small or medium business (SMB) on Twitter. 69 percent of its users say they have purchased from a business because of something they saw on Twitter.
- Several studies demonstrate that Twitter users more actively click on links than do users on other platforms such as Facebook. One study analyzed more than 1 million links on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook’s shared links average only 3 clicks, while Twitter’s tweets generate 19 clicks on average. Another study showed that among many small and medium-size companies, Twitter users generated double the median monthly leads of non-Twitter users. That result held across company size.
- Twitter serves more than 2 billion search queries a day. With it’s powerful advanced search tool, you can search for sales leads in your area, keep tabs on what’s being said about your business or follow topics that are important to you. Furthermore, all conversations on Twitter are public, so you are free to jump in to any discussion by simply tweeting your own opinion and using any hashtag being used.
Here are examples of goals you can achieve on Twitter:
Increase brand recognition.
Twitter users are three times as likely as Facebook users to follow you. That makes Twitter a valuable platform to position your freelancing business. As you tweet, your name or Twitter handle will appear all over Twitter, especially if your content gets liked and retweeted, leading to more followers.
With more followers and engagement come increases in social signals: retweets and mentions. If your Twitter activity is generally consistent, that means more people are seeing your content and potentially sharing your tweets and information. That increased engagement will lead to more people exposed to your brand and content, but in this case they’re seeing it, not from you, but from someone else they’re connected with, giving you and your tweets additional weight in the form of social proof.
Connect with influencers.
One of the most powerful features that sets Twitter apart from other social networks is the fact that it is a very open platform. Unlike LinkedIn and Facebook, Twitter’s aim as a social network has always been to promote open communication and easy access to connect with other users. It doesn’t put up any sort of gate between you and anyone you want to connect with.
You can follow any other Twitter user and interact directly with their tweets without having to be accepted as a “friend” or “connected.” This means you are free to follow people you have pinpointed as influencers, potential customers and other individuals that can add value to your business, without those people having to approve the follow.
You can jump into any conversation that is going about your industry. In addition, you’re free to tap into a relevant, trending topic to gain visibility or jump in on any conversation that is relevant to the core values of your business.
Reach out to millennials.
The millennial generation (aged between 21 and 35 years old) has over 80 million people in the US alone, and the millennial audience is a highly coveted one
. According to the Financial Times
, Millennials are now “the world’s most powerful consumers.” Furthermore, according to Twitter
, 80% of its users are “affluent Millennials,” with 30% of Americans who earn $75,000 or more
using the service.
With an annual spending power of $200 billion, millennials are a force to be reckoned with. Research shows
that about 40% of all American millennials are on Twitter — a larger percentage than any other generation.
In this era of social media, the only way to successfully differentiate yourself from the competition is to build relationships with your clients and prospective clients. When used properly, Twitter can help you develop lasting relationships with your customers and prospects.
You’ll find yourself interacting with all sorts of people from all walks of life that can help you both personally and professionally. Twitter is a truly powerful platform that you can use to build relationships with people that can really help you grow your business.
Humanize your brand.
People do business with people they know, like and trust, and Twitter is a place where you can really show the personality and human side of your business. Many businesses wrongly perceive social media as just a free advertising platform where they can broadcast their best deals. These are the kinds of businesses that fail on Twitter.
You need to be socially active for Twitter to work for you, and a friendly and positive attitude can go a long way in helping you develop relationships on the platform. However, you need to be willing to show you’re a real person.
Generate quality leads.
When you learn how to harness the power of Twitter correctly, you will find that it is one of the most powerful sources of leads for businesses. According to research
, Twitter can generate qualified leads at a lower cost than most of the other major ad platforms. The microblogging platform surpassed Facebook by nine to one in lead generation campaigns, with a conversion rate of 2.17%. This was not only higher than Facebook’s 0.74% and LinkedIn’s 0.8%, but also the average of other sources (1.6%) such as organic search and direct.
On Twitter, it is easy to compose strategic tweets aimed at people interested in what you have to offer. If you are tweeting very useful material with links to information that your followers find relevant and important, others will take notice and want to follow you because you’ll be recognized as a credible source of excellent information. Furthermore, people tweet about things that they are looking for all the time.
Increase your visibility in the search engines.
There is strong evidence
that suggests that social signals from Twitter can influence a website’s organic search ranking especially if your tweets get a lot of engagement in the form of retweets, favourites and mentions. On average, the more of a social presence a particular website has, the higher your website’s organic search ranking.
Twitter has become a very powerful and effective sales tool for both B2B and B2C businesses. In B2B sales, Twitter allows you to keep your brand top of mind with prospects when you have a long sales cycle. In B2C sales, you can tweet special deals, promotions and coupon codes. You can also create contests to motivate buyers to buy.
When you have a prospect in your sales funnel, engage them in conversation publicly on Twitter. Send them links to new white papers or videos to introduce them to new features in your products.
Gain competitive intelligence.
Twitter is an effective intelligence-gathering tool, and you can gain competitive advantage by listening to what is being said about your business, industry and your competitors. You can monitor your competitors’ brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them on Twitter.
When you see negative Tweets about their products or service, use it as a competitive selling point.
Get meaningful feedback.
Twitter is excellent as a platform to announce newly developed products, promote sales, launch new products and create customer loyalty. By listening to your potential customers as they engage, you can uncover insights about their interests, needs and problems.
Engage unsatisfied customers or prospects immediately to defuse the situation. The key is to address their concerns quickly so you can turn the negative sentiment into positive sentiment publicly.
Online reputation management.
Social media lets you address negative events quickly and very publicly. There are many different ways that you can keep up with what’s happening in the Twitter stream. By monitoring your brand keywords, you can quickly respond to whatever is being said, and correct any misconceptions about your brand.
There are tools that will allow you to find out what what’s been said about your company, and join the conversation at the time of discussion. You can also support your customers because Twitter allows you to provide support by providing an immediate response to users who are complimenting, asking questions or even complaining about your product or service on Twitter.
Responding quickly to complaints also demonstrates how seriously you take your business, since everything that you tweet is seen publicly.
How to generate leads at the interest phase of the AIDA model.