Business Speaker on Twitter Followers
Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational keynote speaker whose topics include social media marketing on Twitter and how to accumulate more Twitter followers. He’s a leading authority on self-employment and the author of Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, Wiley). There are four chapters in this award-winning book (2012 Small Business Book Awards) about Twitter marketing (in Part 6 of the book: Leverage Social Media) and is included below for your review. The book has a total of 80 short chapters, each ending with an Implementation Checklist. Also, Patrick’s perspective on Twitter and the types of value-added tweets that provide real revenue opportunities for businesses is summarized below.
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Keynote Speech about Twitter Marketing
The vast majority of businesses using Twitter are just wasting time. They might be having fun. They might be “being social” but they’re not attracting new clients, for the most part. They’re not actually growing revenue. Meanwhile, there are indeed a few people and businesses that are leveraging the power of Twitter to catapult their businesses virtually overnight. Those things are happening. Those stories are true. So what are they doing? What strategies are they using? Patrick Schwerdtfeger has a wide variety of case histories where businesses have marketed their products or services effectively on Twitter. Patrick will make a clear distinction between the strategies that work and those that don’t, leaving your attendees feeling empowered and confident about using Twitter to promote their own businesses.
Chapter 64: Share Tips on Twitter
Is Twitter a complete waste of time?
Many people think so. And for those who do, they’ll love this study done by Pear Analytics in 2009. After monitoring hundreds of thousands of tweets, the researchers categorized a full 40 percent as “pointless babble.” The people who hate Twitter look at this study and use it to justify why they don’t want to be on Twitter. I look at the same study and see it as precisely the reason I want to be on Twitter. Most people on Twitter are sharing completely useless updates like, “I’m going to get a taco.” Who cares about the taco?! The same study concluded that just 8.7 percent of tweets had what they refer to as “pass-along value.” Less than 10 percent were good enough that people shared them with their friends. It’s not hard to shine in this audience! It’s a fairly low bar.
Very few people are actually providing value on Twitter and that’s precisely where the opportunity lies. When I launched the first version of this book in March 2009, I summarized it into 300 marketing tips and then released those tips as tweets on Twitter. Each tip offered some tiny piece of advice. One read “Conversations are markets. Participation + Facilitation = Opportunity. More tips at www.WebifyBook.com.”
What was I doing? I was trying to introduce myself on the raging river called Twitter . . . and if people reading my tip weren’t interested, that was okay. But if they got some value from it, they could click through to my website and learn more about me. Write a list of 200 or 300 tips. You already have the expertise. Over the course of a weekend, just about anyone could put together a list of useful tips. Then release those tips on Twitter and start providing value.
I uploaded all my tips to an automated platform called TweetLater.com, later renamed SocialOomph.com. I scheduled the tips to go out once each day for 300 days. I also uploaded a series of inspiring quotes and had them go out once each day as well. That means the “value” portion of my Twitter contributions went out whether I was logged into the platform or not.
By the way, when I first started, I actually scheduled the tips to go out once each hour, 16 times each day. Big mistake. It was way too much. People got annoyed. So over time, I reduced it to eight per day, then four per day, and finally down to just one each day. Do whatever you like but keep in mind that dumping a ton of automated tweets onto Twitter is quickly recognized and people don’t like it.
Another mistake: I initially pushed all of my tweets to my Facebook profile. Bad idea. The culture on Facebook is different. Most people don’t update their status on Facebook multiple times each day. Also, the vernacular on Twitter is distinctive and my Facebook friends immediately recognized that my status updates originated on Twitter. Again, do what you like but I recommend making separate contributions on Facebook. In fact, pushing your Facebook updates to Twitter (instead of the other way around) works much better. So my Facebook updates end up on Twitter (via FriendFeed) but my tweets do not end up on Facebook. (See Chapter 63 for more details on this.)
There are four reasons to tweet.
Wisdom: Demonstrate your expertise. My marketing tips were a perfect example. Show your knowledge. Provide value. That’s the stuff people end up passing along to their friends.
Business: Tell people about your products or services. Don’t overdo it; maybe one out of every ten tweets. But it’s okay to tell your followers what you do.
Life: Share a little bit of your personal life. Believe it or not, some people like the tweets about getting a taco. They want to interact with a human being, not just a business.
Community: Interact with your community. Reply to other people’s tweets. Retweet (RT) good ones to your own followers.
Participate in the conversation. It’s fun and will benefit your business.
Twitter Tips: Implementation Checklist
Write a list of 200 or 300 helpful tips.
Visit the SocialOomph.com website.
Consider signing up for an account.
Don’t publish too many automated tweets.
Avoid pushing your tweets to Facebook.
Instead, push Facebook updates to Twitter.
Wisdom: share insights with followers.
Business: tell followers what you sell.
Life: share some personal details as well.
Community: interact with your followers.
Chapter 65: Twitter Search Keywords
Are you finding new customers on Twitter?
There are lots of great Twitter success stories but one of my favorites involves JetBlue Airways. They have people on staff who search Twitter for people who are tweeting the word “Southwest.” In particular, they search for people who are saying not-so-nice things about their competitors. And what does it give them the opportunity to do? They can reply—in real time—to people who need their services at the precise moment they might be unhappy with the competition.
That’s borderline “evil” … but it’s brilliant too.
I worked with a lady who has a small flower store. Actually, it isn’t even a real store. It’s a kiosk with wheels on the bottom, so she wheels it out every morning and sells flowers to people walking past. We accumulated a local following for her on Twitter (using Twellow.com) and she checks her feed every morning to look for people in her following who tweeted the words “baby,” “wedding,” “congratulations” and a half a dozen other words. And where appropriate, she replies with:
@username Saw your tweet. Congratulations from us as well. Come on in and get a free flower. [link to Yelp profile]
Most people don’t take her up on the offer. But some do and more than half buy something when they’re there! Get it? This lady is using the “waste of time” Twitter to find new customers every day. What words could you search for? Go to:
Play with it. Search for your favorite keywords and see what you find. Think about phrases your ideal customers might be using in their tweets and then search for those phrases. You might be surprised at what you find. Searching for an appropriate phrase is important. If you search for just your primary keywords, you’ll find all your competitors. Instead, think of a phrase your ideal customer might use in a conversation with friends, and search for that. I recently spoke at a conference of insurance agents and did some research leading up to the event. I searched for “I need new insurance” and immediately found people who were looking for suggestions on insurance providers. Actually, I was surprised how many applicable tweets I found.
Keep in mind that you can reply to anyone on Twitter, whether you’re following them or they’re following you or not. For the people looking for insurance advice, an insurance agent could reply with:
@username Saw your tweet about insurance. That’s what we do! Here’s a free PDF report with some answers http://bit.ly/insurance-advice.
By including the @username format, the recipient will get notified about your tweet, even if he or she has never heard of you before. The report is important as well. Step 1 for Internet marketing: create a juicy sexy PDF report you can give away for free. It’s not a sales pitch. It’s a valuable report designed to help your customers and prospects. It could be your intermediate content from Chapter 23. It’s a lot easier to introduce yourself to strangers by giving them something for free first, rather than assaulting them with a blatant sales pitch. Obviously, you can include a call to action inside the report that talks about your business but the overwhelming purpose is to provide value. You can use a report like that in a million different ways. The insurance tweet above is just one example. So make sure you have a value-packed report available. You’ll be happy you did.
Now go ahead and visit search.twitter.com and search for some keywords and phrases. If the results don’t seem relevant, that’s fine. Just test it. It might put some ideal prospects right in front of your nose.
Twitter Search Keywords: Implementation Checklist
Visit the search.twitter.com website.
Search for relevant keywords in your field.
Search for phrases prospects might use.
Create a value-packed PDF report.
Include a call to action inside the report.
Reply to applicable tweets, offering help.
Include a link to the value-packed PDF.
Monitor reaction and adjust if necessary.
Chapter 66: Twitter Incentives
Do your customers tell their friends about you?
There’s a company in New Orleans that’s using Twitter in a very interesting way. The company is called Naked Pizza (great name!) and they embraced Twitter by putting a large sign in front of their retail location, encouraging people to follow them on Twitter. Naked Pizza has used social media extensively and has become a poster child for modern online marketing. What if they offered a 10 percent discount to people who tweeted their orders in? Consider the implications. Why would people do it? The discount? Perhaps, but there’s more …
I have more than 25,000 followers on Twitter. If I tweeted my order in, everyone in my network would be notified that I just ordered pizza from Naked Pizza. The “viral” element is baked in! It’s guaranteed.
How can you incentivize your existing customers to communicate with you through the social channel? Right now, they call you on the phone. That’s private. They e-mail you. That’s private. But if they interact with you on Twitter, their networks are notified. If they interact with you on Facebook, their networks are notified. By tweeting my pizza order in, I am automatically telling my entire network that I order my pizza from Naked Pizza! It’s a winning strategy. The most important part is the incentive being offered. Social media success is driven by incentives. Make it worthwhile and keep in mind that the discount will replace what you would’ve otherwise spent on traditional marketing. Giving that money back to the customer through social media like Twitter has far more potential than giving it to an advertising salesperson!
Think about how you might use this. Perhaps you can have a contest. Maybe you can offer an incentive just like the one I’m suggesting above. Whatever you decide, it’s a powerful way to get your customers to spread the word about you and your products or services.
Twitter Incentives: Implementation Checklist
Consider existing customer interactions.
Can you move them to social channels?
Offer an incentive to interact via Twitter.
Hold a contest with interaction on Twitter.
Make sure the incentive is worthwhile.
Monitor results and adjust if necessary.
End of chapter – click here to buy the book on Amazon.