7 reasons why every creative business should use Twitter to grow their audience
I get told a lot that Twitter is not a useful tool to grow an engaged audience especially if you work in the wedding industry. And by a lot, I mean A LOT. Just this week 3 potential clients told me that they either don't get it or feel it is not "them". I whole heartedly disagree, and know from my own results that Twitter is a very powerful network to get your creative, indie business noticed. Here are just a few reasons why I advise all clients, that they should be tweeting daily.
Creating Business to Business relationships (B2B)
Want to find a venue to host your event? Want to find a new print supplier? Want to find a business to cross promote your business with their customers? Want to get new advertisers or sponsors? Well the fastest way to get that without leaving your house is by Twitter. It is a great platform for B2B relationship building especially if you use the right hashtags, and as it is such a fast medium you can get answers and build relationships at speed.
However remember that it is not just businesses that hang out there (how often have I heard that brides or fashion customers aren't on Twitter - er, they are!) and that our customers are there too. Make sure you tweet inspiring and educational tweets with them in mind too always with a great photo.
Engaging with journalists
Journalists hang out on Twitter over any other social media platform, as it is where the news happens and they can get what they want fast (journalists work at speed!) so if you want to grab an opportunity to get into the press, whether national or local then go and follow them. Start conversations with them by engaging with what they are talking about, answer them, spark up a new relationship. If you want to really find out what they need and whether you can help, look for the hashtag #journorequest as this is where they post what they are looking for, for an article or blog. When replying remember to be personable, approachable and that it is about helping them rather than pushing yourself and your business.
To understand the news
Twitter shares the news before the news channels - it is super fast, which is why journalists love it so. If you want timely things to blog about, share on social media or even to get into the press talking about, then look regularly to see what is trending.
Trending is when many people are all talking about the same subject, using the same hashtag.
When you see something that has happened and that everyone is tweeting about (therefore talking about) think whether you have a story to share on the topic. Then check #journorequest to see if any journalist is writing about it or pitch your story idea to a newspaper or radio show. This is called News Jacking and is a great way to get yourself noticed.
Being perceived as an expert
Journalists want experts. Your customers want to feel that they are buying from an expert. Twitter is the best place alongside Linked In to get your knowledge out there and to show you know a thing or two about your industry. To do this you need to share your thoughts and opinions even if they go against the grain.
If you see an article written about something you are passionate about, either agreeing or disagreeing, re-tweet it and share your thoughts. I did just that when New Look designed a T shirt, having a dig at women's bodies so I shared my thoughts on it and it ended up being featured on the Metro. I have also been asked to appear on TV after I shared my thoughts on a subject - so if you want to be noticed, stand up and start sharing your voice.
Being able to multi share your message
Ever logged onto Facebook and felt spammed by the businesses that you follow? This is because they are posting too much for that platform - Facebook users like to slowly scroll and procrastinate there so it is not a good idea to post too much as a business. But Twitter is different. As it is fast moving, you can share a similar message over and over again to get maximum exposure. So if you have an event or a promotion on, get tweeting.
Few tips - don't share exactly the same tweet as they will block them, create a tweet with a call to action or a headline that will make them click the link and use a link shortening app like Bitly so you have more space to write your message. Oh and add a photograph, always.
Conducting great customer service
One of the reasons that I love Twitter on a personal level is that all big brands use it for their customer service. I arrange my refunds and enquire about availability on Twitter as this is the fastest and cheapest way to get a reply from a customer service team. This has grown in popularity over the last few years, so most companies have invested in Twitter teams. You could do this too!
While you won't want a Twitter team, why not offer the choice of communicating any issues this way so you can deal with them swiftly. Yes it is a more visible (remember you can always take it to Direct Messages) but if customers see you swiftly dealing with an issue they will have more faith in you.
Networking with your peers
Twitter is a great place to meet new people and network especially in Twitter hours. These are when someone hosts a special hour for their industry or location inviting people to come along sharing the same hashtag to chat, engage and make new contacts. A personal favourite is #weddinghour on a Wednesday evening.
However there are a few watch outs when attending these hours - mainly to not spam people. You know the kind of person that comes up to you at a networking event and only talks about themselves? Well don't be that person in a Twitter hour (in fact don't be that person at all!). Yes you want to sell your wares, but take your time, get to know people, don't schedule tweets for this hour and ask others questions first. Oh and don't remember to use the specific hashtag otherwise you will be chatting to no one!