Last week, Dell announced that it has gained an additional $3 million in revenue thanks to its activity on Twitter. It’s probably fair to say most of us would be delighted with a fraction of that, but how should we go about using Twitter to generate revenue?
There are certainly lots of ways NOT to do it: following thousands of random people; using Twitter as your personal online diary; and spamming other users with sales messages are just some that spring to mind.
Here are the top ten ways that have helped us monetise our Twitter account:
1) Give the account a person’s name, rather than the organisation’s name. Our Twitter account is registered to our founder, @emilyhill1982 and displays her mugshot. The profile page has been designed in our corporate colours and contains our logo and web link, but we wanted to give the account a personal voice as well.
2) Be polite. Thank people who help you, give #FollowFridays and retweet other people’s posts if it will help them. They’ll return the favour when you need to put the word out about something.
3) Use your page to post a mix of advice, opinion and interaction.
4) Build a network of targeted followers. Unfollow people who don’t update their accounts, don’t follow you back or don’t interact. Download Tweetdeck to track people who are using your keywords, then follow them and see if they follow you back. If they don’t, delete them and follow other people instead. You should aim to follow no more than 10% more people than are following you.
5) Mind your language. Twitter is more casual than other forms of business networking and it’s great to put a bit of your personality into your posts. However, don’t take it too far. Stories about last night’s drunken escapades can be reserved for your personal Facebook page. Don’t use text-speak and don’t swear.
6) Post links to your blogs and press releases. If they’re interesting and well written people will retweet them, comment on them and share them on other social networking platforms.
7) Stick to a common theme. It can be quite broad – ours covers blogging, social networking, language, and general small business concerns – but your posts should follow a consistent line of discussion. Remember that most of the time people don’t click through to your profile; they just look at their amalgamated home page feed of everybody’s updates. Therefore you want to stand out as having useful things to say on a particular topic.
8) Write what your followers want to read. It’s the same principle as blogging: your content will be far more ‘sticky’ if you write about topics that actually interest other people rather than simply posting mini sales pitches for your company.
9) Promote your Twitter account. Link to it from your website, your email signature and any industry forums you belong to. Twitter is free, it’s easy to use and if you stick with it you can generate new customers through it and keep in touch with your existing customers.
10) Post updates regularly- but not too regularly. Logging in two or three times a day for a few minutes is about right. Apart from anything else, you have a job to do!
If you have any tips to add to this list please feel free to add a comment!