How much marketing do you do on Twitter?

Is it successful?

I pose these questions because I was one of the unsuccessful ‘social media marketers’, and I guess I’m hoping I’m not alone!

Like many, I jumped on the Twitter bandwagon when it rolled into town, thinking I had to. It was a sure-fire way to get new clients, right? And more clients is what we all want, particularly in the early days of setting up your Virtual Assistant business.

But after a while I got fed up. I was seeing nothing in return for the many hours I was spending scrolling through my news feed.

In fact, I didn’t really know what I should be doing on Twitter to generate more business.

So instead I daydreamed.

Or I got side tracked – reading about something so completely un-work-related that another hour would disappear and I was still no closer to that new client … or to completing the job my existing clients were paying me for.

However, as much as it wasn’t working for me, I knew it was working for a lot of small business owners, including VA’s … and I wanted to know how.

And here’s what I found out – how to use Twitter to grow your business – broken down into 4 essential parts:

  1. Creating a plan
  2. Targeting relevant people
  3. Increasing traffic and generate leads
  4. Lesser-known nifty tools

Ready to get Twitter working for your business?

Okay then, but before we start, the first thing you must remember is:

“People will connect with you on a personal level, before they will connect with you on a business level”

Always keep this in mind when carrying out any social media activity, on any platform.

Step 1 – Creating a plan

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait …

Don’t shut the article down just because I mentioned the ‘P’ word.

It’s not as daunting, or as in-depth as you might think.

By plan, all I mean are two things:

1 – First and foremost, decide what it is you want to get out of your Twitter marketing.

For most Virtual Assistants, the aim is likely to be: generate leads to secure new clients.

But perhaps you have a different objective. Perhaps you’re building your Virtual Assistance empire, so your main aim may be to build brand awareness.

Whatever it is, be sure of it before you begin.

2 – Then, determine your ideal client.

If you don’t already have this clear in your head, take some time out now to figure it out.

It’s important.

Yes, you can work with clients who aren’t your ‘ideal’, but knowing who that perfect client is before undertaking any online marketing is crucial in whether you will succeed or not.

That’s it.

Step 2 – Target relevant people.

Use the Twitter Advanced Search tool to find your target market.

You can enter relevant keywords, use hashtags, specify language, target a location … and the results will be displayed.

Then decide who to follow.

TIP: Check out the profile of each before clicking ‘Follow’.

The reason?

If their last update was 12 months ago, you know there’s little pointing adding them to your prospect list.

Make sure the people you add actually use Twitter. Regularly.

Step 3 – Increase traffic and generate leads.

Increasing traffic comes from increasing engagement. Increased engagement will help generate new leads.

To increase your Twitter engagement you must:

a) Broadcast interesting information relevant to your target market

This is important. It doesn’t really matter if you get 20 retweets and 40 favourites from your last post, if none of them are from those who matter.

So always, always, always, broadcast information that your target market will be interested in.

Remember Step 2?

What will get those people to retweet or favourite, or even better contact you about, your last update?

b) Directly interact with your target market.

Ask them questions. Find out what’s bothering them. What they need. What frustrations they have.

Social media expert Kim Garst recommends spending 90% of your Twitter time presenting useful information. And the remaining 10% sending out a survey or asking a question about a specific topic.

The latter is the perfect way to increase engagement, and with a little time that will increase traffic.

TIP: Don’t forget to use hashtags for any survey or question you ask. This opens them up to a much bigger audience and in doing so, perhaps will add a few more prospects to your list.

Step 4 – Nifty Twitter tools.

As you know there are a ton of tools out there to help you manage your social media activity.

Well here’s two you may not have heard of that could seriously save you time and improve your website traffic:

  • Manage Flitter: A great tool for connecting with people who are active on Twitter. Who are interested in your type of business or in need of your service. And who are most likely to interact with you.
  • Social Oomph: If you have a blog with content that isn’t time sensitive, this tool is perfect for storing and re-using that content with very little effort. Always getting your content ‘out there’ and driving traffic back to your website – what’s not to like about that!

Oh and one last tip for you – people will always create a search based on their problems, not on your solution.

Whether that be a Twitter search, or a regular old Google search, always have that in mind when creating any content online – social media profiles, social media broadcasts, website content, blog content, video content – and you’ve already won half the battle of potential new clients ‘finding’ you online.