Start with a Social Media Strategy

When working with new clients, they often think you need to spend a substantial part of your day tweeting or posting on social sites. What you do need to do is start with a social media strategy.

 A Strategic Approach to Twitter

Three common questions are who do I follow, what type of content should I create, and how do I engage with people. In this post I’ll cover the WHO DO I FOLLOW question.

Searching for Probable Customers

Your goal is to connect with, or enhance your relationship with customers, so you should begin by following the customers you have now and build to follow potential customers. See who is talking about you already. Start following those people.

I happen to have a bottle of Aquafina water here on my desk, so while I’m not promoting the product, I will use it as an example. Here’s how to search in 4 steps.

Twitter Search

NOTE: This type of search assumes you do not have access to any of the automated software systems for tracking customer sentiment.

Step 1 – Search Using Your Brand Name Start by doing a search on Twitter for your brand name.

Step 2 – Read the posts that contain your brand name. Identify users that are discussing your specific brand.

Step 3 – Click on the user name to reveal the post in the right-hand column.

Step 4 – Click on the user name again to reveal their profile.

Here’s where the strategy part comes in. In the case of this particular user I can see that with 20,608 Tweets they are a regular Twitter user. I also look at the number of people following them so I can see how large an audience they reach when they talk about my brand. The larger the number, the more value you can place on following this user. In this case, 465 followers is a respectable number.

Rinse and Repeat
I recommend you take these steps on a regular basis. If you have been on Twitter for a while yourself, this is where you might begin the “engagement” phase. Assuming the post wasn’t too old, say within the last day or so, you could reply to this person in a manner like this..

@user We’re so glad you like our product! Check out our website for discount offers. (if you have them).

This can be a bit of a time-consuming approach, but it works. I wouldn’t dig too deep though.. maybe search for mentions in the last week or so. I would recommend doing this same activity at least once a week to start building your lists.

Automated Search Tools

If you want to automate this process you might try something like Your Buzz. This is a free tool from American Express. (Again, I am not specifically promoting this product, this serves as an example only. Please do your due diligence when researching options for your business.) You do not have to be a cardholder, however, make sure you read and agree to the terms of service. After all, nothing in life is “really” free. You are giving your data to them in exchange.

 

Next time we’ll cover the types of content you might want to create to engage with your followers.

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