Last updated on April 14th, 2021
Twitter is amongst the most sought-after social networking platforms when it comes to reaching out to people for brand promotion. Most businesses use it to engage their target audience quickly. However, only those who know how to explore Twitter professionally can turn their followers into customers. Designhill conducted an online session with the social media consultant Nickey Kriel who shared how to use Twitter for business growth in the best possible way. Have a look!
Twitter is where millions of people spend their time and get themselves updated in their fields of interest. But, it is no more a social platform to share information. More than that it is now a marketing tool that businesses of all scales explore to grow in terms of followers and sales.
The only way to promote your business amongst the masses through Twitter is to have many thousands of followers. Then, chances are that a majority of them will be interested in visiting your business website to buy your products or services. But, having that many followers and engaging them with your business is not an easy task. You need to consider the huge competition to grab people’s attention in the market.
So, to show you the correct way to use Twitter for your brand promotion, Designhill thought to invite an expert to address the issue. Therefore, the leading creative marketplace conducted a session with social media expert Nickey Kriel on the topic: How To Use Twitter To Make Your Business Successful.
Nickey shared her rich experience on how to use Twitter to grow your followers and sales. She gave tips and tricks to explore hashtags to drive visibility and how to spot influencers and engage them. The attendees learned also about the use of Twitter lists, Twitter ads, email lists, etc.
- Learn how to use Twitter to grow your followers, business, traffic & sales.
- Tips & tricks to use attractive Hashtags to drive more visibility.
- How to identify influencers & engage with them on Twitter?
- Tips to use Twitter lists to manage your contacts.
- How to use Twitter ads to target your email list and website visitors?
Nicky Kriel is a globally recognized social media marketing influencer who speaks on social media issues. She has a passion for equipping businesses with correct social media strategies to drive engagement and sales. With such a background, she believes in building relationships and not just using tools and technology. She is the author of two books, the latest is: “Converting Conversations to Customers: The Essential Guide to Social Media Sales Success”.
In this post, we have shared the video of the session where you can view the whole discussion we had with Nicky. Also, we have shared the session’s transcript in the form of Q/As. So, what are you waiting for? Find out how to use Twitter to make your business successful.
Transcript: Here Is How You Should Proceed To Use Twitter To Drive Traffic and Grow Your Business
Designhill: How is Twitter different from other social media platforms as a marketing channel?
A No-cost Platform
Nickey Kriel: What I like about Twitter is that it does not cost anything in using this platform. I think if you are on Facebook or Instagram, you need to pay for advertising to be seen. Whereas on Twitter, you can still do a lot of things without spending advertising bucks to get seen and noticed. I think Twitter is probably something that you want to use together with another platform.
Best for B2B
For business to business, I normally recommend using LinkedIn and Twitter to engage and drive traffic. If you have a business with consumers, I would say use Facebook and Instagram, but use Twitter also to get business. What I like about Twitter is that it is short, brief, and it moves fast. So, it’s very topical, and you find people chatting about all sorts of things on this platform.
Get unfiltered opinion
On Twitter, you get an unfiltered view. If you ask any question, you will find a few people diving in to give you an answer. And, there are no gatekeepers. This means you can talk to anybody about anything that you want to.
Designhill: What kind of audience is that on Twitter and what kind of businesses use it for marketing?
Nickey Kriel: Twitter probably has the biggest mix of different people. I, as a small business owner myself, have built up lots of relationships with other small businesses. So, I know that people are there on Twitter, talking to each other. You have got big brands there, but you might have somebody who is tweeting on their behalf. Most people know that they will get a better response if they speak directly on Twitter. They might not get much response when making a phone call or send an email.
Lots of people use Twitter for customer service because you have that conversation. But, you can find all types of businesses due to a big spread of age groups. What I especially like is that people often go onto Twitter to talk about an event. They will talk live about the events or TV programs that they are watching live. So, you get a live and immediate response to events.
Also, do not forget that most news and stories still break on Twitter. So you can find out what’s going on in the world by looking on Twitter and doing some research. Sometimes I found out something interesting going on locally because I’ve seen a hashtag about an event local to me. I went into Twitter to find out what the story breaking out was all about.
Designhill: What are some of the myths that people have about Twitter as a marketing platform?
Myth 1 – It is a broadcasting tool
Nickey Kriel: Some people think of Twitter as a one-way tool. They use it to broadcast. You see this particularly when the companies use automation. It may be that their blogs go automatically on Twitter. That means they are not interacting with people. They just have scheduled posts, and there is no conversation going on. So, they are missing out on conversations and engagement. That is because they just think of Twitter as a broadcasting tool. So, the myth is that it is a broadcasting platform. The reality is that Twitter is about having a conversation with people and speaking to them.
Myth 2 – Use every trending hashtags
Hashtags are useful on Twitter. But, many people wrongly think that they will benefit by using a popular hashtag. That is something I call ‘hash jacking’. Many brands have got themselves into trouble because they blindly followed a trending hashtag. They jump onto a hashtag that is trending without looking at what that hashtag is about.
So, I am very cautious about trending hashtags tags. Of course, you can use trending hashtags. But, before you use a trending hashtag, make sure you read it up and see what people are talking about. Because sometimes brands have got completely wrong about hashtags. They see something trending and jump straight onto it. So, be cautious when you do that. Also, here is a word of caution. If it is something about a natural disaster, or where people’s lives are lost, do not use such hashtags. It will give you so much bad publicity. It’s not worth it.
Myth 3 – More hashtags are better
Another myth is about the number of hashtags to use. People often ask this question as to how many hashtags they should be using. Many people think the more hashtags you use, the more visible you are. All research has shown that you can use one or two to get more visibility.
But as soon as you use more than two hashtags, your engagement rate drops quite dramatically. So don’t abuse hashtags, either by hash jacking them or using multiple hashtags. If your tweet is full of hashtags, it looks spammy to people.
Myth 4 – Tweet only at a particular time
There is also this myth that you should tweet at a particular time. Nobody can tell you exactly what time is better than other times for you to tweet as a business owner. If you read an article, and it says 3 pm on a Wednesday, that is just somebody who did a bit of research. But, that is what it showed for their country at a particular time. It does not mean that it is right for your business as well. So, just be aware of what you read when people give general ideas of Twitter.
Designhill: What is your approach to finding clients for yourself on Twitter?
Find A Twitter Chat
Nickey Kriel: To find useful conversations relevant to your business, I would recommend that you find a Twitter Chat. Twitter Chat or Hashtags were created on Twitter as a way to talk about a particular topic. So, Twitter Chats were first created when Twitter tweets were of only 140 characters. So, you didn’t want to use so many tweets to describe an event or issue. Let us say, there was a volcano erupting. You wouldn’t want to say in each tweet about this event. You can’t describe it in a tweet as it will take up all your characters.
Therefore, people quickly started using hashtags, which at that stage were not clickable. Then they became clickable. So, now you can click on hashtags, and you can see all the conversations that people are having using their particular hashtags. You can do that automatically.
But, there are certain times where Twitter Chats were organized and these chats are going on all over the time. For instance, I am in marketing but a lot of the marketers in America might not see me. This is because they are very late at night. I do not want to be up at 2 am as that is not the right time for me.
Get the chats on an allocated time
There are Twitter Chats almost every time on the subject of your interest in the world on an allocated time. During that time, people get together on Twitter, and they have a conversation using the hashtag. So, that is a great way if you get on to it. You start to speak to real people in real-time, who you know what they are. Also, you can interact and have conversations with them.
When I got started on Twitter at a certain time, I came across the same people. I started on Twitter 10 years ago. At that time I had children and I was doing the school run. So, I dropped them off at school, and then I would go on to Twitter, as soon as I got back. There was always a similar group of people there on Twitter. A lot of the small business owners had been using Twitter that way.
So, using those hashtags or Twitter Chats, you can immediately start having conversations with people who are always there at the same time. And that is quite nice because you start feeling as though you are part of the community. But generally, you can look up to anybody. My daughter went onto Twitter and found her friends’ favorite authors. And she went on to their Twitter accounts and spoke to them directly. She managed to organize for them to send birthday greetings. Her friends had cards and things from her favorite authors.
Speak directly to people
Nickey Kriel: I can’t guarantee that you could speak to Richard Branson. He may or may not be tweeting, But Donald Trump used to tweet. You never know who you might end up speaking to directly. So, there are people that you can speak to directly on Twitter, who will have conversations.
I am a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk. He sent me a little video clip, which says Thank you, Nikki. I was blown away that somebody that busy found the time to interact with me. And so I will always be a fan and love him to death no matter what he does. He took that time to have a conversation with me.
So, you go out on Twitter and put content because you feel that you should. And that is what you must do. It can be a bit soul-destroying. This is because then you are just watching how many people saw it and who interacted. When you start finding people to have conversations with, that is when things start happening.
Start real-time conversation
Often I will take people from Twitter to start a conversation on that platform. Then, maybe you can connect with them on LinkedIn. You can have a more serious conversation on LinkedIn by a message on there. Nobody accepted my LinkedIn connection when I spoke to them first on Twitter, So, it’s remembering. They are human beings and there may be bots also. Therefore, a lot of stuff may be the scheduled one.
But there are lots of human beings that are having real conversations. And as a business, you will get far more business if you concentrate on finding those people and talking to them directly.
Designhill: How can a business learn the art of precision and optimizing their business description?
Convey effectively in brief
Nickey Kriel: You have now got 240 characters, which is much more than previously. Now, it is double the number of characters that you used to have in the beginning. A lot of people felt very restricted by 120 characters. But I used to love it because it forces you to think about exactly what you want to say. And you have to cut out all the immaterial bits.
If you have a large number of people that you follow, know that the Twitter Feed moves very fast. So, tweets need to be obvious and seen. If somebody reads it quickly, it must catch the reader’s attention within less than a second. Therefore, you need to be succinct and as brief as possible. They increased the number of characters because in certain languages it is harder to express in a restricted number of characters.
So for example, in German, they have lots of words that form together. It is very difficult to get it across in a short way. But since they have increased the number, they have doubled the number of characters. The average number of characters still being used is only about 33. So most people do not use the full limit of the characters. You have got a lot more space than you think you have within that.
Edit your tweets
I sometimes write a tweet, and then I edit it again. This I do to find a more precise way that gets my message across as succinctly and as briefly as possible. That is because people give you only a few seconds to grab their attention. And, if you can put it in a picture, you will get more responses. I think it is three times as much engagement when you have a photograph or picture with your tweets. It’s six times as much engagement if you add a GIF.
Make people smile
But, Twitter has got lots of little GIFs that you can choose from. I guess they have got a whole library of little GIFs. So, it is very easy to add something appropriate, which makes people smile. If you can make people smile, you get a better result.
If you give people some warm fuzzies, it’s cool, they feel as if they are being acknowledged. They feel they have been heard if you make them smile. Also, they will think more positively about you.
Add a video for engagement
Also, if you need to say something along there, you can always add a video clip. Video has nine times as much engagement. I have seen some brilliant examples of people replying with a video rather than just replying in text. So, it’s short, which is good. Because you need to be able to say what you want as clearly as possible.
Do not think in paragraphs. Just think about one bit of information, but tweet it. So don’t complicate things. Keep things simple so that people can see you. They can always send out another tweet later with more information.
Add a picture
Or, you can add a picture that has got it to move in there. So, I think it is a good thing. But sometimes you can write a paragraph if you need to. And you can string tweets together if you want to let things off your chest. Then, you can write almost a story in short little lines. But at one stage, there was a trend of the last six-word stories, which is just saying a story in six words. But it’s very powerful when you keep things brief. Also, make sure to add attractive Twitter header, it helps in better recognition.
Designhill: Which type of business should go for influencer marketing?
Nickey Kriel: I think a lot of businesses should go for influencer marketing. If there are small businesses on the call, I will concentrate on micro influences. So, quite often, you have got people who might not have a super large number of followers. But whenever they tweet something, they get a lot of interaction. So, people are having conversations with them.
The only way you are going to find those people is by having a look at their tweets and replies. Then, see what conversations they are having on their particular one. Certain people will pop up if you do searches for certain words. If you do a search on Twitter for words, you’d look under people. They will try to rank who they think is more influential in that particular market.
So you can search by keywords on Twitter, Twitter is this lovely big search engine where you can search for absolutely everything. You can look for particular phrases that people are using. To get that exact phrase or the particular words that people might be using. So, it’s good without, there are things like journal requests.
Look for particular stories
Have you heard of Journo Request? This is where journalists use the hashtag to get journal request help? And there might be a few other hashtags. I know it’s big in the UK. It is about journalists who are looking for particular stories. And so you might have a chance to get onto that story.
You can also look at how many people you know and who are they talking to? Who are they following? This is because journalists will be following people they think are quite influential in the market. You can always ask questions like who’s the best person to speak to about a particular topic? Or, who knows the best or who do you respect the most?
But, I wouldn’t look only at the number of followers. You want to see how people interact with those people, people use them. And if you form a human-to-human relationship with that person, they are likely to do things for you.
I met somebody who’s a dear friend now. She was starting up and giving away little purses. Also, she produces handbags and makes purses. And she said that the next 10 people follow me. I’ll give them a free purse.
She sent me a little purse that she made that was the start of a very long I’ve known her for over a decade. We have done business together. I’ve got far too many handbags from her. She has used me for consulting and introduced me to people. We ended up being a full-time relationship. Then, I met other people who became very influential in my life, because I had a conversation with them.
Look for the relevant group of people
So, yes, if yours is a big business with a lot of marketing bucks, you go for people with a very high number of followers. But you might not get the same traction. Sometimes people with a smaller number of followers have a group of people who might be more influential for you. People will pay attention to what they recommend. They may do it as a favor to you because they like you. Rather than you paying them to do something.
I recommend those people on whom I believe in or I’ve had a conversation with them. I know what they do. And I’ve been watching what they do, rather than recommending them because somebody paid me to do that.
Designhill: How should businesses aim for virality, or, should it be organic?
Viral tweets no guarantee for traffic
Nickey Kriel: I have got strong opinions about viral tweets. I just want to tell a little story there. This is a great example of someone called David. He describes himself as a crime fighter who has become a crime writer. He had a decent number of followers.
He was going into a chat or like he was going to be on the stage talking about his book. And he thought, oh, I have not done anything soft and sweet. So, he thought, I better just post and let me find something. He saw these cute little ducks being rescued. Though there were little ducks and people caught the little ducklings as they jumped off the ledge. So it was a cute little one of people rescuing these ducks. When they’re hatched out, they’re caught in the ducklings and they will be taken into safety.
He posted its video on his Twitter and switched off his phone because he was in a conversation with a lot of people. And when he switched his phone back on, it went nuts. Within two hours he had 100,000 retweets of his content. Some big influences on Twitter had retweeted a comment so because of people like Stephen Fry? Ron Howard is a famous director, William Baldwin, there are a few in a few big names have retweeted the video.
Viral videos may become doubtful
Then, people started talking about the video that maybe it was a fake video, and there was a lot of conversation about it. There were over 24 million views of the video. I am just trying to think of exact figures. It was a ridiculous number of views and impressions. He was contacted about the media because it was a viral tweet.
So the question and I’d like people to answer in the chat, please. How much extra traffic? Do you think he got to his website? Or, how much increases in book sales he got because of that tweet. You might be guessing a very high percentage of 70 to 100 and maybe more in book sales. But he got a 0 percent increase in website traffic and book sales.
He had a viral tweet, which had the most ridiculous number of impressions. People were talking about it at a wedding. So, the media didn’t do anything for his business. It’s exciting if something goes viral, but I’ve heard of a business and they said the hashtag that they did had gone viral. There was nothing to do with his business. It had no impact on the business.
So it’s exciting. If everybody picks it up, it can go nuts. And yes, it can. It can have a financial impact. You know, like that. It can crash websites if it is targeted, but there is no point in chasing something for the sake of being popular. That’s about ego.
Viral video must relate to your business
It has to be connected with your business, and it must relate to your business. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of time and energy. So, there are lots of people who will claim they can make things viral. But I am not sure that is necessarily going to bring you extra business. So, yes, you can play the game, we can have 100 accounts, retweeting, and doing all sorts of things, which are not great. It’s not like Twitter does not like you are doing these things and you might be suspended for it.
But ultimately, you should think if it is about my business and what will it do? What impact will this have on my business? Because if you suddenly have an increase and your website crashes, you may lose those sales. You may not have access to your website for a few days. In this way, you have lost business by going viral.
So, I am very cautious about anybody who claims that they can have the magic ingredients to make something go viral. Also, I challenge you about why you want something to go viral. You can spread the news and it is great. If it is on topic and people are talking about your business. Maybe somebody has recommended you and then that becomes viral, but you didn’t control that. So, be cautious and think about it. Is it about ego? Or, is it about your business?
Designhill: Is an optimized Twitter business profile important to make that first impression?
Have your Twitter Bio
Nickey Kriel: The first thing to ensure is that you say it all in your bio. You have got a limited number of characters. But if people read your bio, they immediately need to know what your business is about. If it’s just a personal account, you can say anything such as you like to drink a glass of wine. Or, 10 chocolates before bedtime. That’s up to you.
But when making a bio for business purposes, think about your keywords. When people look at your bio, it should be obvious to them about what you do. If you are very vague in your bio, nobody will investigate what you care about. Sometimes, I will follow somebody because their bio is amusing. But, generally, I just want to know what their bio is all about. I don’t necessarily want to feel as though I am going to be sold to. But I want to know who that person is and what their business is about.
Put a banner behind
You should have a banner of Twitter size in the background in your Twitter profile, which potentially you can change. It could be a sales promotion banner behind. It is in itself a different social media platform, which is a great opportunity to change it frequently.
You can put something up to date to change it. It gives you a little more space to put something, especially if you are on a promotional campaign. Or, it may be that you are launching a new product. Also, if you want people to know that you are a local business, put a famous landmark behind you. It is a good way for people to immediately know that you are a local person.
Have a smiling profile photo
Then, make sure you put your photograph there in your Twitter profile. I think the best photographs are head and shoulders, smiley face, somebody looking approachable. I tend to have my picture looking at the copy because there’s a little psychological trick that we follow people’s eyes.
When someone is looking in a direction in a photograph, we also look in that direction automatically. So, in my photos on tweets, I tend to look towards my tweets. This way, I encourage people to read my tweets. That is better than putting them away from the tweets. But if it’s a good photograph and your face looks on the other side, that’s fine. It’s not the end of the world if you do that.
Rethink your business name
I wouldn’t recommend changing your Twitter handle unless you did early in the early days. But change your business name to make it more obvious what your business is about. This is especially for businesses with more than one person. They can change the name to know who you might be speaking to.
So, your Twitter account should help people know that there’s a real person that they can talk to. They should know that they can have a conversation with that person.
Designhill: How imperative is social listening to your Twitter strategy and how can businesses use social listening tools to leverage customer conversation?
Listening to conversations is crucial
Nickey Kriel: If you don’t listen to the conversations, you never hear what other people say about your business. I mean, if you are a small business, you may never hear. And, if nobody’s talking about you, that’s not a good thing. It is good to have conversations. But people don’t always use the correct Twitter handle. You should at least search to know if people are using your company name or not. So you want to be able to search for that.
You may also want to get in with an influencer, or you want to get into a business and try. In that case, you might want to follow a group of people that you know. So, you can hear what they are talking about.
Use Twitter lists
Now, I would highly recommend that you use Twitter lists to put people into groups. You can follow the conversation without necessarily following them if you want to. You can make this list private. You may want to keep an eye on your competitors to see what they’re doing. Or, you want to reach out to an influencer but do not want to talk right now. It may also be that you do not want your competitors to know about your group of employees. Twitter lists are useful in such cases.
You keep your people private while using Twitter lists. But you can also have them public because. If I see somebody added to the list, I go and look at who they are. So, I am immediately curious because it’s about the ego.
Do a lot of things using the lists
Now what is useful about putting people on lists is you can then use something. If you are on Hootsuite, you can pull those lists into a column. You can follow the conversation. Or, if you use Tweet Deck, which is free, you can set up different lists. Then, you can follow the conversation in lists. This way, you have columns or conversations, and it is easier to skim through what people are talking about.
Listen on Keywords
You can also do social listening on keywords. So, if there’s a particular phrase that you know, your customers might use to look for your product, you can search for that particular phrase to put them in quotation marks. . So there’s something called Boolean search, which we don’t have time to go into now. But it’s easy to do searches for particular phrases, for particular accounts for ad following Twitter lists.
And it’s so important to pay attention because then you can interact with people more easily. You filter the conversation to get a better experience of Twitter than randomly following a large number of people on Twitter.
Designhill: Can Twitter improve a website’s visibility on search engines?
Nickey Kriel: Google can search every single tweet. When searching for certain words or phrases, somebody’s tweets might come up in the search. So it helps you with SEO,
An effective way to drive traffic
Twitter users are used to going from Twitter onto a website. This is because the users have only a smaller amount of characters. From your Tweets, you can drive traffic to your blog or a teaser, or any promotional campaign. People click away from Twitter onto a link. So people do click links a lot more. Whereas, Facebook hides your visibility if you have got links to them.
So definitely Twitter will drive traffic to your website. It will also help you to be found maybe even in a google search if you concentrate on using your keywords.
But there were times where you get stuck in traffic. And now you are stuck at home with coke COVID. You may be in traffic or waiting for a meeting, you are on a train. Those are very good times to use those times to have the conversations in chat.
But, small businesses should think about what type of content would be helpful for people who want to try your products or services. And then schedule some content in advance, so that you have got content going out regularly. It does not need to be tonnes and tonnes of content.
If you are busy, you’ll be surprised at how many times you have five minutes here, 15 minutes there to quickly scroll through Twitter conversations. Despite your busy schedule, you can see what the conversation is about. Those little times can make a big difference for your business.
So, these are the major points you should keep in mind while using Twitter as a tool to drive traffic toward your business. Ensure that you are keeping an eye on consistently improving your Twitter strategy based on the expert’s advice.
While you are using Twitter as your strategy for business growth, ensure that your visual identities like your logo and business card are great designs. Only a well-designed logo and other identities can help make a good first impression.
You can outsource your design work to Designhill, a leading creative marketplace. Many designers will come up with unique design ideas to win your design contest and prize, which will give you a winning visual identity for your brand. So, get started now.
Twitter is amongst the most effective marketing tools to promote businesses. But the expert Nickey Kriel advises not to use Twitter as a broadcasting platform. Instead, think of it as a way of establishing a conversation with people. You should not blindly follow trending hashtags. Find micro-influencers in your field and win their trust, create your Twitter profile carefully with your photo. Make strategic use of Twitter Chats, Twitter lists, and other features to drive traffic and engagement.