If you run a start-up, one of the biggest challenges that you’re going to have is to get your product/s to your target audience, most of the time with little or no budget at all. Paid advertising might not be the right option for you (since it costs money, of course) so you have to experiment with new ways to reach your audience. One of these will definitely be using social media sites such as Twitter.
This gives you the opportunity to reach your audience with tiny monetary budgets, but it requires significant time and effort on your end.
I’m going to show you a simple system to generate quality traffic with Twitter.
Setting up a Twitter Account
To open a new Twitter account for your company simply follow this step by step signup process. When that is done go to your profile settings and upload your logo as your profile picture and set up your Twitter background to match your corporate identity. Alternatively you can find a designer on sites like Behance or Dribble to design a custom background for you for a small fee.
In your bio section make sure that you write a short description about your company. Be as descriptive as possible and include keywords related to your product/service as this will make it easier for someone to follow you when searching for similar companies.
You can also include a link to your Facebook or Linkedin pages so that visitors will follow you on these sites as well. As an example, below is the profile description of Thenextweb.com
“International news on technology, business and culture. Follow specific channels in our Twitter lists. Find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thenextweb”
Note how they are using the keywords “news on technology” “business” and “culture” in their profile description.
Increasing the number of Followers on Twitter
After setting up your Twitter account now is the time to start following some people.
The easiest way to do this is to search for your competitors and filter their followers by choosing only those that you think would be interested in your products. Let’s say you sell digital cameras, you will follow only those people that in their profile included something related to photography.
Avoid following a lot of people at once since Twitter might suspend your account if you follow too many people at once. Do it gradually.
When you start following people, some will follow you back. This is the main aim of following people i.e. to increase the number of followers.
I’ve found out that roughly 15% – 25% of the people you follow will follow you back. I usually spend a couple of hours every week following people and then again once a week I un-follow those people that did not follow me back.
The tool below will make it easier for you to spot those that are either inactive for a very long time or did not follow you back:
This process is quite time consuming, however it is much better than using any automated tools like TweetAdder that will automatically follow users that mention specific keywords and un-follow those that didn’t follow you back.
You should scan each and every profile before following and making sure that it fits in your target audience rather than following everyone that simply mentions a specific keyword related to yours. This way there’s a better chance that those that follow you back are actually interested in your tweets.
Do this religiously – never stop this process. It is key to keep on building followers.
Sharing Updates on Twitter
Now that you know how to increase your followers, let’s move on to explore the idea of generating traffic to your site using your Twitter profile.
The way you craft your post is essential. Write out potential tweets a few different times and try to think about which one would actually make you want to click on it. Not all tweets are created equal, so ask yourself the following questions before posting:
– Can you add a picture to make your post stand out more?
– Are you really highlighting the most exciting aspect of your blog post/page?
– Are there any fellow Twitter users out there who might benefit from being tagged in the post? Will they give you more exposure if they retweeted?
Also keep in mind that people are on Twitter at different times throughout the day. This means that the time that you post updates is an important factor to reach a bigger audience.
According to this infographic, the best time to tweet updates is between 1-3pm EST during week days. However you should test and post updates at different times throughout the day and find the best time where people are clicking on the links that you’re sharing.
You can use a tool like Bitly to share your updates, as it will show you the number of clicks that you get from every update that you post.
In order to increase the traffic to your site you need to post updates such as your news articles or blog posts for your followers. The best way to do this is to schedule your updates using tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer.
You can also tweet the same updates in different times throughout the day as your followers won’t be on Twitter all the time. However, make sure that you space your updates by a couple of hours.
This is a technique that Guy Kawasaki uses to share tweets with his followers. He repeats the same tweets at different times throughout the day. This way he tweets more frequently which in turn gets him a gazillion followers.
Finally – Keep posting, keep testing
Twitter can get you a lot of good quality traffic that you will really need as a start-up trying to growth-hack your way to the top. But remember: in order to reach this goal you will need to keep at it and increase your followers every week. You should also use Twitter to test the different content that you write on your site or blog.
When you share content on Twitter, make sure that you analyse and find out which articles your followers are sharing. Then, write more of those.
The recipe is simple and you can do it without any huge investments. All you need is time and tenacity.