It’s no secret that industrial companies promoting their brands via Twitter by sharing their rich content, knowledge and experience. (If you aren’t yet, SLAP! what the heck are you waiting for?)
Twitter is evolving. It has no choice. Like all social networks, it started out as a “pure” exciting method of digital communication. The key to its success? Maximizing minimalism. Well played, Twitter. But over time, it got expensive to run. (Forgive me, Sister Pat, I started a sentence with “But”). Servers, bandwidth and engineers to support 400 bajillion users don’t come cheap. Until recently, Twitter wasn’t selling anything – no income other than investor support. As a Wharton MBA once told me, no business can survive long term without positive cash flow from customers. (Kidding. I actually learned that lesson first hand!) So Twitter had no choice but to “sell out”. Purity vs. sellout – their chosen approach suggests that they are painfully aware of this conundrum. Twitter elected not to flood screens with display ads that may scare “traditionalist” users away. Instead, they took the higher road less traveled (yep, two clichés in one), and are promoting companies less intrusively.
Now you can turn their opportunity into yours, by utilizing one of their various methods of “advertising”. A few of my favorites:
Twitter Cards – these expanded Tweets let you share more than just 140 characters – such as images and interactive functions. The latest flavor is the “Lead Generation Card”, which helps drive targeted leads via direct calls to action, such as “Give us your email address”. That’s gold to us digital marketing folk. Use this to promote your latest white paper, or build your email marketing/newsletter list.
Promoted Accounts – these feature your account to targeted viewers. So, if you are looking to reach aerospace design engineers, you can have your brand show up their screens. This is a fast way to build an active community of thought leaders and “brand ambassadors”.
Promoted Tweets – These are like typical tweets, however they are displayed to users outside of your network. This is another great way to reach new eyes. You can target by interest, device, geography, and similarity to existing followers.
Promoted Trends – if you are seeking brand dominance via significant exposure, and have the cash to support it – this is the avenue for you. Here, your promoted trend is featured at the top of trend lists – oceanfront property in the social world.
Do you see the common thread here? Each method is designed to promote your Twitter account and build your audience. As such, you must actively maintain your profile, adhering to best practices (You know, talk about interesting stuff other than your company; regularly and consistently…) The required time is in stark contrast to other effective forms such as directory listings, or banner/display ads, which typically drive targeted traffic to your website or landing page. These often require less maintenance. The lesson here is don’t spend money on promoting your account if you are not actively using it.
Also, you must regard my golden rule: There is no silver bullet to online marketing. You must employ a well-balanced digital mix, that takes time to refine, and is never perfected.
Happy (promoted) tweeting!