Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tweeting for New Customers

I often get asked about the differences between various social media platforms. When an buddy who paints pet portraits asked me how to find more customers, this is what I advised him.

Twitter is one of the best tools for broadcasting your message to people that you don’t already know, because unlike Facebook, Twitter does not maximize the number of followers you can have, nor does it require permission from the poster to watch their posts, so you can quickly build a large index of incoming tweets.

Ok, so how does that bring you new business? Tweeters are likely to check out your profile when you follow them, and likely to graciously reciprocate by following your Tweets. Once they follow you, their friends also are exposed to your brand, and perhaps they will want to follow you too!

Building a Twitter fan base starts with selecting the posts that you want to follow. You could just randomly choose things that interest you, OR you could focus the accounts you follow on those that like the same thing you are going to tweet about. In this case, people who love their pets and might want to have a portrait of them painted.

A good place to start looking for people that like pets is Twitter’s search bar. Enter something like “pets” or “pet photos” into the search bar in the upper right section, and like magic, some important high profile Twitter accounts are displayed for your choosing. There are corporate accounts like PetSmart and PetMD®, pages set up by pet photographers, and pages with that focus on the pets a particular tweeter loves. Plus you’ll see photos and videos related to pets.

Your first job in building a Twitter following is to follow these pages. Follow LOTS of them. Twitter is a numbers game. The more “pet” accounts you follow, the more likely it is that someone else interested in pets, and specifically in getting a custom painting of their pet will be to find you. You’ll want to regularly cull for new pages to follow, and don’t forget to follow those Tweeters that follow you – they might be your next customers.

Next, start posting your work. In this case it’s pictures of portraits of pets, so post one or two a day until you’ve got a portfolio of your work displayed on you Twitter account. If you have another expertise consider posting links to your blog, where you establish yourself as an expert in your field, or links to stories that you find interesting about your business or career.

Google+ accounts can work very similarly to Twitter, since like Twitter, Google+ does not require the author to give permission to follow.

I recommend that you consider your Twitter account part of your branding. Don’t muddy the waters by posting things to it that do not relate to your brand and your goal for your Twitter Account.

The awesome graphic below, provided by Social Reflection, helps demonstrate the exponential impact of Social Media Marketing.