Any time we embark on a marketing campaign, it is essential to consider these 5 key questions:
- where can I find my potential customers?
- how can I connect with them?
- how will I convert them?
- how much will it cost me per conversion?
- how can I scale these activities?
You might not be Twitter savvy (perhaps you’re more comfortable in the worlds of Facebook or Instagram)… maybe you don’t even have a Twitter account – that’s OK – but it’s time to consider embracing the power and flexibility which Twitter affords you as a marketer.
For example, Twitter has some awesome truly advanced search facilities which enable us to do really granular searching to find customers, which enables us to interact with our potential clients without having to pay for the privilege (unless we want to.. more on that later).
Also, on Twitter, people are more likely to interact and follow you (it seems to be much less difficult to get a follower on twitter than it is on instagram or a ‘like’ on Facebook) but most importantly, Twitter has the potential to bring in conversions at a lower cost than other channels (e.g Pay-per-click, print ads, Facebook campaigns etc.).
So even if you’re not familiar with Twitter, or you’re feeling skeptical, let’s take a peek at some possible approaches to use it to do that thing Marketing is generally meant to do: bring you revenue
Petpreneur Twitter Acquisition Strategy:
There are of course ‘many roads to mecca’ in terms of appealing to your target audience, but let’s focus on one proven strategy:
- Identify (the right people)
- Engage (the trinity of social media – educate, engage, entertain)
- Connect (whether by following, mentioning, replying, adding user to a Twitter list)
- Show our value
- Be consistent, be real.
- Identify: Find proud local dog owners’ pics of their dogs on Twitter.
- Engage/Connect: Compliment their pet, tweet with the pet owners, Follow them (where permitted to do-so based your follower count to following ratio), or add them to some Twitter lists.
- Show Value/ Be consistent: Ongoing curation / tweeting of dog-related content, with a small % (try a 90% – 10% ratio) of self-promotional stuff .
I am a pet photographer in NYC. I need a plan to get customers via Twitter. I don’t have much or any Twitter marketing budget.
I have three primary goals:
- Build my Twitter following with TARGETED, LOCAL followers (either people who love dogs and might convert to customers, or people / biz accounts which will help me get visibility to local dog owners).
- Get people to my website
A Note about Converting
Goal 3, ‘Convert’ relies on two fundamental paths – either getting someone to give you their email (Permission Marketing), or getting them to convert into a customer, right there on Twitter.
A) First option is to get permission to market to these people in the future (a privilege you must earn) by having some compelling reason that they should give you their email address. What is in it for them? Usually an ‘opt-in gift’ (a PDF download, or VIP access to more content) is a suitable incentive). What’s in it for you? Well, sometimes a conversion is unlikely when you’re a stranger, so you want to build a relationship with your potential customer via email marketing, moving them along towards eventually buying.
B) Second option is to convert them to a sale right on Twitter. This is a bit more of a ‘hard-sell’ approach but sometimes you’re just what they’re looking for, right when they need it!
For the purposes of these examples, we’re focusing on the first method – ultimately getting them to get to your website and give you their email.
Tactics / Execution
STEP 1. Identify dog owners in your area
We can use Twitter advanced search (here).
Let’s go with the search query “my dog” first of all, so that we’re sure we can reliably identify dog owners via this query.
(Notice the resulting URL in the address bar after we submit our query is : https://twitter.com/search?q=%22my%20dog – The %20’s in the url are encoded spaces. Keep this in mind as we’ll be tweaking the URLs later to tweak our search filters).
We end up with the following search results page:
Twitter returns results which are a blend of accounts, tweets and tweets with media. it’s okay, but it’s not as refined as we can get, and it’s not local.
Thankfully we can specify a Tweet location filter, so that the query will return only tweets from within a specific radius (e.g 15 miles, 100 miles radius) from the specified search location (your town, city, state – wherever your biz is located).
Use the “places” option to set your location. In this case, let’s change it to New York.
We will change the search radius later.
Clicking submit we get the following local results page:
There’s a torrent of people talking about their dogs in NYC on Twitter, and we can put our finger on each and every one of them. Now we can reliably reach out to them (at zero cost) or we can use their Twitter IDs in paid ad targeting.
Next up, we need to connect with these ‘leads’, and make them aware of our brand, services – and lead a % of them to our website.
So now that we know how to do a location-based Twitter search to find leads, let’s look at that browser bar URL now. It contains a few new parameters (our search filters) which we can manipulate.
The URL for the above query was : https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&vertical=default&q=my%20dog%20near%3A%22New%20York%22%20within%3A15mi&src=typd
We can change that 15mi (15 miles) parameter to 50 miles, to widen our net, or we can also change the search location to somewhere else if we like, by changing the ‘New%20York’ part (spaces should be encoded as %20 in urls, so ‘San Francisco’ would be ‘San%20Francisco’).
STEP 2- Engage, Educate, Entertain
Now it’s time to get social with those dog-loving Tweeps (Twitter users) in your neighborhood.
Your own tweets should be a blend of the ‘3 pillars of social’ – your tweets should educate, engage & entertain. Also bear in mind that you should try to keep the self-promotional tweets to 10% or less.
Okay – Let’s try some quick engagement.
Firstly, let’s use some charm on local dog owners. People like charm. They will certainly charm us with their adorable dogs. let’s charm them right back – right into our conversion funnel (the sequence we set up to take them from stranger to client).
Go through the list of search results and engage with local dog owners in a natural way (don’t try selling them anything!). Just engage like you would with a dog owner with a cute dog at the park.
Your Twitter BIO is your business card. If you engage and resonate with your target audience, they will ‘check you out’ clicking your twitter BIO, clicking to your website and becoming aware of what you do, and how awesome you are.
Set aside 10 mins every day to quickly scan the opportunities and drop in a little reply where you can.
With a few clicks and some thought you can make friends and influence the right people. Engage with 100 targeted people in the right way, and expect ~ 10- 15% to follow your account back (giving you further opportunities to convert them in the future).
Based on this conservative estimate, that’s 450 new leads a month, or 5400 leads per year!
The Quick and dirty (aka Lazy) Option
“I don’t have 10 minutes per day” you say… here’s the quick and dirty / lazy option:
We can refine further to show only tweets containing images and “my dog”.
We can do this in twitter by clicking the “Photos” tab, or by modifying our url changing the ‘f’ parameter from ‘tweets’ to ‘images’, so that the url becomes https://twitter.com/search?f=images&vertical=default&q=my%20dog%20near%3A%22New%20York%22%20within%3A15mi&src=typd
Search Results (Tweets near NYC, containing ‘my dog’ and an image):
We can reply to 100 of these with pretty much the same reply in minutes eliminating any brain-work. (try “gorgeous”, “adorable”, “so handsome” … whatever seems appropriate + genuine.
Whichever way you execute (the personal way vs the ‘quick and dirty’ way), you can expect a mix of the following results:
- Increase in targeted twitter followers. (We can sell to them, they can help us sell by sharing our stuff, increasing our visibility)
- Targeted Local Awareness – Targeted (dog-owning/loving) local twitter users become aware of you, your biz and your work (via the notification they when you reply to them, or add them to a Twitter list – resulting in them seeing see your biz name, as well as potentially your Twitter profile, and your website if they click on your Twitter profile).
- Increased tweet reach via content sharing – those who engage with you, follow you, see your tweets have the ability + potential to share your content assets / media. (especially more so if it has as local focus) – so make sure you have something relevant, sharable, beautiful and wonderful pinned to your timeline, or as a last Tweet.
- Increase in website traffic referrals from Twitter as a result of links you post, your bio link (you can measure / segment these visits via google analytics, and using UTM campaign codes)
- Socially assisted website conversions (these are the newsletter, pop ups, lead-magnets on your website – if you don’t have these – get them!) and consider offering free gifts / promotions to your growing Twitter audience!
- More branded search traffic.
- More newsletter subscribers – Remember ‘The money is in the list’
More ways to Engage & Convert:
Did you know that you can direct message up to 250 of your Twitter followers per day? There’s your opportunity to connect with followers to make them aware of upcoming promotions, deals, competitions you’re running…
Post-Interaction Deals & Offers
After you connect with a Twitter user, and they reciprocate in some way (liking your tweet, or replying) there’s no problem with offering them some kind of incentive or deal. One of those interactions could go like this:
Them : here’s my cute dog. <pic>
You: OMG he’s so cute. + favorite / Retweet / follow
Them : thanks. / fave / Retweet / follows you
You: English bulldog is my fave dog breed! If you and Fido ever decide to get a pro photo shoot, let me know and i’ll discount you guys 20%. I’d love to photograph him and see him on my wall-of-fame!
incentivized Survey or Competition
We want to get our followers + other local dog lovers to our website or a page on a third-party site (eg a hosted competition site, or a competition in a Facebook page -tab) where we have an automated lead capture mechanism in place (that ol’ opt-in thing again!)
In order to get the potential customer to sign up to newsletter (so that we can market to them), we need to engage with them and offer them something in return, but this doesn’t have to be more content…
Another option is to dangle a random draw or interactive competition in front of your audience, where the prize is a very high value (a free groom, a free shoot, a pack of free dog walks) and only for 1 lucky dog and it’s front-and-center in front of your new dog-loving connections (perhaps this offer is pinned to your Twitter page so that it’s the first thing your new connections see… perhaps they need to re tweet it to enter… ) there are so many possibilities… explore & test!
Twitter is awesome, and it is FREE.
Twitter has amazing search facility letting us laser-target our customers and then interact with them in an authentic and meaningful way.
Educating, entertaining & engaging our laser-targeted audience on Twitter is a great way to build our follower base, increase awareness of our brand, gather & convert leads.
Coming soon.. More Social-Media Marketing Goodness
In my next article in this series of social media marketing posts for petpreneurs, I’ll discuss how you can use advanced data analysis techniques to seek out key niche influencers to help you gain the right exposure with the right tribes, and to help you increase your tweet reach and increase your audience. Make sure you’re subscribed to the newsletter (or joined up to the WWD community) so that you get an email alert when the post is live.