Last issue, I covered basic information about Twitter. It is estimated that more than 50 million people in the United States actively use Twitter every month. However, that number can be somewhat deceptive. Not all active users tweet nor do they all regularly visit the site more than once a month.
“A lot of people use Twitter by following all the interesting people they want to hear from and then they simply read their tweets without actually writing anything themselves,” reported Jim Edwards on Feb. 6, 2014 in a tech column for Business Insider. “These people still count as monthly active users, because Twitter defines an MAU [monthly active users] as someone who merely logged in during the month.”
That said, Twitter is still worth serious consideration in any social media business strategy. This is especially true for those that can offer emotionally charged, “feel-good” images and information pet owners can use—a natural fit for the pet industry.
A tweet by itself, can be powerful, especially if you have a decent number of followers who are customers—either current or potential ones. The challenge lays in growing that number of relevant followers. One way is to do so is organically. By tweeting interesting and engaging information and images, your followers might share your tweets with their followers, who in turn may decide to follow you.
The difficulty with this process is it can be time consuming and somewhat inexact. For example, you have no way of knowing in advance which of your followers will retweet posts.
In addition, you cannot influence which of their followers will follow you. Typical Twitter users can have followers from across the country or even worldwide. This reach can make for interesting conversations but does not exactly help if you are looking to grow a follower base that will actually buy products from your business. One solution is to use advertising that can be directed by ZIP code to users who have interests that indicate they belong to your demographic target.
A promoted tweet is simply a tweet shown to more than just your followers. Depending on how much money you spend, more people will see and possibly engage with it.
Promoted Tweets can be ZIP code specific, which is great for targeting the right demographic. You can set a daily maximum of spending or add an overall budget cap.
Lead Generation Cards (LGC) is another version of Promoted Tweets. An LGC typically contains a tweet that includes a call-to-action and the valuable bonus of an image. Since people are visual, tweets with images are more likely read and responded to. These ads are compatible for mobile users, which is important given that 80 percent of Twitter users access it from some sort of mobile device.
Promoted Tweets work best when done in conjunction with some sort of event. It could be a sale or physical event at your store. Decide how long it will run and create a Tweet you think will communicate the message. For example, you could have a dog trainer offer training demonstrations and/or a veterinarian holding a vaccination clinic.
Promoted Trends appear in the “#Discover” category on your main Twitter page—you will see “trends” with a list of various topics. Topics are based on the interests you show and the followers you have. The more you use Twitter, the more your trending topics will reflect your interests. However, trending topics can also be purchased. The purchased topic you create will appear on Twitter users’ trends list. Provided you target the correct users—and make sure the people clicking on the trend wind up on a page with great visuals, interesting topics and calls-to-action—these trends might be of real interest to these folks. That can result in more followers and more website and store visits.
Go to your home Twitter page and look to the far right; you will see “Who to follow.” When you click on “View All,” you will also see a description: “Twitter accounts suggested for you based on whom you follow and more.” This is exactly as it sounds; the “more” typically means people who pay to be included. The list shows user names with pictures and a follow button. It stands to reason that if you have a clear and relevant business name and target geographically desirable users who are interested in the pet products and services you offer —they will become your followers.