Twitter, like many social media networks, can be an excellent marketing tool. But reaching out to the right audience is a challenge. Businesses and professionals that are new to Twitter have few, if any, followers, and without followers your tweet doesn't have an audience—or does it?
Tweets can reach more than just the Twitter users following your account—if you do it right. And when your tweets reach more than just your own followers, your number of followers will grow, too. Here are four strategies suggested from readers at WAHM to spread a tweet beyond your audience.
1. Be conversational, not spammy.
No one likes spam—so don't produce it. Some Twitter users send automatic, prewritten messages. While that may seem like a good way to build up your followers, don't give into the temptation. It's spam. Instead, take the time to follow users that are interested in similar topics to what your business offers—you can do this by doing a hashtag search. Follow the people that are talking about things relevant to your industry, and then join in on the conversation: follow them, retreat them, and favorite their tweets. When they see that you have something interesting to offer to the conversation (e.g., not spam), they'll follow you back.
2. Use hashtags.
Using hashtags (#workfromhome, #mom, #parent, etc.) is a good way to get your tweet to pop up in Twitter searches and acquire new followers interested in related topics. But using the right hashtag matters, too. Tools like RiteTag help you see what hashtags are being used and searched the most, so you can make the most impact with a single tweet.
3. Know your audience.
Who are you trying to reach out to on Twitter? Identify your audience—for most WAHMs, that's the person most likely to buy your product or use your service. Once you've narrowed down a group of people that's likely to use your business, target them specifically. Follow other businesses that have a similar audience. Search for hashtags that your audience might use and engage in those conversations. Instead of reaching out to a big audience with no impact, you'll reach out to a smaller audience, but actually have more useful reach.
4. Make your tweets useful.
Don't think of your tweets as a marketing tool, think of them as an outreach tool. Instead of posting boring tweets about your product, share tweets that offer value, like a tip, a laugh, or a useful link. Retweet other interesting posts relevant to your industry or audience. When people see you post things that are useful to them, they'll follow you. Once you've built up an audience, you can post tweets that are directly related to your product, but you should still try to make most of your tweets as useful or entertaining, or you'll lose followers.
Twitter can be a useful marketing tool. While the platform is free to use, you do need to invest time and effort into reaching out to your audience and growing your number of followers. By sharing conversational tweets, using hashtags, knowing your audience and sharing useful information, you can expand your reach beyond just your Twitter followers. And when you reach people who aren't your followers, many of them will start following you—creating a snowball effect that continually grows your audience.