My first tweet was underwhelming.
It had no link, was short and sweet and included just 3 words. “Watching the Cricket“. Now for some of you that will seem strange. Why was Jeff watching an insect? For those of you who live in London, India or New Zealand and other countries, they will know that “Cricket” is also something else!
When I started on Twitter my understanding was limited of what a tweets true potential could be. But an insight into social media’s addictiveness was revealed in one of my first stumbling attempts at a blog post.
That insight turned into a journey to uncover how I could make Twitter work for me as an online entrepreneur, digital marketer and a blogger.
The tweets journey
For many people the Twitter network is for making comments, observations and sharing images and something interesting or even news breaking. For many this is where it starts and stops. That is leaving a lot of tweets, traffic and attention in the bank.
So what is the real impact of a tweet?
It goes far beyond just sharing a personal insight or some news that you have may discovered. For me it has made a huge difference to my traffic, online influence and revenue. It has also opened up many global opportunities.
Below I will describe what a humble tweet can achieve once it is let loose into the wild.
This journey is not a linear but a convoluted trip that is broken by many interruptions, distraction and changing preferences.
Think of it as a backpacker on a 12 month round the world adventure. Many exciting views that stop them in their tracks, with drinks in bars and attractive distractions driven by youthful hormones. Fun for sure and often spontaneous. Sometimes sharing cocktails in a foreign land can led to a marriage proposal. It happened to me.
Any journey is about discovery and insight and and the impact of a tweet can lead from a passing interest to a purchase.
The tweets first job is to get attention
To start a conversation you first need that all important attention.
Twitter can gain that all important top of the marketing funnel brand awareness. But when it comes to the pointy end of the funnel (the sale), you need to ask “what marketing tactic got that “first click”.
The convoluted journey can start with a simple click on a tweet. You want to turn brand awareness into real business.
Twitter engagement metrics to consider
When you take a closer look at Twitter analytics there are 6 different types of engagement listed. And they are not all equal. My top 3 in order of importance are these.
- Link clicks: This is where you want people to go. Your website or blog or maybe even a landing page
- Retweets: Sharing is what social is all about and helps build your brand awareness and make your content move. That’s what I like to see.
- Profile visits: Profile click is someone checking your bona fides and social proof (eg. how many followers you have). This is part of the trust and credibility building process.
The other three are nice but often don’t go beyond superficial actions.
- Detail expand is just someone taking a closer look.
- Likes are good but is a low level engagement. Nice, but not something that puts food on the table.
- Hashtag clicks are in essence a category interest on all other tweets that include that topic.
Below are 17 possible steps, actions and engagements that start with that first tweet. It is not a linear journey. Your potential prospects and customers will bounce in and out at different points.
Your challenge is to turn that first tweet into sales. Here is the journey of a simple tweet.
1. Headline attention
This is usually the first thing you see. This is often the first source of attention seeking from a tweet. Well written and crafted headlines make the difference between being ignored or creating some engagement and action.
2. Image engagement
If it isn’t the headline then it is often the image that captures the eye. This type of image below works well on Twitter and adds to the headline.
After this initial engagement with the headline or the image, a decision is sometimes made to retweet without clicking the link. This is called “blind sharing”. If your online brand has created enough credibility and trust then this is not uncommon.
Many others won’t share till they have read or viewed the content. But a share is a share on a social web.
4. Website click
The goal of most tweets is just to get that initial click that drives traffic to your website or blog.
Once you have them on your turf it comes down to what do you do with that attention. Does your site have great content that backs up the promise of the tweet or does it under deliver. Do you have a pop-up on your blog or a call to action that converts traffic that you earned from a follower on Twitter into a lead. That is your email list.
5. Profile click
When people click through to your profile they are wanting to know more about you. So does your Twitter profile description impress them, possibly intriguing or just makes them yawn. The aim of your Twitter profile is to start to build that brand credibility and trust. A good friend of mine, Kim Garst does this well.
This was called a “favourite” in the past but this activity is a popularity and vanity metric that let’s people know it’s a cool tweet. So let’s call it a “light” engagement.
But serious commitments often start with a small action.
7. Site visit
They have clicked on your Twitter link now they are at your own online portal. You website or blog.
This is the real goal of the tweet. To move people from a rental property (social media sites) to your own digital asset. This is where the site design and optimizing is crucial. Can you move them from a fleeting visit to other small commitments?
This means pop-up and other call to action tactics and technologies.
8. Read, view or listen
Whether you are a writer, podcaster or video blogger you want people to hang around and not just read the headline and introduction but do a deeper dive. This is the role of great content. To make your blog and website such a resource that they want to come back.
9. Email subscription
If your design and website is built for conversion then you have a great chance to turn a passing visit into an ongoing conversation. Social media is a great tool to start the conversation and build brand awareness but you should not let it stop there.
Email allows that conversation to start and continue. This is the aim of Twitter to get people to that first small commitment.
10. The sale
Small email subscription commitments can lead to larger decisions. Getting them to pull out the credit card and make a purchase is the ultimate goal for an online business. It doesn’t have to be a big step but just a $7 ebook.
We are all proud of our websites and blogs and we often think that everyone will love what you have to say. The reality is much different. Most people leave, never to return. That is why making sure your website converts is critical. You often only have one shot to move a visitor from just passing traffic to a loyal fan and subscriber.
12. More sharing
Getting sharing of your content on Twitter is great.
But with Twitter only having 350 million users there is more to be had on a social web. What you want is even more sharing. So make sure that the Facebook, LinkedIn and other sharing buttons are ready to make your content move to even more social networks when your visitors show up to your site from a tweet. There are over 2 billion people on social networks.
13. Inspired to write a post
If your content is so inspirational or such a valuable resource that you have motivated the reader to write about it, then you are getting serious engagement traction. This type of engagement is what all bloggers want and crave.
Motivating your readers and viewers to take serious actions.
14. Links to post
Once that post is created the author will often attribute and link to your site. This is what starts building that search engine ranking. The more organic inbound links that point to your site adds to your site authority.
That humble tweet has lead to some serious traffic from referring pages and then this leads to more traffic from search engines.
That simple 140 character tweet from months ago is now helping create free traffic from Google.
15. Lower cost Facebook advertising
Facebook re-targeting is one of the most efficient ways to get relevant advertising at minimal cost in front of potential buyers. How does the tweet help this?
The Tweet led them to your site where they read the content on a certain topic. Re-targeting then allows you to surface a Facebook Ad (that you have created), that is relevant to that topic and is also very efficient and cost effective. Relevant ad at low cost.
Tweeting has a human side.
It provides opportunities to connect with your tribe globally. When I started on Twitter it was one of the most fun aspects of the 140 character platform. Having a short chat in bursts with people that had the same interests and challenges from the other side of the world.
Those simple tweets over the years have led to powerful human connections that I value and treasure.
17. Joint ventures
Once trust is built through that Twitter conversation, the opportunities can extend to working together in the future. Joint ventures and collaboration can be a consequence of that simple tweet that start with the online networking .
What about you?
Did you think that Twitter was just a superficial social network that was just about sharing your personal insights. Could you use Twitter better? Are you leaving a lot of Tweeting power in the bank?
Over to you.