Twitter for Business – What Really WorksPrint
I’ve decided finally to use our Twitter account to promote our business. For those who wish, you can find us on Twitter at @toursabroad.
Of course we’ve had a Twitter account for years, but never quite was able to understand how to use it to sell spots on tours. Truthfully, though, I rather doubt that should be the goal of having a Twitter account – people who might buy a spot on one of our photo tours or workshops are not likely to find us via our Twitter posts.
Basically, though, Twitter invites two kinds of activities – (1) posting your own tweets, and (2) browsing other posters’ tweets. However, if you are someone who is not interested in tweeting yourself, you are not likely to access Twitter simply to browse tweets – at least that is my feeling. So you end up with rather a closed loop, an audience who has already self-selected as being part of the Twitter universe. That self-selection process leaves out many of the people whom we think might be interested in our buying our products.
That’s assuming that what we want to do is sell seats on tours. Ultimately, of course, that is vitally important to the success of our business. We have a second target audience, however, that is quite different, and that is recruiting the right tour leaders. In our case, that would be professional photographers who can put together a group. And whereas I think using Twitter to find customers would be very difficult, using Twitter to attract professional photographers to become tour leaders for us seems much more viable.
So the first lesson I’ve learned since trying to use Twitter to promote our business is to be very strategic in who our target audience is, and the second lesson is being disciplined in the kind of tweets we post to project the right message to that audience.
Twitter, for Photo Tours Abroad, is more about projecting the quality of our brand, than about direct sales. And indeed if you read about how businesses use Twitter successfully, trying to sell a product via Twitter is generally seen as a dead end. Providing interesting and valuable information or resources to a target audience seems the road to using Twitter successfully for businesses in general.
I have seen many Twitter accounts that have amassed thousands of followers – sometimes tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands. That is not our goal for Photo Tours Abroad. We need to reach the right audience, which might be numbered in the dozens, or at most the hundreds. Again, for us, quality trumps quantity.
If you, the reader, have a business of your own, and either have a Twitter presence, or are contemplating using Twitter, you may find our Twitter approach valid for you, or not. Every business is unique in one way or another, and what works for us may not be the optimum solution for you.
To repeat – quality trumps quantity. That applies not only to followers we hope to attract, but also to what we choose to tweet. It is nonetheless important to adhere to a daily schedule of tweet activity. You need to maintain a presence on Twitter, and the only way to do that is to regularly post tweets. There are a number of tweet schedulers out there that can help greatly – I use the free app Hootlet, provided by Hootsuite, meaning I can schedule tweets out a couple of days in advance, or longer, if I wish.