According to the most recent statistics, the total number of active registered Twitter users has exceeded 645 million people.
A 2012 study from Edison Research & Arbitron found that about 89% of Americans ages 12 and up are at least familiar with Twitter.
More data from media analytics company Trendrr suggests that Twitter usage dominates more than 85% of all social media activity surrounding broadcast TV – which is still to this day the most popular mainstream media.
It seems that Twitter and tweeting have finally made it to the main stream. This new communication medium is talked about constantly in the media as it’s used by masses of consumers via the second screen to participate in real-time events such as, the Superbowl, the Winter Olympics and even the Presidential State of the Union Address.
Twitter can also be used by franchisees for a variety of business and communication needs. In this article, I provide a simple, five-part framework that will help you take advantage of Twitter as a tool to help you raise awareness and connect with customers as a Franchisee.
Ready to go? Keep reading…
One of the key ways to jumpstart your franchises presence on Twitter is to get your customers involved right away. Applying the concept of frictionless sharing can help you take advantage of the content and curation that your customers are willing to help you create.
The idea behind this approach is to build or use applications that, with the users’ permission, integrate with Twitter’s API and automatically help your customers publish content as a tweet, based on their actions inside the application or on the Web. Today, popular applications like Pinterest, Spotify, Foursquare, and many others use frictionless sharing to increase the amount of Tweets and other social updates created by their users on their brand.
An example of a free near-frictionless sharing application that you can use on your websites or blogs is Click to Tweet. This great little web application allows you to pre-program a tweet and then asks your audience to share it with one click from the page they are reading. See my example below:
According to recent stats, the number of active registered Twitter users has exceeded 645 million people.” Click to Tweet This Stat
If you clicked, you may notice that your tweet also contained a link which leads back to this blog. Adding a link to each frictionless tweet you program will help to maximize your website or blog traffic by leveraging your readers’ social graph to help raise awareness of your content.
As a content marketer, I start each of my days spending time in two places — my e-mail inbox and my Twitter feeds, which have been set up in Hootsuite — a tool that allows you to set up multiple filters for Twitter so you can cut through the noise and clutter and find the content that might benefit your business. Via e-mail, I make a point to subscribe to multiple aggregate news sites based on my content interests.
One example of a current aggregate I use is Market Vox, which provides me with interesting stats, trends and research on what’s happening in the digital world that I can post and share with others. According to Hootsuite analytics, people with similar interests often share these updates I’ve posted with their own networks, as well.
Spending about an hour skimming through clutter, I’ll select anywhere between 10-25 articles and posts that I will actually read deeply so I can vet them, find important nuggets and figure out the best times to distribute them.
As a franchisee, you might consider sharing content on Twitter from your corporate office or marketing department or even content from your competitors. At any rate, the frequency in which you share interesting content will help you grow your following.
Once I have my content ordered in the way I want to deliver it throughout the day, I begin the scheduling distribution. It’s important to consider that each update has a relatively limited shelf life on Twitter. In addition, remember that as a network, Twitter is in constant motion with millions of tweets per day.
To build awareness for your franchise you will need to think about covering 12-18 hours of time each day with dripped tweets a few times per hour. Higher frequency of updating is absolutely crucial to raising awareness and gaining attention, especially when you are first starting out.
To help make this more manageable for your team, consider using some of the following tools:
This is, in a sense, the most beneficial part of using Twitter. Every tweet shared from your account has the potential to gain a one-to-one conversation with another Twitter user.
By focusing on maintaining these one-to-one interactions with as many users as possible, in both public mentions and through direct messages, your franchise can activate the serendipitous aspects of Twitter, which can lead to traditional media attention and unseen opportunities for media placement and customers.
So, how does it work?
Consistent one-to-one attention strengthens the connections you have across the social graphs of your followers, increasing their propensity to share. Increased sharing works to create memes wherein your content can spread virally across Twitter’s vast landscape and often live for days or even weeks as the meme moves through the system — all the while driving click-throughs and conversions.
After a few months of focused Twitter use, you’ll begin to notice specific users who are consistently paying attention to your content and business, and hopefully engaging with your handle more frequently. These are your brand advocates — i.e. the customers who are willing to tell their friends about your franchise — and it’s up to you and your startup to appreciate and recognize them for the efforts they make to help promote you.
Influence metrics like Klout and Peer Index (while still somewhat controversial) give brands a glimpse into how far specific Twitter users might be able to share their message.
Start with strategy in mind.
Twitter is merely a tactic among your arsenal of online communication tools. Make sure to have a clear understanding of your startup’s target audience, business KPI’s and the types of content and stories you can share to pique the interest of the audience you are targeting as customers. Once you have that figured out, then move to translating a part of that strategy for execution using Twitter.
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