In part one of the Gemini Business Guide to Twitter we covered what Twitter basically is, the demographic makeup of active Twitter users, and how to determine if your customers and potential customers expect to communicate via Twitter.

In part two we will dig deeper into how to determine if Twitter is a fit for your business marketing goals.

General Marketing Goals

When considering any marketing communication channel, it is important that your main business goals set the course for the way you incorporate that channel into your marketing campaigns. By starting with clear measurable goals, you will keep time, budgets, and resources on track and build accountability into every aspect of your marketing activities.

When setting business goals, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need to improve brand awareness?
  • Are you trying to drive more leads?
  • Do you need to increase sales?
  • Do you need more customer referrals and reviews?
  • How will Twitter fit into existing campaigns – SEO, PPC, Content, other social?

Brand Awareness

Although some businesses tend to shy away from awareness as a goal unto itself, if people don’t know that your solution exists, they are not going to be able to seek you out when they have a need. Awareness is the first step in the customer journey.

If the goal is to increase awareness of your brand, the logical metrics to track have to do with connection to the brand. Set clear goals that demonstrate a particular increase over a set period of time in brand related activities.

Examples of brand awareness goals:

  • x% increase in searches for the brand name for a given time period.
  • X new followers per month on brand social media accounts.
  • X mentions of the brand by name in social media, blogs, etc for a given period of time.
  • x% increase in reach of branded content in paid media for a given period of time.

Stating brand awareness goals in this fashion gives you a solid metric for comparison of actual activity against the goal and a deadline for reaching that goal.

Twitter’s Role in Brand Awareness

If your audience data has indicated that Twitter is a good demographic fit, there are several ways it can be used to increase general public awareness for your business.

The most obvious is building an actively engaged audience for your branded Twitter account. While follower growth is great, don’t stop with this surface metric. Dig deeper. Work to improve active mentions of the company Twitter handle and brand related hashtags. Pay attention to your share of voice on Twitter when compared to your business competitors.

An audience that just consumes branded content is good, but an audience that actively shares and helps spread the awareness is even better. An indicator of increasing awareness of the brand is its presence in conversations started by other Twitter users.

Although Target is a well known brand, they continue to pay attention to the sentiment attached to mentions of the brand and track how the company culture is perceived by the general public.

Driving Leads

The next step in the journey with your customers is qualifying potential business from the audience that is aware of your brand.

If the goal is to drive leads deeper into the purchase process, you need to convert that consumption audience into identified contacts. You need to know more about the individuals that make up your brand’s audience.

Examples of lead generation goals:

  • x% conversion of site visitors into identified contacts.
  • x% click-through on links shared on Twitter.
  • x% increase in Twitter retargeting audience based on site visits for a given period of time.

Stating lead generation goals in this fashion gives you a solid metric for comparison of actual activity against the goal and a deadline for reaching that goal.

Twitter’s Role in Lead Generation

What constitutes a qualified business lead depends a great deal on what your business does. For e-commerce, especially small consumer items, returning site visitors are likely leads. The journey from discovery to purchase may be very short and require little consideration. For B2B service companies, that journey may take much longer and may pass through other researchers and gate-keepers before getting to the final decision maker. It is important to be able to articulate how you identify a qualified business lead and how that lead tends to behave in a communication channel like Twitter.

Developing leads is all about one on one communication. That point of conversion from passive audience to self-identified contact is an invitation on the part of your customer to engage in personalized communication. That communication may happen publically on Twitter in the form of mentions and replies. It may stay in Twitter but happen more privately in the form of direct messaging. And it could come about as a response to an advertised call to action. Those activities are valuable to the process of getting additional information about an individual’s needs and eventually moving that lead into the purchase process as a customer or client.

Lead generation and nurturing is an investment in time and effort as well as budget. For brands that can afford the investment, the returns are well worth it.

Twitter example of lead generation

Thanks to a combination of tailored audiences and lead gen ad types, the start of that process can be done at scale with lead generation cards and paid placement in Twitter.

Increasing Sales

While building an audience and generating leads is focused on investment in the relationships with the community and with individuals, the next step in the customer journey is far more dependant on audience segmentation and delivering the right offer at the right time to increase sales among your qualified leads.

Examples of sales goals:

  • x% conversion of site leads into sales.
  • x% increase in sales from Twitter ads for a given period of time.

Stating sales goals in this fashion gives you a solid metric for comparison of actual activity against the goal and a deadline for reaching that goal.

Twitter’s Role in Sales

As with any other form of digital marketing, Twitter’s role in sales is mostly support. Your organic efforts to nurture leads need to be considered as a partial assist in the final sale. Although paid Twitter placement is not always required, it is much more focused on a specific result and much easier to attribute to the final sale. Make use of Twitter’s ability to target visitors to specific pages to make special offers and create a little urgency in people who have viewed products but not yet purchased.

Generating Customer Reviews

If the goal is to get more public reviews and recommendations of your business, you need to track both business mentions and sentiment. Set clear goals that demonstrate a particular increase in advocacy over a set period of time.

Examples of customer evangelism goals:

  • x% increase in positive brand mentions over a given period of time.
  • x% increase in replies from customers over a given period of time.
  • X number of new reviews shared by customers over a given period of time.

Stating customer engagement and advocacy goals in this fashion gives you a solid metric for comparison of actual activity against the goal and a deadline for reaching that goal.

Twitter’s Role in Customer Reviews and Recommendations

Customer reviews and recommendations close the loop of the buyer’s journey. They are the social proof that your product or service actually satisfies the needs, wants, and desires of the people doing business with you. Often those recommendations and reviews are the first discovery steps of new potential customers. It is important that you nurture the relationships you have after the sale in order to get customers loyal to your brand to help spread the good word.

Twitter gives you and your customers an open forum that leads others to discovery. It is also one of the easiest platforms to share that content other channels. If you are engaging and encouraging customer feed-back in Twitter, you can embed those customer Tweets on your website, like we did above. You can turn those comments into visuals to share on Instagram.

Set the tone for how people respond to you. If you want video clips, reach out with video clips.

The key to success in Twitter, no matter the goal, is to actively engage with purpose and intent. Goals help you define your purpose and inform your intent.

Integrating with Other Campaigns

Twitter does not operate in a vacuum. It depends on content and media that you create outside of Twitter. The same business goals that drive your Twitter activities should be driving ALL of your marketing. When that is the case, the look and message that you are sharing as a brand will be consistent across all of your active media channels. That means that the next back to school or holiday special you run would be a holistic campaign that is supported by your efforts on Twitter.

Although individuals have certain networks, like Twitter, that they go to on a daily basis, very few are so exclusive that they don’t check Instagram, use search, or bookmark your website. Even the passive exposure across the digital space has value. It increases familiarity and reinforces previous brand impressions. It is human nature to interact with those things that we are already familiar and comfortable.

Make sure that efforts planned for Twitter fit into the bigger marketing campaigns and messages that you are sharing across your entire business presence online and offline.

Part 3 in the Twitter for Business series will cove how to set up or optimize your business Twitter account.