But we never expected to break into Twitter’s top 10 trending topics by taking down a chunk of the interwebs.
What our crew and 1,001 clinic participants also didn’t expect was that the webinar hosting service would go down three times due to a “service disruption … a result of unscheduled maintenance in our network.” Nice.
Despite all that, we managed to plow through the webinar and we’d like to send a special thank you to the 862 folks who stayed with us. This post includes some answers to your questions from the web clinic.
You can now access the presentation: Twitter Experiments: Getting beyond the “now what?”
Pamela Jesseau, our razor-sharp new content queen, tackled the following clinic questions to help you set up your Twitter account, build your following, and expand your business. (Also check out her post: Twitter for businesses: 7 articles + tools you don’t want to miss.)
Q: How do I search Twitter for mentions of my company? What do I do with the results?
The simplest way is to use the search box in the right-hand sidebar of your Twitter page, or Twitter’s search page at search.twitter.com. These will find mentions of your keyword within all Tweets.
One tool that was featured in the web clinic is Twazzup, a third-party application that can help you track mentions of your brand. Just enter your company name or search string to find out who is Tweeting about you. For example, the image below shows a search for a company that was recently in the news in North Florida.
You can also set up a search string within an application like TweetDeck, which will alert you when someone sends a Tweet with your name. Then what? Listen to what they are saying, address their concerns, thank them for their feedback, and follow them to engage the conversation and build your community.
Q: What if your company name is too long for a good Twitter name?
Twitter only allows 15-character usernames, so there are many companies which have to improvise. We ran into this issue ourselves and abbreviated MarketingExperiments to @MktgExperiments.
Your Twitter handle should still make sense and be fairly easy for people to remember. Other examples of organizations that got around this issue using abbreviations, shortened forms, or acronyms include:
- @pdxtrailblazers – Portland Trailblazers
- @SBoSM – SmartBrief on Social Media
- @TheHSF – The Heart & Stroke Foundation
- @MarriottIntl – Marriott International
Q: If you are not tweeting with a big following, what is the point?
Everyone has to start somewhere. You can build on a small following by first engaging and bringing value to those that do follow you.
Add yourself to the user-generated Twitter directory WeFollow and choose three tags that describe your business and industry — such as marketing, SEO, and software for example. Others with similar profiles will find you when they are looking to expand their networks. In turn, take the time to search for people in your target group and follow them. But don’t stop there — start a conversation. Retweet an article you found valuable, or start a discussion on a topic relevant to your sector.
Fridays provide the opportunity for you to recommend a colleague or partner by Tweeting their name to others and tag it with #followfriday. Some may return the favor, or at least tweet a thanks with your name to their followers. (Learn more about #followfriday and other hashtags at … wait for it … Mashable.)
Build and nurture your following, the same way you might do with other leads. You wouldn’t try to hard sell a new prospect in person, would you? So don’t do it on Twitter. Build the relationship, get your brand and yourself out there, and be there to respond to feedback.
Q: I understand why someone would have a lot of followers. But how can you follow thousands of people? It’s not manageable. It doesn’t make sense to me. Any advice on this would be great.
One of the most valuable tools that we have found for smart Twittering is TweetDeck. As mentioned above, this free application allows you to manage the tweets you receive with columns of separate, customizable feeds and filters.
You can group certain people, and create search strings to monitor mentions of your company, industry and even competitors. That way you can skip all the weather updates and lunch reports, without missing the feedback on your product, or opportunities to connect.
Q: Any results on running price specials via Twitter?
Dell Computer made news earlier this year when it revealed that $1 million in sales could be attributed to their Twitter feeds. Dell has several feeds, each targeting different segments. As we discussed in the web clinic, the company used @DellOutlet to Tweet discounts with a link to purchase the product from the Outlet Store. Shortly afterward, Dell started to offer exclusive deals to its followers. Twitter is still an emerging channel, but results like these show it does have real value for businesses.
Twitter training: Putting practical know-how into action to drive business results
In addition to the questions above, the live audience polls from our web clinic indicated that many marketers still aren’t sure how to use Twitter to improve their bottom line.
That’s why we are pleased to be able to team up again with Jason Breed, Senior Director of Business Development of Neighborhood America, and Marc Meyer, CEO of Digital Response Marketing Group, for a new training eWorkshop on using Twitter to boost your business results.
While our free web clinics provide new research findings, case studies and actionable ideas, our training eWorkshops are designed to help you advance from the “what” and “why” to the “how” and “how-to” with detailed, hands-on guidance and tools.
In this interactive eWorkshop, you’ll learn specifics on:
- Where to start (or restart) and how to map out your Twitter presence/s
- How to develop the most effective Twitter business strategy for your organization
- Ways to build and engage a following that’s more than just a numbers game
- Tools that will help you save time and maximize your efforts
eWorkshop: How to use Twitter to boost your business results
Tuesday, June 30
4:00 to 5:00 p.m. EDT
Training session: $129
Join us if you want to accelerate your knowledge, cut down on the learning curve, and start using Twitter to drive revenue, build equity and decrease costs.
Twitter web clinic attendees can save $30 on this eWorkshop when registering with the special savings code. Please check your clinic follow-up email for the code and secure your spot for this special training eWorkshop. (We’ll keep the interwebs intact this time.)