Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



Communicating with Your Students via Twitter

Posted by Dean Asher on 8/29/14 3:39 AM
Topics: social media, Marketing to Students

For a lot of college students, Twitter is the perfect place to share short little thoughts and jokes. But for college retailers, it can do so much more. A tons of apps and techniques can give store owners with a Twitter presence access to some hidden features that make connecting with students and getting your message across easier than ever, and Cindy King over at socialmediaexaminer.com compiled this handy list of how to do it from other social media experts. Visit her page for the full list of 12, but we went ahead and pulled out a few that were easiest and especially helpful for stores like yours:

Match Emails With Customer Usernames

By Kristi Hines

Want to get to know prospective and current customers on Twitter?

SocialBro has a great feature that allows you to upload a list of email contacts and match them to corresponding Twitter handles. Once the process is complete, you can do a variety of things, including analyze the demographics, audience size, keywords they tweet and much more.

SocialBro automatically matches emails to Twitter usernames.

I find it most helpful to add customers to a specific Twitter list. That way it’s easy to follow their conversations, get to know what content they like and engage with them. What a great way to learn more about your customers and build stronger relationships!

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer and author of Kikolani.

Follow Influencer Twitter Lists

By Lisa Peyton

Listening to influential users in your industry and then connecting with them is a great way to build relationships. To do that, you can either create your own Twitter lists or follow lists that have already been created.

I’ve created several lists that align with my current interests and regularly scan the feed of tweets provided by lists via my HootSuite mobile app. Not only does this allow me to easily stay connected with the ‘smarties’ in these areas, it also helps me find amazing content to share with my own followers.

Creating a list is a great way to aggregate the tweets of a specific group of users who can influence your target audience.

If you’re trying to connect with decision-makers in a specific vertical, save yourself the time of building a list from scratch. Start by following lists that have already been assembled.

You can follow Twitter lists that have already been created by searching on Twitter.com, clicking Timelines and then selecting the most relevant results.

There are hundreds of thousands of existing Twitter lists for everything from enterprise software to digital influencers to scrapbooking. To find a list that relates to your interests, simply go to Twitter.com and enter your search phrase, then click on Timeline in the left sidebar.

This will reveal all of the lists associated with your search query.

Lisa Peyton is a digital marketing strategist, writer, teacher and consultant.

Run Advanced Twitter Searches

By Dan Virgillito

What if there was a way to find people interested in your product or service right now? What if you could hear what people say and find those complaining about something you can help them with? The thing is, there is a way. You can easily spy on thousands of topic-relevant Twitter conversations with Twitter advanced search.

A few months ago, I helped a London-based plumber reach out to potential customers with his Twitter marketing. Instead of @spamming people with promotional messages or sending his existing followers useless “call us if you need anything” tweets, I started by running a location-based search for terms like “plumber” and “plumbing” in my client’s area.

Then I found one tweet from a guy looking for a plumber to fix his broken boiler. There it was, right in front of me: the customer’s pain, the need my client could solve.

Whatever your business does, use Twitter advanced search to find your broken boiler.

Dan Virgillito is a freelance blogger and content strategist.

Use Images to Increase Retweets

By Robert Kilonzo

When you have more images in your tweets, you’ll get more shares and clicks and a 35 percent bump in retweets.

When you optimize your tweet with images, make sure to use images that are compelling and relevant. Don’t use an image that has nothing to do with the topic just for the sake of having an image in the tweet.

Not only do images get more engagement for your tweets, they also help them stand out and get more attention.

Lastly, to increase the likelihood of your tweet being more engaging, add an appropriate hashtag and ask your followers to retweet it.

Robert Kilonzo is a sales and marketing specialist for Omnistar Interactive.

Know WHY You’re on Twitter

By Stuart J. Davidson

Too often, I see profiles try to do too much and satisfy too many marketing objectives. I’ll explain why this is a mistake.

Consider the theory of a landing page. It has a single objective—to increase conversion rates. Landing pages tend to work well because they’re simple, concise and purposeful.

Now apply this to your Twitter marketing efforts.

  • Set the primary objective of your marketing campaign.
  • Define Twitter tactics to fulfill this objective.
  • Measure the metrics that show how your Twitter efforts are performing.

When you understand why you’re investing in Twitter marketing, you can develop focused frameworks that effectively leverage the platform’s potential to work toward your purpose.

Stuart J. Davidson is a UK-based freelance social and digital marketer.

Market in the Moment

By Beth Gladstone

Customers definitely feel more of an affinity with a brand when it’s relevant and on-trend with the things they care about, and the real-time marketing we see from brands often shows some of Twitter’s biggest success.

Good examples include Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark tweet from the Super Bowl and the brands that created quick tweets in response to things that happened during World Cup matches.

oreo superbowl tweetReal-time marketing can be wildly successful.

Now I know from experience that it can often be overwhelming trying to keep up with news, questions and updates in real time on Twitter. The trick is to employ the right tools.

Tools such as HootSuite, TweetDeck and Twilert help condense Twitter’s firehose down to the keywords or tweets marketers really care about. They also provide email alerts for the really important tweets that need an instant response.

Creating a social media calendar also helps and I’ve found it really useful to plan ahead for big events or dates to ensure that I can monitor and respond to the action as it happens.

There’s no special formula that makes a tweet go viral, but marketing in the moment can definitely give it a helping hand.

Beth Gladstone is marketing manager at Twilert.

Develop an Evergreen Posting Strategy

By Laura Roeder

The bigger and more competitive Twitter gets, the more important it becomes to really focus your energy on posting smart. The best thing you can do? Know what to post and when, and never post anything just once.

One thing that I do regularly is check stats on Tweriod, a free tool that shows when your followers are online and when they’re mentioning you in their tweets. Between this data and the analytics Twitter provides, you can figure out exactly when to post for the most click-throughs, retweets and replies.

Tweriod shows you when your Twitter audience is active.

Once you have that data, plan a regular posting schedule and create a library of updates that you can use over and over again to fill that schedule. I use Edgar to save updates and schedule them automatically.

Only about 46 percent of all Twitter users log on even just once a day, so odds are, a lot of the things you post are being missed by a lot of the people who follow you. In all likelihood, if you post the same status update a few weeks apart, most of the people who see it—if not ALL of them—will be completely different!

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when you’re writing updates. Build yourself a nice stockpile to choose from and reuse them every now and then. You’ll save a ton of time that you can use for doing things like responding to other users and participating in active online conversations!

Laura Roeder is the founder of LKR Social Media.

About Dean Asher

Dean Asher is a former copywriter with MBS. Though he no longer writes for us, he is still proud of having helped this blog continue to evolve as an industry-leading resource of news and original content.

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