Coming only second to Facebook, Twitter is one of the most widely used social media platforms in the world, putting one of the biggest (and not to mention free) audiences available right at your fingertips. If you plan to use it for your next marketing campaign or for marketing in general (and you should), don’t even think of getting started without first taking these 6 essential steps to Twitter success.

Learn the basics.

If you are entirely new to Twitter, it might not be a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the general format and functions using a personal page or even a pseudonym before you set up your business’s account. This gives you the chance to learn what a retweet actually is before you accidently retweet your competition.

Follow people back.

As long as you are only following relevant companies and active consumers, following back does a number of things that work in your favor. Following consumers makes it more likely that they will promote your business by tagging you in posts or replying to your tweets when they know there is a better chance that you’ll see it. Following other companies related to your field, even your competition, helps build relationships and shows that you are concerned with more than squashing your competition, and also has the added bonus of keeping tabs on them and staying up to date with their products and services.

Build relationships.

Perhaps the most important component of effective social media marketing is the “social” half. Not only does Twitter give you all the necessary outlets to communicate with your consumers and increase their likelihood of supporting you, but it gives you the opportunity to form connections with users who have massive audiences. Operating much like a middle school dance, merely interacting with users who have high follower numbers works to your advantage. If a user with 50,000 people replies to your tweet or retweets you even once, that’s a potential of up to 50,000 people exposed to your business, and human curiosity alone dictates that a good number of them will check out your page as well.

DM campaigns.

Nothing feels more personal than a direct message sent right to your inbox. Use this to your advantage by forming DM campaigns that send information, promotions and updates right to your consumers’ notifications. This allows you to connect on an even more personal level with your most loyal followers, making it even more likely that they will reciprocate somehow. But remember, this tool is only effective if the user doesn’t dismiss your message as spam, so personalize your messages and show that you genuinely care and want to know what these people think (even if you don’t).

Follow up.

Your job isn’t over after the success of your first campaign, and that success will only last for as long as you make it last. Like any relationship, even virtual connections need maintenance, so don’t forget to keep up with contacts. Once you know who responded the best to your first marketing campaign, implement a follow-up campaign targeting the consumers who will provide the best response and support your business even further.

Use the tools.

Once you’ve gotten a handle on who your audience is and how to reach them, you can move on to more advanced realms of the Twitterverse. Tools like Hootsuite allow you to pre-schedule posts so that you never go inactive as well as identify your follower demographic and track hashtags and mentions. There are dozens of free tools at your disposal, and signing yourself up for one or two is in your best in.

GTECH Designs is a Baltimore-based digital marketing agency that is committed to helping impact-makers spend more time doing good. For more information, contact us at 410-775-4011, email us at [email protected], or get in touch with us via :

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About The Author

Bola Olonisakin

Bola Olonisakin

Bola is the founder and principal at GTECH Designs, a digital creative agency that helps small and mid-sized businesses launch, grow and succeed. Her research and work in web design, social media and strategic communication have been published in numerous books and articles, and she’s regularly seen on stage at events around the country. She’s responsible for teaching GTECH clients how to blend strategic goal-setting with great design to create effective online marketing strategies. You can reach her at [email protected]