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How To Use Twitter Campaigns To Grow Your Business

By Kayte Ferris

Hi - Sarah H here. What a truly amazing day Just A Card Day was last month - we so enjoyed reading all your amazing stories and seeing your fabulous artwork.  Thank you so much to each and everyone who made the day such a phenomenal success!

As you well know the aim of Just A Card is to highlight how vital every sale is to artists, designers and independent shops. We so want everyone to have a fantastic Christmas season buzzing with creativity and sales. A very important way for you to reach your customers is via social media and we've been promising you a feature with advice and tips on getting more from this for a while.

We know many of you appreciate it's so important, yet you can find it intimidating and confusing. The team and I are extremely keen to encourage you to use it - anyone who knows me knows I'm always stressing how vital it is to artists, designers and independent shops. It has completely revolutionised my work - a huge amount of my sales/customers have come from initial social media contacts. I've made many in real life friends on social media and I wouldn't have published a book if it wasn't for Twitter.

Sounds great?! Well certainly in theory, however it needs thought, consideration and a strategy. You cannot simply bombard people with sales talk -  a genuine belief in the bigger picture are key. For me the sense of community, the friendship, advice and mutual support are the driving force. With that in mind, I'll pass you over to Kayte Ferris, our fantastic new guest blogger who is an expert in all things creative business - who better to advise us all? I'm certain I'll learn at thing or two, so I'm looking forward to reading Kayte's feature.

Thanks Kayte - Over to you....

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Hi everyone!

Sarah is totally right about social media – the opportunities are truly endless, if you put thought and soul into the content you’re putting out. The social networks are incredibly noisy places so it’s only getting harder to have your voice heard over the rabble. Over the coming months I’m going to talk you through different ways to strategise your social media and crucially find your tribe and build community so you can really start seeing the benefit of using social for your business.

As you can imagine, there is so much to say on this topic and if I tried to cram it all in now you’d be here reading for quite some time! So I thought that coming off the back of Just A Card Day it would be useful to talk to you about how you can use campaigns like Just A Card to grow your own online presence and your business.

Just A Card Day image by Ruth Thorp Studio

Just A Card Day image by Ruth Thorp Studio

Why it’s good to support campaigns from your business account

First of all, you may not be entirely convinced that this is a good idea. Why would you give someone else air time on your own Twitter account? In this section I’m going to show you how social media needs you to be more personal than professional, and how campaigns can help create that with very little work.

A word on tone of voice

A lot of us feel more comfortable using social media from our personal accounts because we feel like we need to be “professional” at all times from our business accounts. And while a certain level of professionalism is necessary (no sweary tirades please!), it is important to remember the people are on social media because they want to connect with other people.

You don’t go onto to Twitter because you want to talk to robotic sounding brands, you want to meet the people behind the logo. This is what you have over the big high street chains – they spend so much money trying to look and sound like a real person, which you already have!

Think about how you speak to people when they come into your shop, or when you talk to customers on the phone or at craft fairs. Do you talk like that online? People buy from people, so the more of your own self and personality you can put into your brand’s online presence, the better.

Using campaigns in your personal brand

Ok, so how can using campaigns help you? Well, they are an easy way to communicate elements of your brand personality to others. Imagine if you came across an account that didn’t write any of their own tweets, but retweeted things from the Vegan Society, RSPCA and #OrganicSeptember. You’d get a pretty good view of that person’s personality and interests without even seeing a single word they’d written.

By getting on board with campaigns, you are showing that you are a real person interacting with real causes. You’re not just an empty brand churning over sales messages, you’re a thinking, feeling human who cares. And when others who care about those same things see that you do too, they’ll feel instantly connected with you in a way they wouldn’t have if they’d just seen your scheduled tweets.

Of course, we need to stay on brand here. Even if you’re a passionate animal lover, it is probably not good for your small business to be retweeting images of animal cruelty - that would be a confusing, and distressing, message. So when choosing campaigns to support from your business account, make sure they are aligned with your brand aims and, more importantly, with your target customer.

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The power of the Retweet

You may have noticed that in the previous section I was talking about retweets a lot (I’m assuming that you all know about retweets, but if you don’t there is an FAQ from Twitter here). In this section I’m going to talk about why retweeting is the most effective (and easiest!) way of joining in a campaign, and how to do it successfully.

Why retweets?

Put simply, people actually see it! Campaigns need retweets because they are an instantaneous way of getting a message seen by many more people. Likes are a passive way of engaging; retweets are proactive and make things happen. Have a scroll through Twitter and notice how much of what you actually see is retweeted – that gives you an idea of the reach a retweet can have.

Not only does a retweet help the campaign, but it contributes to your personal brand in a way a like can’t. It demonstrates that you’re passionate, that you’re involved and that you’re human.

Quote tweeting

If you want to maximise the effect of your retweets, I recommend quote tweeting (this is where you add your comment and the retweet is an attachment below). With this you really get the best of both worlds – you’re showing your support for the campaign, plus you get to add some more of yourself to the tweet.

For example, when retweeting images from Just A Card Day, I used quote tweets to say what I loved about that particular image and why it meant so much to me as a creative business coach. I was able to support the campaign whilst adding in more of my personality and business too.

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Retweeting without overwhelming your followers

Particularly with campaigns like Just A Card Day it’s a genuine worry that you might overwhelm followers with retweets. What you can do in this situation is like certain tweets to go back and retweet later – if you’re using Twitter on a mobile device you can view your Likes on your profile. This way you can spread out retweets throughout a busy day, or even store up content to retweet when you have nothing else.

I also want to emphasise here that the vast majority of people do not see everything that you tweet! As business owners we probably spend more time on the platform than our customers – most people pop onto to Twitter to kill time while waiting for a train rather than thoroughly scroll through a whole 24 hours. If you didn’t post in that 5 minutes their train was delayed, they won’t ever see it (and a look at your impressions in Twitter Analytics will back me up!). Don’t feel scared to post frequently because most people won’t notice.

How else can I piggyback a campaign?

Retweeting is just one way you can use a campaign to your own advantage, and is definitely the easiest if you’re busy. But Twitter campaigns offer a wealth of possibility if you feel like getting creative.

Just A Card Day image by 91 Magazine

Just A Card Day image by 91 Magazine

Run your own campaign off of someone else’s

One thing I loved seeing on Just A Card Day was all the giveaways and other promotions that makers tied in with the campaign – it got the word out about Just A Card and helped those makers gain followers and make sales, so that’s a double whammy for us!

Look at campaigns that your target audience would be interested in and think of how you can add more value to that. Maybe it’s a giveaway, a content upgrade, a blog post. Whether your goal is to get more followers or increase email subscribers, create an off-shoot campaign to drive that goal.

Build community around a campaign

Another great thing you can get out of campaigns is meeting new people - whether that’s other business owners or new customers. By engaging with other people joining in a campaign you are able to make new relationships and build an online community off the back of the campaign. With a campaign, you have a pool of like-minded peopleyou can dip into, for free! Again we’re coming back to this concept of being a real person – use this opportunity to your advantage and start conversations, connect with people on a genuine level, invite them to join you on other platforms and you will see all your numbers grow.

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I hope I’ve helped you see that Twitter campaigns are a two way street – by supporting campaigns like Just A Card you’re not sacrificing precious tweet space! You are building your brand and online presence, you’re joining a community full with your target customer and you can find ways to make significant progress on your business goals too. Remember that Twitter is a network, so every single interaction is a two way street – you’ll always find value there.

If you want to support a Just A Card campaign, we are currently selling Benedict Cumberbatch-designed Christmas cards, and also have an alternative Black Friday coming up nearer Christmas, so keep posted!

Join me next month for more marketing and social media guidance – in the mean time you can find more content on my blog simpleandseason.com. If you have any more questions about this post, or would like to suggest a topic for a future post, you can get me on Twitter (@simple_season) or Instagram (@simpleandseason).

 

 

Kate Marsden1 Comment