By Hannah James

There are around 3.2 million active users on Twitter in the UK alone, reaching 6.3 percent of the total online population. And with the average time of just 11 minutes spent on the site per session* it is no surprise that so many people are choosing to market their business in this way.

However, with millions jumping on the ‘join Twitter’ bandwagon, just having a presence on Twitter isn’t enough to differentiate your company from all the others. The success of a Twitter account relies on how it is managed and more importantly the added value a company can give its followers to ensure retention.

Hannah James, online marketing specialist at Interdirect says:

“Savvy businesses will embrace and utilise social media as part of a successful marketing mix.
Social media campaigns will often utilise both public relations and social marketing to create a powerful social media presence.

Twitter can boost awareness of a PR campaign to fans and followers who are already interested in a business’s products or services.

PR copy is always keyword rich, therefore it can be used and utilised as extra content for social media to ensure fresh and frequent updates for followers and fans.”

Here are Hannah’s top tips to create your successful social media marketing campaign on Twitter:

•Once you have created your Twitter account, add TweetDeck or a similar service to your desktop, this will enable you to easily keep an eye on your Twitter activity.

•Immediately begin using the search facility to monitor tweets relating to your brand name, or associated names, your competitors and other words relating to your industry/ product/ service.

•Add a relevant picture — followers like to put a face/ logo to a name.

•Spend time finding and following relevant people/ businesses and interacting with followers.

•Re-tweet relevant activity and share links to articles/ press releases of interest within your industry, this will help to build a community.

•Ask colleagues/ stakeholders to make interesting and relevant comments that will get others talking.

•Talk about things that are not specifically “business”, to add some variety and keep followers interested.

•Have more than one tweeter within the business, so that tweets are regular and varied.

•Ask questions — Twitter is great for getting other people’s opinions and ideas.

•Use URL shortening tools, such as bitly to help tidy up your tweets.

•Use direct messages for one to one conversations that you feel have no value in sharing with the wider public.

•Link to PR — this will help keep your followers interested in the content of your tweets, and help to create a ‘joined-up approach’ to campaigns.

* Sources: Clickymedia.co.uk and Quora.com

Interdirect is Milton Keynes leading full service agency, specialising in Online Marketing, PR, Marketing, Design, and New Media. Visit www.interdirect.co.uk or email PR@interdirect.co.uk for more information.

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