Manage Your Business
Why promoted tweets make sense to entrepreneurs
Order delays, dissatisfied customers and cash management crises test entrepreneurs every day. Each of these can test the mettle of even the most optimistic small business owners.
But some tests are definitely worth taking, especially when trying to determine the best way to allocate limited marketing resources. Marissa Window, content marketing manager for Twitter, says that many entrepreneurs err by going all-in on a marketing campaign before testing the waters first.
"I think it's really important to run trials of different creative approaches, different copy and also different audiences," advises Window, who works exclusively with small- and medium-sized businesses. "Once you see what is working, you can use that data to inform a larger-scale campaign."
As one of the world's most popular social networking and news sharing sites, Twitter—and its 140-characters-or-less tweets—may seem an unlikely avenue for distributing marketing content. But millions of entrepreneurs are reaping the benefits of well-timed and placed sponsored Twitter Ads to complement organic content.
For instance, UNTUCKit—a company that sells shirts designed to be worn untucked—used a Twitter Ads campaign to grow brand awareness and online sales. By promoting media stories about the company, and accompanying those tweets with existing product photos, UNTUCKit drove new audiences to their website—and saved 12 percent on cost-per-acquisition goals.
Window offers some other timely tips on how best to go about testing the effectiveness of Twitter or other social media outlets to connect with existing or prospective customers:
1. Set clear goals
- Doubling the number of clicks. Increasing app downloads. Growing weekend sales. Whatever the goal, make it tangible. And measurable. Window says, "Sometimes people are just eager to get out there on social. But without a clear goal in mind, how can you tell if what you are doing is effective?"
- Through Twitter Ads, business owners can get objective-based pricing, meaning that the client only pays when a pre-determined action—like clicking through to a website— occurs. So it literally pays to be particular about goal-setting.
2. Target with precision
- Very few businesses succeed with broad-brush marketing. Window advises that entrepreneurs carefully select a precise target audience based on interests, geography, gender or some other characteristic. In doing so, the business isn't wasting time or money on outreach to audience segments that don't matter.
- Window recommends, however, that businesses give the targeting campaign enough time to accurately determine its effectiveness. Changing tactics quickly or too frequently can generate results that are too vague to be valuable.
3. Find the time
- Speaking of time, it is an asset in short supply for many small business leaders, especially solo entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, in order for social marketing to be effective, owners must allocate sufficient time to manage it effectively.
- "When you run a business, you wear a lot of hats," Window says, "but few activities can grow your business faster than a well-managed social campaign." She adds that leveraging organic mentions of a company's brand with relevant paid amplification enables owners to get the most bang for their buck and their time spent.
4. Go live
- One of the advantages of Twitter is the real-time value it provides users. Businesses can take advantage of this by generating or curating Twitter Moments, which are curated stories about what's happening around the world—powered by tweets. It's easy to create Twitter Moments, a collection of tweets that can be used for effective live storytelling—like sharing in-the-moment details of an in-store event.
Everybody wants to trend on Twitter. But it's no longer a strike of luck, and a well-defined campaign to a precisely-targeted audience can help you trend with the right people.