More and more of my clients have jumped on the social media bandwagon but have no idea what they should be expecting from their efforts.
Patricia Fripp, a well-known speaker and executive speech coach is asking herself this very question. In March, 2009, Patricia decided to join the Twitter community and has since grown her "followers" to more than 3,800 as of June, 2010. She is diligently tweeting and doing everything right, from a Findability/Twitter standpoint - if you search using search.twitter.com you will see her using her main keyword "executive speech coach" in her tweets. But the effort is not matching the results.
"I have bursts of enthusiasm about social media. I assume keyword-rich tweets are not going to hurt but I am not aware of any booked business from Twitter." - Patricia Fripp
This Findability Makeover is about taking Twitter efforts and turning them into real results. Whether it's cash business, sale leads, networking or just fun; as a business you cannot just throw yourself into social media without understanding the end game.
Objective: Get more clients from Twitter by driving traffic to the main website (www.Fripp.com) and incentivizing with articles and giveaways. Hook users in and keep them hungry for more Patricia Fripp insights.
Problem: Patricia Fripp has a large and growing following with lackluster business results. How does she turn this community of "followers" into new clients?
Twitter Action Plan:
1. Check The Fundamentals First
2. Analyze and Make it Better
Step 1: Check the Fundamental Elements of Your Twitter Account
Before looking ahead, we have a solid foundation. Check these fundamental elements of your Twitter account first.
(1) Professional-looking Background
Patricia's background was great a year ago, but I recommend she update it with a call-to-action, statements of clear benefits of working with her, and a prominent phone number and website address. Think of a Twitter profile page as a mini website - a professional look with calls-to-action are very important. Also, testing different looks and feels can go a long way in this forum.
(2) Time Management Tools are a Must!
Set up a tool for monitoring and conversation management. I recommend a few free tools - Ping.fm, SocialOomph and Hootsuite. Remember, taking an hour to program 30 tweets for the next month can save several hours of social media updating in the future.
(3) Set Up a Measurement System
Choosing a measurement system will depend on the goals you have set for your Twitter account. In Patricia's case, this means driving traffic to her website then converting those visitors into leads. For this type of measurement Google Analytics is the best tool. In addition to setting up tracking codes for each link, extensive amounts of data can be collected and measured. For example, in Patricia's case, she found:
i. 57 visits to her website from Twitter
ii Average time-on-site from Twitter visitors is 1 minute, 26 seconds
iii. Average visitor sees at least 2 pages
iv. 60 percent are first-time visitors
Of course, one of the pieces of information missing in this data is conversions -- how many people who visited Patricia's website took action (filled out a form or made a purchase)? By tracking conversions, Patricia will be able to start measuring what tweets were more likely to drive converting traffic.
(4) Tweet Twice Per Day, Testing Calls-to-Action, Keywords and Links
Every Twitter follower wants different information. It is very important to try different tactics (calls-to-action, keywords, links, etc.) to determine what your target audience wants the most.
Step 2: Analyze and Make it Better
Now that Patricia has been tweeting for a while, it's time to start analyzing what updates are the most successful. Patricia's main objective for Twitter is to get leads, yet her selfidentified success metric with Twitter seems to be re-tweets. A big reason her enthusiasm may wane with Twitter is because her updates are optimized for re-tweets instead of bottom-line results.
Before analyzing an account, it's very important to determine the metrics that demonstrate success of the business goal. In this instance, we want to measure traffic received from Twitter to Fripp.com (as tracked by Google Analytics) instead odd re-tweets. As such, we are measuring the tweets that included a link to the Fripp.com website to determine their success in driving traffic to the main website. This will provide insight into how to optimize the account for better business results.
(1) Measure for the Right Results
Hootsuite will measure the number of clicks you receive on links in tweets. However, it is important to note that Hootsuite only measures clicks, whereas Google Analytics can measure a great deal more - pages per visit, unique visitors and conversion metrics (if a visit resulted in a sale or lead).
(2) Analyze Updates to Take Tweeting to the Next Level
Let's take a look at the most successful Tweets in Patricia's account, based on traffic sent to Fripp.com. Based on click counts and the content in these tweets we can determine successful elements to continue incorporating.
a. Include Links as Much as Possible: The best way to track success is by measuring the next step people take after seeing a tweet - accomplished by including links and tracking user clicks. Also, consider building specific landing pages for Twitter clicks based on the tweet.
b. Use Popular Keywords: "Marketing for Speakers," "Speaking Skills" and "Speaking School" seem to be very effective Twitter keywords for Patricia's audience. We recommend using them more.
c. Refine Subject Matter: "NSA" (National Speakers Association) is included in each of the tweets that generated zero clicks. If you are tweeting for a specific event such as "National Speakers Association Winter Conference," check for an associated hashtag (i.e. #NSA10.) It is possible more clicks could have been generated, as Twittersavvy event attendees knew to look for that hashtag for information about the event.
d. Don't be Too Sale-zy: Try a softer sales approach, a few more calls-to-action or even a free giveaway. Based on clicks, 12 free podcasts is much more compelling to this audience then a direct speaking pitch.
Findability is about being present when the community searches for you, but it also means giving them a valuable interaction once they click. Tracking and market intelligence can go a long way in delivering your target audience the information they find meaningful in your Twitter account. Being able to connect meaningfully with your audience by producing targeted, well-crafted updates is the best way to optimize your Twitter account to not only attract followers, but drive conversions.
About the Author: Heather Lutze has spent the last 10 years helping business owners get their enterprises noticed on the Web by their target audiences. She is the author of "The Findability Formula: The Easy, Non- Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing." by Wiley & Sons. She is a Social Media Speaker and runs a Denver Internet Marketing agency. Visit FindabilityFormula.com for tools and resources to increase your site's findability.