Sometimes I am shocked how many wrong perceptions and misunderstandings of Twitter are presented as the professional advice from so-called social media experts. Maybe it is because I myself am a heavy Twitter user and our social media success started with finding out how Twitter can be used for marketing a young company that I am so often thinking „what the hell“ when reading articles about Twitter. Maybe there is just as much bad advice and totally wrong information been given about other social networks.
A few days ago I read a (German) article telling startups how they can utilize social media without a huge budget and the five deadly sins they should avoid in order to be successful. So far so good. But then the article stated, that Twitter would be interesting for startups with a strong focus on news and time relevant, current updates. And that mainly shows one thing: The author, claiming to be an „Online marketing superhero“ does not understand how Twitter works and how startups and young companies from every niche and topic can use it.
True: Twitter is great for news
While this is not the way most startups will get the best results from Twitter, there is no doubt about the fact that Twitter is great for news. I have had a lot of fun watching the Twitter Hashtag #brager when Germany beat Brasil 7:1 in the semifinals of 2014 football (soccer) world cup. That was news or at least time related.
You could also get live information on the police chasing the Boston marathon assassin and finally capturing him in suburbs of Boston. That was also news – or even more than news it was kind of live coverage.
When Osama bin Laden was killed one of the first places where the news spread was on Twitter.
So, there is no doubt about Twitter being great for news.
Twitter is relevant for almost any niche
Besides the fact that news travel fast and from many sources on Twitter, there is also virtually no topic and niche, which is not talked about on Twitter. Actually I can right now not think of a single niche which is not relevant on Twitter.
For Startups this means they can easily find people from their target audience and conversations relevant to their business and connect with them. But not every niche is news focused and not every conversation in every niche is going to be about some kind of news – on the contrary.
And this is one of the most important aspects which makes Twitter so important for startup marketing. Every niche talks about the niche and the information, expertise and facts people from that niche are interested in. Sharing this kind of information is what makes marketing on Twitter work.
Twitter allows you to easily connect
The other important factor that makes Twitter such a great social network for marketing a startup or your business is that you can actually connect to people without intruding or being offensive. It is “normal” and expected, that you follow people you do not know, but who share interesting information or expertise from your niche. You do not need to spam or be obtrusive to join into relevant conversations or connect to new people from your niche. On Twitter people expect to be talked to by strangers that is partly what Twitter is about. And what makes Twitter such a great place to connect via conversations.
News might get more hype, but…
It is true that often news topics and very time sensitive updates get a lot of attention and spread in form of retweets and favorites. But the ground of hyped news is already covered and multiple accounts are spreading this news. To gain the kind of attention you are looking for with “news” is hard since the competition is high. It also does not help to go for hyped topics if they are not really from your field of interest. Even if you manage to get large numbers in form of followers, retweets or favorites, what can you expect from them if they are not from your target audience?
See what the experts are doing
Maybe the above-mentioned “Online marketing superhero” should have taken a closer look at one or two of the Twitter accounts of the Forbes Social Media influencers. Most of them are huge on Twitter. And – surprise – they are not focusing on news. See Jeff Bullas for instance, he shares an endless queue of evergreen blogposts on his Twitter account. He gets huge amounts of traffic from Twitter, and he has got over 300k Followers on Twitter – still growing. You can take a look at many of the other social media influencers; their accounts are showing similar activity.
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What should you do?
Do not let yourself be fooled and share “news” even if your business is not at all a news business and the news are not from your niche. Twitter is not at all about sharing news all the time. Twitter is about relevant information. People follow you because they get the information they need and want to have from you. And to attract the right followers, you need to share information that is relevant and interesting to exactly your target audience.
If I want news, I follow news sites. If I want information about my niche I would be more than willing to follow you – if you share this kind of information. Sharing the right information is the first step to attracting a targeted audience.
Again this is not about joining conversations about the news just because everybody is talking about these topics right now. Choose the conversations according to the interests and the topics from your niche and your target audience.
Many people are spending ages on Twitter talking about the wrong topics and to the wrong people forever. And then they stop using Twitter, frustrated because they did not achieve anything.
Twitter is not necessarily about the big numbers or the most recent news. It is about the right information for the right people at the right time.
This article was proofread and edited by myself with the help of Grammarly. If you are blogging in English and cannot afford a professional editor, Try Grammarly Now! It rocks.