I have had a lot of people interested in social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook, and how it can improve a business. The biggest questions often come with an underlying issue of not really understanding how it can directly lead to a positive result. In other words – how exactly does Twitter help your business?
To answer that, first think of Twitter like a speed dating networking event. You're in a room with thousands of people and everyone is talking about their own points of interest and it's your job to make your way around the room and say hi to them, introduce yourself, and then exchange business cards. All this happens quickly and easily – you hear an elevator pitch at their booth and you get the idea. You can meet hundreds of people in a single day and create the beginnings of a relationship.
Twitter is also like that. When you go into the Twitter-sphere, you can seek out friends and family, but you can also find people who have similar interests as you and your business. For Bluecloud, the Twitter strategy focuses on professionals and issues relating to professionals, all funneled through the lens of web marketing. It takes time to go out and find people that are actually related to your current field – you need to follow them and then have a reciprocal follow – but it works. And after a few weeks, you start to see some interesting effects on your business. Here's what happened with Bluecloud.
1. Website traffic went up 20%
This traffic improvement came from two sources – the links I share on Twitter (old blog posts, new blog posts, etc) and also from people checking out Bluecloud when I first show interest in them (follow). I have a link on my Twitter profile that leads right to my website. What's better is that the metrics on these visits are some of the best on the entire Bluecloud site – low bounce rate, above average page views, and long time on site. All in all, that 20% increase was from highly qualified visitors who showed behavioral interest in the business.
Also important to keep in mind is that as your Twitter following increases, your per-post leverage increases as well. If you are sending out a link to 300 people one week and then to 3,000 a few weeks later, you're going to see a much larger impact with the larger following. This traffic can be some of the best you could ask for.
2. 12 phone calls, 5 closed leads
The Bluecloud Twitter account went live on January 3rd so these metrics are taken from that time frame. The leads ranged from small businesses looking for someone to design their Twitter page to accounting firms looking for full management of their Twitter accounts to start-up companies looking for full website re-designs. Twitter also drove 20+ LinkedIn requests and 4 meeting invitations to meet professional groups that want to know more about web marketing for lawyers and accountants.
Many of this tracking happened completely anonymously – meaning I never asked a client “How did you find me?” Instead I setup a conversion verification page for my Contact form on the website, then built specific Traffic Goals in Google Analytics that said anyone coming from Twitter and converts on the contact form is considered a completed goal. It is all highly measurable. It even told me what they were looking for on my site before they pressed send, so that I could be more informed about what they were looking for – saving them time and giving them better information.
3. 6400% ROI in 3 Months
I came to this measurement by taking the amount of hours spent on Twitter and then cumulative amount of revenue those five closed leads will bring in to the company over the next fiscal year. Not to get into the billing cycle, but you can see that this is an incredibly dynamic marketing channel for Bluecloud. It targets people I want, maintains a relationship, and shows authority in a field that my entire business is built on. I will continue to use this as often as possible and urge you all to start your own Twitter account (then follow mine!).
Twitter is free, easy to use, and easily integrated into your website. It can updated from your phone or computer and can be a great marketing tool if you put some time into it. One important note is that I use Twitter primarily to leverage my blogging – so make sure that the traffic and interest you drive has a good reason to come to your site before you send them.