According to recent statistics, Twitter has 1,100 000 users in South Africa (World Wide Worx) and in the last three months of 2011, South Africans posted over 5,000 000 tweets (The Guardian). South Africa also has a huge number of mobile Internet users. According to the myGamma Global Marketing Advertising Index, it’s the third largest global mobile market (Purple Cow Marketing).
A big part of mobile Internet usage is social networking, and although Twitter generally has a smaller following than Facebook worldwide, it can still be an effective way to advertise. Provided it’s approached in the right way. According to The African Business Review, Twitter is more than just a free, promotional tool. If the right amount of time, money and strategy is put into it, the dividends reaped will be significant. Here are three tips to take your Twitter advertising to the next level.
1. Don’t over-advertise
According to OldMediaNewTricks.com, the ideal amount of Twitter advertising is once or twice a day, otherwise it just turns into spam. This can also translate to one advert for every 15-20 tweets, maximum. You’ll find that, provided you know who your target audience is, your followers will be forgiving if you advertise a little. Just remember to always tweet useful and relevant information in-between the advertising. Otherwise you’ll lose followers faster than you can say, “Spam”.
2. Know why you’re on Twitter
This may seem obvious, but many people (and small businesses) don’t have clear Twitter objectives; they think that followers will flock to them just because they set up an account. According to Inc.com, you need to decide what you want to accomplish with your ads. For example, do you want to appeal to followers in outside areas or do you want to appeal to a specific, localised market?
The most important formula has to be objective+target market = success. Big corporations can offer some inspiration when it comes to this. Take Dell, for example, which, in the two years over 2008/2009, sold over $3 million worth of products thanks solely to Twitter. The strategy was simple; Dell tweeted numbers that Twitter followers could use to get discounts that in some cases exceeded ten per cent.
Another example is that of rapper 50 Cent. After one of his tweets managed to quadruple the stock value of a nameless business enterprise, Fiddy walked away with night on $12 000 000. Due to the legalities of the situation, he didn’t sell his stock and deleted the tweets (33Rockers.com), but it shows how powerful Twitter can be if you know you audience.
3. Bring customers to you
According to Inc.com, in order to be successful on Twitter your company needs to have a human face. You won’t get anywhere with impersonal, automated tweets (or advertising). Whatever you do, don’t spam your followers with promotional Direct Messages, which aren’t specifically written for them. Take the time to get to know your followers and maintain a presence. Also, you will find that there are customers out there who are looking for you – they just don’t know it yet. Inc.com suggests that you research the most frequently used market-related terms on Google and then monitor them on Twitter. That way, you can find customers who are looking for you (or your product) based on their tweets!
If you follow these tips, your Twitter advertising is bound to be successful. It’s important to know your objective, your market and where to find them. Don’t spam, but don’t be afraid to connect to your followers either, as personalised contact can go a long way. Twitter can be an effective advertising tool. It just takes some strategy and some persistence.
This guest post was written by Ang Lloyd, a freelance writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Ang relishes the challenge of writing on a diverse range of subjects, including radio, TV, print and social media advertising.