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how does twitter work

Trying to work out how to make Twitter work for your Fire & Security business? The #1 thing you have to remember is that there are two types of social media:

  • the type that makes you acquaintances; and
  • the type that makes you money. 

Don't find yourself spending vast amounts of time posting and interacting if you are not seeing a measurable return.

How Does Twitter Work For Fire & Security Companies?

Successful marketing  is getting the right message in front of the right person at exactly the right time.

Twitter is a place to see and engage with interesting people and content and to increase the visibility of your Fire & Security company.

For example, if there is a local burglary. Some Twitter users in your town might be worried about their home being next. If those concerned homeowners see an update that talks about effective home security whilst they are feeling vulnerable, it can put your company in front of them at exactly the right moment.

Alternatively, if you regularly post interesting content about ways to keep homes and business premises secure, your company will be top of mind when your followers are in the market for this equipment

Will Twitter work for Fire & Security?

If you want to target LOCAL potential domestic customers, Twitter is a good place to start.

B2B is much harder on this platform. You could try to follow the Twitter accounts of companies that you would like to work for. However, most company Twitter accounts are managed by someone who specialises in social media rather than purchasing. You cannot be sure that you are engaging with the right person at the Company and could be wasting a lot of time.

How to make Twitter work for Fire & Security

Create a Twitter account in the name of your business @Name of Business.

1. Build an audience who are interested in Fire and/or Security

Before you do anything, you have to make sure that your profile says who you are, what you do and what makes you special. Develop your USP.

Next, you need to build up your audience. To target home owners who might be interested in a burglar alarm or CCTV cameras, search for and follow Twitter users who live in your local area. With luck, they will follow you back. 

You might also consider following "influencers" in the Fire & Security market. These will be people who publish updates about the industry or about your local town. If you follow them, you will see any content that they post. You could retweet this to provide interesting information for your own followers. Even something as simple as when the bin men are coming during the Xmas holidays!

Once you have built up a list of followers, these are the people who will see any updates that you post.

2. Post Updates - 280 characters 

Start publishing updates that might attract the attention of your local followers. Put yourself in their shoes. What would they want to see?

Posting random updates won't get you the sales you need. Your goal is to get them to retweet what you have posted OR click the heart button to show that they like your update. 

Give people a reason to follow you by creating valuable, informative and entertaining content like:

  • a link to your latest blog post
  • an interesting piece of content that you've seen
  • a motivational quote
  • a fact related to home security

Remember, you are here to build a relationship NOT to SELL, SELL, SELL. But see point 9. below for more guidance on this.

3. Who's Following?

Once you start posting, other people will become aware of you and start to Follow you. You may have set up your Twitter account so that notifications about new followers appear in your email. You don't have to follow everyone back. If they don't live in your local area or don't look like they might be a home or business owner, then it is ok to ignore them.

4. Check Your Messages

Respond to Direct Messages (DMs) - these are not visible to anyone else and are not indexed by Google.

Watch out for sentences like 'See what they're saying about you - link' or 'Look at these photos of you - link'. There are lots of viruses going around which send out this message to all your followers so be aware and don't click on links in DMs. Even if they come from people you know and trust.

Automatic responses

Many experienced Tweeters will automatically send a DM to those who follow them. Invariably, these will invite you to visit a landing page offering you a free or paid product that they are selling.

They are aimed at those who are new to Twitter and easily influenced into handing over their email in return for a report. Most UK tweeters will say that they don't and won't just give away their email for a piece of paper but many experts say that this is a very effective method of growing your list. 

Replying personally to new followers

If you get email notifications of new followers, you could respond via the email and send a personalised message of welcome.

Or you could set up a New Followers column on Hootsuite and send a personal response whenever someone follow you.

Responding to public messages

Public messaging uses the @ prefix and shows up in your @Mentions area. If you want to be sure that a particular person will see a tweet, you include the @TheirTwitterName in your 280 characters. It is always polite to respond to anyone who sends you a Tweet which includes your @TwitterName.

5. Keywords and Hashtags

#keyword can be used as part of the 280 characters to alert people to what a tweet is about. You can track the keywords and hashtags in your niche using Hootsuite. Set up a column that will keep you in touch with the buzz around those words and join the conversation where you can.

6. Read Your Feed on the home page

This is where it is possible to get sucked in so you need to be ruthless. Check out what YOUR important people are talking about and engage - even if it's not always about your niche. It's ok to connect on multiple levels but you need to try to stay on topic if possible - without sounding as if you are always selling alarm systems!

You can engage with someone else's tweet by clicking one of the buttons underneath it. You can reply, retweet or like (the heart symbol) or direct message.

Replying on Twitter

  • When you reply to someone else, your Tweet will show the message Replying to... when viewed in your profile page timeline. When someone replies to one of your Tweets you will see Replying to you above the Tweet and you will receive a notification in your Notifications tab.
  • When two people are replying to one another, only relevant people, such as those who follow the person who replied and the person in the conversation, will see the reply in their timeline.
  • If someone sends you a reply and you are not following them, the reply will not appear in your Home timeline. Instead, the reply will appear in your Notifications tab.

7. How does Retweeting work

If you see information that you enjoy and you feel would be valuable to others in your niche, retweet it. This is the Twitter equivalent of 'sharing'. You do this by clicking the 2nd button in from the left that looks like a square with two arrows in it.

Retweeting will help to build your own reputation as well as gaining favour with those whose content you have enjoyed. If anyone retweets you, make sure to thank them.

This is why it is a good idea for you to start putting up information that others are likely to want to retweet and get more exposure for yourself.

The 80/20 principle means that you should be sharing entertaining, educational and interesting content 80% of the time and selling your own stuff 20% of the time. Retweeting counts towards the 80% and everyone loves to have their content shared!

In addition to sharing other’s Tweets on Twitter, with your own Tweet you can Retweet or Retweet with comment. This function is particularly useful when you want to re-post one of your older Tweets because it is relevant again, or Retweet your replies to other people when you want to make sure all of your followers see it. 

8. Schedule Updates 

The Pro version of HubSpot and the pro version of Hootsuite both allow you to schedule tweets. Some experts advise posting the same content at up to four different times per day in order to get your content seen. One tweet every week is going to be lost as the Twitter feed flies past.

Some people set their schedules to post every ten minutes, which can become irritating. But you do notice them. This is where you can send not just your own content but a selection of retweeted content from others. 

9. What should I tweet?

The best sales tweets take the format:

Question
Solution
Call to Action
Link

but the 80/20 rule states that if you send out 10 tweets, only 2 of them should be in this type of format.

The rest of the time you should be linking to your blog posts or interesting images or informative blog posts and images from other people. You should also stay top of mind by retweeting other people's updates - influencers and potential customers.

10. Grow Your Reach

There are lots of tools that allow you to discover other tweeters who are interested in your niche. The Twitter Suggested Users list can give you some good contacts, as well as Twitter.com/search, Wefollow.com has over one million users that have categorised themselves with tags and Twittercounter.com allows you to search twitter descriptions for your keywords. 

Twitter Chats for your town are a great way to get your business noticed locally.

Ready to talk about how to include Twitter as part of a digital marketing strategy for your Fire & Security company?

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