September 2, 2015
I made it clear in a recent post that Twitter didn’t really work for me. I could have added that many other forms of social media also failed to engage my audience. So it may seem strange that I bother with Twitter at all.
This thought prompted Emma to ask a very simple question.
“What’s the point of being on Twitter if you are not engaging?”.
It might be a simple question but the answer is quite involved.
As I explained in my weekly email “I only have a handful of Twitter followers and it doesn’t work for me”. But that isn’t to say it NEVER works for me; just that it doesn’t give me the level of response I get from other marketing tactics.
But as I further explained “my audience aren’t using Twitter much. So it wouldn’t. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use Twitter. The answer actually lies in the audience and not a list or a preferred social media; or at least that is my experience.”
Lucrative Audiences Matter Most
You see my most lucrative market is the education sector. My contracts here are usually 5 figures and individual clients have a lifetime value in the six figure range. But, in terms of buying services, few of them use Twitter to any extent and I’ve yet to land a substantial contract via Twitter. Of course some people do respond to what I send out on Twitter; in fact Emma came back to me via Twitter. And a few years ago I picked up a few attendees to, my then annual, events in Portugal. However I get few responses via Twitter and, where they eventually become contacts of some sort, they are worth much less.
That is not so say they are unimportant. They are important, especially as I often select these contracts because they intrigue me. It is rarely about money! In fact the 40 or so people I have worked with in Portugal became clients because I wanted to do some work in Portugal prior to buying a holiday home there (I never did buy the holiday home, but have gone back a few times a year and stayed in a friend’s holiday home).
Why Waste Time on Twitter?
So, this being so, why waste anytime on Twitter? Simple. Firstly it is very simple and extremely quick for me to post every new webpage I write to Twitter. The CMS (Content Management System) on my website has a tick box that allows each page to post to social media automatically. So when a page on my site is launched (and there is at least one each week) up it pops on Twitter. (I can also use the same plug-in to send to other social media and do this each time).
The downside of this automated method is that it posts the exact headline I’ve used on my webpage as the Twitter message. The problem is that the headline may not be the best message for Twitter. In reality I ought to optimise it for Twitter. But life is too short to do everything and I let it go as it stands. And, to an extent, it works. I get a handful of followers from this. But although I’m happy to post to Twitter like this it is never going to bring me a lot of traffic unless I spend more time on perfecting both my message and technique. And, having profiled my most lucrative customers I use my limited time to best effect. I get a bit of traction from virtually no effort, but don’t really want to spend time on something that will only provide a very limited return from my client base. I’d rather focus on what I know works much better and is, for me, much easier. And, for me that is articles where I know my best prospects will see and read them.
There is a however a second reason I use social media like Twitter. It is because it is important to my clients. How can I advise them when I never used Twitter? I can’t.
Facebook also comes into this category for me. You often see me post about Facebook ads. I explain how great they are for many of my clients. And I run campaigns for a number of clients. Some of these clients have relied on me running their campaigns for six or more years.
But I rarely use Facebook for my own business purposes. Exceptions have been when I have offered to produce animated video ads for prospects. A £25 spend brought me plenty of enquiries a few months a go, and the conversion rate to clients has been very good. Certainly good enough to know that when I want more customers I can turn the ads back on and be fairly sure of finding more clients. Having a reliable system like this is a godsend.
Most of my Facebook advertising contracts are however for colleges that want to attract young people. And for this it is superb. As you’ll have seen from past posts we can get video views for less than 1p. That’s less than ONE PENNY sterling! And the conversion rate is good as well.
So I need to use a number of social media NOT because they are important to me but because my clients need to use them.
A Word of Warning About Social Media.
So many people see getting more followers on social media as being important. But it can be the death knell to your marketing. If someone follows you then their followers and friends get to see and some of them might follow you and your numbers grow. That sounds great doesn’t it?
NO, not if they are the wrong sort of followers. If the first one followed because of one post, and if that isn’t a mainstream post for you, then the others have also followed for a poor reason. Let’s face it we all post a variety of posts and some are more focused than others. The problem is it with getting followers, it makes you feel good, and they gurus say it is important to get more followers. So you spend more time on it. But if no one converts into a customer, then it is time wasted.
Simple Marketing Rules
I have a simple rule here. With things like social media we are all told that it has made getting your message out much easier.
But your message is also harder to find simply because it is one of billions of messages being sent each day. This is marketing in the Land of Plenty.
It is actually better to market in the Land of Scarcity. When messages are scare then people are more likely to clamour to read them.
So a good article in the right place, where there are limited numbers of articles,is for me much more likely to be read and have impact. The thing is people know these articles have been selected and approved by the editor and have value.
Whereas anyone can write anything on social media, no one approves it and it is one message among millions or billions. Sadly social media doesn’t breed scarcity.
Google knows this and has made a fortune out of it. Google knows that on each search page there are only TEN adverts. This scarcity means people compete for the space and they have a system that only allows the best ads to prosper.
So this week’s post, in response to Emma, is long. But I hope it throws some light on my social media strategy, why I still use Twitter etc and why I still rely on things like articles.
In reality I still use over 100 marketing techniques. I just choose to spend my limited time on the most effective.