Top 9 Ways Marketing Executives Should Use Twitter to Build Revenues

Even today, with Twitter mentioned in mainstream media daily, many top executives – including marketing execs – are confused or uncertain on how to effectively utilize Twitter to market their business or service. Twitter, the popular “micro-blogging” tool, is not just a service that allows every-day-Joes the opportunity to share irrelevant stories about their day (read: “going to the gym”), but a great tool to increase both revenues and brand awareness for executives. Here are some tips to get the most out of Twitter:

BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING

The first step, naturally, is to have an audience. Celebrities and politicians alike have embraced the micro-blogging phenomenon, leading to its permanent fixture in pop culture. Political campaigns have used Twitter to mobilize armies of supporters, raise funds, and spread the political message.

BUILD YOUR BRAND

There is a delicate balance between being open and honest and revealing too much on Twitter. I tell my clients, “be authentic, not transparent”. Your following will appreciate your authenticity more than your over-sharing.

DIRECT COMMUNICATION

Aside from authentic communication, nothing builds a loyal, dedicated following like direct communication. Several large corporations are able to search (in real time) for their brand and address problems immediately. Never before has a company had such access to their customers. Traditional media houses do not allow for such instant communication to attend to their customer’s needs.

PROVIDE VALUABLE CONTENT

Rather than constantly selling your products, constantly provide great content. Get over the fact that everything produced by your brand is proprietary. In the age of instant access, users have become accustomed to free content (this is both good and bad). The more useful content you give away, the more attention you will gain.

DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE

Twitter is a great vehicle to generate visitors to your company website (or Facebook Fan Page), where you can convert them into customers. Useful content, direct and authentic communication only builds your creditability online and in turn, your brand as a whole.

SPREAD THE MESSAGE

Twitter is potentially the most effective way for marketing communication to turn to marketing wildfire. In recent history, many stories break, are confirmed, and become widespread on Twitter before mainstream media has even heard about it. Your brand can use that type of potential to announce major product launches or other industry news.

MARKET RESEARCH

Never before has any industry had such a measuring tool for any brand or product. Monitor Twitter for your name, brand, products, and competition for a real sense of how your clients view things.

CONVERSATIONS

Twitter is real-time, meaning you have thousands of potential customers and followers standing in your preverbal lobby waiting to hear what you have to say – likewise, they expect you to listen to them. Chat and engage with your followers in a consistent “voice”.

FREE ADVERTISING

Today, people are bombarded with THOUSANDS of advertisements a day. Twitter allows you to reach people who are actively interested in learning more about your brand. This attentive ‘Army of Few But Loyal’ is more valuable than a billboard passively seen by millions

BONUS: FOLLOW OTHER EXECS

Here is a list of other CEOs using Twitter. Follow as many of them as you can to learn how they use it. Take what you like, and leave what you don’t. Not all of them are perfect – in fact, there is no “perfect” way to use Twitter. It is still in the early stages of finding its identity.

EXTRA BONUS: PROMOTE OTHERS

It doesn’t make much “traditional advertising sense”, but Twitter isn’t traditional advertising. Media has change with the introduction of ‘Social Networking’. Use your platform to promote your followers, colleagues, and partners. A ratio of 3:1 is preferred. Social media is not about promoting yourself as it is celebrating the “social” interaction between individuals and brands. See you on Twitter!

Achievements in Advertising – Optimize and Track Ad Response With a Direct Response Tool

College enrollment is expected to continue setting new records throughout the current economic environment as people look to change careers or further their educations and start their own businesses.

With over six thousand institutions of higher education in the United States, there is no question how tough the competition is in reaching potential students and enrolling them in your institution. So, what is the best way to reach these individuals, and what will make them respond to your advertising?

For the Texas Barber Colleges and Hairstyling Schools the answer was advertising with a memorable direct-response tool, 1-800-NEW-CAREER. The school had a goal to increase leads and enrollment by 10% in 2008. They also wanted a sure-fire way to track the response to their advertising campaigns. The Director of Marketing and Admissions, Esty Merlo, decided to try listing a vanity 800 number in his ad campaigns, with the thought that the “word” phone number would be easier for people to remember.

After activating the vanity phone number, Texas Barber Colleges and Hairstyling Schools saw a 23% growth in leads from 2007 to 2008. According to Merlo, “The results have been phenomenal. We’ve doubled the goals we set for ourselves once we made the move to using multiple vanity numbers and a call center.”

To get results like Texas Barber Colleges and Hairstyling Schools, just follow the advertising tips below:

1. Use a Phone Number as the Direct-Response Tool in Your Ads
Recent research shows that survey respondents have a 45 percent higher recall rate of vanity phone numbers like 1-800-NEW-CAREER than they do of Web addresses. By offering a phone number along with your URL, you are providing people with a one-on-one experience, giving prospective students a direct route to your admission specialists. Getting a prospective student to call and speak with an admissions representative brings you one step closer to enrollment

2. Feature an Easy-to-Remember Direct-Response Tool in all Marketing Materials
A phone number will not be much help if folks cannot remember it. Get a vanity 800 number, like Esty Merlo did. A vanity 800 number that relates to your school’s student mission, like 1-800-NEW-JOBS or 1-800-NEW-CAREER, will assist in reinforcing your brand image, deliver a consistent message, and give people the ability to contact you immediately. Another benefit of a vanity number comes out when someone who hears or sees your ad with a memorable phone number, but is not ready right now to go back to school. But, if they find themselves three months down the road in pursuit of a career change, they will remember your vanity 800 number from the advertising campaign and call you before they call another school in your area. You’ll stand out from competing schools.

3. Prominent Placement of the Direct-Response Tool
Don’t bury the contact method in your ads. Feature your phone number prominently in all of your advertising and marketing materials. For example, mention it at least three times in a radio ad, make it the focal point of a print ad, and display the number on screen throughout a television ad. Make sure it is easily heard and understood, clearly visible, and easy to read, and your ads will pull higher response rates than ever before.

4. Test and Track Your Advertising Campaigns
Finally, when developing a new ad campaign, create two separate ads using the same creative elements, just switch up a toll-free phone number for a vanity 800 number in one of the ads. Track the response you get from each ad. You’ll see that vanity 800 numbers will generate 30 to 60 percent better response rates than numeric phone numbers.

Mr. Merlo shares that his advertising efforts with the vanity 800 numbers are really paying off. “In this economy, more and more people are thinking about a new career and making changes to become their own boss. Our advertising is reaching more of those people, drawing in more leads, and our enrollment levels are increasing every month.”

When using a phone number as a direct-response tool there is no question that true vanity 800 phone numbers are easier to remember and produce higher response rates. Just ask Esty Merlo.

Why Lawyers Fail With Their Marketing So Frequently

This problem is so common and so prevalent that I can almost guarantee that every solicitor reading this article has this problem in their practise to a certain degree. If you do not take the time to understand the problem and correct it with yourself, your staff, and all of your marketing communications, it will constantly damage your business. This article is here to help you make the changes and to reap the rewards for doing so many times over.

This problem revolves around the common quotation:

“Enough about me, what do you think of me?”

This quote is used to talk about somebody that loves to hear the sound of their own voice and stories about them and how well they are doing. We all know someone like this. However, it is also a serious problem for solicitors in relation to all of their marketing communications.

If I can give you an example, I once received an email from a firm of solicitors looking to join a Personal Injury Panel. We first need to consider and understand the position that this firm of solicitors is coming from; they wanted me send them more clients.

You would assume that any approach would involve a review of the website of the company that they are approaching to at least find the name of the person that they are approaching for referrals. This is the email I received.

Dear Sirs,

We have recently taken on a new fee earner with specialist knowledge in the area of asbestos claims. Therefore, we are looking for more work. Please can you tell me how we can receive some work from you.

Yours sincerely

Enough about me, what do you think of me?.

If we look at this email in more detail, it sums up very well the problem I am talking about with law firm marketing.

Dear Sirs

Comment: My name is easy to find on the website yet this firm did not even look for it. This is a solicitor looking for referrals and they did not even have the time or inclination and are not prepared to make the effort to find out the correct contact name. A poor start…. and unfortunately it did not improve.

“We have recently taken on a new Fee Earner”

Comment: The start of their email should relate to how they could have helped me, not their firm and their needs. It should explain how they have reviewed the website, found it to be of interest and believe that they could be of benefit to our clients. Instead, the communication is all about the law firm and what matters to them. Whereas that is of course the reality of their situation, it is totally, wholly, absolutely and completely irrelevant to the person that they are approaching for referrals, on this occasion me.

The rest of the email has little to be said for it. However, the next major flaw with the email is that it was the only form of communication that I received. If you have any knowledge of direct marketing then you will know that you need to send more than one communication and you need to use different methods of communication to have the best prospects of success.

The email could and should have been followed up with a telephone call (although, as they did not have a name to speak to they would not have got very far) and in addition, a letter. They should persist until they finally manage to speak to me. Even if I had said there were no opportunities at that time moment, they should make a diary note to contact me again in three months. Persistence is vital as one communication only is unlikely to lead to referrals. I cannot stress this point enough. If you are approaching a business for referrals you should make contact at least seven to ten times to stand a chance. If you only send one email or one letter, you will rarely succeed.

Where Else Is “Enough about me” Endemic In Solicitors Marketing?

1. Websites.

The next place that this problem is commonly seen with law firm marketing is on websites. The home page of the website and each page within the website frequently starts with information about the law firm, their experience and how long they have been in business. Where it should start is from my position, i.e. my position as a potential client.

If I land on a Family Law page, how am I feeling? What concerns do I have running through my head? Am I looking for a divorce solicitor or a solicitor to provide me with contact for children?

If I land on a Will page, am I concerned that my family will receive everything they are entitled to?

If I land on a Personal Injury page, am I in hospital or immobile? Have I been prevented from returning to work due to my injuries and therefore am worrying about being able to pay the next bills?

This is the position you must start with on your website; hHow has your client arrived there and what are your client’s concerns?

If I land on your website, I am not interested initially in hearing about you, what I want to know is how you are going to help me!

Once you have thought about my position, and answered my initial concerns, you can then move on to explain how the experience in your firm puts you in the best position to help me from where I am now to where I want to be, but if you don’t take the time first of all to explain that you understand where I am now, why would I think you can help me?

Applying this test to your website could increase your new enquiries by at least ten fold. I have tried this with many law firms and it makes an incredible difference. Apply the test to your website now through fresh eyes and see if you are talking about your clients position or your firm’s needs.

2. Advertisements.

Another huge problem here. Many solicitors fail to consider what their client needs. 99% of solicitors’ advertisements start with the practise name at the top followed by a list of service and contact details. Whereas this is the perfect and only advertisement you should place in the Yellow Pages (where 62% of people visit just to obtain your phone number when they already know your business name – figures confirmed by Yell.com), in a newspaper advertisement you should only be placing a direct response advertisement. These are advertisements that give people a reason to read and contact you.

They do not want to hear your firm name and a list of your services, that is all about you and what you are trying to achieve. They want to hear how you can help them. Examples of headlines that you are welcome to use (but will need to adapt to fit your needs).

Conveyancing.

Moving home – Find Out Why Most House Moves Fail Before Exchange Of Contracts.

Wills.

Will your family get what’s coming to them?

Personal Injury.

Injured in an accident? Did you know that 50% of people who use claims companies do not keep all of their compensation?

Business Services.

Thinking of starting a business? Download our free guide: 7 legal issues you must fully understand before starting a business.

In all of these advertisement headlines, not once have I mentioned the firm or the firm’s needs. You must be thinking about your client and where they are starting from and not about your firm. By taking this action in all of your advertisements you will dramatically increase the response rate and the amount of business you obtain from it.

Summary. Always ask the question “What does the referrer or potential client care about”? If you find yourself starting an email, advertisement, website page with your firm’s name or information about your firm, you can be confident you are starting in the wrong position. As the famous quote goes when asking for directions, “Well, if that’s where you want to get to I wouldn’t start from here”.