If you are not an active Twitter user and decided to check it out in order to see how it could help you build your online marketing pool you were probably dumbfounded by how much stuff in on there and how quickly it is all moving. My first experience with the platform left me feeling as if I was watching the New York Stock Exchange on a particularly busy day.
For all the shortness of the tweets, there sure are a lot of them and they combine with media, hashtags, and mentions. Tiresome, right? Well, just until you get the hang of it.
If you are wondering why you should bother, let me just mention that 40% of Twitter users reported purchasing something after seeing it on this platform. And there are 330 million monthly active users.
If so, let’s look at how to go about making sure your courses are visible (and attractive) to your target audience.
How to use Twitter to promote your online course
No matter what your online course is about, you can always find space for Twitter in your promotion strategy. 280 characters may not seem that impressive (even though we all remember the time when you could only use 140) but you’d be surprised by how much you can actually achieve with this social media platform.
After setting up a profile and getting a follower base, you can focus on building relationships and differentiating your course. So let’s begin with the first phase and we’ll explore the second one in the next post.
Create a compelling profile
On Twitter, you are as visible to your prospects as they are to you so it is very important that you look and sound as professional as possible.
You can pick a username that is up to 15 characters long – go for something simple and easy to remember. It’s good if you can include your company name, as that way your profile will show up in someone’s searches when they look for you.
There are a number of visual assets you can use to brand your profile. The most important are your profile picture and header image. The first ought to be professional yet relaxed (you are not on Facebook but not on LinkedIn either) and the header should be aligned with your personal brand and represent your business. You can even use it to advertise your course, a free webinar, or your blog.
You’ll get great visibility and whoever visits your profile will become aware of what you are selling.
Make your bio count
This is important, because people will choose to follow you or not based on your bio. You have an economical 160 characters with which to pique the interest of potential customers, so use them wisely.
Try to succinctly convey your course’s unique selling point; state how you can either solve a problem or bring added value to the learners, what your values are, or your business motto if you have one.
It’s best to position yourself as someone who is worth knowing and listening to, without sounding awfully boastful or full of yourself. You can achieve this by posting a small, relevant piece from a review or a statistic.
Use hashtags where they apply, as these will increase your visibility in Twitter searches, and be sure to include a link to your LinkedIn or Facebook profile to add another online checkpoint where you can be found.
It’s also a good idea to have a pinned Tweet that showcases your expertise.
Get followed by the right people
Since your purpose is to reach your target audience, you obviously wish them to follow you. That won’t happen unless you find them first and make them aware of your Twitter presence.
You can search by keywords or hashtags to find the individual and business accounts relevant to you. You can also search by location and date ranges and include retweets in your search. Once you find the Twitter users you’ve been looking for, you should start following them, in the hope that they’ll follow you back and get engaged in your conversations.
Another option is to use a social listening tool to help you find your ideal followers (yes, it is both legal and advised). One such handy tool is Followerwonk. You can use it to search for accounts that use certain keywords in either their Twitter profile, bio, or both.
Another way to go is to look at your competition’s follower list and try to get them to your profile as well.
Keep lists and use them well
Twitter lists can help in your prospecting endeavors. Once you’ve started following a lot of users, your newsfeed will start to get incredibly active; this, coupled with the fact that the average lifespan of a Tweet is between 15 and 20 minutes, means that you need to implement a streamlined system that will allow you to monitor certain users and their tweets as and when you need to.
Creating lists is all about categorizing and curating Twitter users to make your marketing efforts (and your life) easier. You can create lists to monitor potential customers — either individual or company accounts — and segment those lists by interests, demographics, or any other categories relevant to you.
You can also set up lists to keep an eye on what competition is doing. By analyzing what they are sharing and how they are connecting with their audience you can get a better idea about your position on the market, your strengths, and your areas for improvement.
Twitter is a unique online social media platform as it asks for brevity and relevance in the posts it is hosting. While this is challenging, it’s also a good exercise in finding and showcasing the essentials in your life and work. The key is to distill everything before you start typing away – and to stop when your 240 character limit runs out.
Next time we'll dig a little deeper into what it means to promote an online course through Twitter, focusing on follower engagement, building relationships, and finding that perfect balance between doing what everyone else is doing and being original. So stay tuned!