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Dec 2011

Can Twitter’s trending topics really help a small business grow?

Posted in Blogging, Social Media | 0 Comments

We all wish that our businesses was talked about as much as the headline news or the next big election. The key to getting noticed, of course, is to increase publicity – to somehow wangle our brand into the eye of the public. One good way to achieve this is  by becoming a popular and trending topic on Twitter. But how can we reach these heady heights?

 

Building up loyal contacts, clients and customers is vital to the building blocks of any growing company. The most obvious way to widen our network of contacts in the 21st Century is through social media. Of all the useful media and their features which could help get a small business some publicity, Twitter’s trending topics is a good one. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages:

The plus side

You are sure to be aware that Twitter has a handy ‘trending’ feature on the right hand side of the page which looks at what people all over the world are tweeting about and analyses the most popular references. Most trending topics are either comments about big news stories, a reference to something topical or funny or it is something else the Twittersphere is getting excited about, such as #the2011election or even #thexfactorfinal. These are the sorts of topics we need to get on board with in order to help gain more publicity.

 

Tweet is the word, it’s the word that they heard…

The key is to post catchy or funny comments (that mention the trending topic) as they are most likely to get you noticed. Clever or interesting comments are mostly the ones that get retweeted, and get your brand seen by a whole new group of people. This can work, but the situation is a bit more complex than that, as we will see.

 

Encourage people to link to you

We want someone who retweets our witty/fascinating/otherwise irresistible nugget to also look at our Twitter page and see our business profile. This means we’ve got to get our Twitter profile right. The brand summary under our profile name should be as catchy and snappy as possible, summing up the business and why we matter. It is imperative to link to our website, and links to a Linkedin or Facebook contact can be good too. It is also important to look eye-catching – and professional – with a Twitter profile that doesn’t look like we’ve just put a holiday snap in the profile image and left it at that.

 

Enhancing your market research and add value

Find out what the consumers really want and give it to them. Try and consider the following: What’s the public talking about? What’s your company’s take on the issue? Can that viewpoint somehow be connected to your business? Trending topics have a bad reputation for being connected with spam, so it is imperative that you make either a valid connection to your business or add some real value to the discussion – no one likes bad marketing, but if it’s done well your efforts should be appreciated.

 

The downside

Hitching a Ride

If you jump on the bandwagon of Twitter’s trending topics without a good link or comment, it will be too obvious that you are just there to gain publicity. This will only make you look bad.

 

Drowning in a sea of publicity

Often many others will have the same idea as you, so trending topics often fast become a sea of advertising which is likely to be skimmed over. You may be able to plug your business or at least raise its profile, but you have to be eye-catching. Be an ocean liner that cruises the seas of publicity.

 

False Image

Not every trending topic will have a connection to your business, so it isn’t recommended that you try and associate your company with meaningless debates. If tweeters see that your brand is completely unrelated to the matter at hand this won’t go down well.

Bad Ass where?

Remember your business might not be relevant to everyone everywhere in the world. If you offer cleaning services in the town of Bad Ass, Texas then most Tweeters will not be able to use your services. Think about your geographical relevance too and make the most of Twitter’s local trends.

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