This is the third post in a series about this excellent micro-blogging tool we call Twitter.  In the last post we looked at the nature of this tool and the importance of keeping ‘people’ at the centre of our activity. If you want to catch up on the previous post here it is.  The nature of Twitter.

Getting started

 

Before you begin to even think about setting up a Twitter account for your construction business, it is vital that you prepare a detailed strategy plan.  If this is not in place before you start, then you risk investing and potentially wasting considerable resources in a marketing technique which is not paying off.

Your plan should contain specific aspects of marketing including:

1.  Objectives – what exactly do you want to achieve from this activity?  Is Twitter the most appropriate social media platform or does it seem as if your target market prefers LinkedIn or Facebook to network?

2.  Resources – do you expect that you’ll be able to run the campaign by yourself or will you outsource the task or perhaps give it to your marketing staff?  How will you manage content if you are not writing the Tweets yourself?    How much time can you give over to it each day in order for productivity to be maintained?

3.  Targeting – who is your target market? Who is likely to bring in leads and referrals?  Do you want to focus solely on the local area or further afield?  Are you happy for your competitors to hear about your current projects?  Are you keen to attract appropriate media contacts too?

4.  Content – make a list of the types of subjects you want to Tweet about.  These could include:

News from within the industry
General local news and information
News from within your organisation – new clients, staff, projects, awards
Personal news from you
Comments about news which affects you
Promotional messages – keep to a minimum but do send out at least one after each half dozen Tweets

“Twitter gives us the opportunity to meet people, build relationships and to become a trusted source – friends, this takes time!”

5.  Timescales – How many Tweets do you want to post each day?  (Around 2 or 3 is recommended).  What would be the best time to send these Tweets so that they will be noticed immediately?  Do you want to schedule them in advance and free up the rest of the week or would you rather do it on a “real-time” basis so that you can pick up on all timely news?

6.  Crisis management – Say for example that one of your disgruntled clients posts a negative comment about you.  This comment, far from being kept private, is then obviously shown to potentially hundreds of their followers in a few seconds.  How would you manage your reputation by addressing this Tweet?  You might want to contact that person directly or choose to speak to them via Twitter, asking for the specifics of the problem and trying to solve it for them to the best of your ability.  It is wise to publicly Tweet to them that you are looking into their problem immediately and again when the situation has been solved.  (To speak to someone directly in Twitter you use the @ sign before their Twitter name).  In this way, your followers can see that you address any problems immediately, have a high standard of client care and are trustworthy, despite the initial comment.  Dissatisfied customers are often seen to post Tweets after their problem has been solved, praising the company for its approach.

7.  Analysis – When and how do you propose to analyse how well the activity is working?  Some benchmarks you might like to think about are:

i.    Cost, benefit analysis – although Twitter costs nothing to run, you should calculate how much time has been spent on it each working day for the last three months and weigh this up against the value of any actual instructions or leads which have been gained directly through the site.

ii.   Number of leads acquired through Twitter.

iii.  Number of actual instructions acquired through Twitter.

iv.  Number of Twitter followers gained throughout the campaign period.

v.    Analysis of website traffic which comes direct from Twitter.

vi.  Number of referrals which have been achieved from Twitter followers

Once you have this plan in place and are clear about what you are doing and why, you’re ready to set up your account. Are you following CMMuk on Twitter?

“Twitter gives us the opportunity to meet people, build relationships and to become a trusted source – friends, this takes time!”

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John

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