In effort to shed some light on how Twitter can help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Twitter engaged Market Probe International to conduct research in hopes of proving how their platform can lead to real business results.
Some interesting findings emerged that – surprise, surprise – demonstrate that Twitter can indeed have a positive impact for SMBs.
So, following is a compilation of the resulting stats (because we all love stats, right?) and a few ideas for how you might consider acting on this information to supercharge the value of your Twitter followers:
74 percent of people who follow small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) follow to get updates on future products
Find compelling ways to not just blast your audience with new product or service announcements, but involve them in the journey that results in the launch of a product or service. If you sell high-interest products or services, your audience will surely be thrilled with behind the scenes previews, ability to influence product development, teases about announcements, and anything that builds anticipation and contributes to a compelling story.
47 percent of people who follow brands are more likely to visit the company’s website
Makes sense. By following your brand on Twitter, a person has demonstrated at least some level of interest in your business, which may then drive them to visit your website. Make this easy for them by including a URL to your website in your profile.
Also, ensure that your website isn’t a giant letdown when they get there by providing the types of content your audience is likely to be looking for, and that it is set up to convert that traffic and interest into sales, store visits, emails, phone calls, or whatever a meaningful conversion is to your business.
70 percent of SMB followers retweet because they like the SMB’s content
Provide tremendous value. Before publishing anything on Twitter – or any social media network for that matter – ensure that your content provides value to your targeted audience. If it does, proceed. If it doesn’t, then don’t publish it. Monitor, measure and optimize your content on an ongoing basis to ensure the value you are offering is high, and in line with, or surpasses, consumer expectations.
There is a 30 percent lift in recommendations of an SMB after following or interacting with them on Twitter
Online and social media recommendations and reviews are hugely influential to people making purchase decisions. Doing anything and everything possible to bolster the number of recommendations and positive reviews your business receives is monumentally important to driving sales.
86 percent of users are more likely to visit a business after it has been recommended by a friend
This is just further proof of the importance of earning positive reviews and recommendations. It doesn’t get much better than driving foot traffic to your business from social media (unless of course you’re set up to handle ecommerce). You can’t ask for much more than this, so be sure to invest time to figure out how you’re going to get more reviews, and increase the number of people recommending your business on Twitter and other social media platforms. It’ll pay dividends.
72 percent of followers are more likely to make a future purchase
A follower is only a follower so long as they’re following your business or brand (follow what I’m saying?). Goofy, I know, but the point is that there is value in building and sustaining loyalty on social media, so be sure that you’re publishing nothing but awesome content, and having meaningful interactions with your audience. Keep them just as excited (or more!) about your business into the future as they were the day they decided to bestow their allegiance via a ‘follow’ to you.
84 percent of people who follow/interact with SMBs mention an SMB to share a positive experience
Take every opportunity to provide positive experiences for your customers, and don’t overlook anything. Every time you interact with them be it on social media, on your website, in your store, over the phone, unboxing your product, with your service reps, or sending them an invoice, find ways to make the experience a positive one.
61 percent of people follow to interact with SMBs to share ideas and provide feedback
People don’t tend to share ideas because they don’t like the ideas they’re sharing. They share ideas because they see value in their possible implementation. So, take your audience’s ideas seriously, because who knows, maybe there’s a nugget of gold in there.
Also, feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, is a sign of connectedness to your business. People don’t provide feedback because they don’t give a damn about your business; they do it because they do. Take advantage of this and ensure that you build on this connectedness and parlay it into advocacy and evangelism by demonstrating that you’re truly listening.
While we do need to be wary about the precision of these stats – they are from a Twitter-commissioned research study after all – there are some interesting nuggets here. Not only do these stats work to demonstrate the rough value of a Twitter follower, but they can be more broadly applied to support the value of engaging a targeted audience on social media, which is great.
What, if any, of these stats do you find to be most interesting? Why?
Have you seen any direct correlation between social media marketing and your SMB’s success?
What role does Twitter play in your social media strategy?
It would be fantastic to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on – you guessed it! – Twitter @RGBSocial