Sellpoints is excited to welcome guest blogger, Ryan Stewart, this week. Ryan shares his expertise on effective Twitter marketing.

Twitter Marketing Done Right

Remember the rap song “Remember The Name,” by Fort Minor?

Sorry. I just got it out of my head too. For about a year, it was played at the beginning of every sporting broadcast in the known universe.

Ten percent luck. Twenty percent skill. Fifteen percent concentrated power of will. Five percent pleasure. Fifty percent pain. A hundred percent reason to remember the name.

Now, why would I ruin your day by subjecting you to Fort Minor? Because it turns out that business is a lot like rap (minus the drive by shootings and copious quantities of Hennessy).

Business success is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill, and a lotta percent connections.

Who you know really matters.

And few things are better for connections than social media.

I’ve been having a lot of success with Twitter lately. Not only is Twitter driving more traffic, but it’s also helping me to make a lot of important connections.

So, I wanted to share a few of the things I’ve been doing that have helped improve my Twitter marketing.

1. Understanding and Leveraging Data

As the old adage says, “Anything valuable is worth measuring.”

One of the first things I did to improve my Twitter marketing was to simply take a closer look at my data in Google Analytics. I wanted to find out whether the links I was posting were driving visits and if so, if they were engaged visits.

To check front-end engagement for all of your tweets, you can use Twitter Analytics. For instance, you can find out how many clicks your links are receiving and what kind of impressions your tweets are driving.

RyanBlog1-1 Caption: Screenshot from Twitter Analytics.

Everything from your overall followers to your retweets are important. With this data, you can optimize your profile and make the most of the time of day that you send out tweets. For example, a recent study of 4.8 million tweets by Buffer found that the morning is the time tweets receive the most engagement.

2. Using Hashtags Correctly

I know you’ve probably already heard this, but it’s really important to make sure you’re using hashtags the way they were intended. Use hashtags for trending topics, not as a means to get random favorites.

RyanBlog1-2Caption: Ugh, don’t be this person…

Jumping in on trending conversations is a great way to drive explosive growth. When people click on the hashtag, they see your tweet. If your tweet is brilliant, they click through to your website. #InsertHeavyWebTraffic

Hashtags are a great way to grow your following and even expand your reach.

3. Become An Influencer

I’ve been diligently working toward building a reputation as being an influencer. I’m taking real pride in being someone others can look to as having authority. Not a, “Gimme 20 pushups now!” kind of authority, but a, “I actually know my stuff,” kind of authority.

When I see someone who has tons of followers but is following even more people, I think they probably don’t know what they’re talking about.

Personally, I would have trouble following a lot of people. I mean really following them and keeping up with them. And seriously – can a person really follow 20,000 people? I don’t think so.

RyanBlog1-3Caption: Klout is a free platform that shows you your influencer score.

When I see someone following a ton of other people, I know they’re just trying to pad their numbers to look like a big shot. They want an entourage. They want people to see how many followers they have.

I don’t want to have that kind of persona and I don’t want to be perceived as that kind of person.  Instead, I take pride in my ability to grow my account with authority.

4. Identifying, Targeting, and Reaching Out to Influencers

I’ve also been working on targeting what I refer to as “big influencers”. The best way to do this is by adding value to them. After all, no one turns down free value, right (I believe that’s the motto of every pyramid scheme ever)?

You don’t have to kill yourself to add value. There are lots of ways you can add value without a lot of effort or time. You just have to work at it consistently.

RyanBlog1-4Caption: Shopify is a great example of a large account to target for influencer outreach.

I begin by retweeting their content. I’m aware when someone retweets my content, and I’m appreciative when someone helps expand my reach.

When I see that someone has retweeted me, there’s a good chance I’ll follow that person. A little give, a little take.

I figure it probably works the same way in reverse. If I retweet someone else’s content, they’ll probably take notice.

*Checks to see if anyone has taken notice recently.

I also find it helpful to leverage internal resources. I’m talking blogs, podcasts, or any other content that can be featured or linked out. You can give someone a lot of value by simply linking from your blog to their website.

Not only is this a great way to drive traffic, but it also delivers excellent SEO equity to someone else. Naturally, most people are grateful for that kind of goodwill. Just drop them an email letting them know that you featured them in a blog post or podcast.

Send them a link so they can check it out if they want. Most people will at least tweet about it, and may it even put it through their other channels.

Another great way to add value is with guest posting. This is a lot of work, but I’ve found it’s really one of the best ways to build your following as well as your personal brand. I take advantage of every chance I have to guest post

5. Investing in Growing Your Account

The final thing is the importance of investing in growing your account. There are a number of ways you can do this. Obviously, you can invest money, and this is something I strongly advise you to do.

Twitter Ads are relatively easy to get started. They also happen to be incredibly cheap, and I’ve found them to be incredibly effective.

If you’re really serious about growing your account, don’t be afraid to invest a few bucks. The return on your investment can be some high quality followers.

RyanBlog1-5Caption: Twitter Ads are a low cost way to grow your following.

Of course, if you’re on a budget, the next best thing is to invest your time. Just talking to and engaging others can give you a tremendous payoff.

That doesn’t mean blasting out links and retweets. That just drives people away.

Succeeding with Twitter is part art and part science. It takes time. But putting in the time to master it is well worth it.

Get creative. Create unique, valuable content. It’s a great way to watch your account grow.

Like I said, business is like rap. If you do the work and stay off the streets of mediocrity and don’t get hooked on the drug of persona, you could become the next Eminem…of Twitter.

Yes, that analogy works perfectly well.

Ryan Stewart is a digital marketing consultant with over eight years of experience working with clients like Target and the Department of Defense. Ryan currently resides in Miami where he runs Webris, an Internet marketing agency. Follow him on Twitter.