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July 16, 2018

 

The Best Way For Field Service Industries To Start Using Twitter

Building up your followers on Twitter is hard work. Here’s a list of the types of accounts small business owners should follow.

As a business in the field service industry, much of your success is determined by your market reach or how many potential customers you can get your message too. If you want a tool to help you join the conversation and reach new markets, Twitter may just fit the bill. Nearly 50 percent of people who follow a company on Twitter are more likely to visit that company’s website. But, be warned! Twitter doesn’t always deliver instantaneous results.

Twitter takes time and effort to utilize properly. What marketing content should you produce? Who should you target? Should you pay to promote your content on Twitter? Those are hard questions, but they come later. The first hurdle comes after creating a profile, putting up a cover photo, and writing a bio. Because now you’re faced with big ole zeros under “following” and “followers.” This article is geared toward helping you get up on your feet by giving you some examples of who to follow on your business’ new Twitter account.

Your Team

One of the first steps in creating a following is to follow people that you view as part of your team. Employees represent a good starting point here, but sales representatives, loyal customers, and even outside vendors you work with (like Smart Service, your friendly neighborhood software provider) all make fine examples of accounts you can follow.

What do these entities all have in common? These are the people with a vested interest in your company’s success. Following them shows them a little love, and these accounts are almost guaranteed to follow you back. This will help build a quick and easy base of followers to work from.

The Competition

Yep. You read that right. The very next thing you should do is follow any of your local competitors on Twitter. This one sounds odd, but trust us!

Not only is there a good chance they will they follow you back, but following your competition serves as an easy way to keep an eye on what they get up to. How often are they tweeting? If it’s once a week, try doing double that. What kind of marketing are they using? Is it working? Analyzing your market ensures you don’t fall behind, and it also helps you keep track of local market trends.

The next step here is to follow the people that follow your competition. Having followers with a vested interest in your brand is great (as they’re more likely to retweet and favorite your tweets to give your content a greater reach), but following people with a general interest in your industry can also pay off. The Twitter users that follow your competitors probably use their services. So, why not try to get on their radar? Not only will this push you to create more engaging content, but if these new prospects favorite or retweet something, it’s going to reach a whole new, untapped audience.

An Authority

Following an authority, or a few authorities, helps you stay on top of industry news and gives you content to retweet from. You may have started a business account, but that doesn’t mean every tweet needs to push your services or products. Sometimes the best way to use Twitter is through retweeting things you think your followers might like or find interesting. Engaging on social media platforms involves more than just being a business online, it involves creating a personality and voice for that business.

Wendy’s does this by keeping their Twitter witty, snappy, and occasionally scathing. They’ve crafted a social media personality based on humor and one-on-one engagement with followers that tweet at them. While we wouldn’t encourage their same biting approach with your own clientele, remembering that it’s okay to directly engage your followers with humor and lightheartedness is a good lesson when building a brand presence online!

Need some examples of an authority in your sector? Look up well-known industry officials, companies that produce equipment for your industry, or big names in the business. Find anyone with experience, knowledge, or clout in your industry who maintains an active Twitter presence.

News Outlets

Follow a national news source (dealer’s choice) as well as your local paper or news station. This helps your business keep up with what’s happening in the world and in your community. Put yourself in a position to act on breaking news that could impact your market. Retweeting local news items shows that you maintain an active community presence. Niche news sources are another great way to stay informed. If you’re an HVAC company, you’ll want to follow a blog that deals in HVAC related news (like this one!).

Now, you might be thinking, do blogs really count as a news source? Are they truly reputable? Blogging is so easy that anyone can do it, which can cause trouble when you want to find someone credible. But the ease of blogging also means that people with 20 years of experience in the business can turn around and start a blog to share their expertise, like Dave Miller did for HVAC when he started his website and blog HeatTalk.

Whatever your service, there’s almost certainly someone targeting your demographic with a well-written, compelling blog. Find them and follow them!

Industry Professionals

When we say “industry professionals,” we’re referring to your peers, people who aren’t quiet your competitors, and may not work in the same city (or even the same state), but who you share a common career with.

It’s a simple formula: if you run a plumbing business, follow your fellow plumbers. Go search the “plumbing” or “plumber” tags in Twitter and follow some of these people. If a business shows up, follow them too and then take a look at their followers. These will be people who are particularly interested in any industry news you might share (and you might be interested in some of the things that they share too!). Your fellow plumbers will also probably get all of your really specific plumbing related jokes. Bonus!

Spring Cleaning

So you’ve followed everyone. Your friends, your family, your business vendors (like Smart Service!), your employees, your customers, your competitors, your news outlets, your authorities, and your fellow industry professionals. Probably a couple hundred accounts in total.

Now unfollow them.

Don’t panic! Not all of them. But part of having a good Twitter account is maintaining a healthy ratio between the accounts you follow and the accounts that follow you. Big businesses can have hundreds or thousands of followers to every one person they follow, but smaller business are going to have a more even ratio. They’ll probably follow more accounts than will follow them, but you don’t want to be the company that follows 500 accounts, only to have 100 follow you back. Not only will all these accounts clutter up your feed, but your content won’t reach the audience it should. And isn’t that why you signed up for Twitter in the first place?

You can go through Twitter manually and unfollow individual accounts, but as your “following” list is organized in chronological order, this can get exceedingly tedious. The best course of action is to download an app or create an account on a website that will let you see the people that don’t follow you back. They will sort all of the accounts into categories of your choosing and you can unfollow them that way. Tweepi and ManageFlitter are both examples of free websites that can help you with this!

Conclusion

Remember when we said that Twitter was going to require work?

Well, we were honest because you still aren’t done. You’re never really done. Part of the appeal of Twitter is its large market reach and social networking capabilities, but to take advantage of that you need to constantly strive to do better. Following new people, new employees, and new businesses. Putting out relatable, interesting, and relevant content.

With this article, we hope we’ve provided a base for you to get started. Follow these tips and you’ll go from looking like a shell account to looking like a business with a real Twitter presence. Hopefully, that’s just the start!

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