Four clever ways businesses have used Twitter to launch (and grow)

Wondering what Twitter can do for you? Find out how four very different businesses have found clever ways to use Twitter to launch or grow – and how it can help you too.

We’re huge fans of Twitter. In fact, without Twitter, Talented ladies Club may not even be here today.

That may sound like a bold claim, but when we first launched, no one knew about us. We tested the water with paid advertising, but spent a lot of money without seeing much return.

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Twitter gave us our first big break

In the end, it was Twitter that gave us our first break. We started using it properly (after investing in coaching) in August 2013. And within less than a year had gained over 11,000 Twitter followers, and thousands of hits to our site, using a simple strategy we devised (find out how you can learn it too here).

Twitter has also helped to connect us with powerful influencers, and been single-handedly responsible for coverage in The Sunday Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Stylist and Psychologies Magazine, and TV appearances on the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky.

So we were curious about how other businesses were using Twitter – and what kind of results they were achieving from their efforts. Here are four case studies of businesses that have used Twitter to launch and grow.

How Mumslink.com uses Twitter to find users

Mumslink

What’s your Twitter name?

@mumslinkdotcom

How has Twitter helped you launch your business?

I think Twitter is particularly great for B2B interactions.  It has helped Mumslink.com find some great businesses, charities and entrepreneurs who are relevant to our community.

Can you give a specific example where Twitter really helped you?

Many of our business users have found us or we have found them via Twitter. (I’m pretty sure Talented Ladies Club found us this way.) Examples include:

It’s great that we can support Mumslink users not just within our own site. If we see anyone within our Mumslink community tweet, we will always like and retweet. As an early stage business, this is another way for us to remind our sign ups that we are here and we want to support them.

What’s your Twitter strategy?

We automate tweets so that we are always sharing the content from our site. This way we hope more businesses and people get to hear about us and see the sort of content our users post on Mumslink. We also tweet in the moment when appropriate.

We also use Twitter to find businesses, charities and campaigns we would like to be involved with. We have recently joined in with Mother Pukka’s #FlexAppeal campaign.

We would like to run our own #campaigns in partnership with some like minded enterprises. This is on the agenda for this year.

How important is Twitter as part of your marketing mix?

It’s very important for us to have a presence on Twitter. It is a free way of reaching out to the businesses, charities etc, and people we would love to see sign up to Mumslink. Our aim is to market ourselves through more traditional media outlets but this will take some time as we have no dedicated PR/marketing specialist. As a start-up we have a very limited budget.

Our Twitter strategy is evolving. For all the benefits of Twitter, the one flaw for me is the sheer volume of tweets. The idea on Twitter is certainly to follow and be followed in volume. So good quality tweets from twitter handles we would like to support can be lost in the crowd.

Our aim is to create a really good quality and relevant Twitter following – the volume element of Twitter can make this tricky.

We often get followers and think why on earth are you following us. I’m also pretty fastidious with blocking on Twitter – if a followers profile includes cleavage or boobs (and I don’t mean the makers of say a new revolutionary bra/a breastfeeding group) then we block them.

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Roughly how much time do you spend on Twitter a day?

Since we organised ourselves and adopted a strategy, less than I did. I could spend hours floundering around on Twitter. Now, it is a couple of hours every few weeks copying over the content and links from our own site (with an appropriate tweet) and adding this to our CSV catalogue of tweets.

I check in a couple of times every day to look out for Mumslink user tweets and to retweet etc. Hootsuite has made this a pretty easy and quick task.

Did you work out your strategy yourself, or invest in training for it?

Both, but training really made a difference. We started off with muddling through Twitter and trying to work it out ourselves. At this stage, I found Twitter time consuming and a developed a bit of a love/hate relationship. To be honest much of the time I didn’t really understand the point in Twitter.

The Talented Ladies Club Kickstart video really helped us a lot. I watched your guide and decided to go down the route you recommended. We use Hootsuite, which isn’t perfect but the features it is missing (such as automatic uploading images) they are working on. It saves me a lot of time. I would certainly recommend training unless you are an absolute natural on social media.

How Twitter found Natalie Smithson her first freelance client

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What’s your Twitter name?

@bobbinwriter

How has Twitter helped you grow your business?

Years ago on starting a business you’d have to print flyers, place an ad in a printed publication, or knock on doors to promote it.

Platforms like Twitter enable you to instantly promote any business and interact with potential new clients. It’s also a quick and easy way to learn about developments in your field and keep an eye on trends.

Can you give a specific example where Twitter really helped you?

I’ve been an active Twitter user for years and when I set up my freelance business, this is where my first client found me. I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me, but the first enquiry for writing services was in my inbox before I’d even started trading.

What is your Twitter strategy?

I use Twitter to share content that I know my audience will find useful or inspiring. This leads to open conversations about things we’re inherently interested in or ideas we can use in our day to day working lives.

I also use Twitter lists to network with key influencers in my areas of interest, so I can find and share the best content. Lists also help block out the noise on Twitter, so you don’t miss the most important posts.

Overall, Twitter should keep moving with your business. I refine my business goals all the time and a quick edit to my profile or a change in strategy is easily accomplished on social channels. The worst thing you can be on Twitter is stagnant.

How important is Twitter as part of your marketing mix?

Even when I’m not free to take on new clients, it’s still vital I market myself on Twitter – not to shout about my services, but to demonstrate I’m active in my field. Once you start a conversation, the social channel needs to remain open.

Roughly how much time do you spend on Twitter a day?

Ideally, I’d spend an hour on Twitter every day but realistically I don’t. I make use of scheduling tools like Buffer when I’m busy, so I’m never absent and set aside time for social strategy if things go stale.

This part is a lot of fun as there’s always a new app on the market to lead me to new and interesting people, or I discover a more efficient way to work. It’s important to cap your time though and use every minute wisely. The key objective is to achieve a business goal.

Did you work out your strategy yourself, or invest in training for it?

Having worked in digital for many years I’ve managed social media accounts for lots of different companies, so I’ve trained but also figured it out along the way. This doesn’t mean I know the secret to making it work because there isn’t one; social media works differently for different people.

Personally, I read up on developments in social media then try them out with my business. If it works, I stick with it and continue to up-skill as trends change; there’s always something new to learn.

How Abitoffthemapp uses Twitter to connect with the press

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What’s your Twitter name?

@abitoffthemapp

How has Twitter helped you start your business?

I have just launched a range of photography camera bags and straps and Twitter helps me connect with photographers and the press.

Can you give a specific example where Twitter really helped you?

I found the manufacturers of my bags and straps from an article a lady had written about leather bag manufacturers. I got in touch with some of the businesses she recommended and the rest is history!

What is your Twitter strategy?

I use it to build brand awareness and to engage with photography related events and other photographers. I also use it to run photography competitions.

How important is Twitter as part of your marketing mix?

It’s very important but it will be interesting to see whether it will become less so with the advent of new social media kids on the block

Roughly how much time do you spend on Twitter a day?

I schedule tweets for most days and scan it while I’m doing other work.

Did you work out your strategy yourself, or invest in training for it?

I’ve read a lot of social media strategy and I’ve attended a few training courses. Social media is a full time job and it’s important to know how to use it to benefit your business otherwise it becomes too time consuming.

How Zest for Media use Twitter to find clients

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What’s your Twitter name?

@zestformedia

How has Twitter helped you start your business?

Twitter is one of the tools I first started off with and still use as part of my social media management service. It is a key part of my offering.

I have used it to grow my business by identifying and engaging with potential clients personally and on a level they relate to.

Can you give a specific example where Twitter really helped you?

It helped me track down and engage with a potential client I was having trouble getting to respond to me via email. This enabled me to open a dialogue and establish a relationship that led to a sale.

What is your Twitter strategy?

I use Twitter to establish my credibility and authority on the web (outside of my website), engage with potential clients, and keep existing clients up to date with latest trends and information.

How important is Twitter as part of your marketing mix?

Very. It is the backbone of my sales and marketing acquisition strategy.

Roughly how much time do you spend on Twitter a day?

Around two to three hours a day (plus client time).

How can Twitter help YOU?

Over the past three years, we’ve developed our own strategy for using Twitter. It’s the strategy that enabled us to gain 11,000 followers in the first year, and over 30,000 in less than three.

The brilliant thing about our strategy is that it’s incredibly simple. It works for every type of small business, and once you’ve got it up and running, you can keep it going in less than half an hour a day.

And now, for just two weeks in September, we’re sharing our strategy with you! Find out here how you can learn our entire strategy on our new online course for just £65 – and get more followers, more clients and more sales from Twitter.

Join Twitter Tune-up by 21 August and learn our entire strategy plus get your free Strategy Bonus!