Twitter Marketing has taken the world by storm. From being a microblogging site that millennials used to send witty one-liners out to the world, it has become a great way for brands to connect with their audiences.
All of a sudden, 140 characters was enough to grab someone’s attention and lead them to a place where a call to action could be responded to.
Some years back, microblogging was such a unique concept that people often wondered what good can come out of it. Especially for marketers, this was a platform that did not seem to have much potential, considering how little it allowed anyone to say. The way that Twitter has evolved has been inspiring as well. Their evolution is a perfect example of how something grows and adapts to the needs of their users.
Adopting a proper Twitter strategy will help you realize the hidden benefits of using
such a platform for your business. This article serves to review the fundamentals of
Twitter use, and how to get started with Twitter as a business tool.
For people who are getting started, it’s useful to first grasp and familiarize yourself with some of the common terminology associated with Twitter.
Twitter Concepts and Terminologies
- Handle – A “handle” is your Twitter username. This is the name you select to represent yourself or your company as on Twitter
- Tweet – A tweet is Twitter’s version of a post or status update. The maximum length of a tweet is 140 characters (including URLs, though Twitter
will auto-shorten URLs). Tweets are public to all — even people who aren’t following you.
- Follower / Following – When you follow someone on Twitter, you are subscribing to their tweets. A follower is a person who has subscribed to receive your updates. You can view your total number of followers on your twitter profile page.
- To Follow Back – To follow back is to subscribe to the updates of someone who has recently started following you. In Twitter‘s notifications settings, you can indicate whether you‘d like to receive an email alert whenever a new person follows you. In the email, there will be a link to that
person’s profile. By clicking the link, you can check out who they are and decide to follow them back or not. It is not required to follow everyone back, but many people like to. You can follow others without them following you,
- Retweet – A retweet is a tweet by one Twitter user that is tweeted again (or forwarded) by another user. @reply – When you reply (or “at reply”), you are
tweeting in response to someone else’s tweet. This is also a way to simply tweet AT someone. It doesn’t necessarily need to be in response to someone. People do this if someone has said something especially valuable and they want their own network to see the information too.
- Like – You can “Like” a tweet by clicking the heart icon. Liked tweets are grouped together on your profile page.
- Modified tweet (MT) – A modified tweet is a tweet that has been shortened, edited, or altered in some way. Add “MT” to the beginning of any retweet that
you’ve altered. Why would you modify a tweet? To change or add a hashtag; to comment on the tweet; to correct a typo or error.
- Hashtag (#) – A hashtag (or # symbol) marks keywords or topics in a tweet so that related tweets can be grouped together. A hashtag is a Twitter tagging system used to aggregate the conversation surrounding an event, topic, or theme. Hashtags can easily be created by combining a # with a word, acronym, or phrase (#WORD) and used as a tag within tweets.
- Direct Message (DM) – A direct message is a private tweet that only the sender and recipient can read.
Twitter Marketing Strategies
To fully enjoy the benefits that Twitter can contribute to any business, it is important to understand what steps one should take. Twitter marketing is, after all, a tricky matter. It’s easy to see it as an easy platform to use on a personal level. But use it from a marketing standpoint and the risks and opportunities change significantly.
Here are some strategies that would help any business make the most out of the platform:
1. Understand why you’re using Twitter.
It’s not just about deciding to create a Twitter profile for any business. It’s more about WHY a Twitter account is needed in the first place. Is the business trying to generate leads? Or would brand awareness be a higher priority?
Once a clear objective is in place, it is easier to plan each tweet depending on what the business wants to happen. Each post can be more targeted and could reap more specific results. For example, a business that needs more visitors on their own website could post a link leading to content found on their blog page.
2. Insert Twitter into your content marketing strategy.
Some businesses make the mistake of creating a Twitter profile and posting random tweets without making it part of their content strategy. Content marketing does not just cover blogs, guest posts, and other similar content. Twitter can also play a huge role in the content marketing process.
Tweet about relevant topics and link each tweet to related content on your website. Cross-promote content the business may have on other social media platforms. There are so many ways that Twitter can boost the results of any brand’s content marketing. Make the most out of it.
3. Identify who your target audience is.
As with any other form of marketing, it is necessary to know who the business wants to connect with to make each tweet as effective as possible. There are different tools that could help marketers find the right people they should be connecting with. For example, Followerwonk lets users find tweets that contain relevant keywords.
Through this tool, anybody can find people who are already interested in the brand or in the products and services that it offers. This means that once you approach them or connect with them, there is a higher chance that they’ll say yes to any call of action you send them.
4. Find out what time your audiences are online.
Knowing what time most of your audiences are online helps create effective strategies that earn the most response. And this should not be done in a general manner. Just because a brand’s audience is online on Facebook at a specific time does not mean that they’ll be on Twitter at around the same time as well. So when research is done, it has to target very specific markets.
Once specific time frames are in place, it is easier to schedule tweets and make each post as targeted as possible. This is especially helpful for brands that cater to a wide audience. If research shows that teenagers are mostly on Twitter in the early evening while those in their early 40’s do this during their morning commute, then tweet about topics relevant to each age group at times when they are most likely to be online.
5. Monitor industry hashtags.
Don’t just focus on your own #BrandName or #tagline. Monitor hashtags that are very relevant to your industry so that these can be attached to your tweets as well. Why is this important? Twiter users consider hashtags as their very own form of Google on Twitter. Whatever they look for, they search through hashtags. This means that when they use a general hashtag currently in use, and the hashtag is attached to any of your brand’s tweets, then they come across your tweet as well.
Content and social media marketers can also be creative and use popular hashtags to make their own.
6. Watch out for Twitter users who have issues or concerns related to your field.
As all the research is going on, brands have to be on the lookout for questions, issues and concerns that people in the audience may have. These are great opportunities to connect with them by responding to their queries even if your brand is not specifically mentioned.
Of course, in the effort to respond to these queries, avoid being too promotional. Just answer the question the best way that you could. After answering the question, you can then post a link to any blog entry in your website that answers the question in detail. Once you come across as someone who can answer the audience’s questions, it is easier to be considered as an authority, and eventually, a trusted name in the industry.
7. Look at the competitor’s tweets.
Look at competitors and what they’re tweeting about, then look at the kind of response they’re getting. More often than not, both your brand and theirs are after the same audience.
This means that by looking at what they have, you can easily figure out what works for the audience and what doesn’t. This is also a great way to find opportunities they might have missed, such as gambles they have taken but did not work and how you can tweak it to make it work for you.
8. Choose the best type of content.
Different audiences prefer different kinds of content. Some age groups may prefer visual content, for example, while some would rather read articles and blog posts. Pattern everything shared on Twitter according to these preferences. This will help any brand catch the attention of their followers faster.
It’s also best to figure out what the best format is for any kind of information you’re sharing. If something is too detailed, sharing a simple square image where the text will be almost unreadable is not exactly the best choice. A large infographic or a detailed blog post would probably be the best way to do it, then share this through a link on your Twitter account.
9. Keep it short.
Yes, it IS a microblogging site and the posts are already limited to begin with. But just because there are 140 characters to use does not mean that every post must use up all 140. The shorter the tweet is, the better.
If you’re hoping to teach someone about email marketing, for example, you don’t necessarily have to give an entire statement to give advice. Create a blog post on your website, or through a different social media platform that allows longer posts.
Then, tweet something like “Hoping to improve your #emailmarketing strategies?” or “Having trouble making #emailmarketing work?” These questions alone can hook in anyone interested in email marketing. Follow it up with a link to your blog post, and you just may end up with both a Twitter follower and a blog page visitor.
10. Get the audience’s opinion.
You may have a lot of things to say about your industry, but your audiences have a lot to say, too. Unfortunately, not all brands give their audiences the opportunity to speak out, something that you can do and take advantage of.
Ask questions and wait for your audience’s answers. This is a great way for you not only to have an open conversation with your followers, it will also be a great way to pool data. Find out what their needs and wants are and find out opportunities for you to help them out.
Polls are also a great way to get the audience’s opinion and keep them engaged. Make sure you acknowledge every response that you get so that the people posting responses wouldn’t feel ignored or left out of the conversation. Make sure you mention people by their username in case you want to address specific people.
11. Retweet relevant posts.
Follow influencers and significant people from every field. Each of them are bound to post something that will interest your audience, and when that happens, be ready to retweet right away.
What does this do for you? For one, it allows you to take advantage of relevant tweets by sharing them with your audiences, who will definitely be interested in what the message is all about. It also gives you an opportunity to be noticed by the influencers who originally posted the message.
12. Have different versions of each tweet.
Remember that if you want to be a significant figure on Twitter, then a single post a day won’t be enough. Twitter users are more active, the platform more fast-paced. This is why it is necessary to keep your followers updated by tweeting a few times each day.
But wouldn’t this cause you to run out of ideas and messages to tweet about? This is why it is highly recommended that you prepare different versions of a single tweet. This is a great way to deliver the same message without necessarily repeating the exact same tweet. Especially for messages that remain to be true over a period of time, its relevance will not exactly lose momentum if you rephrase it.
Truly, Twitter can do wonders for any brand, product or service. Many social media platforms have come and gone, but this is definitely something that will stay far longer than anyone expects. This has made Twitter an extremely important tool for any marketer, and a very potent ally for any business owner.
As with any other social media platform, the level of efficiency of your Twitter marketing will all depend on the steps you take. Make sure that when you follow these tips, you also do everything as efficiently as possible.
Maintaining an effective Twitter presence can be a powerful part of your business’
social media marketing strategy. Used successfully, Twitter can help you:
- Develop and promote your brand
- Interact and support your fan base
- Monitor what people are saying about your company and brand
- Create buzz around upcoming promotions and events
- Promote thought leadership and industry expertise
- Develop direct relationships with bloggers and journalists for PR