With over 284 million monthly active users (Twitter), Twitter provides a great way to engage with customers and prospects in real time, anytime. However, with a 140-character limit for each post, it’s also one of the most challenging social media platforms to use effectively. Twitter reports there are currently 500 million Tweets sent per day and it thrives on this fast pace of hot topics.
So, how do you ensure your brand grabs attention in this lightening quick network? You make sure your Tweets are creative, compelling, and concise.
- Showcase your brand. Make sure your Twitter profile compliments your brand representation on other social networks, and your handle is easily recognizable as belonging to your business or personal brand. Take full advantage of your account profile to present your elevator pitch.
- Be succinct. Using fewer than 100 characters in your Tweets boosts engagement by 20% – and leaves room for people to comment when they retweet your posts.
- Look & listen for existing conversations to join instead of sending cold Tweets. Share information on what you know best and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
- Be authentic. Your Tweets should be an extension of your brand’s voice. Be straightforward and honest-try to trick people and you’ll quickly lose your audience.
- Be visual. Twitter has followed suit of other large social networks in placing greater importance on visual content: you can attach up to 4 images per Tweet and videos can be tweeted as well, including sharing Vine videos.
- Be honestand straightforward about what you’re offering in your Tweet. If you exaggerate or try to trick readers, they’ll never read your posts again.
- Be persistent. According to Simply Measured, 94% of the top brands on Twitter tweet more than once a day – in fact, most of them average around ten Tweets.
- Use #hashtags to start conversations outside your Twitter circle. Keep them in context with your Tweet though, and know that excessive use of hashtags looks spammy. In fact, Tweets that use only 1-2 hashtags have a 20% higher engagement rate. (SociallyStacked)
Once you’ve mastered the art of tweeting, start networking. Your fellow Twitter users will put more value on what you have to say if they know who you are – so reach out!
- Create lists to organize your regular contacts (for example, “Clients” or “Favorite Bloggers”).
- Pin a Tweet to the top of your profile and keep it from being swallowed by the timeline. (Forbes)
- Use TweetDeck-track hashtags, topics, and handles in live time.
- Do a keyword search to see what’s trending about your product or industry, and join the conversation.
- Follow thought-leaders in your industry and members of your target audience. It’s also helpful to follow competitors, any professional organizations relevant to your industry, and other businesses in your local area.
- Utilize “Mobile Carrier Targeting” which allows you to target an audience based on their cellular provider or other criteria. According to Twitter, 80% of its followers use mobile phones to engage on the network, making this new targeting ability rock.
- Tweet links to your content. If you have a blog, send out a Tweet to drive traffic to your newest post. Maybe you just upgraded your website-tweet about it and invite people to check it out. Have you written a white paper or e-book? Tweet links to them!
- Exchange comments, questions, and ideas. The more you retweet others’ content, the more likely they’ll share and retweet yours. (Take advantage of that recommended 40 character “retweet” space to add your own comment to the conversation.)
- Promote your products or services, not with a sales pitch but by focusing on how your business offerings benefit customers. Did you recently create an awesome video clip showing your product at work? Tweet it.
Not sure how to measure your effectiveness? Twitter offers analytics data for business accounts, which gives you more insight than an independent service might, and is the easiest way to track the ever-changing trending topics of your audience.
- Track follower increases and have access to audience demographics such as gender and location.
- Easily see the level of engagement your brand’s Tweets are inspiring.
- Learn when your audience wants to be engaged. According to SociallyStacked, B2C brands see 17% more engagement on weekends, while B2B brands see their best engagement Monday through Friday.
- See the top 10 followed accounts of your followers to discover what information your audience is looking for on Twitter. (Social Media Examiner)
When it comes to engagement, networking is still your most powerful tool but when you’re ready for the next step of social media branding, Twitter’s paid advertising tools will help create further reach and greater impact within your audience.
- Promoted Accounts display in multiple locations to attract potential new followers who may be interested in what your business offers.
- Promoted Tweets can be targeted by keywords, interests, demographics, and even the type of device to amplify your reach, both to particular existing followers and potential new ones.
- Promoted Trends maximize exposure by keeping your Tweets at the top of the Trends list for a full day. They’re great for creating buzz about your promoted Tweet on both desktop and mobile devices.
- Promoted Video allows you to tweet videos that users can play in their timelines. Twitter’s natively embedded videos are more viewed and have better engagement rates then other videos on the network. (Twitter)
It will take some time and experimentation to find the right engagement level for your brand. Add visual content, be concise, and contribute your knowledge to trending conversations in your industry. Test your Tweets at different points in the day, and check your analytics regularly to track key data. Whatever your method, if you can engage on Twitter, do it! You’ll build stronger business relationships and ensure that more people notice your brand.