Twitter may well be the social media platform that offers the biggest punch, yet for the smallest amount of content shared. With each tweet limited to just 140 characters, users are forced to be brief and to the point. Yet using the Twitter social media platform as part of a business marketing strategy is an extremely savvy move by a business owner and can up the ante for any brand’s digital profile in a dramatic way.
Almost 50 per cent of Twitter’s user base follows brands they like and as such the platform is awash with powerful marketing opportunities. Twitter can be used to spread and maximise brand awareness, generate leads, drive traffic to your website, and to build and maintain a loyal and active customer base.
Basic tips for a successful Twitter marketing strategy
Twitter is a fantastic tool for business, but to get the most out of it you need to know what you are doing. Follow these basic tips on your way to social media marketing success…
1.Choose your handle: Keep it short and memorable. If your business name is long, consider a catchy and memorable abbreviation or use the name of your biz if it’s available.
2. Complete your profile: First impressions count, so make sure your profile is complete. This includes having a suitable professional photograph, logo or icon. Always include a link to your website and your on or off-site blog if you have one.
3. Connect with others: Follow all personal and professional contacts you have that use Twitter and also utilise the Twitter search tool to identify businesses and people to follow who are tweeting about topics relating to your own business or industry. Follow companies, influencers and like-minded tweeters – many of those you follow will organically follow you back.
4. Build a following by retweeting: Retweets are appreciated by the original posters and not only will they provide you with greater visibility; they will grow your following. Always give credit where it is due; this also is appreciated and you will reap the rewards in future when your own content is retweeted.
5. Compose tweets mindfully: Remain committed to your brand image at all times and consider what it is you want to say, how you want to say it and for what qualities you want to be known for. Strongly themed tweets will be the most powerful and generate most follower engagement.
6. Use keywords: Keywords are a driving force in digital content. If you have an SEO campaign under way (and you should!), you will have a number of target keywords relating to your business and which should be used throughout your website to drive digital traffic your way. If not, choose common search terms relating to your brand, business and industry, and link these to valuable content on your website in your tweets and any other social media marketing activities you undertake. This will help attract a specific and targeted audience to connect with relevant Twitter users.
7. Use links: By using short-links (via Bit.ly or a similar tool) to drive Twitter traffic to valuable content on your webpage (or any other location you choose), you are helping to grow your follower base and retain those followers you have. Be mindful that shortening links is critical for the aesthetics of your tweets and also to maximise the character limits you have to work with.
8. Share images: According to Twitter’s own research, tweets that include images generate three times more engagement than those without.
9. Use hashtags – properly: These are powerful but oh-so-misunderstood by so many. The purpose of the hashtag is to organise and spread information to a targeted group of recipients. They make your content visible and discoverable. Look at the hashtag you want to use and see what traction it already has online. There is myriad hashtag rules that need to be followed (sadly, many don’t abide by these), but the biggest and single most important guideline is not to overuse them. Keep to no more than two appropriate hashtags per tweet.
10. Share content that is unique: Compose your tweets in your own voice; be mindful and strategic with what you share in order to make the audience feel it is valuable enough for them to click on your links and retweet your posts. Share and link to articles, videos, news, tips, quotes and opinions that are entertaining, informative and interesting.
11. Don’t make it all about you: There is no surer or faster way to alienate your followers than by appearing to be completely self-absorbed. Even though the Twitter feed is for your business or brand, remember the customer comes first – so make it about them. Focus on your audience and mention their content regularly. When you do make it about you, share enough about yourself to interest followers and to personalise the connection between them and your feed.
12. Forget the hard sell: Twitter is not the platform for hard selling and high-pressure sales tactics. While promotional tweets do have their place, Twitter is better used as a useful resource for your followers. Lead topic discussions, answer questions, and share your blog etc. Be helpful rather than simply a digital commercial for your product.
13. Be present: Ideally, you will tweet a few times a day. Too often will become overwhelming and annoying for your audience; not enough and you risk becoming invisible. Be consistent so that your followers know what to expect from you. Additionally, be sure to engage with your audience. Ask questions of them and respond to their comments and feedback. By showing commitment to posting content, you add value for your followers on an ongoing basis.
14. Make recommendations: By referring others to connections you rate, including suppliers, clients, colleagues and commentators, you set the wheels in motion for others to refer and recommend you.
15. Monitor your results. Which tweets generate most positive engagement? What are your followers saying about you, your brand, and your industry? What is working for you – and not working for you? Constantly monitor your engagement and results, and modify your Twitter marketing strategy to comply.
Writing great content for Twitter
With a limit of 140 characters per Tweet, every single character has to count. Twitter is all about quality over quantity. How do you achieve this with such a small availability of characters?
- Work out what you want to say, then rewrite it so that it is shorter and snappier.
- The thesaurus is your best friend. Choose words wisely and select those that say the right thing with the fewest characters.
- Minimise adverb usage.
- Keep it simple. Focus each tweet on one idea.
- Use emotive verbs to convey greater meaning.
- Ignore the use of personal pronouns.
- Link shorteners are your savour (after the thesaurus!). Try Bit.ly, Hootsuite or Tinyurl and discover which one works for you.
- Limit hashtags to no more than two per tweet and keep them as short as possible.
The aim is to get your message across in an appealing way without sounding like a robot. Not as easy as it may seem, but as with everything, practise makes perfect. Doing so will keep your audience engaged and ensure your Twitter social media marketing campaign is a great success.
Want more social media tips?
You’re in luck because we have three really cool reads just waiting for you to feast your eyes on:
BLOG 1: How do you create content that ranks highly? It’s an age-old question on every business owner’s lips. Is there a trick? Is there a knack? Here’s the secret sauce on what to do.
BLOG 2: Do you have a customer persona? You should. A customer persona is a research-based, quintessential representation of individual, identifiable groups of consumers who purchase from your brand. Find out what it incorporates here.
BLOG 3: While we are on the topic of customers, do you know who your ideal target audience is? When any social media marketing activities are undertaken, it is critical to know this. Here’s why it’s my hottest social-media tip. (link to blog from January called – Social media hot tip: Know your target audience)
Are you a business owner or professional?
If you answered yes to being either of these, then you should be on LinkedIn. Social media a great tool for raising awareness, generating leads and boosting your bottom line if you’re in business. It can also help you get ahead in your career by raising your profile and opening up opportunities you may not know exist. LinkedIn is the preferred B2B social media channel and it just so happens we have a free LinkedIn eCourse to help you get the most out of the platform. You can check it out here.