Twitter is one social media platform that every savvy marketer should take advantage of for business marketing purposes. Yet the overall marketing equation relies on much more than simply creating a Twitter profile and tweeting now and then. Twitter engagement with your brand requires commitment and a clever strategy to succeed.
Twitter is a social media juggernaut. With well over 200 million monthly users, and more than 500 million tweets sent each and every day, Twitter has a potential reach that is mind boggling and truly global. There is no faster way to reach a global audience, keeping forefront in the mind of your existing customers and exposing yourself to a new potential customer pool.
Every single day, hundreds of millions of Twitter users worldwide use the platform to create, showcase, share and discover – so it would be remiss to not harness this tool for business marketing.
From large retail companies to small sole traders; from B2B providers to freelance dealers, Twitter can be a great tool to build connections, broadcast brand news, network and to engage with a relevant audience. Connections made and fostered via Twitter can be extremely valuable.
- 50 per cent of Twitter users have shopped via websites of businesses they follow on social media.
- 43 per cent of consumers intend to make regular purchases from the business they follow.
- 60 per cent of Twitter users have made a purchase based on something they saw on Twitter.
NOTE: These are Twitter statistics.
The greatest benefits of using Twitter for business are:
- Consumer connection
- Brand awareness, identity and loyalty
- Customer feedback
- Free marketing
- Showcase and broadcast your news
- Promotional offers
- Keep an eye on your competitors
The question remains, how do you attract and engage with customers to succeed on Twitter?
The first thing you need to know is how to increase your Twitter followers; the more followers you have, the greater your reach and it will increase exponentially with great content (more on that later). A consistently increasing number of followers of your profile is a great initial indicator of Twitter engagement, yet you need to make sure you are attracting the right followers; that is, the ones who will be relevant to your brand and business and active in their following of your profile.
The first step in the task of how to increase your twitter followers is to increase the visibility of your Twitter profile. When people can find you easily, you are on your way to Twitter success…
- Ensure your profile is complete – Make sure it is appealing and looks professional in a way that reflects your brand identity. Make sure your profile name is catchy, memorable and reflects who you are and what you do. Make the most of your 160 character bio and also include your location. Link to your website or blog (or both), and be sure to include a relevant and appropriate profile image – be it a photograph or your brand logo. Use an appealing header image and pin a suitable and powerful tweet at the top of your profile; this is the first thing your visitors see. Tweet your blog posts with a link back to your website.
- Embed your Twitter feed on your business website – This makes it easy for your target audience to find your Twitter profile and follow you without needing to leave your website. Embed tweets in your blog posts, and link your account to your email signature and footers for your newsletter or other promotional materials.
- Use hashtags wisely and well – Keep them concise and sensible, and use no more than two or three at absolute most per tweet. If you attend a live promotional event relating to your business, engage via Twitter using the hashtag of the live event.
Now that you have maximised your visibility, how do you effectively engage followers?
Twitter engagement via follower numbers is a great start, but it’s not the be all and end all. Having a million followers on Twitter is well and good, but you actually want these followers to be active in their engagement; you want them to be regularly sharing, re-tweeting, hashtagging you on Twitter, and ultimately visiting your website or store to complete a purchase. You need to be posting tweets that garner attention to increase follower engagement.
Twitter is all about the fast scroll. To capture the attention of an audience with a very limited attention span, you need to provide content that is attention-grabbing and posted on a frequent basis. To compose tweets that are likely to be read, shared and otherwise engaged with, you should do the following:
- Define your strategy regarding your content – Look at your profile as if you were a first-time visitor. What would encourage you to follow, like, and re-tweet? Consider that people don’t look at Twitter for sales pitches; they want entertainment, information and interpersonal connection. Look at what your followers are looking at! What is prompting them to participate on conversations? How can you add value to their online conversations?
- Provide content that is aspirational and informative – Offer advice, tips, instructions, trustworthy and seen as coming from a position of friendly authority in your field.
- Post on a regular, frequent basis – Inactive accounts are the first to be unfollowed when users clean up their feeds. You can pre-schedule tweets to publish at specific times and time intervals, and this can be very helpful (Hootsuite, Symphony, Buffer, Agorapulse and so on)
Be wary, though, of posting too often as this can quickly become tiresome for your followers. A good rule of thumb is to post at least once a day, and perhaps twice at most – but make each and every tweet valuable to your audience in some way.
- Tweet images – Tweets with images included garner more than three times the engagement than raw text tweets. The more engagement there is, the more exposure your tweets will receive – so keep this in mind when composing your content.
Upload images directly to Twitter, and tag other users in your images that you tweet. You can attach more than one image per tweet and up to four can be displayed as a collage. People love imagery, so make it work for you. Remember too that GIFs and videos are very popular; your content need not be limited to static images.
- Use hashtags – But only as they were intended to be used! Hashtags are a great tool for finding new followers, but you also need to monitor what else is being attached to the hashtags you use.
Use hashtags that are already popular but that are also relevant to your business and the content that you are posting. Be specific to your brand and your target audience, and use your location to gain followers from a region relevant to your business.
There are three important DON’Ts to remember when using hashtags:
- Don’t use too many hashtags.
- Don’t hijack hashtags, especially those that relate to social causes or tragic circumstances.
- ONLY ever use a hashtag if you have something of relevance to add to that conversation.
- Follow some of your followers back – This may encourage others to follow you, increasing your exposure, and positioning yourself as accessible and friendly. Follow people who you believe will find value in your business and brand.
Reply when people mention you each and every time. This demonstrates not only your accessibility, but also that your account is active. Additionally, participate in Twitter chats and other conversations, remembering at all times to converse in a way that represents and reflects your brand identity.
Be patient. Success on Twitter or any other social platform takes time and commitment. With some strategic planning and a creative approach, you are set to succeed and Twitter can be used to your greatest advantage.
Why do consumers love social media?
Here are three great reads where you can learn more about social media and its benefits:
- Consumers use social media for an array of reasons; from a consumer perspective, social media marketing is incredibly valuable and consumers look to social channels…read more on one of my latest blog posts. (link to blog on Social media for B2B marketing from May)
- Learn the ins and outs of social media selling…Here’s a top blog on this popular topic.
- By using social media effectively, you can grow your business and boost your bottom line. Check out how to do that in this blog.
Want to learn about LinkedIn?
If you are one of many thousands of people looking to step up your usage of LinkedIn, did you know we offer a free LinkedIn eCourse? To help you get the most out of the platform for your business, if LinkedIn is your preferred social media channel, here’s how to sign up for it.
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