Twitter is a fantastic resource for any business looking to improve their visibility online and grow their customer base. Its bustling nature allows you to engage with consumers easily and with 500 million tweets sent a day there is always something to talk about.
With so much going on, you need a foolproof strategy to achieve success on Twitter and make an impact with your audience, which can be harder than it first appears.
Luckily there are a three best practices any budding social-media-savant can use to transform their tweets and improve engagement. Before we get into these fundamentals, let’s consider the following…
Why Should Twitter Form Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy?
Social media has revolutionised how businesses communicate with their customers. Public platforms allow people to quickly share their thoughts, post reviews, and look for support from companies online.
Twitter is perhaps the most engaging social media channel; it removes many of the barriers that usually exist between businesses and customers and allows you to share captivating, valuable content with ease. As such, it is a powerful tool for marketing.
The stats back this up to, with a recent survey showing that 63.5% of social media managers rate Twitter as one of their top platforms with regards to return on investment (ROI).
While the value of a Twitter marketing strategy is plain for all to see, the steps you need to take to start generating leads is somewhat less clear-cut.
An incredible 6,000 tweets are sent per second, and with every man and his dog (sometimes quite literally) trying to make viral videos, gather influence, and grow their following, just how do you make your business stand out?
By the end of this blog, you’ll have the answer to that question.
Create Great Content
Any great social media marketing strategy starts with great content. The wonderful thing about Twitter is that it provides more opportunity to use that content to engage with your audience.
Whereas the writing on your website may be straight-faced and professional, Twitter offers your business the chance to let its metaphorical hair loose by doing the following…
Adding Personality to Your Posting
If your business is new to Twitter you may be hesitant to step away from an existing, corporate, tone of voice, and adopt a more informal style of content, which you may fear could reflect poorly on your professionalism.
While this is an important consideration, ultimately, Twitter content should reflect the voice of your customers, who crave brands with personality.
As such, worry less about whether your tone of voice works for your business and determine whether it works for your consumers. If you nail the latter, the former will follow, so make sure you’re listening to your audience to decide what tone best suits your Twitter content.
Take some time to research how your customers use social media. If you notice that many of them use GIFs or videos, increase your output of this content. Conversely, if they seem to prefer informative tweets and blogs posts, adapt your marketing as appropriate.
The most likely scenario is that your customers will engage with a mix of posts. With such a variety of content to process on Twitter, users will expect your business to show both its professional and its human side. That means a marketing strategy that both educates and entertains.
Using Targeted Hashtags
You have your content and tone, but how do you get it noticed? Well, obviously everyone who follows your profile can see your tweets of they look for them on your profile, but by choosing hashtags carefully you can boost the engagement level of your posts.
If a post relates to a particular theme or topic of discussion, you could include a relevant hashtag that will resonate with your target audience and make the post more visible. Choosing a hashtag is much like selecting an SEO keyword. The more popular the hashtag, the harder it is to get noticed.
We recommend using a mixture of popular hashtags, such as #FridayFeeling, and ones more tailored to your brand. Websites like Hashtagify can help you determine which niche hashtags you should be using for your industry.
Regularly Sharing Content
The only other consideration when it comes to creating great content is how often you tweet. The median lifespan of a tweet is just 18 minutes, so you’ll want to tweet at least three times a day. Feel free to post more, just be careful you don’t tweet so much your followers start to think you’re spamming their feed.
Engage With Your Audience
Sharing interesting posts is only half of the job. Twitter is an open forum where practically anyone can connect and speak to one another, so actually taking the time to engage with your audience is crucial.
We have already seen the benefits of this in regards to customer service. Many businesses now have a dedicated Twitter account to share service or product information and answer customer queries.
Why does this work? People have become used to the idea of automated dial options and no-reply emails, so when a business engages with a customer over Twitter, it goes a long way to building a positive relationship.
How do you achieve this? The answer is simple...
Start a Conversation
If someone reacts or shares their opinion on a piece of your content, make sure you respond to them. Similarly, take the time to engage in public discussions. Sharing your insight on a topic related to your business is a quick way to attract people to your profile and beyond that, your website.
This engagement doesn’t have to come from actually speaking to people either. Something as simple as retweeting a potential customer’s posts could provide the virtual nudge they need to start exploring your business. Even more useful, it will make your own Twitter feed look more varied and therefore more appealing to other potential customers.
Finally, when following people, you may notice you sometimes receive an automated message. In the B2B market, these messages often include information about a product or service they are promoting. As such, you may be tempted to ignore them, but you should always take the time to go through them.
If a potential lead is using an automated message, taking an interest in their product is a great way to open a dialogue and share your own services.
Use Twitter Tools to Improve Efficiency
While sending a tweet may only take a few minutes, anyone who is familiar with social media management knows that growing a business requires time and patience.
Luckily there are a series of tools you can use to improve the efficiency of your tweeting. There are hundreds to choose from, so we won’t go into the specifics, but some tools can help you solve the following problems.
So Many Tweets to Post, So Little Time
Without a proper schedule, remembering to tweet in between your other responsibilities is nearly impossible. A single tweet can be pushed back or forgotten about altogether; and without regular updates, you’ll fail to benefit from the ROI Twitter promises.
In fact, 66% of marketers see improved lead generation by spending as little as six hours a week managing all of their social media channels.
If you’re sharing regular content such as blog posts or informative tweets, scheduling them ahead of time means you build Twitter management into your working-week. Marketing platforms such as HubSpot provide this scheduling tool, as well as collating data from your tweets to provide accurate reports of your social media success.
When you’re scheduling your Twitter activity, you need to know when to post and engage with your audience. Over time and by experimenting, you’ll develop a gut feeling about when the best time to post is. But, to begin with, use a tool such as Followerwonk to analyse your follows and those of your competition to see when the optimal posting times are.
To Follow or Not to Follow
We’re used to seeing Twitter profiles with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers, who are only following about 100 people themselves.
This is the followers-to-following ratio many aspire to, but unless you’re Obama, Taylor Swift or a multi-billion pound business, this kind of Twitter success is probably a little further down the road for now.
The pursuit of a great follower-to-following ratio is all very well, but it shouldn’t stop you from following other profiles. One of the mistakes many businesses make when they first join Twitter is to not follow anyone, afraid of following more people than the number who follow them.
The best way to gain followers is by following people that fit the profile of your target customer. This is because Twitter users are looking to speak to new people and businesses, as seen by the fact that 74% of Twitter users say they use the network to gather news. If you find you are following too many people, you can reduce the number using a follow/unfollow tool such as ManageFlitter.
By increasing the number of people you follow, you create a Twitter presence that your customers feel is approachable. It also gives you more opportunity to speak to experts in your industry and share your thoughts. By doing this, you can position your business as an influencer others turn to for information, all of which goes towards increasing your customer base.
Twitter is just one platform you’ll want to consider when planning your social media strategy. And social media is just one element that goes into a great multi-channel marketing strategy.