Needs No Introduction
“Twitter” says it all.
With 320 million monthly active users, Twitter has undoubtedly achieved its mission of giving “everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” The 35+ languages it supports have transformed it into a global forum. In fact, Twitter has been a key tool in creating waves of change across the globe – through various cultural and social movements online. Individuals and organizations have created their brands in this social media space – and why wouldn’t they? It’s the perfect place to build and retain your network at your convenience.
But while plenty of businesses are taking to the platform to leverage the opportunities it provides, not all of them see the returns they expect.
And the reason is not the large number of people sharing 500 million tweets per day. It’s the lack of a strategic approach toward creating and maintaining a unique, meaningful, and engaging presence.
No business should take the platform for granted. There’s an art to tweeting, and you need to master this art if you want to make the most of this platform.
Social media has never been easy to understand due to its dynamic nature – and not all strategists are unanimous about best practices.
But it’s time to put an end to all the confusion – here’s the ultimate guide to help you unleash Twitter’s true potential and make it a great value-add to your marketing strategy.
Optimizing Your Twitter Profile
The basics – how do you impress your visitor at first sight?
We will now investigate what brings users to your Twitter profile and what makes them click “follow”. An idea of this will help you understand what you need to do to draw people’s attention to your Twitter profile.
Profile and header photos: Making the first impression
Want them to follow you? Appeal to them – visually!
At first glance, it’s your profile picture and header photo that make an impression. In fact, it’s what either attracts your audience or puts them off.
Here’s what you need to highlight so you can make your Twitter profile look good:
Identity: Your brand is a unique entity. Ensure that its personality is suitably captured in your profile picture.
Communication: Your profile, header, and background must clearly depict what your brand is all about. Give your Twitter profile a look and feel that suits your brand image.
Current happenings: This is usually with the header. Make sure it is regularly updated to communicate your company’s latest news, or a campaign that you’re running.
The profile picture is usually the brand’s logo, but you can always find creative ways to use the space. Check out these examples that show you how you can play with your profile picture and enhance your header.
Bios: Selling yourself in 160 characters
Twitter has generously provided 20 extra characters to give you more room for describing your brand. So the next time you’re thinking of writing unnecessary flu in your bio description, just remember that no one’s going to scroll down any further if even one word puts them off.
So what’s the secret to crafting a good bio?
Uniqueness: Your brand is yours alone. Make sure it doesn’t sound like any other
Relevance: What you mention in your bio should be a summary of what you do – don’t deceive your audience with misleading information.
Optimization: Incorporate key industry terms in your bio so users can easily find what they’re looking for.
Get to the point: Of course, you have to. Because if you don’t, your 160 characters will be wasted on nothing.
Tweets: The 140 characters that make or break your Twitter presence
Every tweet needs to add significant value to your brand presence. A tweet without a purpose can harm your brand. If you can manage to get your reader scrolling for more, that’s all you need. Make sure you:
- Optimize your tweet with relevant terms and hashtags
- Spice it up with images, videos, and links
- Use the 80/20 principle and make sure you interact more than you promote
- Let your personality show through tone and communication
Crafting a Great Twitter Content Strategy
How do you make sure your content stands out in a sea of tweets? How do you appear enticing and exciting as a brand? How do you make sure your tweets reach a good number of people in your target audience? This set of practices will help you understand.
The best times to tweet
Depends on where your target audience is. People in every geographic location have a different favorite time for checking their Twitter feeds – and follow a different update\review cycle. The buzz of activity on Twitter is thus a reflection of their habits.
Hootsuite tells you the best way to find your brand’s optimal tweet timings, through interaction and analysis.
Making the most of trending topics
Face the fact. Your tweets largely have zero shelf life. Keep up or perish.
If the content you share isn’t relevant to current topics, your tweets will not impress and your account will fade away into nothingness. Pounce on the opportunities that trending topics provide. Apart from your regular content topics, use real-time opportunities to play it smart by connecting your brand to a relevant happening.
Make sure it’s:
Topical: It should be a piece of news that your audience is talking about
Relevant: Your brand’s take shouldn’t be a force-fit in this context
Intelligent: And sensitive. Keep it humorous, but make sure you don’t ruffle feathers or offend
Engaging: Let it click in people’s minds – nobody’s interested in boring or lofty connections
The science of hashtags
Hashtags are like keywords – you need them to add visibility to your Twitter content. However, overdoing it can do more harm than good. Keeping that in mind, ensure you use:
Relevant hashtags, in line with your content
Not more than two per tweet, so users don’t think your brand is spamming or desperate for attention
Hashtag etiquette, which means capitalizing the first letter of each word, for added readability (For example: #PlayToWin)
It’s a simple science, but you need strategic thinking to make the most of it.
Pictures: 23 characters in a frame
A picture is worth a thousand words, or, in this case, 23 characters. Do not waste that space – it gives you the power to move your audience. In fact, it’s been found that “photos and videos drive three to four more clicks on Twitter.” Ensure:
Optimal resolution: so that it’s easy on the eye
Perfect size: so people don’t necessarily have to click on the picture to see it clearly
The image supports: the communication in the tweet – it has to add significance
Get visual, and make the most of those 23 characters!
Video as a value add
Videos have a great way of drawing today’s visually driven consumer. “Research shows that rich tweets have significantly lower negative feedback rates as consumers appreciate interactivity and content designed for their social mobile context”, says Marko Muellner, Vice President – Marketing at ShopIgniter, a social performance marketing platform.
Here are a few instances where you can use video to up levels of engagement:
Promote upcoming events: They act as a teaser
Personalized responses: In Tweet chats or to customers
Educate and entertain: Enhance your product or service with the help of videos
Crowd-source content: People love to contribute, not just listen and observe
Visual comedy: To add to your brand’s personality or to respond to a trending topic
What you do with those 30 seconds can revolutionize your presence on the platform – one viral video and people will remember your brand for a long, long time!
Making your tweets more exciting with GIFs
Yes, the latest interesting development on Twitter! We’ve all known GIFs to be funny video snippets that we share with our friends, because of its comic value and relatable nature. But did we ever consider it to be a marketing tool?
The simplicity and hilariousness of GIFs are what make them an asset to a tweet, if used right. Can you imagine the level of traction you’ll get with a great GIF that relates to your tweet?
A GIF can help:
Maximize engagement levels, since people interact with personalities, not just handles
Enhance your brand identity and recall value, because you’ll have created a memorable social media experience
Increase the number of followers and can also increase sales, if you use it well with your product
Twitter doesn’t allow third party GIFs yet, but it has quite a good package already! Use the right one – make sure it ties in with the communication and tone of your content, and you’ll have a winning tweet for sure!
How to get links to work for you
“What’s in a link, anyway?” you may think. But while we’ve taken for granted that a link is just an extension of what you’ve shared, usually pasted at the end of the tweet, studies show that you can tailor your tweet layout to achieve maximum traction with links.
So don’t stop experimenting!
Engaging with Tweeple
Any social networking platform is driven by engagement and interaction. In fact, if you don’t engage with your audience and with other brands on the social media space, you will end up being invisible. Nobody wants an unresponsive brand or person.
We tell you who you should be interacting with, and how you can master the trick.
Influencers: Making them your brand evangelists
Locate influential tweeple in your industry or area, and look at building a meaningful relationship with them. Don’t hard-sell or promote your product/service to them. Instead, strike an interesting conversation and ease in the rest.
A few points to remember:
Personalize your DMs: Mass messaging or copy-paste text doesn’t work – influencers see through it. Make sure you write to them, based on their work and interests.
Keep it conversational: Twitter is no place to be formal and boring. Entice your reader in the first few words of your message, because that’s all you’ve got to get them hooked.
Use @Mentions with care: Place them right at the beginning if you want it only on their profile, but use them in the middle/end of the tweet if you want it to appear on everyone’s feed.
Follow, like and retweet: Boosting their tweets and profiles will get them to boost yours too.
Involve them in Twitter chats: Keep the engagement going and enhance your visibility.
Whatever you do, do not try too hard. Influencers have plenty of brands, including your competitors, waiting for them. So while you want to stand out, make sure you do not annoy them.
Customers: How your tweets can acquire and retain them
Any business’s strength is its customer base. If your customers don’t love you, word-of-mouth will cease to exist and your business will not grow.
So how do you ensure you get them to follow and stay?
Initiate: Begin conversing with them in a genuine, personalized manner.
Respond: Be prompt in your response to their feedback – positive or negative.
Customize: Don’t use the same template for all customers – they’ll know what you’re up to. Let the conversation flow.
Involve: Host tweet chats, crowd-source ideas and content, and host contests too
Appreciate: Acknowledge them with discounts, special deals, and rewards; and with likes, quote-retweets, and mentions.
The gist? Don’t be a narcissistic brand.
Lead generation: Importing and capturing relevant leads
You need to integrate Twitter into your marketing efforts. It cannot work in isolation. Use the leads you’ve got from other sources and make some new ones too.
Importing leads: Use an email integration tool to find your contacts on Twitter and target your communication toward them
Capturing leads: Create Twitter cards and find potential customers through Twitter chats Don’t miss an opportunity to network and expand your audience base.
Competition and other brands: Having impactful conversations
Being stuck-up is not an option. Have fun, interact with other brands, even if they’re competitors. Keep up with what they’re up to. See where you can pitch in.
Use Twitter’s Advanced Search: Use the geo-location and keywords search functions of Twitter Advanced Search and narrow it down to the keywords that are most important to you.
Follow your competition: Besides sharing a common follower base, you and your competitors share interests and passions. Make the most of it.
Managing Your Twitter Account at Your Convenience
TweetDeck: Taking care at odd hours
With TweetDeck, you can take care of almost anything. It helps you:
- Manage multiple accounts
- Schedule your tweets
- Track competition
- Track activity
- Monitor and respond to customers
- Leverage the power of lists
Other social media community management tools
Add these to your toolkit and you’ll never be a stressed social media marketer.
Buffer: It’s been deemed one of the smartest ways to tweet and helps you ensure you don’t spam followers
Hootsuite: The best social media management tool ever
Analyzing Your Twitter Performance
There are great in-house and third party tools to help you figure out how well you’ve done.
Twitter Analytics: Generating reports in the house
Twitter Analytics gives you a month-on-month report of:
- Best performing tweets
- Best multimedia tweets
- The most influential influencer
- Followers and impressions
Helpful third-party tools
Here’s a list of third-party tools that you must check out:
Ritetag: Which tells you what hashtags you must use
Klout: It measures your influence
TweetStats: To check your monthly performance
Tweet Reach: It oers insights into your tweets
Tweet Grader: Gives you an idea of where you stand
With the platform seeing plenty of changes from time to time, you will see newer and better tools being developed to ease the process.