Marketing on Twitter: Everything you need to know

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What is Twitter marketing? That's what you want it to be.

Want to know more about your customers? Make your brand a little more human? Create buzz on your new product? Provide ultra-fast customer support? Start rebuilding your reputation after a public relations disaster? Publicly humiliate trolls? Twitter is covering you.

Whatever your goals, there's no question that Twitter can be a powerful tool to help you achieve them.

How to create a marketing strategy on Twitter

A well-designed strategy is the basis of success - and that's what distinguishes the most effective brands on Twitter from others. Without a clear plan, you will waste your time and money tweeting without a clear understanding of how your activities help your organization achieve its goals. And when it comes to evaluating your performance, you will find it difficult to prove what you have accomplished. And this will make it difficult to argue for an increase in the size of your team or budget.

Every hour you spend on research and strategy will earn you 10 times more. Here's what you need to do:

Defining success and setting goals

So you get a good answer when your boss asks you, “Why are we on Twitter?” Then came the following two punches: “Are we on the right track to achieve our goals? And... what are they still?

Answering these questions is not difficult if you do your homework. Start by listing your organization's high-level business goals , such as:

  • Generate leads and sales
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Develop brand and product awareness
  • Reduce customer support costs

Based on these objectives, define specific and measurable objectives. This will allow you to easily assess progress and prove your success. For example, if your goal is to provide high quality leads to your sales team through social media, your goal might be “to use Twitter to generate 30 email registrations per month.”

With the goals and objectives in place, consider taking the time to compare the current state of your team's performance. This will help you measure your progress against your goals, proving that your strategy is delivering real, measurable results for your business.

Defining and measuring success on social media can be difficult, so taking the time to do it correctly will definitely distinguish you.

Competition Research

Gathering information about the social strengths and weaknesses of your competitors is essential.

Identify your target audience

Your brand can't be for everyone on Twitter. Know who you are targeting and create a strategy that aims to bring real value to them. This will encourage them to engage with your brand and eventually become customers and advocates.

Auditing and supporting your Twitter accounts

Depending on the size of your business and your goals, you may want to use a single Twitter account or multiple accounts for different departments or functions. If more than one person in your organization is already using Twitter, it is essential to audit and consolidate existing accounts.

Integrate Twitter into the global social strategy

Teams working in large (or growing) organizations can end up in silos. If this happens to your social marketing team, make sure you continue to demolish those silos and keep in touch with other teams. Their work can be a rich source of information and assets to share with your followers, and they can gather ideas that can open up new opportunities for your Twitter strategy.

Keep your active and unique presence on Twitter

While it is possible - and easy - to publish the same content on multiple social networks, cross-posting is not an approach we recommend. Each network has its own characteristics and user base. So, while applying the same strategy to multiple networks may seem like a shortcut, it may cost you more in engagement than it saves you time and effort. Nail your strategy to one network at a time by customizing it a bit for each media.

10 useful marketing tips for businesses on Twitter

Use Twitter tools to do more

Twitter's website and apps are perfect for occasional tweet or direct messages. However, to manage your Twitter marketing at scale, you need the right tools.

Here are some examples of things these tools will help you do faster and better:

  • Generate leads by learning more about people who engage with your brand, why they share your content, and who they share it with.
  • Find industry influencers to connect with.
  • Analyze your competitors to find detailed information about their tweets, mentions, hashtags, followers, etc.
  • Search trending topics by content, hashtags, search terms, sources, etc.
  • Edit and add images to your tweets.
  • Manage the people you follow (and no longer follow) to add valuable new information to your Twitter feed and remove inactive and spammed followers.
  • Time your posts for maximum impact with tools that analyze both your tweets and your followers' tweets.

With your Twitter Toolkit stocked and ready, it's time to draw your attention to building a world-class profile.

Build an excellent Twitter profile

A comprehensive and strategically designed Twitter profile does more than give your organization's Twitter account a pretty face: it can build trust with your audience, improve the look of your business in search results, and give your customers a direct, real-time channel to contact you with questions and congratulations on your business. Here's how to do it correctly:

Writing a great bio

Twitter allows you to use fewer characters in your biography than in your tweets (160 vs. 280), but you still want the maximum impact for each word (and hashtag). Whether you're writing a new biography from scratch or looking to refresh an existing one, your bio is just as important.

Complete and optimize your profile

A strategically optimized Twitter profile can do much more than just share your name, nickname and description. With quick adjustments, you can increase the visual impact of your profile, target a specific physical location, or help customers find other Twitter profiles managed by your company. It's also easier for people to interact with your brand and start discussions about your products.

Be verified

When people see that Twitter has verified you, they know they can trust your content and brand. Learn how to authenticate on Twitter and win this little “verified” blue checkmark next to your account name.

Show it

Of course, having invested all this work in creating a quality profile, you will want to make sure that people find it. Add your Twitter nickname to your website, your electronic signatures, next to your delivery truck and wherever it makes sense to show it.

Listen and learn

If your strategy is to use Twitter to deliver content to your followers, you're not taking advantage of Twitter's enormous potential as a social listening platform.

You need to know what your Twitter community is talking about, whether people mention your brand directly or not. What are the topics of interest to them? What types of content do they respond to? Who do they engage with? These are all important factors to consider when participating in listening to social media.

Things to listen to include:

  • Your brand name (including spelling errors)
  • Brand product names (including spelling errors)
  • Your competitors (again, including spelling errors)
  • Fashionable words in the industry
  • Brand slogans
  • Names of your general manager or public representative (and spelling errors)
  • Campaign names or keywords

Another reason to listen on social networks is to find influencers and experts in your field. Almost 40% of Twitter users report having purchased a product directly following an influencer tweet and 49% say they rely on influencers to search for product recommendations.

Create good content

It's true that you only need to worry about 280 characters at a time, but you still need to strive to write branded tweets that are easy to read and can attract the attention of your audience.

Here are the basics to write a good tweet:

Help Your Audience

To create content that your audience will read and use, it's useful to never stop knowing their interests, needs and fears. In addition to reading their tweets and chatting directly with them, you can also use apps like Trendspottr to search for and share trendy content.

Be brief

Yes, the limit is 280 characters - but you don't have to use all these characters every time to create a good tweet. Mix the length of tweets and make sure to use a URL shortcut to prevent links from taking up more space than needed (and make it easier to include UTM parameters without creating clutter).

Incorporate content curation

You manage content when you sort a huge amount of online content and share the best content with your subscribers in an organized and meaningful way.

Use hashtags

Hashtags ensure that your content is seen by as many followers as possible. Hashtags allow you to classify content so that your tweets are grouped together with other relevant Twitter content. This helps other Twitter users easily find your content, just as it can help you find influencers and others in your industry.

Using Multimedia to Engage More Engagement

The popularity and effectiveness of multimedia continues to grow rapidly on social media. A survey of Twitter users found that the majority (82%) watched video content on Twitter and that users wanted to see more videos from celebrities, other users and brands. Why not offer your supporters more of what they ask for?

Use Videos

According to Wyzowl's 2017 report on the state of marketing videos, 79% of consumers prefer to watch a video to learn more about a product than read a text on a page, and 84% of consumers were convinced to make a purchase after watching a brand's video. You can tweet videos that your organization has created, retweet relevant video content that your audience finds useful, or explore ways to share real-time videos on Twitter.

Use Images

Among all the options for sharing images and photos online, don't forget to share them on Twitter too. Include relevant images to attract the attention of your community and encourage engagement. If you share photos of people, you can also mark up to 10 people per image.

Use GIFs

With users sharing over 100 million GIFS on Twitter in 2016, they can be a great option to add relevant fun to your tweets. If your organization feels a certain joy or surprise, try searching for built-in GIF files from Twitter.

Publish at the right time

Tweets don't last. According to Wiselytics, a tweet has a half-life of only 24 minutes and reaches 75% of its potential engagement in less than three hours. This means that you need to tweet at the right time to reach as many subscribers as possible and maximize engagement.

Tweet regularly

It is recommended to tweet at least once a day to attract and engage Twitter followers. Try to display more than that, then pay attention to the reaction of your subscribers to find the frequency that suits you best.

Get started with industry best practices

Research has shown that the best viewing hours are usually 12, 5 and 6. Consider publishing at these times in your initial strategy, and then specify your schedule as you learn more about the best performing moments with your followers.

Use analytics to refine your approach

Use Twitter Analytics engagement data to adjust your timing once you've collected data about how followers communicate with your tweets.

Engage with your audience

It's easy for marketers to be obsessed with the number of followers we collect on Twitter. But without commitment, your subscriber number is just one digit. From the beginning, Twitter has been designed to help people connect and engage on a personal level. Use this force to your advantage and engage with your audience on a daily basis.

Follow your network

Tweets from your followers can provide a wealth of information about their interests, needs, preferences, etc. Follow and learn from them.

Answer quickly

According to a social media study, 42% of consumers expect a 60 minute response time on social media. Respond quickly and naturally to customers, just as you would in person or over the phone.

Retweet, like, and follow

It's good when people take a moment to retweet and like your tweets or follow you on Twitter. Send back the favor and keep your supporters happy.

Use @mentions and label people

When you mention followers, influencers or other brands in a tweet, including an @mention is a nice way to generate some traffic. You can also mark people on photos when appropriate, as stated in our Twitter Best Practices article.

Ask for some help - It's normal to ask your followers from time to time to retweet, mention or like your tweets.

Be interactive: Ask a question on Twitter and see how your followers respond, or launch a Twitter poll to get feedback on customer service, quick opinions about products or services, and direct social listening opportunities.

Stay tuned for opportunities.

Monitor your business and brand

You have already heard of acts of mismanagement of public relations disasters by companies at the social level. However, whether you monitor social networks to limit major risks or keep an eye on your brand opinion, it's essential to know what people say and share.

Follow your competitors - this one is easy. Search for your competitors on Twitter and follow them to find out what they share and what people say about them.

Organize to listen more efficiently - Twitter lists can be a great way to organize people you follow on Twitter.

Monitor your brand/company keywords. Twitter Analytics and other tools make this easy.

Measuring Results

Measuring your marketing results on Twitter allows you to measure your success, determine the type of content your community is engaging with, and show you opportunities to refine your Twitter strategy. Here are some ways to get the data you need:

Use Twitter Analytics

Twitter Analytics gives you an overview of your tweet performance, user interactions and dates, network influencers, and metrics for each tweet. You can track your followers' activities over time, their interests, demographics, and (if you manage a Twitter Ads campaign) ad performance.

Elevate your strategy with advanced tactics

Now that you have mastered the basics, why not try some more advanced tactics?

Advertise on Twitter

While your social media strategy can be great, it's sometimes a good idea to supplement your marketing efforts with paid advertising to achieve your goals on Twitter. Depending on the specific purpose you're working on, you can promote your individual tweets, your account or even a trend that you want to amplify and associate with your business.

Organize a Twitter chat

Keeping a chat on Twitter is a great way to demonstrate informed leadership in your field while strengthening interest, loyalty and community. Using a shared hashtag, users meet online to keep up with industry news, discuss issues and share ideas.

Stream a live video

Brands have been sharing live videos on Twitter for some time now, and companies like AirBnB are even experimenting with 360° live streaming channels. Given the growing popularity of video on social networks, adding live video to your Twitter strategy is certainly a promising area to explore.

Experiment with Twitter Moments

Twitter launched Moments in 2015 as an organized list of the big tweets of the day. In 2016, they opened the tool to everyone on mobile and marketers use it to round revenue, collaborate with influencers and even create fan summaries for TV series. From serious to stupid, Twitter Moments offers new ways to put Twitter at the service of your business.

Provide social customer service

In the United States, 67% of customers turn to social media for customer service, so your customers are likely to expect to be able to do the same. Whether you use your main Twitter account or a dedicated support account depends on the size of your organization and the type of support you offer. You could do worse than following the example of our favorite brands at the top of social customer support.

With plenty of opportunities to search your market, connect with subscribers and build your brand, Twitter has come a long way since its inception in 2006 as a simple platform to answer the question “What are you doing?” in 140 characters. This is a powerful platform for building meaningful relationships that will contribute to the success of your organization - one subscriber at a time.

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