With other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat starting to suffer from user fatigue, many people are beginning to believe that Twitter is not as important as it used to be.
However, statistics show quite the opposite. With its 330 million active users, Twitter still has a lot to offer.
If you’re aiming to make yourself or your business an online authority, Twitter remains a powerful tool for marketers.
First we should understand how Twitter works. The iconic blue bird revolves around speed, as users are constantly looking for breaking news. Whenever a worldwide event occurs, people immediately tend to keep track of that trending topic on Twitter.
Because of this, around 200 billion tweets are sent per year. That’s an average of about 6,000 tweets every second, which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets sent per minute and 500 million tweets per day.
Are they all related to your business? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get the most out of the platform.
What is the purpose of your Twitter account?
In order to get maximum benefit from Twitter, you first need to define your main purpose and your goals.
If you’re building a Twitter account from scratch (or even if you’re already managing one), creating clear goals and sticking to them will help you develop the habit of tracking their evolution and gain a better understanding of how well your Twitter strategy has worked.
Even if the goal might seem obvious at first glance, it’s not. Expecting to have better results or wishing to drive more engagement won’t happen if you don’t write down more specific aims.
According to Sprout Social, 41% of companies have no idea whether or not their social media efforts are actually paying off.
Don’t be one of these companies! Set your goals and track their evolution.
Start by deciding which milestones you want to achieve so you can fine-tune your efforts accordingly. Your goals may look something like this:
- Drive 40% more traffic to my blog for the next quarter
- Increase sales by 10% for the next quarter
- Gain 1,000 qualified followers per month
Once you know what you want to achieve, choose specific accomplishments and day-to-day activities for each goal.
You can for instance tweet your content 40 times a day to drive more traffic to your website or interact within conversations on Twitter to enhance your follower base by 30%. You get the picture.
Then set a due date for each goal in order to keep track and measure your activity, using a tool like Google Analytics
How to use Twitter for business?
Optimise, enhance and fine-tune your Twitter profile
As first impressions count, your profile is what people will see first in your Twitter feed.. So make that first impression a strong one.
Keep in mind that there are 5 different aspects you need to focus on:
- Your @name: it has to be unique and should help people easily find your business. It can contain up to 15 characters. Here is what it looks like:
- Your profile picture. As it will appear next to each of your tweets, make sure that your profile picture represents your brand and that it will be clearly visible as a small icon.
- Take care with your bio. You have 160 characters to tell the world who you are and what makes you special. You should also include useful information such as what you tweet about, your location and a link to your website. It’s up to you to choose the tone – whether it’s funny, clever or serious, depending on your brand and marketing position.
Pro tip: No one wants to talk to company. People want to talk to people, so you should use an authentic, personal voice. Explain what your company does, not what you company is.
Here is how your bio will appear to your visitors:
- Your header image. As you can change it all the time, you can feature your products, promote your events, highlight your work and company culture, and make fresh announcements.For example, as we strongly believe in teamwork, we’re spreading the spirit through our header image.
- The pinned tweet option. This feature is helpful as it allows you to highlight your biggest and latest news. That way you can draw attention to the content you want people to see first.
All you have to is to click the “More” option on the Tweet you want to pin and select “Pin to your profile page”.
Create your Twitter content strategy
Creating a content strategy can be overwhelming and intimidating. To nail this on Twitter you have to create a content calendar designed specifically for this social channel.
When you know what you wish to achieve with your Twitter account, this becomes easier.
Before rushing to come up with astonishing headlines, think about your typical demographic. If you already have a Twitter account and some activity you can go to Twitter analytics and click on “Audiences”.
There you will see detailed insights about your audience: their interests, their occupations, their consumer behavior, their language, etc.
This information will help you perfect your marketing persona and put you on the right track of creating a Twitter content strategy that’s appealing to them.
Now you can start with various types of content and see which type works best for you over time. You have multiple choices, so try them all at first.
You can go from text updates, links and photos to polls, GIFs, videos and slideshares. Try to mix these during the day for optimal results.
Personally, my favorite type of content is the infographic. It drives the most engagement and it’s usually visually appealing.
Studies have shown that infographics are liked and shared 3x more than any other type of content.
As you try different shapes of content, your followers will sense that you are being creative with your social presence.
Pro tip: Your competition is your greatest source of inspiration. Review what they are doing to get a better idea of what’s working and what isn’t.
Creating a brand new piece of content every time you post will certainly help you increase your traffic, but try not to stick only to that. Consider incorporating content curation into your strategy.
This will lighten the burden on you as people consume content rapidly and it will also help you to not appear self-absorbed, by appreciating other people’s content.
When sharing curated content on Twitter, mention the influencers who wrote it and initiate discussions by speaking your mind about their content.
If it’s your own content, don’t be shy to ask for a retweet once in a while. Don’t overdo it, of course, but asking for a retweet is an opportunity to gain reach. Reports say that asking for retweets results in 12 or more times the average number of retweets.
Here is a great example of someone who has done that and succeeded in expanding his reach:
Pro tip: Don’t forget to include hashtags in your tweets. Hashtags will increase your popularity on Twitter if you know how to use them. Don’t overdo it and don’t choose spammy or overused ones. If you’re already an authority in your niche it helps to create your own hashtags; they may be recognizable and even go viral.
Now you may ask: how many times do I have to post on Twitter?
Depending on your audience’s time zone you can decide on when to post and how many times you should tweet per day. You have to find out when your followers are online so that they can see your updates.
Unfortunately, Twitter Analytics won’t help you with this, but there are other Twitter tools that you can use They’re not all free, but worth trying out.
You can for instance use Tweriod to find out when your followers are online and your tweets can gain the most exposure.
You can also use Buffer. Even though it’s primarily known as a scheduling tool, it can give you detailed statistics on post performance and post times.After setting up your tweets with the posting time and date, Buffer will suggest to you the best time to post on Twitter. Then you have to do your part by figuring out when your tweets get the most engagement.
You now know what to tweet and when to tweet, so you can automate your efforts and plan your content strategy days if not weeks ahead. You can choose Hootsuite or Buffer for scheduling, but there are plenty of other social media tools. This will savetime so you can focus on other parts of your marketing strategy.
Pro tip: Remember to tweet the same content more than once because chances are not everyone saw it the first time you tweeted it. Sharing your content multiple times on social media can trigger strong reactions, so it’s important to space out your tweets properly.
Engage your audience with Twitter
Once you have a tailored content strategy and everything is planned and under control, this doesn’t mean you can sit back and hope for miraculous results.
People have to know that you really are taking your Twitter strategy seriously and that you’re aware of what’s happening out there. The best way is to engage. Here are some quick tips on how to do so.
Twitter advanced search
The advanced search function is more detailed than the general search bar.
Here’s what the first part looks like:.
As you can see, you can start filling it with words, phrases and hashtags related to your business. Use it to look for terms that your potential customers could be tweeting about.
If have a more specific idea of what you’re looking for you can leverage the “people” part. This is a great way to narrow your search even more, as you can include your profile and your competitors to gain a better understanding of how customers are interacting with your competitors. Narrowing your search can help meet your digital marketing objectives more efficiently.
You can also add geographic locations to your advanced search and narrow down the dates.
Pro tip: You can couple your keywords with the word “recommendation” , “looking for”, a question mark or even a sad face ‘:(‘ if you’re looking for targeted tweets you can respond to.
While responding to a potential lead try to offer a solution, add an image and even insert a link to your website. This can increase your chances of turning that lead into a sale. Here’s how Amazon does it:
Explore Twitter lists
Twitter lists are great for tracking influencers and building relationships that will eventually turn into sales. First you need to know how to set up a list.
You can either click on your profile icon or go to your profile page and click ‘Lists’.
You’ll see a button on the top right to ‘Create new list’. Name your list, add a description and choose whether it will be private or public.
I suggest to create a minimum of 4 lists to start with:
- Customers: Keep an eye on this list to know what your customers are saying about you and then answer accordingly.
- Potential leads: Monitor what questions this list generates, then try to engage with conversations in a helpful way.
- Competition: As I said before, your competitors are your greatest source of inspiration so learn from their mistakes as well as from their strong points. Then do better!
- Industry influencers: This list will help stay up to date with you industry, engage whenever possible with people following your industry influencers, and find new people to follow.
You should keep your ‘Customers’, ‘Competition’ and ‘Potential leads’ lists private and make your ‘Industry influencers’ list public..
Creating targeted lists on Twitter will make it easier for you to follow and respond to specific types of people or conversations. This will help to build a strong network.
Even if it seems overwhelming at first, building your Twitter strategy is a simple process if followed correctly.
It needs clarity and consistency. As soon as you set measurable and realistic goals and start working on them you will get the results you want.
Don’t forget that even if Twitter revolves around speed and instant response – it’s all a matter of building relationships and engaging with people.
How are you growing your business using Twitter? Why not share your ideas with us here?