Twitter is the home to 330 million monthly active users. These people come to the channel from all over the world, looking for the latest news and updates from their favorite brands. Bottomline, if you are not already active on Twitter, you could be missing out on some serious leads. However, whilst there are many brands tweeting today, many of them have no idea how to use Twitter effectively to help them grow their business. Scheduling tweets and ensuring that you use a couple of hashtags in each post does not mean that you are the master of Twitter. If you are ready to find out the real potential of this popular social platform, the following guide will help you.
Here are some actionable tips on how to use Twitter effectively.
- Start with a Twitter strategy
A comprehensive strategy is vital to success on any social media platform. With the correct plan, you make sure that you are investing your time and money into activities that accomplish your goals and generate results.
Begin by figuring out what you want to do with your Twitter account. You may wish to:
- Generate new leads and sales
- Improve customer loyalty
- Enhance product awareness
- Decrease customer service costs
Once you are aware of your business goals, you can set out to develop more actionable targets for your social strategy. For instance, you may want to drive 20 new email sign-ups a month by the end of a three-month campaign. Ensure your goals are specific and measurable if you are going to get results. Remember when crafting your goals, make sure you know what your audience looks like. Do not try to be everything to everyone on social media.
- Create your Twitter profile
A strategic Twitter profile is a powerful tool in your social media marketing strategy. Create the correct image for your brand and you will build trust with your audience, enhance your ability to appear in the right social streams and much more. Before moving on to the next stage of learning how to use Twitter effectively, ensure you:
- Complete and optimize your Twitter profile: Choose a branded image for your Twitter profile picture and use your bio to describe what you do. Do not forget to sneak a secondary link into your bio to drive more leads to your website.
- Get verified: If you want your customers to trust that you are a credible company, get the blue verified badge on Twitter.
- Link back to your profile from other places: Ensure you show your profile off by linking to it on your website, in your email signatures and on your other social accounts. This will provide your social profile with a greater reach.
- Understand how to use #hashtags
Twitter is the birthplace of the all-important and slightly controversial social media hashtag. Ensure you use this resource to your advantage. Hashtags group your content into categories and make your brand overall easier to find online. Twitter research discovered that tweets with hashtags improve engagement by 50% for brands.
Whilst there are many different methods to boost your hashtag strategy on Twitter, here are a few basic tips to incorporate:
- Do not use too many hashtags in each post. Twitter recommends using no more than a couple of hashtags per tweet.
- Do not use spaces in hashtags. For example #Social Media would reference #Social and separate the media part. Be sure that everything links together. Avoid using punctuation also.
- Find trending hashtags on Twitter. On your left-hand sidebar beneath your Twitter profile, you will see a list of the top trending tags related to your profile. Use those to inspire your initial tags.
- Know when to post on Twitter
More than 350,000 tweets are sent via the digital airwaves each minute. It is no wonder it feels so difficult to get real engagement from your Twitter followers. Figuring out how to use Twitter effectively often means knowing when to post to best read your audience. For instance:
- Friday is the best day to post on Twitter
- The best time to post on Twitter is between 9 am and 10 am
- The safest times to post on Twitter every day are between 10 am and 12 pm
- Sunday mornings are the worst for engagement on Twitter
Of course, every audience is different. To ensure you get the best results:
- Tweet at least once a day to maintain a high level of engagement with your followers. Remember to experiment with posting more frequently too.
- Use Twitter Analytics data to adjust your timing as you learn more about your audience and their preferences.
- Schedule your Tweets.
- Remember to engage your audience
When learning how to use Twitter effectively, it is easy to get caught up with things like metrics and measurements. However, the truth is that the most important thing to track on Twitter is your engagement levels. Without engagement, all you have is a number, not a real follower list. To engage your audience:
- Keep track of your network: Read your followers’ tweets and use them to learn more about your customers’ preferences, emerging trends in the industry and more.
- Respond quickly: People expect brands to be responsive on Twitter. One study reveals that 42% of consumers plan to get a response from a brand within 60 minutes. Let your customers know you care by getting back to them quickly.
- Re-tweet, interact and follow: Show your audience you value them by retweeting their content, following them on Twitter and more.
- Ask questions and get interactive: Have conversations with your audience. Host polls and ask for their opinions on relevant topics to do with your brand. Hold a competition to get people excited about your company.
- Use @mentions to tag people: Get involved with your network of followers and influencers by @mentioning them and tagging them in your posts. Just make sure your tagging strategies are appropriate.
- Develop a ‘human’ side
According to Twitter: “It’s important to develop a human tone of voice for your brand”. And what does this mean? Social media is all about encouraging conversations between people. If you wish to thrive on Twitter, do not just bombard your followers with marketing content. Representing what is unique about your company is essential, but the key to success is finding a way to resonate with your audience. Humanizing your brand means incorporating your personality into the things you tweet.
Think about the kind of personality you wish your business to have. Think: would you rather be informal and upbeat, informative and sophisticated? Whatever you choose, ensure you keep your personality consistent. In addition to working on your brand voice, ensure you naturally converse with people on Twitter. Respond to their comments, like what they say and show your audience you value them. Do not be one of those companies that only engage on Twitter when the comments are about you.
- Use multimedia to boost engagement
Multimedia continues to be a valuable and useful method to engage on social media. One survey into Twitter users that 82% of all users view video content on Twitter. These respondents claim that they would prefer to see more video from the people they follow.
To drive engagement from your followers, you could:
- Share a behind-the-scenes video of your organization to help build your credibility and authenticity as a brand. Twitter even allows you to share live video in real-time through ‘Periscope’.
- Post pictures on your Twitter feed. If you want to know how to use Twitter effectively, do not ignore the value of visual content. Ensure the images you share are designed to spark a conversation and relevant to your brand. Remember that you can tag up to 10 people per image if necessary.
- Try GIFs- they can be a quirky way to show the fun side of your business. You could even make your own branded GIFs.
- Monitor your performance
Monitoring your brand is essential, it means both watching what people are saying about you online and paying attention to your Twitter performance. Here are some tips:
- Follow your competitors: Keeping on track of your competitors does two things. Firstly, it gives you inspiration for your own Twitter posts and activity. Secondly, it lets you know what other people are saying about competing brands and how they compare to you.
- Listen to your followers
- Measure your Marketing with Twitter Analytics: Twitter Analytics provides you with a basic overview of your social media marketing strategy.
- Experiment with new tactics
Finally, once you have mastered the basics on Twitter, try experimenting with some advanced content formats that the platform is capable of. For instance, explore the paid advertising options on Twitter to directly promote specific posts and target specific audiences. Alternatively, try:
- Setting up Twitter cards for your website: This ensures that when you share your blog posts on social media, they stand out among your target audience.
- Broadcasting live video: Companies have been experimenting with Live video on Twitter for a while now, including 360 degree streaming channels. As video and other visual content become more popular, live video is an excellent addition to any Twitter strategy.
- Provide customer service: If you have enough people to manage your Twitter account, consider providing an additional avenue for customer service.
Ultimately, using Twitter effectively is entirely about engaging your audience and making sure you stand out. As more companies take to social media to connect with their audience, it is vital to make sure that you have the right presence on your profile. The tips above will help you to connect with your brand’s followers on a deeper level. The more you use Twitter and learn its value for reaching your audience, the easier it will be to grow your brand online.