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What You Should — and Shouldn’t Be — Sharing on Twitter

When you’re using Twitter to market your company, you want to make sure you’re getting the highest return on your investment. After all, you’re putting time and effort into researching facts, creating witty tweets, and building your list of followers.

Many companies, however, sabotage their success by posting a tweet before doing their research. Twitter users have their own unique taste, and the content that might be loved by Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat users is not something that will attract the attention of your Twitter followers. Some of Twitter’s least popular posts receive high marks on other social media platforms; memes, for example, are widely circulated on Facebook, but these same image/text posters make for some of the lowest-ranking tweets.

More than two-thirds of users are likely to buy from a business that they follow on Twitter. Focus the dos and don’ts of Twitter to enhance your efforts, and you should see higher numbers of retweets, engagements, and more leads from your Twitter account.

DO: Use text-only tweets

Tweets that contain text are the most popular and farthest-reaching tweets you can create. By staying on the short end of your 140 characters, and using them wisely, you’ll be able to take your thoughts, opinions, and ideas, and spread them to a wider audience.

  • Text-only posts on other social media platforms are typically missed by fans and friends with busy, fast-moving news feeds.
  • The snippets posted on Twitter are designed to quickly catch your followers’ attention and keep them engaged.

One way to engage with followers is through a direct call-to-action. Ask them …

  • To give an opinion on your latest ad.
  • To share a funny story or joke related to your content.
  • To do something specific, like engage in a virtual scavenger hunt.

Make sure to be clear with your requests and make them easy for your users to follow through. Include links, polls, and compelling questions that will evoke a response.

DON’T: Create lengthy Tweets

With only 140-characters, you don’t have a lot of space to post paragraphs of content. You shouldn’t want to, either. Think about how many times, across social media, you click “read more.” For most people, it’s not that often.

  • Keep your Tweets focused and concise, and learn to say what you want and need to say in as few words as possible.
  • Use your tweets as teasers to show followers your blog and other content.
  • To give yourself more characters for your actual tweets, use ‘link shorteners’ like bitley.com, or the Google tool: Goo.gl.

DO: Link to your content

You’re spending time creating content for your followers — share the links on Twitter. The idea of content creation and marketing is to add value to the lives of your customers and prospects, but if your followers don’t know about your blog, you’re missing out on fantastic opportunities.

  • Make sure that the content you post is timely and relevant.
  • Don’t feel bad about giving yourself a plug when you’ve written a guest post, either. You’ll be helping both yourself and the blogger who invited you to post, and will expand the reach of both of your brands.

DON’T: Create valueless tweets

Even among personal accounts, Twitter users value quality over quantity when it comes to tweets. They don’t care about the sandwich you ate. They would rather have solid facts and figures to digest themselves. Most individuals want to learn about ways your brand can impact their lives and their worlds, rather than an in-depth look into your world.

  • If you’re going to tweet personal information, make it a behind-the-scenes look at your brand.
  • Show your creative team hard at work, a sneak-peek at a new product, or insider information.

DO: Create content your followers favor

Twitter users, by and large, prefer educational and informational content with links to lists, do-it-yourself projects, and how-to tips over basic status updates. As you create your content marketing plan, don’t forget to add in these types of blog posts; once they’ve been posted, share them with your Twitter followers. You’ll see a higher engagement level, and a greater number of re-tweets of your content.

DON’T: Tweet bad links

Check, double-check, and triple-check your links. Nothing is more frustrating than clicking on a tweeted link and getting an error message … an “oops, we couldn’t find your content” message, or, even worse, a virus.

  • Bad and broken links can lower your credibility, especially if it happens more than once.
  • Followers will refrain from clicking on your links, and may stop following you altogether if they continue to have problems reaching the main idea of your tweets.

DO: Tweet quotations

Quotes are popular on all social media platforms, but especially on Twitter where you have a limited number of characters to make an impact and quickly reach your followers.

  • Including the Twitter handle of the person being quoted will expose your tweets to new potential audience members.
  • Create a branded image to make a quote work even more in your favor by adding a solid background, complimentary colors, and a striking, attention-grabbing font … and include your logo.

DO: Tweet images

Images are widespread favorites among social media platforms, being tweeted and re-tweeted every second. Tweets with images catch the attention of your followers, making them pause and take a closer look at the text that accompanies the image.

Keep in mind that the images you tweet should appeal to your customer’s emotions, whether you’re tugging at their heartstrings with a photo showing your company’s work in the community, or showing a humorous, clever picture featuring your brand or logo.

DON’T: Tweet too many memes

Images might have a very high engagement factor, but memes are the lowest-ranking images to post. These meant-to-be-humorous pictures are viewed as a way to connect with other users and followers by putting into an image the feelings and emotions they’d like to convey, but many memes don’t express the same sincerity that would come from creating and posting your own graphics. If you must use memes in your Twitter marketing, use them sparingly.

DO: Use infographics

Infographics are the exception to the don’t-use-text-and-graphic-images rule. Memes are out — infographics are in.

  • These images typically express statistics or facts in an attractive, impactful single image.
  • Combining both the text data along with a visual representation will appeal to right-brained and left-brained followers, attracting individuals who prefer numbers and followers who are more artistic.

As a result of appealing to both sides of the brain, infographics increase your followers’ retention of the content.

DON’T: Over — or under — do the hashtags

Learn to create a healthy hashtag balance. We’ve talked about it before: There is both an art and a science to using hashtags.

  • Your followers on Twitter appreciate cleverly crafted, witty hashtags — in small doses.
  • Ideally, your tweets should include between one and three hashtags; more can cause your followers to skip over your tweet, and no hashtags will lessen your chances of being found or seen.

Twitter found that brands who included tweets with relevant hashtags saw a 50 percent increase in user engagement.

DO: Re-tweet helpful and relevant content

While you created your Twitter account to promote your business — your followers, customers, and prospects want to feel like they are your priority. That means sharing content that you think they will find helpful, which in turn, positions yourself as a leader who cares about the people supporting your business.

  • Share information about how your customers are using your products.
  • Relay stories about news that is related to your industry or field
  • Use positive, feel-good pieces from your providers, prospects, and colleagues.

 DO: Tweet videos

Tweeting videos is a newer option for many Twitter users, but highly impactful. Twitter found that users who were exposed to a branded video have a 28 percent higher purchase intent than the norm for the Internet.

  • Native video (played in-feed) creates higher engagement through replies, retweets and favorites, and drives traffic to the company’s Web site.
  • Use people-first language to make a human first impression, which will draw in more followers.
  • Keep the video energetic and the storyline interesting and moving.

DON’T: Ignore your followers

This is the most important don’t of all. Reaching and engaging your followers is the main reason you’re using the social media platform.

  • When a follower re-tweets your content, favorites a tweet, sends you a message, or comments on your tweet … reply to them.
  • Sending an individualized response is the best way to connect with your followers, creating long-term brand loyalty and interest.

When you’re ready to step up your Twitter marketing, take the time to analyze and audit your page to see how you rate with the Do’s and Don’ts. We’d love to help you. If you want to see your Twitter account reach its full potential for your business, contact us. We’ll use our experience to optimize your Twitter account.