The social media marketers all agree on one thing: Your business needs a Twitter account. But once you have an account, what do you do with it? You need to employ a strategy to maximize the effectiveness of marketing with your new Twitter account. There’s plenty of research available that points out strategies to use, and actions to avoid when marketing your business on Twitter. So what’s your Twitter marketing strategy?
Facts & Figures
First, let’s take a look at some interesting figures from a study done by mention.com
– According to this research, 66.7 percent of mentions came from Twitter, with the remainder divided up among other social media channels. This figure clearly shows how important Twitter is to every business with a presence on social media. Twitter matters.
– A company name is, on average, mentioned on Twitter 39 times per day, which adds up to 273 mentions per week. Most business owners would agree that this number is far higher than the average number of phone calls they receive every day. If you’re not paying attention to what people are saying about your business on Twitter, you’re missing out on some critical information.
– A large portion of tweets that have your company name in them don’t include your Twitter handle. That portion is 30.72 percent to be exact. If the tracking software you’re using doesn’t include modified keywords of your business name, you’re not getting the whole picture. Make sure you track every tweet that contains mentions of your business.
– A mere 9.16 percent of tweets about your business start with your Twitter handle. What exactly does this one mean? That 90.84 percent of tweets about your company aren’t directed to you! This reinforces the need to keep track of all mentions, not just direct ones. You always need to know what people are saying about your business! Don’t be afraid to engage in these conversations, especially the negative ones. Try to address any questions or concerns your customers may have to keep your reputation intact.
– Lastly, 60.2 percent of the tweets that mention your company won’t be retweeted, and an equal number are posted when you’re not in your office. This means that a single negative tweet is not enough to tarnish the reputation of your business and cause financial ruin. You should treat negative tweets accordingly. Try to engage the complainant one-on-one and resolve any issues they may have. If you can’t settle your differences, remember that the damage will be minimal at best.
Social Media Around the Clock
We all know that social media blows up in the evenings and on weekends, so the fact that tweets are posted when you’re off work is no surprise. What this means for you as a business owner is that you need to hire somebody to monitor Twitter during these times to address customer issues in a timely manner. Many businesses fail to adapt to this simple fact of life. Social media doesn’t take nights and weekends off.
Now, let’s review some Twitter basics with the five best practices to use when tweeting:
– Keep it brief – Always deliver a short and sweet message when you tweet. Focus on sending one message instead of many. If you have more information to communicate, you should link out to your website or blog. Short tweets make the most impact with readers.
– Use visuals – Tweets with photos, videos, or GIFs are three times more likely to engage the readers and result in clicks. Always use visuals, because they work. Enough said.
– Use hashtags – Hashtags are a great way to expand the reach of your business into related conversations. Use keywords associated with your business, or events that appeal to your customers like holidays or annual activities. Experts recommend two or less hashtags for each tweet.
– Ask your readers questions or use a Twitter poll to conduct research – A good question or poll is a great way to research your customers’ opinions. It encourages interaction and provides you with data you may need to move forward. This also helps to establish a good relationship.
– Retweet – One of the easiest ways to maintain your Twitter presence is to retweet content content, such as positive feedback, articles, and messages relevant to your business or industry. This practice keeps your business fresh in the customer’s mind and requires minimal effort on your part. Always retweet events that your customers may be interested in as well. If your customers are interested in a Tweet, they’ll remember that they heard about it from you!
Market for Success
Now that we know some interesting figures and best practices for using Twitter, let’s get to the real meat and potatoes. Twitter is a unique social media platform that is meant for interaction, not just for sharing information and content that’s available on your website. The key to successful marketing on Twitter is encouraging interaction, not just the number of followers you have. Here are five of the best strategies you can use to make your marketing on Twitter more successful:
– Seek out active followers – I mentioned before that the number of followers you have isn’t important. It’s not, but the number of active followers you have is. This means that these followers are interested in actively engaging with others on the Twitter platform, and these are the type of followers you want. One of the best ways to attract active followers is to engage in Twitter chats. The people who engage with you in these chats are the ones who are most likely to reply to your tweets and retweet your posts, thereby spreading the word about your business. If you can’t find a Twitter chat for your particular industry, take the lead and create your own! Engage in these conversations regularly, and reply to others. Keep track of the users who engage with you in the chats, then ‘favorite,’ ‘reply,’ and retweet’ their posts to share their content. They’ll be sure to return the favor! Active followers are the key to Twitter marketing success.
– Make a Plan – Don’t wing it when it comes to your tweets. Plan ahead to create the best content, and incorporate hashtags for special events and holidays each month. Instead of giving yourself one or two days to create a tweet, try giving yourself two or three weeks to consider the content you plan to post, and don’t forget to include any relevant visuals! The quality of your tweets is guaranteed to go up, and people should respond. Plan ahead, and stick to your plan!
– Encourage Conversation – Remember, Twitter is all about interaction, so your tweets should always encourage a response. The biggest mistake most businesses make when marketing on Twitter is simply supplying information or links to their website. They have been conditioned by Facebook and Instagram that this is what social media is all about, but Twitter is different.
- The best way to start a conversation is to tweet out a question, which encourages replies from others.
- You can also tweet replies to other people, which encourages others to chime in on the topic.
- More conversation turns into higher engagement and more activity for your Twitter account.
– Set a Schedule – This one goes along with planning ahead. To maximize your overall content strategy, you need to set a schedule. Your schedule will identify what you plan to tweet and when you plan to do it. Coordinate your tweets to link to new content on your website like articles and blog posts. Don’t forget to tweet these links several times so more people will see it! A major mistake many people make is tweeting links one time, and then wondering why the response is so low. Repetition is a good thing when it comes to marketing on social media! Software is available to help you recognize optimal times to tweet when your followers are active, so as many people as possible will see your post. Set a schedule, coordinate with content, and stick to it!
– Set Goals and Measure Results – This is the step that most businesses simply forget about. They just keep on adding content and tweeting without considering if it is even working. Goals and results are about follow-through and identifying effectiveness. Some examples of common goals are:
- Increase website traffic
- Network with bloggers
- Generate leads
Some measurable results are:
- Increase website traffic 10 percent in 60 days
- Have two guest blogs next quarter
- Generate 50 leads from Twitter this month
Set your Goal
Always put a time frame on any goal you hope to achieve. At the end of the time frame, reevaluate and set new goals. Use social media management tools and website analytics to track data and progress toward your goals. This step allows you to manage your strategy and to make any changes if necessary.
Marketing on Twitter is unique. The whole concept is to encourage interaction, not to simply provide information or product links. Remember to attract active followers, plan your tweets, encourage conversation, set a schedule, and set goals and measure results.