Since its inception in 2006, Twitter has seen a major transformation. What began as an SMS-based communications platform designed primarily for mobile use is now a major player in the digital marketing industry – and for good reason.
When leveraged strategically, Twitter allows companies around the world the opportunity to connect with legions of brand advocates in just a few short sentences. The result? Less fluff and filler, and more targeted and intentional messaging.
This year, users were rewarded for their platform patronization when the traditional 140 character limit was doubled to 240. While it’s still a brief and succinct allowance, this wiggle room means you’re no longer limited to relying on abbreviations and acronyms to get your message across.
As we prepare to enter 2018, are you taking advantage of the powerful marketing tool that Twitter can be? If you’re still using it to tweet the details of your lunch or intermittently promote an upcoming event, you’re missing out.
Here are five strategies you can implement today to start seeing the Twitter results you want in the New Year.
This one is relatively simple, but it’s one of the most overlooked aspects of the platform. If you want people to find you, and, more importantly, know who you are and what you represent, a solid bio is essential.
Don’t use this space to list your credentials or other non-critical personal details. Rather, describe what you do at your company, and what your company is known for. Be sure to include a link to your website or landing page to improve your click-through traffic.
As you prepare this portion, be cognizant of the tone you’re using. It should be synonymous with your brand voice, so visitors can quickly associate you with it.
As social media mushrooms in popularity, persons with an active and healthy follower base are known as “influencers.” In short, brands will connect with them and offer them free or discounted products or services in exchange for a shout-out on their network pages. This beneficial win-win scenario boosts exposure for both parties.
Twitter is a great place to find influencers in your brand niche. You can use the Twitter search bar or a tool such as Topsy to search the broad user base for keywords that fit within your industry.
For instance, if your company creates custom stationary, you can search for “stationary” “custom” “hand-lettered” “calligraphy” or other related terms. Not only will you see influencers who are also interested in this type of business, but you’ll also be connected with new prospects and customers as well.
Find the influencers who have the most impact on your community and follow them! You may even suggest partnering with them to get the word out. If you decide to go this route, it’s important to build an organic relationship with them first.
Create a list of these influencers and make it a point to communicate with them regularly through Twitter mentions, likes, and more. Be careful that your messaging feels natural and isn’t too promotional. Then, you can gradually introduce the idea of a partnership without sounding pushy.
Think about someone who you only see or talk to once every few months or so. Would you consider yourself very close to this person? Unless they’re a family member, the answer is likely, “no.” Along those same lines, if you’re trying to build a client relationship, you’ll need to check in often.
Many people sign up for a social media page and use it enthusiastically for the first few weeks. Then, after the honeymoon period is over and the real work sets in, they abandon it. Don’t let this be you in 2018.
Use a tool such as Hootsuite to schedule your tweets in advance. That means you can prepare all your tweets on Monday, then have them hit the internet at specific times during the week. This takes the stress and time constraints out of having to carve out a block of time every day to devote to the process.
Whether you’re advertising a new sale, asking a general survey question, or hosting a giveaway, think of something interesting and relevant to say and speak often. You can also use this space to link back to your blog posts or relevant website information to bring users to your page.
The best way to build you brand community is to deliver consistent content that answers a question or helps them solve a problem. Use Twitter to your advantage in this case – the brief space means your message can be short and sweet!
Another underutilized Twitter feature is “mentions.” Every time someone mentions your company or your name on Twitter, they’ll use your handle, beginning with the “@” sign.
Twitter’s analytical dashboard alerts you every time your account is mentioned. This could be someone asking a question, leaving you praise, or venting a frustration. Either way, it’s important that you see it.
If appropriate, try to respond to these mentions. Did someone give your company a shout-out for quick delivery? Tweet them a quick “thank you” in acknowledgement. Is someone having a hard time tracking their order and growing impatient with the slow service? Reach out to them and see how you can make it better.
At its core, social media is designed to foster communication and collaboration and allow brands to be more hands-on with their client base. Track your mentions and respond accordingly to let customers know there’s a face behind the name.
As important as it is to talk on Twitter, it’s equally beneficial to listen on the platform.
One great way to do this? Set up a quick search term that’s related to your industry to see what people are talking about. Through this easy step, you’ll quickly discern the pain points and issues they want resolved. For instance, if you’re a car salesman in Phoenix, you can set your terms to “Phoenix car buy.”
You might see a tweet from someone in Phoenix that reads, “I’m looking to buy a new car but I’m not sure where to start.” Then, you can respond with “We’re a certified dealer in your area and we’d love to help you find the car of your dreams!”
You can also monitor your industry conversation by searching for (and using) hashtags appropriately. We’ve all seen the people #who #hashtag #every #word. Not only is it difficult to read but it can come across desperate and overly promotional. Rather, see what people are hashtagging in your niche and in your location, and see which ones make sense with your brand.
Then, when it comes time to use the hashtag, do so sparingly and intentionally to avoid looking spammy.
This year, make it a point to take a second look at Twitter. It’s arguably your quickest and simplest way to interact on social media. It’s also a great place to showcase your content creation and encourage followers to engage with your brand’s website and other platforms. Become an active tweeter today and watch your community – and your bottom line – grow in return.