How much can you say in 140 characters? Ask Twitter’s hundreds of millions of active monthly users, and you’ll get your answer. Though not as widely-used as Facebook and Instagram, Twitter serves a unique niche in the social media community that is shaped by the platform’s distinct characteristics—and content limitations. (Posts are limited to 140 characters or less.) On Twitter, less is more, so crafting your message using Twitter for marketing becomes an art unlike that of any other social network.
According to The Motley Fool, as of Twitter’s latest count it had 328 million monthly active users, making it the ninth largest social network in the world. Though it hasn’t quite yet seen the type of global adoption that Facebook and its associated networks have experienced, Twitter for marketing your business is still a tool that you should employ. Having a presence on Twitter will show that you are willing and able to cater your content to that specific audience of users—and that you are easily accessible, as Twitter is generally regarded as a quick response form of social media communication. It’s a place to create a buzz, to have a conversation and to interact with people among varying levels of the social strata—from your neighborhood newspaper editor to the President of the United States.
If you plan to use Twitter for marketing your business, follow these guidelines for creating an appealing profile and generating a strong following to expand your customer base.
- Optimize your bio. Your Twitter bio is often the first impression Twitter users will have of your brand and its personality. You only get 160 characters in your bio to describe yourself, so use it wisely. Your Twitter bio not only appears on your profile page, but it appears in the search results in the event that your Twitter page appears when someone Googles your company’s name. Make sure your bio tells who you really are or what you do, but that it is also creative so that it is not lost in the millions of mundane profiles out there.
- Create a visually-appealing profile. Like other social media networks, on Twitter you will have the opportunity to represent your brand visually via your profile picture and background design. Make sure the profile picture and background image that you choose is consistent with your company’s branding on your other digital marketing assets so that your brand will be easily recognizable to potential Twitter followers.
- Find followers. Your Twitter account is nothing without people to follow it. To start accumulating followers, use the follow-back method. The idea is, if you follow other relevant accounts, those accounts will in turn follow you back. Try to target people that are local and accounts that are relevant to your industry. You should also cross-promote your Twitter by asking followers on Facebook and Instagram to follow you on Twitter as well.
- Tweet quality content on a regular basis. Regular tweeting shows that your profile is active and engaged, which will increase the likelihood that people will want to interact with you. Experts generally recommend posting daily or at least multiple times a week to keep up with the typical Twitter crowd. In addition to frequency of Tweeting, make sure that your Tweets are interesting or attention-grabbing enough to make followers want to like and retweet your posts.
- Employ direct messaging. Direct messaging is useful if you would like to communicate directly with one particular user. Avoid random direct messages that are blatant attempts to push your product or service; however, if someone follows you, it is a good idea to direct message them to thank them for the follow. This shows that you are willing to go above and beyond to promote positive interaction between your brand and your potential customers.
- Respond to mentions. This is somewhat of a golden rule of social media, so it applies to Twitter for marketing as well. Using the “@” symbol and a Twitter handle, a user can Tweet to another user publically. If someone mentions you in a Tweet, you should take the time to respond. Conversely, if you have the opportunity to mention another account in one of your Tweets, then take advantage of it. Try Tweeting to big name brands or popular persons, because there is a chance that you will get a mention in return.
- Use trending hashtags. Twitter lists its top 10 trending hashtags at any given time on the sidebar of your Twitter homepage. Pay attention to what’s trending, and try to make a relevant connection to your brand using a trending hashtag. Then, your tweet will be seen by any user who is following the topic. In general, you should try to use between one to three hashtags in each of your tweets. Be careful to not overload your tweet with hashtags, however, as this can deter followers from stopping their scroll to interact with it.
- Promote your tweets. Promoted tweets are ordinary tweets that you pay to reach a wider audience on Twitter. They will be labeled as promoted, but they are treated just like any other Tweets in that they can be retweeted, replied to and liked. Promoted tweets will appear at the top of relevant search results pages, in search results for a promoted trend, on home timelines, user profiles and more.
Though Twitter’s traffic does not yet rival that of Facebook, it does have certain advantages that peg it as an important marketing device to have on deck. Not only is it easier to acquire followers on Twitter, but you can interact with users before they even become followers of your page. The Twitter community moves from topic to topic at a rapid pace, so using Twitter for marketing can help your business stay relevant by moving right along with it.
Need help setting up and managing your company’s Twitter account? Contact the McNutt & Partners team today at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.