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Twitter Marketing Strategies to Beef up Your Social Game

Articles

Feb. 19, 2021, 1:43 p.m.

In recent years, Twitter has made a lot of changes and come under a lot of fire in the media. You might imagine that all the action could mean that Twitter marketing as a viable solution is on its way out, but the reality is far more optimistic than that.

For years, Twitter has been one of the most widely used and innovative platforms on the Internet. With a current average of 6,000 tweets per second, it’s hard to imagine a day when Twitter would cease to be a valuable communication tool. And if you’ve been following the news at all for the last decade, chances are you’ve become familiar with Twitter. The platform dominated headlines in 2009 when an American Airlines flight crashed into the Hudson River because it broke the news before traditional media.

But does Twitter work as a marketing tool for your business? And if it does work, what steps can you take to capitalize on this unique platform?

It’s possible to build strong brand relationships and establish a powerful Twitter marketing strategy, but only if you’re willing to take the right steps and have some patience. It will also take some experimentation and brainstorming sessions to determine your brand’s ultimate direction, but the effort can be worth it. We have had enormous success with using Twitter at Kinsta to bring in new customers.

Before you dive in though, you have to understand the current landscape of Twitter. So to kick things off, let’s look into some of the current Twitter trends and how they affect your ability to market your brand on the platform.

  • Traversing the Twittersphere
  • The Basics According to Twitter

Traversing the Twittersphere (Stats)

At first glance, the prospect of using Twitter for marketing doesn’t look so good. In 2018, the platform’s growth actually declined from a peak of around 336 million monthly active users down to 321 million. For a social media platform, this is not a great performance, especially when compared to others like Facebook and Instagram who are growing at a rapid pace.

So one of the bigger points that many brands have against a serious Twitter marketing strategy is simply its relative smallness. Even though 42% use uses are daily, why use Twitter when you could potentially reach an additional two billion, active users, on Facebook?

The key to remember is that looking at growth and user population only paints half the picture. You may have a smaller pool of users than Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn, but the flip side is that you can realize much greater levels of brand interaction via Twitter. Or to put it another way, the conversations you create are the true metric that proves the value of Twitter. More than any other social media site, Twitter users engage with the brands they follow.

More than three-fourths of Twitter users have interacted with a business, and an impressive 83% feel a greater affinity with a brand they’ve interacted with. That means if you can create a presence that fosters conversation with your followers, they’ll be more willing to hear what you have to say in the future.

Another element of Twitter that works in your favor is how often its users find and interact with a new small- or medium-sized business (also known as SMBs). According to research compiled and published by Twitter, 66.4% of users say they’ve discovered a new brand through the platform.

So users are wanting to engage with your brand, and they’re actively looking for new businesses to engage with. You’re not just fishing within your existing audience on Twitter because there’s the constant possibility that your followers will grow with each passing day.

But the biggest upside of Twitter isn’t engagement. It’s how willing active followers are to buy from a brand. According to that same study, 93.3% of users who follow a small business on Twitter are planning to make a purchase, and 68.75% have already bought something.

So not only are you engaging more, you’re selling more. You can be much more upfront about your goods or services than any other social platform without turning users away.

The ultimate value of Twitter is dependant on your brand, but it’s hard to ignore numbers like the ones you’ve been looking at. Using Twitter as a platform for social engagement and growing your business can be a wise choice if you implement the basics and post regularly.

To help you launch your own Twitter marketing strategy, let’s start by covering the basics. Then, you can dive deeper into some more proven strategies at the end of this post.

The Basics According to Twitter

For years, Twitter relied on a feed that showed every tweet or retreat in reverse chronological order. Nothing was filtered or curated at all.

But in recent years, Twitter has gone the way of AI and algorithms to give its users a better overall experience. While they might have a better time browsing, it’s presented some problems for brands that used to be guaranteed impressions and engagement simply by posting at the right time.

To combat this downtrend, Twitter themselves has published a guide on the basics of creating good content. To help you understand why these tips work, we’re going to take them a step further and show you data from studies and brands that have succeeded by following this guide.

Basic #1: Keep it Short

Since its creation in 2006, Twitter has limited its users to a mere 140 characters. Over the years, this has led to some rather creative abbreviations, short-winded rants, and even the creation of URL shorteners.

But in 2017, Twitter did the unthinkable. They doubled their character count to 280. To some, this was like a long rain after a drought, while others were less than enthused.

If you weren’t looking, the most interesting element of this change would have been easy to miss. Despite what you may imagine, users continued to rely on shorter forms of communication in their tweets.

It could just be a habit built over a decade of 140 characters, but in the months since changing the character limit, only 1% of tweets are using the full character allotment. The trend of keeping it short and sweet remains steady.

It’s also worth noting that 280 characters still isn’t very much when you think about it. The paragraph preceding this one is only around 240 characters, so you’re still not getting more than a few sentences to convey your message.

And while users tend to not cap out their 280 characters, it has been shown that lengthening your short messages can give you a greater amount of likes.

But no matter how you swing this topic, Twitter is the social platform that values conciseness above all else. Even with the ability to lengthen your post, it’s much more likely that pithy one-liners with a unique slant will remain the go-to for Twitter.

Basic #2: Use Visuals

Creating a visual marketing strategy for any social media site can be helpful, and Twitter marketing is no different. Brands constantly use and abuse the visual nature of Twitter’s news feed to help them engage with their audience.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Looking at how and why visuals help your social media is always a good idea.

To start with, you have to dig a bit into how the human mind gathers and retains information. According to numerous studies, visual information is easier to consume and retain than its text-based counterpart.

Most of the information you gather on a daily basis is visual, so your brain is wired to absorb it 60,000 times faster. That means using images in place of your 280 characters can be more interesting and lead to more engagement than relying on text alone. According to Twitter, tweets with images receive an average of 35% more retweets.

But that’s just scratching the surface. More than half of all social media is made up of visuals, and more than half of internet users are willing to repost images that they come across.

So implementing visuals in your Twitter marketing isn’t just a good idea, it’s necessary. It’s one of the few ways that you can launch yourself outside of the 280 character limit and say what your words can’t.

Below is an example of how we implement this at Kinsta. We want every Tweet’s visual to stand out and design all of our featured images with social media in mind! Make sure you configure Twitter cards on your WordPress site. We recommend going with the large image format.

Or here is another example from a happy Kinsta client. They are using a visual graph that they know will catch people’s attention.

Using a funny animated GIF never hurts either

Basic #3: Use Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags are ubiquitous these days. They’re on just about every platform and seem to be used and abused by everyone. But did you know that the hashtag originated on Twitter?

Chris Messina originally proposed that the # symbol be used to help designate groups on Twitter. By indicating which group should read the message using the pound sign, users could track conversations and find like-minded users to interact with. Even though it was rejected at first, the idea eventually came around.

Over the years, the hashtag has evolved into something much greater but also much more confusing. If you go to your Twitter feed, you’ll likely notice that Twitter has a list of trending topics, many of which involve a hashtag:

But what do these hashtags do? The short answer is that when you add a hashtag to a post, Twitter indexes it and allows it to become searchable. When someone clicks on or searches for a specific hashtag, they’re brought to a results page that displays all of the relevant posts in real-time.

So you’ll typically see hashtags that revolve around a certain event or social trend that’s making a lot of news headlines. You’ll also see spikes for seasonal hashtag use, like with this example of “Best Friends Day.”

So a hashtag can go from nonexistent to extremely popular and then back in just a matter of a few days. That creates both a problem and an opportunity for a brand that can leverage hashtags correctly.

But taking advantage of seasonal or trending hashtags is just one part of the greater picture. Many companies use branded hashtags that they created to great effect. It might take more time for one of these hashtags to catch on, but the increased engagement and brand awareness are worth it.

Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than those without. Just be careful you don’t use too many hashtags, as that can have a negative effect on your engagement as well.

How you use hashtags is ultimately up to you, but there’s no denying that they’re an essential part of Twitter marketing. Whether you create your own or rely on trends, you can use them to find new followers and increase brand awareness.

Basic #4: Ask Questions and Use Polls

Twitter polls are one of the relatively newer features of Twitter, but that doesn’t detract from their popularity. Just search #poll or #polls on Twitter, and you’ll find an exhaustive list of brands and users who are posting their questions for all to see.

Using this feature as a brand can be a great way to get vital audience feedback and inform your content strategy in the long run. It can also be a great way to pose fun and interesting questions to your followers so that they see the lighter side of your business.

For example, Search Engine Journal recently published a poll asking what their audience thought about their thoughts regarding the skillset a search engine optimization professional needed to have.

Even if that’s French to you, it’s a question that’s catered to the interests and needs of their audience. It tells them that the majority of their users don’t value an SEO expert knowing a lot of details about paid search ads. They can now create and share content more accurately based on these findings.

What’s also a great feature is that you can turn around and use this information to create graphics that are useful to your audience as well. There’s a good chance that many of SEJ’s followers included this graphic in their posts, which is good for everyone involved.

Using a poll on your own Twitter account can give you similar results. You can be engaging and helpful with one simple task.

Basic #5: Curate with Retweets

The final basic that Twitter wants you to know about is the ability to retweet and reply directly on your feed. It’s one of the features that certainly helps make Twitter a unique jumble of overlapping conversations.

While retweeting relevant content may sound like a lot of work, it’s one of the best ways to curate content on just about any social media platform. For example, the game developer Bungie frequently retweets content from their @BungieHelp account so that all of their followers stay up-to-date.

This may sound like cheating, but it’s not. Using retweets is an everyday practice on Twitter. Even asking for a retweet has proven to be successful, as it has the potential to do wonders for your engagement.

So even if it feels wrong, creating retweetable content should be one of your first priorities. Don’t be afraid to ask, because it will likely help more than hurt. And then spend some time trolling Twitter for shareable content that your audience will enjoy.

Basic #6: Twitter Ads

Last but not least it to build Twitter ad campaigns that allow you to target audiences by hashtags, keywords, and even Twitter profiles. However, the very first thing you should do is get the Twitter tracking pixel on your WordPress site. This way you can start building an audience of people who have visited your website who you can retarget later.

source: kinsta

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.

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