Guide to Twitter Marketing
Twitter. Everyone’s on it. It’s a powerful platform for building connections between people and brands. It’s a way of creating, sharing and responding to momentary messages which take seconds to catch on or be buried under a tsunami of other ideas, opinions and links. In this kind of environment, a marketing strategy is needed which is flexible, collaborative and engaging.
You may not be aware of the various marketing tools that Twitter already has for individual and company users. Making use of these tools is essential to competing on the platform, which by itself allows short-form advertising and prioritises accounts with a large following and trending topics, making Twitter by itself competitive but also constraining.
Twitter can seem fairly haphazard. When you start out, it can appear that what trends and who gets the most follows is entirely due to chance. But there are a few techniques you can use to put you ahead of the pack. Here’s a summary of the methods we’ve found most effective.
Twitter Cards allow you to attach rich media, including photos, videos and audio clips to a tweet. By adding some code to the media on your site, users who share that media via Twitter can ‘embed’ the media directly into the tweet, so that viewers can see the media directly on Twitter rather than having to click through a link to the site. This ease of access increases brand awareness and the reach of your marketing, as users are more likely to see, react to and share media that is provided to them directly.
A Twitter chat is an organised conversation on Twitter using a hashtag (“#”) to bring people together. You pre-arrange the chat by alerting your followers about the hashtag and when the chat will start. Then people use the hashtag to form a group and start talking to each other. Your followers can alert their followers to the chat and hashtag, so that the conversation broadens out to include more people.
If the conversation grows large enough, it will trend and be listed on Twitter’s front page, meaning that more people will join, giving your brand a lot more coverage. These chats don’t just get your name out there, but also allow you to engage in a dialogue with your fans, customers and associate companies.
IFFFT has an “applet” that allows you to post Instagram photos on Twitter. This synergy of two platforms allows you to consolidate your media and connect Twitter followers and Instagram followers, who may be different for demographic reasons relating to age, and use of the platforms for different forms of online shopping.
A well-placed hashtag can get people talking about your brand or product, increase your reputation and even start a trend on Twitter. Hashtags should aim to be timely and relevant to current events, eye catching in a way that’s entertaining or makes you think, and easily understandable. Make sure that the hashtag can’t be interpreted in a bad way, and err on the side of caution because a bad first impression on Twitter can be difficult to shake for businesses.
Twitter allows you to tag up to 10 people in a photo. This can help if you have a celebrity or group associated with an ad campaign, as it can draw fans to your tweet. It also encourages other users to tag you in their tweets.
Rule one of marketing is to hammer your message home so that it’s remembered by viewers. This is even more important on Twitter, where people view so many different messages that not very much of it sticks. By rewriting or even retweeting a message multiple times, a few days or a week after the original tweet, you can catch new people who might be interested in your brand, but also remind and solidify the interest of loyal followers.
Some posting times are better than others. You should post regularly, at least once a day, and change the times you post to see what times you get the most impressions. This will depend on where your audience is in the world, their daily schedule, how they find you and why. A couple of quick tips are to post on the weekend, when Twitter is most active, and in the small hours of the morning if you’re targeting a younger demographic.
Retweets and Commentary
Reacting to tweets, such as customer complaints, can also help to raise awareness of your brand. Companies that pull this off well can earn a place in Twitter Valhalla. But, once again, be careful not to come off badly from any exchange. Be light hearted, sincere and actually address what the tweet is about.