Social media has proven to be an incredible asset at driving organic traffic to your domain. This was not always the case, with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest having to illustrate their value over a number of years.
Now the facts and figures speak for themselves. Just take Australia as a case in point. As of September 2017, this was the active monthly consumer base on the 5 major social media sites:
- Facebook – 15,000, 000
- YouTube – 15,000,000
- Instagram – 9,000,000
- LinkedIn – 4,200,000
- Twitter – 3,000,000
Twitter might not have the scope of those other heavyweights, yet they dominate over the likes of Reddit, Google Plus and Blogspot among many others in the social media community. This will be our focus as we examine how you can create and oversee a successful Twitter marketing campaign that optimises your strategy from top to bottom.
This platform has been a market leader in driving up-to-the-minute news and content since their inception in 2006, as well as being at the forefront of the hashtag revolution. Other social media outlets have since recognised the power and influence this can wield, but Twitter has been a pioneer in many respects for how we curate and promote our content.
The great news is that every niche has the capacity to drive their message out there and engage with a community of users. It is a vehicle towards free exposure, something that cannot be taken for granted in the modern economy.
So let’s run through a series of helpful tips to transform your brand from Twitter invisibility to a content machine that draws in your consumer base.
Before we delve into the little known tricks of the Twitter trade, it is best to perfect the basics.
- Profile image – utilise your company brand in high resolution, making it suitable across all formats from desktops to smartphones and tablets.
- Header image – this is a domain that can be altered depending on a new campaign you are running. Stories and promotions that are current are best to instigate as the background photo for the header image.
- Bio – you have limited characters, this is prime real estate to include your headline keywords for SEO purposes. Much like a title tag on search engines, this space will be the definition of your operation with the idea of gaining serious click-through rates and exposure on Google.
- URL link – every Twitter profile will be asked for a website URL link, something that even individual users utilise for a blog or work page. Akin to the header image, this link can be altered if you have a new campaign up and running and want to divert traffic to that hub.
- Location – Users and search engines want to be able to pinpoint your operation and providing a location will help that process. Especially if you are based in a city setting, all content can be geo-connected which elevates your SEO presence
They are the essentials that all Twitter users must utilise. Now we will focus on some strategies that are overlooked or misunderstood.
As you will discover on your profile, there is three key tabs on your account:
- Tweets & replies
The latter will bookmark every piece of multimedia you have published on your timeline. Whether they be stock images, videos or GIFs, these pieces of content prove to be greater drivers of engagement. This is not to denigrate the value of written content, but those operations that venture down this path find greater conversion rates of success.
Wyzowl discovered that 83% of business see video as a greater return on investment (ROI) than the alternative. 82% also utilise video as a key element in their overall marketing strategy. Yet the beauty of social media and platforms like Twitter is that your multimedia usage can be varied.
One great tip for images is to collate up to 4 at a time. This enables a story to be told and to maximise your exposure. One image is fine, two is handy, but 4 makes a collage of media that opens up more tagging and SEO pathways. Take advantage!
Do not just limit your image content to Twitter though, with Instagram’s platform enabling your operation to sync the two. Head to IFTTT to ensure that your efforts there can be shared with the Twitter community. For video, there is endless possibilities to showcase your operation with video-friendly capabilities.
Thanks to an application like Periscope, videos can be streamed live to your followers. Such a tool can enable your brand to broadcast an event, share some breaking news or simply give your consumer base some up-to-the-second content to watch.
Optimise Your Cards
Twitter Cards are a great way to condense your message into onto easy-to-read box. The information you create is entirely down to your strategy, and can vary from an article to a how-to guide, a question or a call to action.
On any given Twitter timeline, there will be a list of promotions that will follow these principles. To entice the user to click on your card, try and include a question to engage their interest such as: “Have you thought about your career path?” or “Planning on an overseas trip this year?”
Hootsuite’s guide for Twitter advertisements offers a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of that department. This will give you a rundown of best practices for paid promotions that get your brand instant visibility. The trick is to maximise your investment by curating cards that draw the user into the conversation.
Be Present In Communication
Direct Messages (DMs) are easy to overlook and ignore if you are running a Twitter account. Yet your customer service reputation will take a serious nosedive if you neglect this part of the platform because many of your followers will want a private mode of communication in this public space.
The same can be said for tweets that are intended to be for promotional purposes, but can result in questions and responses that need addressing. Do not let them linger as your response rate will be monitored by followers who want to know that their query is being listened to.
To get proactive in this respect rather than sit back and wait on criticism is to ask your followers what they are looking for from you. Utilise the poll feature and ask questions. Do not have too much pride or believe you have all the answers because you will not.
Twitter should be seen as a way to make your brand more humanised and open to the general public. A number of companies have experienced pitfalls taking that practice too far, but you will see followers tapped into your content if you showcase transparency and openness.
Remove Elements That Are Not Working
There will be parts of your Twitter marketing efforts that simply do not work. What was thought about as a good idea back in the summer has now dwindled out to be useless come the winter. Rather than stick to these same methods, shake it up and start again.
- Cancel tweets that are not gaining traction on retweets and likes
- Unfollow groups and accounts that are not providing any tangible benefit
- Pause campaigns that are struggling and modify them before re-launching
Likewise for campaigns and content that are giving you a solid ROI, invest more time and energy into those endeavours.
Be An Authority and Thought Leader
While you create and promote your content on Twitter, it is advised that you manage to craft an image of authority and knowledge. Many of the top accounts on this platform have hundreds of thousands or millions of followers who are eager to receive information that is fresh, relevant and from a sound source.
Put yourself in the shoe of the consumer and ask yourself why you would follow your own account. Is it because the graphics are cool or because you have an obligation? No – it will be as a mode of receiving content that informs and engages.
Do not only limit your scope in this respect just to the company account. Take note of journalists at The Sydney Morning Herald or New York Times. Their writers have their own audience and as they promote their work, that filters back to the central hub.
Consider this a clever method of cross-promotion, a way to enhance your viewership efficiently. To connect multiple accounts and have your audience tuned into your campaign, run a hashtag to develop a tangible conversation thread.
One of the most difficult aspects of online marketing is to drive a direct message to a populous of your choosing. Whether it be through geographic means or a demographic that suits your consumer base, the hard part is narrowing down that campaign for the people you have in mind.
Twitter thankfully allows operations to cater their content to those they want to promote to. For the geo-targeting, chose either a country, state, city or metro location.
The same can be undertaken for the following:
- Behaviour targeting
- Tailored audience targeting
- Follower targeting
- Keyword targeting
Once you have secured an understanding of the basic practices and principles of Twitter, this is the next step to delve into the detail. Micromanaging on such a large platform can appear daunting, but this social media tool has the software capabilities to make the confusing appear simple, so trust in their data and follow the prompts accordingly.
Set Clear and Concise Objectives
Any operation that understands correct business practices will have a grasp of setting objectives for the company. They might be modest for a Twitter campaign if there is no social media specialist involved, or advanced if it is being run by someone with the adequate experience.
Twitter advertisement campaigns will provide data on bounce rates to outline whether or not the endeavour has been executed efficiently. Take note of the investment put into the project and see if they runs parallel with what was set out originally.
Reviewing performance has to be part of the equation because lessons need to be learned in order to improve output. One of the continual missteps that organisations take with a platform like Twitter is that they will curate an account and send out some information without a plan. They believe the online community will do the work for them, a preconception that could not be further from the truth.
Gauge Twitter Analytics and see for yourself how your mentions, impressions and conversion rates are tracking. This data is there at the click of the button and presented in an easy to read format, so there is no excuse not to be informed about your daily performance.
Since Twitter expanded their character space from 140 to 280 in 2017, there is more room to roam on this platform. This will be an application tool that will continue to evolve with new widgets, algorithm changes and external social media revolutions altering how we practice this forum.
While you will need to present a professional image for your brand, keep it light, fun and engaging to your community. There is detail in the strategy behind the scenes, but ensure that communication channels are kept open and stay abreast of new trends and developments.
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