Twitter Marketing: Best Practices to Make It Work
Written by Tiffany
To get the most out of your Twitter for Business account, you’ll need to pay close attention to detail in order to finesse your audience into consistent engagement. Unlike Facebook, which is a platform designed to create dynamic connections, Twitter is a platform designed for dialogue and brand development. With a comprehensive analytics suite available on your dashboard, Twitter allows you to easily determine which activities garner the most engagement and which practices should be discarded.
Limited to 140 characters per post (though this might soon change), Twitter allows users to create meaningful connections in a concise, economical fashion. It can be used to identify trends and capitalize on current events, and it allows users to gain insight on almost any topic. With 320 million active users monthly, Twitter is a reliable and inexpensive way to increase your reach to potential and current customers alike.
Creating Your Page
When creating your Twitter page, there are a few standard things to consider, the first two of which are your cover photo and profile photo.
For your profile photo, select a vibrant, clear, and relevant image that is at least 400×400 pixels and explicitly represents your brand (either a logo or staff photo is ideal). Your cover photo can be a more abstract image, as long as it is still representative of your company’s brand. Again, the photo should be sharp and vivid, this time at 1500×500 pixels. If you are adding text or cropping the image, make sure that pertinent information is at the top left of the photo.
Your handle is your identity on Twitter. It serves as your username and your reference when someone mentions you in a tweet (e.g., “@YourLawFirm”), so it should be considered carefully. Add your twitter handle to your business cards and include it on your website. Brainstorm a handle that is relevant to your company but also unique enough to stand out.
Whereas Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet, they increase that figure by a whopping 20 for you to complete your bio. With only 160 characters available, you’ll want to choose your words carefully to describe your company in an interesting, personal way. Additionally, you can hashtags to identify interests and areas of focus.
Now that you’ve created your page, what’s next? It’s time to tweet, of course! Here are some quick tips on how, when, and what to tweet.
The numerical symbol (#) followed by a few words (without spacing) comprises a hashtag, which is used to identify, archive, and activate keywords, topics, and/or trends. You can use these to quickly provide context for your message, join a trending topic, or add humor or a theme to your posting. Using hashtags also indexes your chosen topic, increasing the likelihood of being found in Twitter searches.
When using hashtags, there are two important rules to live by:
- Don’t attempt to appropriate an irrelevant hashtag. Not only will users quickly tire of the click-bait, but you might just find yourself in a PR nightmare if you aren’t paying attention to why a given hashtag is trending.
- Don’t overuse them. Two or three strong hashtags are usually enough to create interest and capitalize on trending traffic, and please, don’t
- a) String together #AMillionAndAHalfWordsWhenYouCreateAHashtag, or
- b) Use a #hashtag #after #each #word #of #your #tweet.
These practices are annoying, hard to look, and extremely difficult to read.
What to say:
Twitter is conversational. Don’t use it strictly to market yourself. Communicate casually and authentically, and you will develop good relationships with current and potential clients or customers.
Your character limit is 140, but you should try not to use all of them. Limit your posts to a single tweet wherever possible, and leave yourself enough characters to create a few hashtags.
Responding to a followers question, or did someone mention you in their tweet? Use ‘@’ followed by their handle to mention them or respond.
Twitter previews images and videos in their timeline, so, as with most social sites, visual content is key in attracting viewers and increasing engagement.
When to say it:
There is no set optimal posting schedule for Twitter. In fact, your ideal time frame will likely depend on your goals and the regions you are targeting. Twitter is most commonly used during commutes, work breaks, and while relaxing in the evenings. Experiment with times and see what works best for your business.
Tweet every day, if you can, and check your analytics frequently throughout the day. Individuals (customers) tend to engage more on the weekends, so if your messaging is targeting customers, you’ll want to tweet at least once every weekend as well.
Curating Your Audience
As you build your reputation, you’ll have to first meet and then exceed your audience’s expectations. To do so, make sure that you are professional, interesting, and current.
Following and Followers:
Increase your followers by providing information that is valuable and interesting! When deciding who to follow, practice common sense and discernment. Don’t just follow an individual or company without determining if it will benefit your business and/or increase user experience.
Make sure you stay engaged with your followers! Retweet relevant posts, answer your users’ questions, and avoid one-sided marketing ploys. Keep your account balanced and professional, and don’t constantly bombard your followers with incessant tweets.
To understand your audience, you’ll need to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Twitter has a wonderful amount of easily accessible information on their dashboard in the form of Twitter Analytics, which shows top tweets, mentions by others, your followers’ demographics, and more.
The value of Twitter transcends lead generation and direct sales. Twitter is a tool used to initiate conversation – to ask questions, give answers, and increase awareness. It allows for convenient, real-time interaction, which helps to establish strong, lasting brand association.
If you feel that you don’t have the time or the expertise to create an effective campaign, please contact LaFleur today. Our social media experts have years of experience and understand how to leverage your company’s brand to promote awareness and attract potential customers. We know how to incorporate your Twitter campaign into your overall marketing strategy to produce tangible results in a comprehensive, holistic manner.