THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO TWITTER MARKETING
Why should you care about Twitter marketing?
With over 230 million users and 42% of them following brands1, Twitter is a no-brainer for any marketing plan. Twitter users talk about what they care about and what’s happening right now – including your brand. This empowers your brand to discover what is important to your audience, and engage with them in real-time.
Twitter marketing success can be tough without the right tools and tactics to help you build, engage, and ultimately monetize your audience.
Make sure you’re #DoingItRight by following this guide, with everything you need to know about Twitter marketing for your brand…
WHY USE TWITTER FOR MARKETING
Twitter is an extremely powerful direct and inbound marketing tool.
Many brands use it to enhance and extend the life of existing marketing activities, from television advertising to events. The immediate nature of Twitter also makes it the optimal platform for real-time marketing. Twitter is becoming a serious force in marketing.
How your brand will benefit from Twitter:
- Increase your brand awareness.
- Drive traffic to your website.
- Generate leads.
- Connect with customers.
- Competition analysis.
- Grow your community.
- Keep you in the know about what’s trending and what people are talking about in your industry.
GETTING STARTED: YOUR BIO
Your bio explains who you are and what you do as a business. It also tells users why they might be interested in following you. So it’s important to write a good one!
Make sure your bio includes…
- A Twitter name and handle as close as possible to your company name.
- An engaging summary that gets your brand noticed and explains what you do.
- Keywords relevant to your industry, so you turn up in search results. Don’t hashtag the keywords in your summary. They now turn up in search results even without a ‘#’.
- A professional profile photo (500 x 500 pixel image). Use the same company logo/image across all social networks for consistency.
- A visually captivating header photo (1500 x 500 pixel image) that represents your brand. Have your design team create a branded header photo that matches the look and feel of your website.
- URL to your website or blog and any other social media platforms you want to drive traffic to.
- Your location. This is particularly important if you’re targeting local Twitter users.
It’s important to remember that, as with all of the marketing channels you use, your branding imagery and messages must remain consistent.
WHAT TO TWEET
Now you’re all set up and raring to go. Time to spread your wings and start chirping! But what 140 characters of wit and insight will you share? Easy: Useful content for your followers.
The Golden Rule of social media applies: Be helpful, and give something of value to your audience, and they will appreciate you and become loyal followers (and customers!)
Start by sharing tips, recommending resources, or telling some jokes (yes people like jokes, even professionals). Don’t directly market yourself, i.e.: “Click here and buy this now!”. Ew.
Still stuck? Here are some ideas that your audience will love:
- Behind the scenes photos from company activities and events which will humanize your brand.
- Links to topical and relevant blog posts (preferably your own) with a sentence from you explaining why they should read it!
- Interesting industry tips, statistics, and research findings that will reinforce you as an expert and thought leader.
- Information that lets your brand’s personality shine through.
- Great photography that allows you to showcase your business (Instagram filters are a special friend to the unskilled photographer).
- Updates on news and promotions from your brand – incentivizing loyal followers.
Expert Tip: Tweets with images get twice the engagement rate of those without. Use your Tweets to showcase your talent, projects or provide a sneak peek of what’s to come from the brand.
WHEN TO TWEET
You’ve figured out what you should be Tweeting, now it’s question of when. It’s important to keep active throughout the week, thus scheduling tools are your friends. Our favorites are Hootsuite and Buffer, both allow you to schedule content days/weeks/months in advance.
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a tool that’ll save you oodles of time?
Know your audience and remember although your working hours may fall between 9-5pm, your audience may frequent Twitter during different times (yes, B2B professionals are online after 5 pm).
Luckily there are tools that can take the guesswork out of Tweeting times. For example, SocialBro’s ‘Best Time to Tweet’ reports determine the optimal times to Tweet during the week. These time-saving reports can be integrated with Hootsuite and/or Buffer to ensure your scheduled Tweets go out at the optimal times during the week.
Expert Tip: Twitter is 24/7, don’t abandon your post during the weekend. This is downtime for your audience where they’re more likely to peruse the decks. Monday to Friday isn’t enough anymore, ensure you schedule during out of office times, weekends and holidays.
ESTABLISHING YOUR BRAND ON TWITTER
Twitter is no longer just a platform to ‘amplify’ your message, flag up your other content marketing efforts and point ‘prospects’ towards your blog or website landing pages. It’s an excellent platform to promote your brand.
As with all of the marketing channels you use, consistency is the key to success when building your brand.
- Make sure your brand guidelines include a Twitter section, to ensure that your messages remain on the brand.
- Your Twitter profile page should be aligned with your brand’s visual identity.
- Check you’re providing insight in your Tweets, this will help reinforce your brand positioning.
- Assign someone to quality check the content that you’re sharing from time to time.
- Make sure your cover image is a virtual billboard for your brand.
- Create a branded hashtag that you own and use for Twitter chats or repeat campaigns.
- Most importantly, tell your brand story, what you’re about, your brand values and what you stand for. Can that be done in 140 characters? Nike has been doing it for over 30 years with ‘Just Do It’.
Expert Tip: Twitter Cards enable you to showcase photos, videos and infographics in a richer way and leave you more space for text in your Tweets.
HOW TO WRITE A PERFECT TWEET
You have 140 characters to share something valuable with your audience, so it is important to get it right. To attract more followers, increase engagement and get users to click on your links, follow this checklist for each of your Tweets:
- Remember our objectives: your Tweets should either amplify your story, engage your audience or drive leads.
- Use a URL shortener for your links, such as bit.ly.
- Be concise, Tweets that are 100-110 characters long get the highest engagement and the most retweets.
- A picture is worth a thousand words! Or, more specifically, worth the 35% higher chance of getting RTs2. Add collages of photos and tag users in Tweets.
- Use keywords that users might search for.
- #Do #Not #Use #Too #Many Hashtags. Stick to one or two as this will increase reach.
- Use “[ ]’ around any content you want followers to read or download (i,e [eBook]).
- Finally, before you press ‘Tweet’ ask yourself if your Tweet is: interesting, has the ‘must click’ factor, and is good enough to be retweeted.
Expert Tip: To increase retweets, make sure your Tweets are 140 characters MINUS “RT @YourHandle”, making it easier for users to quote and share your content from their own account. 120 is a good limit to set if you want to get quoted RTs on top of your clicked RTs!
BUILDING YOUR COMMUNITY
The first rule is to start following other accounts as many will follow you back. Remember to keep it relevant: follow your target audience, industry leaders, and other (non-competition) businesses.
Focus on quality over quantity, there’s no point following millions of users who have no interest in your brand, as they have no reason to interact or engage with you.
Don’t bother following accounts that have millions of followers but only follow back a couple of tweeps. They are useless to you.
Finding accounts to follow can be tedious, and no doubt you have already spent a great deal of time on this when you set up your brand’s account.
Use a Twitter analytics & marketing platform, like SocialBro, to search and filter users, discover the right accounts to follow and add them to lists for monitoring.
Finding Relevant Tweeps to Follow
Use in-depth Twitter search tools that allow you to hone in on your target audience. You want to connect with people who are likely to buy from you – they should be your demographic, in your locale (if relevant), and interested in your type of brand.
Use Data to Your Advantage
By analyzing your current followers, you can start to get a sense of who your followers are and what topics resonate with them. Use this information and extra insight to your advantage by sending out more of the content you know they’re looking for. They’re more likely to share with their own followers, too.
Use Lists to Organize Your Audience
Stay on top of the current conversation by segmenting your audience into Twitter lists. This will make it simple for you to monitor users, engage with them – and never miss a thing.
Getting Found Organically
Build it and they will come. It actually works! If you start Tweeting content that is valuable, other users will begin to follow you too. If your content is amazing your followers will become compelled to hit the retweet button, you’ll gain even more followers as their followers will start seeing your content! Also, by using relevant hashtags you will make it even easier for Twitter users to find you.
Building your tribe of relevant followers takes time, so be patient.
Expert Tip: Try a Twitter chat to boost your Twitter presence: Twitter chats are pre-arranged conversations on a certain topic, often curated by one account, following a set hashtag. A good format for a Twitter chat is 5 questions on a specific topic, sent out in consecutive intervals. Users involved in the chat reply and include the hashtag in their answers. Twitter chats are excellent for boosting your brand’s visibility and igniting a mass conversation about a subject your audience is interested in. It’s also a great way to do some market research and get to know your audience better.
According to Optify’s B2B Marketing Benchmark Report3, 82% of social media leads come from Twitter. As a marketer, you can hardly find a better platform to discover what people are into, what they’re talking about, and how this varies across different locations around the world. The most important concept in converting leads is listening. Of course, the hardest part of listening on Twitter is cutting through the immense noise. Twitter analytics and marketing platforms such as SocialBro offer advanced search and filter functions to cut through this noise and direct you to the people you are looking for.
Steps to Discovering Your Leads:
1. Define your keywords. These are the words that people search for when they are looking for a brand like yours; or what people who would be interested in your brand would talk about.
2. Use a Twitter analytics and marketing platform with an advanced search function to find users with your chosen keywords in their bio.
3. Follow these users – they might follow you back – and add them to the Twitter lists you’ve now created, e.g. Target Audience.
4. Monitor their conversations and look for ways to help, interact and engage them! The most crucial element of building real leads is connecting with your audience. Offering value to leads helps them to trust you, which leads to liking you, which leads to buying from you!
5. Build specific lists of people you want to target. Discover what they’re talking about and tailor your content accordingly
Expert Tip: Use SocialBro’s advanced search to find keywords within a geo-location search. Example: Run a vintage café? Find coffee lovers and vintage fashionistas within a 10km radius, and entice them.
REAL-TIME TWITTER MARKETING
Due to hashtags and your Twitter feeds being in chronological order (unlike Facebook), Twitter is the optimal platform for real-time marketing. Brands have the opportunity to engage with their audiences either as Tweets unfold.
Participating in real-time marketing is a powerful way to engage with your audience and make it even larger. We don’t always know what’s going to happen, but being fast and responsive can unearth social media gold.
Twitter pairs perfectly with television for real-time marketing. Engage with audiences on second-screen (explained: TV = 1st screen; mobile/tablet = 2nd screen) and watch the box together!
Great example: Oreo knocked it right out of the park with a single Tweet during the Super Bowl 2013 blackout. “You can still dunk in the dark” was retweeted over 15,000 times, earning the account over 8,000 new followers.
TIPS FOR CREATING A PLANNED REAL-TIME MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Although a real-time marketing event is… err… held in real time, it still benefits from some forethought and research.
1. Prepare: Use a Twitter analytics & marketing platform like SocialBro to understand your audience in detail before you engage in real-time. This will help you understand key events that they will find interesting. These are the events you want to take advantage of!
2. Hashtag: Select the hashtag your real-time marketing campaign will be run on. Make sure it doesn’t clash with any other brand using the same hashtag, there’s no point in doing something that’s already been done. Make sure you don’t pick a hashtag that is too long,
3. Plan: Select the right moment to launch your campaign, and ensure that your social media team is in place to manage the influx of traffic.
4. Promote: Use Twitter Ads and other channels to promote your campaign.
5. Monitor: Track the performance of your hashtag by adding the search as a source in SocialBro prior to the launch, and use Google analytics to monitor traffic to your website.
Expert Tip: For real-time Twitter marketing to work, your social media team needs a quick sign-off process. Twitter is happening now and fast. Make sure your internal processes reflect that for optimal success; and if it makes the process easier, have all the key stakeholders in the same room while planning and implementing a real-time marketing event.
CHECKING OUT THE COMPETITION
Admit it, we all want to know what our competitors are up to, what they’ re doing and what’s working. By monitoring their Twitter presence, you can stay tapped into what they’re promoting, who follows them, and who they’re targeting. You can even watch for a customer service #fail, where you might be able to swoop in and offer a solution to a customer in need!
To get really in-depth insight into how your brand is faring compared to others, use a Twitter marketing & analytics platform with an Account Comparison tool. Match up your account up with 2 others to uncover amazing metrics for follower ratios, community overlaps, and follower demographics.
The insights allow you to take ‘checking out’ the competition to the next level. You can see who follows your competitors and analyze detailed data about their Twitter presence. Additionally, you can then use that information to improve your own Twitter strategy.
Expert Tip: Using SocialBro’s Account Comparison tool, check out the Bio TagCloud. This tag cloud shows the interests (taken from bios) of the compared accounts’ communities. Knowing what is most popular with tweeps who follow either you and/or your competitors will arm you with powerful insight into what topics are most popular in your community and industry.
The whole point of using social media is to get social. It’s important to prioritize engagement and get to know your audience. Let them get to know (and love!) your brand. Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to get lost in the noise, and to combat this you need to be Twitter-organized.
Take your engagement to the next level by using Twitter lists. Lists help you master ‘social listening’ by organizing users into lists based on interests, location, or even their stage in the sales funnel.
Twitter analytics & marketing platforms help you to easily build your lists. With advanced segmentation features, you can run detailed searches, you can then create Twitter lists from your search results.
Use a platform like Hootsuite to monitor your lists and the user activity in a digestible, single dashboard. Pretty sweet, right?
But then what?
By monitoring what your audience is talking about, you have just made it easier to join in their conversations. Is someone asking for help? You might be able to offer it! Someone looking for your specific service? Too easy.
Expert Tip: You don’t need to follow people to have them in a list. So be sure to create one for your competitors and monitor their content.
MEASURING SUCCESS ON TWITTER
You are here to achieve goals for your brand, and you need to know it’s working. It’s pointless to Tweet blindly, so promote your progress and track certain KPI’s to prove your success on Twitter.
The most important metrics as you are building your community are follower growth, your influence and the quality of your community. You want to know that you are expanding your reach, attracting the right users and that your community is responding to your content.
The number of followers can be deceiving, as many followers may be irrelevant that’s why it’s important to determine if they fit into your target audience.
Other KPI’s that you should also monitor are:
- Engagement: Replies, retweets, favorites. Receiving high levels of engagement proves that your community is interested in you. Listen closely to what Tweets get the highest levels of engagement – these are the Tweets that your community wants to see more of.
- Follower demographic: Make sure your followers are your target demographic (age, interests, location, etc.). By using analytics software like SocialBro, you can discover everything you want to know about your audience such as where they live, what they are interested in, and who else they follow. If you are not landing your target demographic, use this information to tailor your content strategy to be more appealing to the groups that your brand is looking for.
- Web traffic directly from Twitter: Google Analytics and Hubspot are both two great tools for measuring this.
- Organizations often lose 15% of their followers within the first three weeks: Use a Follower Retention tool to gain insight on how your Twitter is performing. This will help you draw conclusions about the quality and relevance of followers you are attracting and keeping.
It can be hard to track who walked into a shop because of a Tweet they saw, but a boost in sales following a boost in Twitter engagement is a good hint for your marketing team.
Expert Tip: Measure these KPIs easily and effectively with a tool like SocialBro. You can display your reports in visual, easily digestible formats to share with your team and uncover areas of success – as well as learn what works for your audience. Discover valuable insights about your audience and your reach and start tailoring your campaigns meets the needs of your target market. Have these insights sent to you automatically in weekly or monthly reports, to share with your team in a jiffy.
TWETIQUETTE (TWEETING ETIQUETTE)
Some Golden Rules of Twetiquette:
- Keep promotional Tweets to a minimum. Focus the majority of your Tweets on offering valuable content/facts/ideas to your followers.
- Follow back relevant accounts and maintain a good following/follower ratio.
- Thank shout-outs, retweets, and feedback but don’t go overboard!
- Engage other users – make sure most of your Tweets include relevant handles or industry hashtags.
The list goes on and on…
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
We all know ‘that guy’ (*ahem* or gal). The omnipresent social media users who don’t always ‘get it’. ‘That guy’ is someone who:
- Tweets only and always about themselves/their brand.
- Has mastered the art of humble brags.
- Is preoccupied with talking about boring things… yawn.
- Is not approachable. They don’t even respond to your Tweets.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make on Twitter, is using the platform as a soapbox for their promotional activity. It’s all me, me, me and no ‘Hey, how you doing?’. Twitter was initially designed as a foundation for two-way communication and brands would benefit from remembering this when Tweeting.
Entertain your community and get creative with the use of links, hashtags and images. Good content provokes reactions, i.e. a follow, a retweet, a favorite.
Email marketing is a powerful medium that delivers on leads, sales, and content views. If your brand has already spent time building up warm email leads, you’ll want to capitalize on that progress by bringing that audience to your Twitter presence.
Sounds good, right?
With an Email Integration tool, which you will find in any good Twitter analytics and marketing platforms, you can upload your existing email database to your dashboard, which will then match them up to the corresponding Twitter account.
Expert Tip: Use a list management tool to keep in contact with these warm leads and strengthen your business relationships.
An alternative way to build your audience is via Twitter Ads. Twitter Ads will allow you to instantly get in front of users who don’t already follow you, and if you’re looking to ramp up your Twitter presence, Twitter Ads is a smart place to start.
There are three types: promoted Tweets, promoted accounts or promoted trends!
Promoted Tweets are Tweets that you actually write which will show up in targeted users’ feeds. Promoted accounts show up in targeted users’ Who To Follow panel. and promoted trends will place your hashtag at the top of Twitter’s Trends Module.
Targeting Users: Twitter Ads allow you to target users based on interests, keywords, followers, location, gender, or even devices. You can also target the followers of other users, i.e. your competition!
Expert Tip: Want to see how successful your Twitter Ads have been in terms of growing your Twitter community? By using a Follower Retention tool you’ll be able to see how many of these followers you’ve retained.
By now you should be a Twitter machine. Your brand is established and your audience is listening – now let’s level up! Creating a content strategy will guide your brand in the direction that will lead to success.
*Note: A content strategy is not a static document, but something that changes as your brand journeys through different promotions, and as you receive feedback from your Twitter KPIs.
A content strategy should include:
Your main goals; these may include (select as many as you like from the list!):
– Drive website traffic – Drive foot traffic
– Build followers
– Generate leads
– Engage in topical conversations
– Provide customer support
– Build a hashtag (especially around an event)
- Your team – if there will be multiple people managing your Twitter account, you need to know how that looks and how roles break down, so you don’t end up with too many cooks in the kitchen. Or worse, not enough.
- A content calendar to help you plan your monthly Tweet content.
- What type of content you should Tweet about as a brand (i.e such as your own created content, other organizations’ content, surveys and Q&As etc).
- What visual elements you can use: do you have photography or images to go on your social media profiles?
- The KPIs that will define your success
Track your progress on Twitter to ensure that you are on the right track with your content strategy. If something is wrong, tweak it!