Using TWITTER for Marketing
In terms of both size and engagement Facebook trumps Twitter, but the latter has advantages that are unique. The average user, with their 208 average followers, 307 average Tweets, and average of 170 minutes on Twitter each day, is a market segment full of potential. About half of Twitter users use it daily, and at least 29% of Twitter users are active several times a day. However, Twitter isn’t as much a lead generation platform as much as it is a brand loyalty platform. It is typically customers who are already loyal to a company or brand that follow them on Twitter. However, Twitter has been successfully used for live Q&A sessions, 24/7 customer support, and to promote and discuss company events.
As tweets are limited to 140 characters, users are forced to be brief with their updates, resulting in many more combines messages than on other platforms. These tweets are displayed in chronological order and it is difficult to determine how many of your followers have actually seen a tweet, unless they engage with it by retweeting, commenting, or clicking through to a link.
What is perhaps important to mention here is the utilization of influencers—those widely known and respected people who have thousands and sometime millions of followers. A retweet from such a person could be very valuable, both in terms of distributing your message and generating new followers. It is perhaps relevant to mention here that tweeting a message such as “@JohnDoe likes his Stan Smith sneakers” will only be displayed on the timeline of @JohnDoe. If, on the other hand one tweets “It is clear that @JohnDoe likes his Stan Smith sneakers” it would go to all of your followers, as well as to @JohnDoe, even if he is not a follower of your account. It is important to ensure that there is a character (any character) in the tweet before the Twitter handle. This is why you may notice some tweets using a full stop before the handle: “. @JohnDoe likes his Stan Smith sneakers”.
The use of hashtags (#) is also important. It is used in front of a key word or phrase to make groups of tweets more searchable, which better enables and invites group conversations. Just remember that such discussions can take any turn as a social media marketer is not able to direct their content. Due to the limited length of a tweet, the use of shortened links and photos is handy to attract attention to your tweet and provide additional information elsewhere (e.g. website, blog, news site, or other social media platform) for those who are interested in more information.
As with all social media content, tweets have to provide value to followers and be consistent with the company’s objectives. Retweeting is an important consideration in determining the success of a tweet, as it means additional exposure to potential customers. According to Larson and Draper (2015), a very inexpensive and beneficial way for a business to generate content is to retweet content related to its own industry.
In terms of paid advertising on Twitter, three forms are provided—promoted accounts, promoted tweets, and promoted trends. This is on a pay-per-click method where the advertiser only pays when a new user follows their account based on the promotion. Advertisers can target users by geography, gender, interests, device, or similarity to current followers. Individual tweets and hashtags can also be promoted in a similar fashion. Using promoted advertising is most effective for a new Twitter account trying to establish a larger follower base.
Finally, here are 10 useful tips to increase followers and their engagement with your account:
- Add a follow button to your website and email signature.
- Promote your @username everywhere.
- Tap into your existing customer base.
- Use industry-related hashtags.
- Collaborate with other businesses and influencers.
- Invite feedback and participation.
- Feature seasonal, cultural, and industry events.
- Make sure your profile and bio is professional and specific.
- Tweet consistently with relevant content.
- Follow people in your industry who has large followings.