Its users love it for its simplicity, and Twitter continues to be an incredibly attractive channel for businesses with something to share or communicate. Yet with over 465 million accounts and rising (1 milllion new Twitter accounts are created daily) and 175 million tweets a day, that’s a heck of a lot of noise to compete with.
For a business to succeed with Twitter marketing, its tweets need to stand out and achieve visibility in front of its target audience. So just how can marketers ensure that they are heard above the colossal din?
1. Create personalised content
Achieving new followers can be a wonderful feeling, but always bear in mind that they are following you because they want your own take on events and your industry. Remember this every time you communicate via Twitter. Try to limit or at least be highly selective with retweets. When you do decide to share a link, remember to personalise it with some insightful personal commentary and/or opinion. Or pick out your favourite snippet from the piece you’re sharing and use that as a juicier, more enticing title. Not only will you be demonstrating that you actually read and care about the content you share (you’d be surprised how many people don’t), you’ll be suggesting to your audience that they are worth the effort.
2. Pick the best opportunities to engage
Everybody knows that the Twitterati like to talk, but not every conversation is going to be relevant to your brand. Effective Twitter marketing starts with proactively seeking out conversations and opportunities to become the mouthpiece of your brand. Your starting point is with keyword searches to find out who is already talking about your topic. Next, you need to join the conversation by introducing yourself and establishing yourself as somebody worth listening to. Answering any questions or concerns faced by current customers or prospects can be an excellent way to get a foot in the door whilst positioning yourself as an expert in your field.
3. Monitor your activity and adjust accordingly
If you are a regular tweeter, it won’t take long to see whether your Twitter strategy is working. Your audience will quickly let you know with increased retweets, you might well experience increased commenting on your blog, a rise in site traffic and greater interaction elsewhere on other social channels. Your audience is your ultimate monitoring tool, so listen astutely. When certain types of content outperform others, it is a sign that your audience is enjoying it, so go ahead and give them more. Likewise, if certain tweets are underperforming, take note and experiment to see whether different wording or improving your hashtag strategy makes a difference.
A world of Twitter performance tools waits at your fingertips – try SproutSocial, SocialBro and Buffer for starters. It can sometimes be helpful to make use of tools that help you schedule your tweets , though try to avoid becoming too ‘automagical’, as Buffer puts it. Savvy Twitter users can easily sniff out automated tweets, and the most engaging tweets that get heard above the noise will always be those with a human touch.
4. Short is sweet
The whole premise of Twitter is brevity. While 140 characters might seem too few to convey a truly compelling message, it can actually often be too many. Good tweets are juicy little nuggets that users can click through for more information, rather than tools that attempt to communicate much in themselves. Try to leave room in your tweets to enable others to manually retweet you and add their own input to the message. The goal is to make it is inviting and as simple as possible for others to share your content.
5. Have fun
Some might say there are too many egos on Twitter. We say, social media offers you an access all areas ticket to the best conversations happening within your industry – but it also offers you the chance to host your own show. Keep the selling to an absolute minimum if at all, but do try to have fun with your Twitter marketing. When you truly love the links you share, the facts you tweet and the conversations you engage in with your audience, this adds a vibrancy and passion that can be truly infectious. Enjoy it!
Over to you
You’ve just read some of the recommendations we regularly make to businesses that have been struggling to make an impact on Twitter – but what tactic has worked best for your brand?