You are what you tweet
A single tweet is kind of like the equivalent to shouting out into a digital black hole of noise. It’s easy for your message to get a bit lost in the hive of conversation and can be frustrating if you’re getting little return for putting in the effort every day.
Like with everything, there’s no magic fix. Mastering the art of Twitter, especially if it’s new to you, will be a case of trial and error to identify what works for your individual business.
But take a pinch of personality, a scoop of strategy, plus a handful of our basic hints and you’ve got a recipe for the starting point to successfully market on Twitter.
Your twitter handle is what people will use to find you, tag you and most likely remember you. Make it recognisable, relevant to your brand but easy to quickly type. It helps if you use the same handle across all your social channels (or a variation if the exact name you want is taken e.g. If @lovelygifts is taken, try @wearelovelygifts). Not only for consistency when customers are scoping you out on a different platform, but it looks professional too.
If you can, remove any unnecessary punctuation or numbers and try to keep it snappy.
H&M is a perfect example of this. The ampersand is part of their brand name but they’ve dropped the ‘&’ on social channels to make it as simple as possible for customers who are searching for them.
Dragging out an account handle with really long username (@wearelovelygiftsofficaluk) is going to put people off interacting with you because a) the limit of each tweet is restricted to 280 characters and b) who in the world is going to remember all those words, let alone assembling them into the correct order.
A Twitter biography sits under your profile picture and gives you 160 characters to explain who you are / what your business is.
Short and sweet.
Like an Instagram bio, now is your chance to display personality, brand message and a dollop of wit. If you’ve got the backing to brag, shout about the achievements your company has secured or the thousands of customers you’ve helped over however many years. Bear in mind, keep your Twitter bio targeted to the kind of audience you want to attract and sparingly throw in a couple of relevant hashtags so users can find your account when searching for those terms.
Profile Photo + Cover Image
Firstly, your profile image is going to be seen the most when people are scrolling through their Twitter timelines. Any fiddly detail or images that have a lot of visuals in them aren’t going to translate well being scaled down that small.
Even if potential followers do click to view your account and see the slightly bigger version of your profile pic, it’s still not got a lot of room to show off.
Keep your photo clean-looking, crisp and accurately sized to cover all bases. Your account photo will be fine as just your logo if it’s simple and easily scannable for the eye to flick over. Using your company’s logo will reinforce brand awareness again from users engaging with you across all channels you’re posting on.
Use the cover image (the large horizontal photo that’s a backdrop to your account) as a vehicle to play with your brand’s character, inject a note of humanity behind the company and illustrate more about who you are. Like temporary wallpaper, it can also be changed seasonally or when you’re launching a new campaign.
Don’t go #hashtag mad
Tweets with hashtags work out better in the long run as they tend to receive twice the amount of engagement. But on the flipside, tweets with more than 2 hashtags see engagement rates slump by 17%. So it’s important to use them sparingly while picking the right hashtag words to get the most out of posts.
Tools like Hashtagify are great for scoping out relevant keywords for your industry and suggesting new phrases. If you can, try and weave those keywords into the copy of your tweet to make it feel more natural. It looks kind of odd stuffing any old hashtag into posts at random intervals.
Images in tweets
Pictures in tweets attract more attention by way of clicks, retweets and interaction than those that aren’t sporting images. It’s reported that tweeting out posts with pictures garner 89% more likes or favourites.
But don’t pop in an image for the sake of it. Pictures should always relate to the tweet it’s attached to, be of a high quality and actually look nice.
If you’re stuck for pictures, there are tons of free stock-photo sites to explore. And you can put your stamp on the images further by playing around with easy-to-use editing software (also free) like Canva or Desygner.
Similar to images, including emoji’s in your tweets collect more interest and engagement than those with just plain text. Get familiarised with the language of ideograms that use objects, food, animals and an assorted platter of expressive smileys to communicate across all digital forms of dialogue.
So pictures pull more eyeballs into a tweet, but posting a video on Twitter catches even more fish. The platform lets you record a new video from your device or upload one you made earlier. Videos have a 6 times more likely shot at being retweeted than photos, and three times more than GIFs. Branded videos work really well to reveal behind the scenes type content, drum up anticipation for a new project, inspire emotion and extending the life of that tweet. There is also a feature that allows you to record live footage straight from your subject to your twitter feed as a tweet. The video is then still watchable after it ends.
There are certain days and times when users are more likely to be lurking online and stumble across your posts. By figuring out peak traffic times you’ll find a boost in clicks, likes and tweet impressions. There have been numerous studies dedicated to identifying peak-tweet times; some say between 12-3pm Monday through to Friday is the sweet spot, others argue that the right time to post is Friday 9-10am. Unfortunately, the perfect time to tweet will be different for everyone, however, you can take the guesswork out when’s ideal to post. Twitter analytics is a gold mine of data and insight as to when your specific audience is online, which will help work out what’s best for your brand.
Once you’ve got a solid picture of days and times when you reckon users will be active, sign up for a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer manage your tweets. Scheduling tools will allow you to write up posts, set a time and date for when you want them to go out and then automatically publish them without you having to set 46457 reminders to get round to doing it. Spend a couple of hours planning and composing as many tweets as possible the week before. It can be difficult mining those creative reserves coming up with dozens of engaging posts all at once, but the more you do the less time it will consume in the long run. Besides, even if you have to suddenly be reactive with your tweets (e.g. there’s a time-sensitive trend that you can jump on) you can then shuffle around what you had arranged already to be put into another prime posting spot.
Mix it up
Like with any content strategy, constantly posting the same type of stuff over and over again will slowly turn you invisible, or worse – unfollowed. Your tweets need to be a mix of the aforementioned pictures, videos and emojis. And varied to include humour, self-promotion, cross-brand conversations and user interaction.
But wait, there’s more.
Holding a Twitter poll with followers is an easy way to create more activity on your profile. And they can be utilised for fun, to conduct consumer research, get feedback and develop a personal rapport with customers.
A series of pictures running on an automatic loop, GIFs have exploded into the social sphere, with Twitter seeming to be the number one place they’re being used. GIFs are great to convey sentiment, response to mentions and being part of the meme culture which taps into the zeitgeist. Besides being used as lighthearted fun, GIFs can be turned into powerful marketing tools that sit between picture and video.
If you’re a regular to Twitter you would have seen (or maybe created yourself) webs of tweet threads. Threads are when the user is continuing the discussion of a certain topic or subject but has run out of the 280 characters to express what they are trying to get across. They would then tack another tweet on the end of the post preceding it and so it keeps going until that person has finished what they want to say – demonstrated in the above GIF.
Threads are ideal vehicles for longer form chunks of information (e.g. education, opinion, or introducing a new line of products), but are still delivered in snack-sized format.
Use creative CTAs
Marketing on Twitter is all about generating leads, encouraging clicks, driving sales and increasing leads. Your skeleton content should be pushing all these actions. But they have to walk the line of regularly getting your message out there and not spamming up follower timelines. Too much self-promotion turns people off; too little and no one knows who you are or what you do. So be sparing with calls to action (CTA). Sprinkling a few CTAs to a handful of tweets is going give your engagement a leg up in many ways.
Keep a bank of phrases on rotation like :
- Follow us
- Read more
- Visit our site
- Shop now
- Learn more
The word ‘free’ will turbo-charge your CTA too. Everyone loves something for nothing.
For more social media help, read 10 Quick Marketing Tips For Instagram and keep an eye out for the next ’10 Quick Marketing Tips for…’ post.