Twitter: Demographics, How to attract attention to your tweets and increasing engagement
Twitter is a micro blogger's paradise, utilizing only 140 characters or less to pass along a message. The short attention span of today's consumers, paired with how quickly Twitter's interface updates and moves, makes it a great platform to find highly engaged audiences. Trying to take Twitter past more than just a social marvel, its founders have set their sights on making it more business accommodating. Twitter offers organizations of all sizes, within all industries, many opportunities to find and convert prospects. To harness that sort of success takes more effort than simply pushing out scheduled tweets, however. Be that as it may, Twitter has proven to be highly successful at driving traffic and increasing engagement. Therefore, it's worth it to develop the time and resources to establish your company's presence here.
While the potential of Twitter may be apparent, the methods on how to truly maximize on the platform aren't exactly as clear. Globally, marketers follow many diverse approaches that provide varied results. In any case, it doesn't mean simply tossing whatever content you can find into the stream with the mere hope of action. That can be collectively agreed upon. In fact, if you're choosing to build out a Twitter account you'll want to make sure that you're following best practices in order not to tarnish your reputation (because how easy is that to do these days?). This article will guide you through the setup of your profile to the execution of an effective strategy, including best practices and tips for both individuals who are new to the Twitter platform or those that are existing users simply searching for fresh marketing ideas.
Here are a just a few ways in which Twitter may benefit you and your brand:
Twitter will empower you to engage with your customers.
Twitter serves as a great networking tool.
Twitter will help you to redefine your brand.
Twitter will help you to manage your reputation.
Twitter will help you to stay on top of your market.
Twitter is great way to get a message out quickly.
Twitter can help you grow your other social networks (not in the way you think).
As you can see, most of these benefits are built around interactions. An effective Twitter strategy doesn't just involve broadcasting your offerings. In a nutshell, Twitter can provide your business with another channel to both build up brand awareness and engage with current and potential customers. Any business professional knows that every opportunity to do that is always worth exploring. Before we dive into utilizing Twitter's features for doing so, let's discuss what your complete profile should contain.
Essential Twitter profile elements
If you're new to the Twittersphere, or just not seeing a ton of action on your current account, one of the first things you'll want to take a look at is your profile itself. Specifically, you will need to ensure that you have the accompanying:
Brief and descriptive bio: You have a mere 160 characters to depict your brand here. This section is what will evoke users to follow you, so make it fascinating and persuading!
Profile picture: Similar to best practices for most other social sites, unless you're a freelancer or an individual, you should be using your profile picture to maximize brand recognition with your logo.
A branded profile: Brand your profile as much as possible by using company colors and logos. If possible, try and use a custom background design. By maintain consistency, you can ensure that Twitter becomes an integrated part of your overall brand strategy.
Extraordinary tweets: Last, yet certainly not least, be sure to have a few great Tweets in site on your homepage. When individuals are choosing to follow you, odds are they are going to view your latest tweets, too. Ensure that these tweets mirror your brand and engagement level with your group of onlookers. Share meaningful content and react more than you feel you ought to do. We'll dig deeper into effective tweeting a bit later on.
Once you have your profile setup and some interesting Tweets published to establish your account, your next objective will be to pick up followers. Certainly, there are several approaches to doing so, yet the key is to focus on followers who are keen on your industry. So, how will you discover them? What's more, how will you motivate them to follow you?
Whether you're tweeting on behalf of a Fortune 500 company or your own personal brand, to become successful on Twitter you'll need a clearly defined content strategy. This strategy should cover: the who, the what, the when, the why and then of course the how. Without setting goals, you'll never really know what you're reaching for. Here are several obtainable business goals you can set:
Generate direct leads from Twitter.
Build awareness for a new product or service.
Build a positive opinion about your brand.
Build a community of like-minded people.
Provide customer support through valuable content and direct conversations.
Engage with industry influencers and like-minded people.
Identify your audience
Targeting your audience on Twitter is a crucial task. "Tweeters", as they are called, regularly don't spend more than a couple of minutes or so on Twitter at once. However, most users sign in various times throughout each day. There are a variety of tools the platform offers that allow for businesses to hone in on a particular audience, making it easier to connect with and promote content to. You can even build Twitter Lists for particular segments of your target audience, for organizational purposes, which we'll discuss more in-depth about later on. Here are a few ways in which you can find targeted users to engage with:
Search for keyword in profile bios.
Search by location in profile bios.
Look at hashtags: Search and browse through hashtag streams to find which accounts they're being used by.
Determine the best time to tweet
Users obviously aren't online 24/7. If you can pin down the most frequent times they are, however, this can really make an impact on your reach. Take into consideration such things as where you're located, where the bulk of your followers are located, when your followers are most likely to be on, how often they're on, etc. Twitter's quick-cycle structure, with users hopping on and off frequently, makes it unique in comparison to other online networking platforms. That being said, strategized, timely, high-quality content is more imperative than ever.
Make connections first
Twitter as a whole is a colossal group. Other Tweeters aren't going to care much about your tweets if they don't know who you are. Converse and collaborate first. Identify influencers in your niche and initiate as many conversations as you can with them. If you're able to add enough value to those conversations, you may get influencers to start engaging and sharing your content, as well. Users can follow up to fifty new accounts each day before being suspended. Follow users who are relevant and most likely to benefit from the content you contribute.
Utilize your available characters
A lot of brands make the mistake of making their Tweets too one-dimensional. Their Tweets are essentially just broadcasts, which is not an effective marketing strategy for the Twitter platform. Don't simply Tweet headlines, links, inspirational quotes and funny memes. Instead, Tweet content that opens the door for communication. Here are a few Tweet tips to follow:
Keep it short: Tweets less than 100 words have been proven to have higher conversions, and shorter Tweets are more favorable for Re-tweeting.
Quote your post: Use a teaser Tweet to grab attention and excite viewers. A great way to do this is with a quote from the content you're posting about.
Include stats and facts: Consumers are always looking to learn new information- especially when it's backed by evidence!
Leverage hashtags: Hashtags are a great way to reach users who don't yet follow you but are interested in your topics and/or industry.
Use @mentions: If your post mentions any other user or any publications, make sure to @mention them. There's a good chance they'll be inclined to Retweet your content, so you'll reach a much larger audience.
Promote your Tweets: Promoted tweets will get you more exposure, with just a small investment. They're easy to create and can foster a lot of traffic that you wouldn't otherwise get your content in front of.
Use Pinned Tweets: A Pinned Tweet is posted at the top of your homepage until you replace it with a new Pinned Tweet or unpin it. This will be the first Tweet that users see when navigating to your homepage.
It's important to discuss hashtags a bit more in more depth, as they are a very important component of Twitter marketing. In fact, Twitter is where the hashtag originated! Research has shown that Tweets using a hashtag can gain more than twice the engagement than that of a tweet with no hashtags (1). Therefore, the extra effort used to tag your tweets is certainly worth it. Here are a few do's and don'ts for when it comes to using hashtags:
Don't overuse them: 4 hashtags is the maximum amount suggested per Tweet.
Do make them relevant to the content of the Tweet.
Do use capitalization when hashtagging multiple words, so that the eye can easily separate them.
Do use hashtags both in the main text and separately (I.E.- Happy #ThrowBackThursday, followers! OR We have the most exciting news to share! #blessed).
Schedule regular visits to your Twitter feed
Schedule several daily stopovers at your account to respond to conversations and generally make sure that your account looks how you'd like for it to. After delving into the behaviors of your target Tweeters, try to stop by when your audience is most likely to be on.
Use Twitter to grow other social media accounts
Sure you can simply cross-promote your other social media profiles, and you should. With Twitter's Advanced Search feature, however, there are infinite ways in which you can actively seek out users who are interested in your industry and/or message and are also active on other social networks.
Steal your competition's success
When someone mentions or shares a competitor post, that person is very likely to be willing to share your similar content or mention you as well if you give them a good reason to. With Twitters Advanced Search function, it's easy to find such mentions. You can easily turn those mentions into massive growth by reaching out and presenting your value.
Use Twitter to listen
Posting information about your products or services is the obvious use of Twitter. However, Twitter also serves as a channel that can be used for listening to and finding out more about your target audience. For example, you can strategically find out customer likes, dislikes, how they feel about certain products, what suggestions they have for improvement, what their favorite products are and much more. All of this information can then be used to make your business more successful.
Utilize Twitter Lists
We mentioned Twitter Lists briefly earlier. Simply put, Twitter Lists can be used as an effective tool to organize multiple Twitter users into separate groups that make the most sense for you. Twitter Lists can be useful for monitoring competition, connecting with industry leaders, engaging with the media, maintaining customer relationships and staying atop market trends. How? By establishing segmented user lists, it enables you to more easily and quickly read and interact with Tweets from only certain users, which cuts out those irrelevant to the List criteria. A great starting point is to create lists for you customers, potential customers, competitors and industry influencers. Twitter Lists can be set to private or public. It's important to note that if Twitter Lists are made public other users can subscribe and view the tweets of all members included on that List. For this reason, keep confidential lists (customers, competition, etc.) on private settings. It's important to note that these Lists need to be developed, nurtured and grown over time. Like with most social media efforts, success doesn't come overnight.
Utilize Twitter Chat
Twitter Chat pulls a group of people interested in a pre-determined topic into live, active conversations. Participating in a Twitter Chat opens the door to connect you with people who are active and interested in your niche that are likely to respond to your content and share it. If you're unable to find a Twitter Chat that's relevant to your industry, you can always create and promote one yourself.
Utilize Twitter Paid Promotion tools
If you believe that Twitter's paid advertising tools are too expensive or complex, it's time to rethink that opinion. Twitter ads are simple to use and allow you to target users based off of location, interests, gender and many other filters. Paid promotion on Twitter:
Can help to draw more attention to your best content and promotional campaigns.
Offers filtering tools that allow you to target your message.
Is ideal for local promotions, as you can target Tweets based on geographic location.
There are two paid options for promotion on Twitter: Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts. Promoted Tweets view just as unpaid Tweets do, but advertisers purchase the ability to reach a wider audience. Promoted Tweets will appear near users' home feeds and in search results. Promoted Accounts are effective in increasing your number of followers. Both types of paid promotion offer different results, both effective at enhancing your social proof.
Twitter offers opportunities within every stage of a brand's content and overall marketing strategy. If you have interesting content to offer, it's a great tool for quickly spreading the word. There's a reason so many companies invest a lot of social resources here. Additionally, shorter cycles give the opportunity to test and implement more ideas and optimize strategies at a much faster rate. Once you move beyond the focus of just getting started and start utilizing the more advanced opportunities that are offered, you'll find that these short Tweets can make lasting impressions!
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