100 million people use Twitter daily. Count in the people who use it, say, a few times a week, and you get a very large number of people interacting with the social network, many of whom can very well be your next customers. We spoke about the power of social media for content marketing; now let's see how Twitter can tap into that power.
Why Use Twitter?
The main thing that separates Twitter from all the other traditional social media channels is that it is teeming with opportunities to interact with your audience in an organic, natural way. Hashtags and trending topics on Twitter allow you to find “your people” and provide valuable content. On Twitter, in addition to making human connections, you can ask for opinions regarding your products, and find suggestions on how to improve your content. Since Twitter caters to conversation, you can see what people are saying about you and your industry and build upon that.
And, like with other social media channels, you can introduce new products and services, can give behind-the-scene glimpses, and create your brand image. The key is making sure you’re using the platform correctly.
The 8 Steps to Using Twitter for Content Marketing
- Upgrade your Profile
In effect, your profile is a landing page that should speak directly to your buyer persona. Choose a name and a username (@name) that makes it obvious who your business is. Make your profile picture easily recognizable (such as your logo) and visible in a small size, as it will appear as a thumbnail next to all your tweets. Having a bio can increase your number of followers by eight percent (!), so have one that explains who you are, what you do, and why you are valuable. Make your bio conversational while including keywords, and include a link to your website. Be creative and stand out!
- Have a Plan
What do you hope to accomplish from Twitter? It can be increasing brand recognition, increasing sales or any other goals that Twitter can help you accomplish. You may have more than one goal for Twitter, but for best results, make your goals specific (increase website traffic 20% by December, for example). Twitter is where you present yourself to the world. Decide on a voice for your brand and carry that out through all of your tweets. A quick tip is not to imitate your audience, especially if you’re not in on all their lingo. Instead, use language that you’re comfortable with.
- Smart Tweeting
Just like you have a goal for your Twitter account, you’ll want a goal for each tweet as well. Once you have one, decide on the wordage that will help you reach that goal. Then include a call-to-action in the form of a link or a request for retweeting. Since people scroll quickly, you’ll want to catch their attention, so a good idea is including an image, video or GIF (image animation) in your tweets. This gives you a chance beyond the 140 characters to share what you want to say, and also takes up more space in your followers’ feeds, therefore garnering more visibility.
- Timing is Everything
Make a (flexible) schedule of what kind of content you want to publish when. This can be something like Behind-the-Scenes Mondays and Customer Stories Wednesdays, as well as hashtag trends such as #FlashbackFriday. Experiment with the timing of your posts- when do you get most engagement, and of which content?
- Use Twitter Lists
You may not want to follow all your leads or competitors, but you want to know what they’re talking about. Luckily, Twitter makes this easy, using the “Lists” tool. You can create numerous lists of Twitter users to get a customized newsfeed of what they’ve been tweeting, and by marking it “private”, no one will know you’re keeping tabs on them. Now you know all there secrets! At least the ones they’re posting online for the world to see. Shh, don’t tell.
- Be Relevant
You may remember this from my social media blog post and it’s especially true for Twitter. Twitter goes fast, guys. Users check Twitter throughout the day to see what’s going on at any given moment. Being up-to-date is imperative. Reference world news or viral trends before it’s too late. Take advantage of hashtags that Twitter suggests, but word to the wise: If you’re not one hundred percent sure about what the hashtag is referencing, don’t use it. Also, keep in mind that tweets with one or two hashtags engaged Twitter users more than posts with three or more hashtags, so don’t overdo it.
Again, Twitter is all about of-the-moment interactions. If someone praises or complains about your service or product, be ready to react immediately. This is your chance to provide a relatable human voice to your brand. See a conversation or tweet that you could add value to? Jump right in. Use the search bar and advanced search options to search keywords and topics that are relevant to what you do. Then like, retweet, and comment where it will be effective. This will delight existing followers as well as bring you new followers.
You made goals (right?), now how do you know if Twitter is helping you reach them? Besides for just checking likes, comments and retweets on Twitter, Twitter Analytics is a free, useful tool provided by Twitter to help you track engagement. If you’re already using Google Analytics, know that it, too, can track traffic generated by Twitter (and other social networks). There are other social tracking tools, but these are enough to get started.
So there you go! Easy, right? Well, maybe not exactly, but it will be, soon. Remember, as with all content marketing: Your tweets should add value, not ask for it. Shy away from self-promotion, and instead share advice and content that your audience will be interested in. Tweet ya later!