Twitter is a quite versatile social networking site and, like Facebook, can be used effectively by a business or organisation regardless of the industry you work in.
As of the third quarter of 2016, Twitter averaged at 317 million monthly active users, giving your company the chance to reach millions of people worldwide. Through using Twitter, your business will be much more easily accessible to both new customers and already existing customers. Additionally, it can help you show a more personal side to your company and consequently help build up relationships between your company and your customers.
Unlike many other social networking sites, Twitter limits you to only 140 characters per post, meaning that you have ensure you make each individual character count. When constructing a tweet, it is essential that you think strategically about your content, considering how many characters you are going to use for each component, such as: text, mentions, hashtags, links etc. Maintaining a good balance is an important factor in keeping your audience engaged.
Twitter offers a wide variety in regards to the types of posts you can make, which includes; text updates, videos, images, polls, links etc. By making use of the variation of different types of posts Twitter offers, you can help ensure customers are consistently engaged. Twitter Polls can be used by a company to help encourage customers to engage with your company. As well as this, they can be used as an opportunity to collect customer feedback, which will benefit your company when measuring the success of your marketing strategies.
Retweets and quoting tweets is a another feature that helps you engage with both customers and industry leaders and will also add variation to the types of content you share. Additionally, if a tweet you post receives a lot of retweets, it will reach a larger audience. This is because it will not only reach your followers, but also the followers of the organisations and/or individuals that retweet your tweet.
One of Twitter’s most well known features is the hashtag, which is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#) used to identify posts about a certain topic. Although their original popularity within social media was established on Twitter, there are now very few social networking sites that don’t offer the use of hashtags. They are used to spread the content you share to a larger audience, which could help you generate more engagements per post and build up your following.
As you are limited to only 140 character per tweet, it is recommended that you try not to use more than three hashtags per post. Although hashtags are generally found at the end of a tweet, they can also be incorporated into tweets to make it sound normal and conversational.
You can either create your own hashtag, which could work effectively in a social media marketing campaign, or use already popular or trending hashtags. It is important that you are aware of the other posts that have also included a hashtag you intend to use, as some could reflect negatively on your company.
You must remember that you can’t use spaces in a hashtag. For example, if your post is about social media, your hashtag should be ‘#socialmedia’ rather than ‘#social media’. This is because ‘#social media’ will use ‘social’ as the keyword, which isn’t necessarily relevant. However, some people think that missing out spaces makes it harder to read, therefore you could use capital letters to distinguish between words, e.g. #SocialMedia.
If you post a tweet that includes particularly important or relevant information, Twitter allows you the opportunity to ‘Pin It’. By ‘Pinning’ a tweet you can ensure it remains at the top of your profile, despite how many other tweets you post after it. This feature is useful for posts about important company announcements or sharing a post that may have been particularly popular, to serve as a constant reminder every time a customer visits your page. You can only ever pin one post at a time, but you can change it or remove it whenever you deem necessary.
Another beneficial feature provided by Twitter is ‘Lists’, which can be used in a variety of different ways in your social media strategy to collect and share important information. One use for Twitter ‘Lists’ is monitoring your competitors. By compiling a list of all your competitors, you can easily monitor their tweets, see how they interact, check out their offers and stay on top of their news. For this type of list, it would be a good idea to make it private, so that your competitors are unaware of the fact they are being monitored.
Another use for lists could be to compile a list of bloggers, reporters and journalists who write about your industry. Not only will this be useful for your company, but also sharing it and recommending your followers to subscribe will make you a valuable resource.
Additionally, a particularly useful feature for your social media marketing strategy is Twitter Cards. With Twitter Cards, you can attach rich photos, videos and media experience to Tweets that drive traffic to your website. By simply adding a few lines of HTML to your webpage, any user who tweets a link to your content will have a ‘Card’ visible to their followers. These ‘Cards’ add more of an enticing factor to your tweets and will consequently make your audience more likely to engage with your content and repost it. Twitter offers four different types of ‘Cards’, which are:
- Summary Card: Title, description, thumbnail and Twitter account attribution.
- Summary Card with Large Image: Similar to a Summary Card, but with a prominently featured image.
- App Card: A card to detail a mobile app with direct download.
- Player Card: A card to provide video/audio/media.
Twitter Analytics is a feature that you can use to measure the success of your social media strategy. It provides you with important information, including; the amount of engagements per post, the engagement rate, the amount of impressions per post and per day, any increases or decreases in the number of followers you have, amount of profile visits etc. With an understanding of which tweets generate the most success, you will know which content you need to post more and less of.