How should we be using Twitter for marketing?

Twitter has over 313 million users and is ideal for sharing your content and connecting with other influencers in your industry.

Twitter marketing has become a complicated channel for even the savviest social marketers.

Twitter has gone from a place for people to share their every thought into a powerful marketing platform that lets brands speak to their audience in real-time. With over 321 million monthly active users, it’s easy to see why companies keep using Twitter after all of this time. But it’s no longer enough to Tweet about the latest trending topic occasionally.

Like every other social media platform, finding marketing success on Twitter takes strategic planning and intentionality to stand out and keep your audience engaged.

Let’s talk about the best ways to use Twitter to market your business, engage with your audience and use the platform to meet your overall social media goals.

How to use Twitter for marketing

At first glance, it may seem like the only way to use Twitter is just to show up and start Tweeting. While you do want to be prepared with plenty of content, there are some strategies that successful businesses use to stand out on the platform and use it to their advantage.

Let’s dive into some Twitter marketing tips that any brand can use to make the most out of the platform. If one of these strategies catches your eye, jump right to it with these links.

Audit your Twitter account

If you already have an existing Twitter profile, the first thing to do is to run a Twitter audit.

Take stock of what’s working and what isn’t working on your Twitter profile by doing an in-depth review of your Twitter analytics. Twitter analytics tools help by allowing you to:

Finding out which Tweets are performing the best will give you an idea of the type of content that your audience is most interested in seeing. You can use this information to create a strategy that maximizes the reach and engagement you get on your Tweets and give your audience what they’re looking for in your content.

One way to audit your Twitter profile is to look over your analytics manually. Do this by logging into your Twitter profile, navigating to your Twitter Analytics dashboard, selecting the “Tweets” tab and exporting your data for a specific date range.

Find your Twitter voice

Audiences on Twitter are looking for brands that Tweet authentically stay true to their voice. It can be easy to jump on the latest trends to appeal to the masses on Twitter but don’t do this at the expense of losing your brand voice. While your Twitter presence can be more playful and casual than LinkedIn or Facebook, it should still be authentic and consistent with your brand voice as a whole.

Wendy’s is a brand that has nailed its brand voice on Twitter, while still staying true to their brand persona. They’re not afraid to have a little bit of fun with current trends while remaining real to who they are as a brand.

Use Twitter hashtags and trends

Tweets with hashtags get almost double the engagement than Tweets without hashtags. This is an exciting statistic, but it doesn’t mean that you should load up your Tweets with every hashtag you see. Hashtags are a great way to expose your brand to new audiences who may be interested in what you have to say. Some brands create hashtags for a specific campaign and use that hashtag to label individual Tweets or encourage their audience to share Tweets with that hashtag.

On Black Friday 2014, Kohl’s made history by generating tons of engagement among excited shoppers with their #KohlsSweeps Twitter contest. Participants were encouraged to answer trivia questions about recent pop culture events for the opportunity to win gift cards and other prizes. During the weeklong Twitter campaign, Kohl’s generated over 450K engagements on their Twitter page, over 370K Twitter mentions and saw over 255MM potential impressions

The success they saw during that campaign inspired them to create similar campaigns every year to attract attention to their profiles and encourage followers to engage with them on Twitter

Utilize Twitter ads

Using paid ads on Twitter is a great way to reach your audience in a more direct way than waiting for organic reach. Promoted Tweets can expand your reach more quickly.

They also allow people to discover your profile, even if they don’t follow your brand or hashtags. When you use a promoted Tweet, your Tweets show up people’s timelines who share interests with your audience. You pay a monthly fee as long as you want the promoted Tweet to remain posted. Users can interact with promoted Tweets in the same way they interact with organic content.

The only difference is that promoted Tweets are marked so that users transparently know it’s a paid ad.

Progressive uses promoted Tweets to advertise their competitor pricing feature. The ads are true to their brand and are not overly promotional. In fact, they encourage users to go to their website to find the best insurance rates, even if they end up not using Progressive.

Find out when to Tweet

Sprout’s ViralPost™ feature looks at your audience’s activity and even chooses the most optimal times for you to share updates depending on when your followers are most active.

Even though Tweets remain on your profile forever unless deleted, Twitter moves so fast that something you Tweeted 30 minutes ago may very well be invisible to your followers. According to a study by Wiselytics, one Tweet has a half-life of 24 minutes. Tweets only reach about 75% of their potential engagement in less than three hours after being posted. This makes posting consistently and at the right time, the key to finding success on Twitter.

If you’re looking for our findings on the top times to post this year, check out our complete report on the best times to post on social media across networks and industries.

Sprout’s ViralPost™ feature looks at your audience’s activity and even chooses the most optimal times for you to share updates depending on when your followers are most active.

Schedule Tweets ahead of time

Tweets like that, which happen at the right place at the right time, can generate massive engagement and virality. But these spur of the moment Tweets are the exception to the rule. The majority of your Tweets should be intentionally scheduled ahead of time for maximum reach.

Knowing the right time to Tweet makes scheduling a consistent flow of Tweets much more manageable. It’s important to be as consistent as possible on Twitter. Best practices recommend Tweeting at least once per day. Some brands Tweet up to 15 times per day to stay in front of their audience. Best practices can differ across industries. So it depends on your resources and social media strategy to determine how frequently you can create and publish new content on twitter.

It helps to use a platform like Sprout to visualize when to post your content to make sure posts go out consistently and at the optimal times.

Engage with your followers

Twitter is all about creating a two-way channel of communication with your audience. It’s important to create content that encourages your audience to engage with your Tweets. You also need to make sure that you’re engaging with people who are Tweeting about your brand individually. If someone mentions your brand or responds to a Tweet, make sure someone is responsible for responding to their message in a timely fashion. A lot of businesses use Twitter as a way to field support questions. So having a dedicated community manager to handle these requests will help prevent responses from falling through the cracks.

Asana avidly monitors their Twitter mentions and responds to virtually every mention they receive. It doesn’t matter if it is a pressing question or general praise. They make sure their users know that they are paying attention to what they are saying.

Set measurable Twitter goals

Your Twitter marketing strategy needs to create measurable goals that will keep your plan on track. Instead of publishing Tweets and hoping for the best, set goals and objectives for Twitter. These goals should help your business meet its overall marketing goals. Goals for Twitter can include:

  • Building an engaged following to increase brand awareness
  • Generating leads by directing traffic to an offer or email list
  • Increasing traffic to your website by posting links to blog content
  • Building brand loyalty by providing excellent customer service on Twitter
  • Networking with influencers and industry thought leaders to create more connections

Once you’ve determined your Twitter goals, set aside time every month to measure those goals. Then you can analyze what’s working with your strategy and what needs tweaking. It helps to use a social media management platform like Sprout to measure your activity and track your goal’s progress.

Incorporate Twitter into your overall social media content strategy

Having a solid social media content strategy lets you visualize what you’re looking for from each of your social media profiles and allows you to get the most out of your presence on each network. Large organizations especially may find themselves with a different team managing each social network. Your twitter social media strategy should align with your overall social media content strategy. It’s a great idea to use a social media management platform, like Sprout Social, that lets you collaborate across teams and create standards that everyone managing social media can follow.

Every brand’s Twitter marketing strategy is going to be unique to their business and industry. Following best practices can build a foundation for a Twitter presence that is memorable and helps your business achieve its goals.

What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to instantly sending short text messages (known as tweets) of up to 140 characters in length to anyone on the platform. Tweets are commonly created using a phone, but there are also desktop applications that allow you to post tweets from your computer.

What is Twitter Marketing?
Twitter marketing is succinctly defined as “the process of promoting products or brands through Twitter, employing methods to create the most desirable Tweets and determine who should receive them”. There are a few ways that one can achieve this. One way is by submitting automated replies to tweets with specific hashtags. Another way is by creating original posts on popular trending topics centered around your product/brand. This will eventually prompt others to search for your company’s profile, which could lead back to your website and generate more traffic.
Within the realm of Twitter marketing, there are a few slightly different processes that should be taken into account when promoting a product/brand; these include growing an engaged fanbase, connecting with influential users, and showcasing behind-the-scenes.

How should we be using Twitter for marketing?

  1. Use hashtags to make your tweets more visible
  2. Keep it short - this is a 140 character limit
  3. Don’t use too many links in each tweet, or else people will unfollow you
  4. Be personal and conversational with your tweets
  5. Make sure there are no typos!
  6. Tweet relevant content that interests the audience of your followers