Businesses often wonder how much 140 characters are worth in terms of a general marketing plan, but Twitter continues to be a social media powerhouse. From the time the Ellen DeGeneres selfie broke Twitter on Oscar night this year, it was obvious to all marketers that real time marketing on Twitter was a force to be harnessed. Businesses need a Twitter marketing strategy that leverages visual media, builds their brands, and cultivates opportunities to make personal connections.
What you may not know is that Twitter is considered to be one of the most engaged social networks for post-click interaction, as in if someone clicks on your link via Twitter they are more likely to spend time on your site, click on more of your pages, and engage with your content.
So if your business is trying to drive traffic to its website, it is time to turn to Twitter, which currently boasts over 271 million monthly active users with tons of different interests and the technological ability to share updates, disseminate content to prospects, customers, influencers or even just people who are interested in your brand, to create real-time brand awareness.
And, for the doubters, here are some statistics:
- 36% of all marketers have found a customer via Twitter in 2013.
- 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from brands they follow on Twitter.
- Over 90% of brand followers say they follow businesses to get discounts and promos.
- The average Twitter user follows five or more brands, while 60% users who use Twitter on mobile devices are more likely to follow 11 or more brands.
- 49% of monthly Twitter users follow brands or companies, compared to just 16% of social network users overall. Put another way, Twitter users are 3 times more likely to follow brands than Facebook users. Combined with their above average income and above average education, Twitter user’s propensity to interact with brands make them a huge potential source for Mass Influencers.
- Twitter users research and engage with companies. 42% learn about products and services via Twitter. 41% provide opinions about products/services. 19% seek customer support.
Why Businesses Should Use Twitter?
- The audience is already there and they’re ready to share. Twitter directory tools make it easy to target an audience that is younger and more diverse than Facebook.
- In addition to promoting a company’s new products and brand through social media, conducing social media listening will help to establish conversations already occurring about your brand and reaching out directly to those prospects. Privacy settings on Facebook make this difficult to do, but Twitter plays very well with this strategy.
- Twitter can support marketing and sales, HR and recruitment, corporate communications, customer service, and many more business functions, but it is good to decide your approach and set KPIs beforehand.
- Twitter’s small-business advisory team is devoted to offering tips, guidance and hosts regular webinars for small businesses to find best practices for a specific Twitter marketing strategy.
How to Maximize Impact of Twitter
- To Build your Brand
2014 has seen an acceleration of building brand for businesses. Twitter provides an important opportunity to join the broader social conversation on your topic or industry. Each aspect of your interactions on Twitter should be considered as a brand-building activity:
- Share quality content only, bring personality and perspective into your tweets.
- All tweets must reinforce your brand positioning and expertise.
- Your handle and basic profile page has to be aligned with your brand’s visual image.
- Create a branded hashtag that you own and use across campaigns.
- Create a unique voice for your business and maintain it.
- To Use as an Engagement Tool
Engagement is a better metric of success on social media than sheer number of followers. Ask yourself: How much of your content is being shared and read on Twitter? Instead of the email route, many people now reach out on social media and get close to an instant answer for their inquiries via Twitter. This gives an opportunity for businesses to reach out and connect with the users directly… and many times, in a very visible way. The engagement can be in a form of sales inquiry, complaint or compliment. An important tip here is to use Public tweets instead of a Direct Message. Here are some strategies to employ on Twitter:
- Tailor content specifically for Twitter, as people prefer to go to Facebook for personalized stories, while Twitter is more of a public forum for discussing news, ideas and opinions.
- Content on Twitter should be informative and provide value to users, consistent with your business value propositions. People follow your brand on Twitter out of interest, such as an account for coupons, another for news, and yet another account for recipes.
- You should take advantage of your following by sharing tweets specific to your business. Don’t shy away from sharing company news or promotions.
- Look for a meaningful connection with the audience. Retweets and comments are a great way to determine how effectively your content is resonating with your audience.
A Bonus Engagement Idea: With the addition of Twitter Cards, which enable users to showcase photos and video content, businesses can do cross-platform promotion of that content using Twitter. Businesses can make it a richer experience by leveraging Twitter’s ability to connect with a larger audience, and helping your profile stand out in your reader’s content feed.
- To Leverage Your Industry Influencers
Businesses need to locate, develop and leverage influencers with target audiences in their respective spaces that are a good fit with the business. Influencers provide a cost-effective way to get your skillfully constructed tweets seen. Find the right influencers for your specific business and for your specific goals. If you are a small business, try to keep it local. If you reach out to an influencer to call upon their help, explain why promoting your business will also help them, maybe expand their network or benefit their followers from the product or service you offer.
- To Find New Target Markets
Marketing is all about your target audience and selling the right product to the right people at the right time. All businesses need to know who your audience is, what their interests are and where they are located. That is exactly what Twitter Analytics provides for free. Using this information will help you in important ways, such as:
- To configure the right tweets targeting your specific audience.
- To share tweets according to follower time zones.
- To use relevant hashtags to reach out to more of your audience.
- To Monitor Current Trends
When your business has thousands of followers, Twitter makes it really easy to monitor the current, trending topics and see the latest updates with near precision for specific locations. It becomes easier for businesses to then choose, share a topic, provide a solution or engage with your audience more effectively.
What is New on Twitter in 2015?
- Shopping Comes to Social Media
Shopping is finally ready to make its appearance on the social media scene in the coming year. Facebook and Twitter have both been beta-testing purchase buttons that will appear alongside tweets and posts to give users the ability to make purchases without leaving the site. Twitter and Facebook can offer short-term deals associated with quickly passing trends, luring consumers with time-sensitive offers streaming by on their feeds.
- Search-Friendly Hashtags
Twitter has plans to index more than 50,000 of the most popular hashtags to make the hashtag-search tool more user-friendly.
- Video-Friendly Features
Outside of using Vine, Twitter users may soon have the ability to upload, edit, and publish videos using new features built into Twitter.
- New Advertising Options
Twitter has announced that they will soon launch a program called Quick Promote, which is similar to Facebook’s “boost post” option.
According to Media Connection, B2B marketers who use Twitter generate, on average, twice as many leads as those who don’t. And while advertising on Twitter costs nearly six times as much as Facebook ads on a CPM basis, the CTR for Twitter ads is 8-24 times higher. Businesses need to channel Twitter for their benefit to market their products and services and to create an engaged, loyal band of followers. Get ready now to utilize Twitter for your business in 2015. #2015Marketing