Twitter is social media on fast forward. For your content to travel and make impact on social media you require an audience that is active and engaged. Owing to Twitter’s quick pace and the short attention span that people have, Twitter is a great place to find high-engaged audiences.
On Twitter you could reach and influence your audience and receive your social feedback in short social engagement cycles. Shorter cycles mean opportunity to test and implement more ideas and optimize your social marketing strategies that much faster.
Also, Twitter drastically outperforms Facebook and LinkedIn on leads – 89% to 9%!
How to Craft Tweets that Turbo Boost Engagement
While the potential of Twitter is apparent, how to maximize on it is not. Globally, marketers follow diverse approaches that provide variable results. Here is a summary of 8 Twitter best practices to help you fine-tune every Tweet that you post.
1. Keep it short
The spirit of Twitter lies in micro-blogging – conveying to your audience powerful and useful information in under 140 characters. Although your do have the 140 characters at your disposal, you needn’t use all of them.
In fact, research says that Tweets of a 100 characters or less prompt the most conversions.
Place yourself in your audience’s seats and view your Twitter feed in third person. What would you prefer to see? Longer, messy and unkempt Tweets with extra characters trailing the link? Or brief, crisp and neat Tweets that contain only what’s necessary?
Most marketers ironically overlook the “little things”, a mistake that I’ve committed myself, and it these famous little things that create the invaluable attributes of your brand like its feel, identity and associations in your target individuals’ minds.
2. Include class-visuals
Tweets with photographs receive 313% higher likes, quotes and retweets. If that doesn’t push you to run to your PC and start inserting visuals on all your Twitter posts, the following facts should:
(BTW, if you’re on DrumUp – the app for awesome social media content – you can quickly edit all scheduled posts to add images/ change text or even the schedule date and save the changes to all instances of that post, across all your social media accounts.)
a. The human brain is wired to pick up and process images 6000X quicker than text
b. Colored visuals increase peoples’ eagerness to read pieces by 80%
c. 71% online marketers rely on visual elements to boost the social media marketing efforts
Visuals have the WOW factor, it’s easier to wow your audience with visuals than it is with writing (Disclaimer: This last statement is an opinion, and I’d love to see your view on this as a comment under the post).
So create quick and clean images to improve your blog’s appearance or go ahead and curate them (If they’re under the Creative Commons license and with proper attribution to whoever created them).
P.S: Size matters – Use the right aspect ratio (1,024 x 512) to customize your image to fit Twitter’s features.
3. Validate ideas with statistics
A lot of people are skeptics, in the general sense. When you fortify your claims with statistics (with links to reliable sources), you’re building trust and demonstrating to your audience that the information you’re sharing is trust-worthy.
Also, if you wish to truly be truly of use to your audience, you have to give them logical reason to invest in the content you’re sharing with them. Quantifying ideas breeds a sense of credibility. Statistics imply research, reason and proof. They’re also your means of being certain that you are sharing only what works with your readers, and adding them translates into adding value and elevating the quality of all your Tweets.
So when creating content you don’t just explain How you also explain Why and What makes it true.
Twitter’s research states that numbers increase re-tweets by 17%.
4. Be found by hashtags
Hashtags do more than excite your appearance – They boost relevant discovery by tying conversations revolving around the same topic together. You could start conversations or join ones that matter provided to have the right hashtags. Twitter’s numbers have hashtags doubling engagement.
Imagine you’re in a library looking for David Korten’s “The Post Corporate World”, where would you look?
You’d probably head for the Economics the section or more specifically the Macroeconomics section. That’s what your hashtags are – “#” plus a “Tag” that best categorizes your content.
How amazing is that concept of Twitter’s! Categorizing conversations or bookmarking them to help you locate all the right ones!
The #Twitter #QuickTip Section for Social Media Marketers
1) Always use at least one hashtag to bookmark your shares
2) Tailor your trends and leverage trending hashtags
3) Discover trending hashtags in your niche and participate in relevant conversations
4) Create your own catchy hashtags for events and products
5) Live-tweet what you’re reading, this works wonders with engagement
Twitter’s analysis of millions of Tweets has revealed that people who send out a bunch of Tweets during a short window span grow their followers 1.5X times faster than average.
Also, remember to never overuse hashtags, one or two are considered acceptable, beyond that you’ll see a drop in engagement because the Tweet looks cluttered and you’ve diluted your audience.
5. @ mention stakeholders
Brands that Tweet @mentions grow their followers 17% faster than average. An @ mention is Twitter’s way of pulling people into conversations. From a social media marketer’s perspective it is vital to know what you can automate and what you cannot.
While there exist apps that allow you to set up automatic @ mentions (Follows, blog posts), there are instances where a personal Tweet can do so much more for the relationship.
For instance, when you mention people on blogs as examples, go the distance and tell them that you have. People love it when their work is appreciated, share with them that joy.
@ mentioning stakeholders – everyone who has something to gain from a blog – is encouragement for them to help you promote the blog.
You could plan your content to include people and drive more engagement. The following are 3 interesting ways to do it.
1) Request industry experts for quotes and add them to your content
2) Mention people when you are quoting them as example
3) Convert your clients’ questions/ success stories into blog posts
In each case you could @ mention whoever you’ve included and request them to share your content.
6. Perfect that feel
When mechanical targets are set (5% increase in engagement, 3% more views), it is easy to lose sight of quality and feel based targets. Often, companies employ agencies and freelancers to manage their brands and this adds distance between the brand the person managing it, resulting in a misrepresent or lack of attention to detail that can displace the true face of the brand on social media.
To avoid offsetting your brand feel, practice the following and request your social media managers to do the same:
1) Understand the brand before the message (Capture the spirit of the brand)
What does your brand stand for? If your brand were a person, what would their personality be like?
2) Direct your content at your audience (Acknowledge your audience and their needs)
To be popular on social media you have to be entertaining, exciting and above all useful.
3) Take an interest in your social media community (Indulge in conversations)
If you want your Twitter community to take interest in you, you’ve to begin by extending that courtesy to them.
4) Network as much as you would market (The [Network/Market]% ratio should ideally be greater than 1)
Focusing solely on marketing on Twitter is an approach that will only get you so much activity (I can’t imagine that my readers want to see only creative representations of my company). To really make it on social media in general, you have to engage.
7. Wordsmith that Tweet
Precise, concise and compelling. That’s what an idea Tweet should be. Balance an accurate description of the content you’re sharing and a sense of unknowing and suspense. Ensure to include the following elements:
1) A clear CTA
Tell your audience what you want them to do, plain and honest. If a Tweet contains the word “click”, it encourages a 35% higher engagement than otherwise.
2) Hash tags + Links
A combination of the two have been found to beat Tweets with one or the other in terms of engagement.
3) Relevant buzz words
Use social buzzwords only when you’re sure your audience will get them. Alternatively, you can use acceptable short versions of words to trim your Tweets. Eg: mktg for marketing (Even if someone doesn’t know this one, they’re bound to venture the right guess.
4) A feel of urgency
Express a sense of urgency on your Tweets. They prompt more clicks. For instance say “today” or “now”.
5) Front load your tweets
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For optimum engagement, you should bank on tweet 3. The first 3 words in the tweet convey the meat of what you’re offering, and hence hold a stronger appeal.
6) Current references
Reference trends that fall under your audience interests only when they’re related to in some way, and your reference is justified. Otherwise this attempt will come off as a thinly veiled publicity stunt.
8. Follow Twitter etiquette
Being present on social media inherently requires you to follow the natural flow of that platform. Don’t disregard the unwritten laws of social, unless you want to incur the displeasure of your social audience.
1) Never spam a social media platform. Twitter may be quick, but your followers remember your content. While you can share a Tweet multiple times, at different time intervals to reach different portions of your audience, ensure that you don’t do it incessantly.
2) Don’t use excessively “click-bait-ish” titles. People hate these. Even if it does get you the click, people are disappointed when they’re done with the write-up. There’s a thin line that differentiates attention catching titles and overdone ones. Write a catchy title that also reflects your content.
3) Participate actively in your community. Don’t push content and forget to interact, extend courtesy to your followers with the occasional “Hi”, “Thank you”, re-tweets of their content and an original thought every now and then. Simply re-tweeting content won’t help you grow your following beyond a point.
How to Fire-Up Your Interactions on Twitter
Most brands slink into the endless hole of push-marketing on social media. They “broadcast” brand information and expect their audiences to converse with them.
Firstly, why should your audience care about your brand? What’s in it for them?
Nothing, if you’re bombarding them with continuous streams of brand-oriented content (We did this. This is our new product. Buy this here. This is on discount).
Everything, if you simply shift the angle of focus to them (Here’s how you can save time with our new feature. Don’t spend excessively, buy this product on discount).
Of course, you’ll also have to create, locate and share information pertaining to your type of product and industry, and include the occasional informal, entertaining, and fun post to the mix.
This is because brands are not products, nor are they companies, they’re much more. On social media, you audience will view your brand as an entity and expect so much more from you. On social media, your brand vies with millions of other sources of content for audience attention. To get it, you have to create high-quality content, curate it And engage your audience with fun and interesting activities.
DrumUp takes some of that effort off your back by providing you with excellent social media content recommendations to help you maintain profile activity when you can’t create content.
The following are 6 ways to attract and engage your Twitter following
1) Run relevant and interesting polls (Great for audience insights as well)
2) Make a minimum of 30% of your Tweets responses to people (Hold your hand out first)
3) Tweet directly addressing your audience (Ask them questions rather than state a title)
4) Curate useful and hard-to-find content (Make yourself indispensable)
5) Add your original thoughts to curated content (Share the link with an insight of yours)
6) Create fun contests (Make it simple, giveaway something exciting)
A dash of personality hurt no one. No one likes bots, and people are on SOCIAL media to socialize among other things. If they wanted robotic information, they’d Google it.
Building a Wider Audience on Twitter
There are a host of approaches you could take to magnify your brand visibility on Twitter, but building a large audience that is relevant, active and engaged is tough.
To successfully do that you have to: Attract the right audience, share the right content and encourage interaction on a massive scale in one go.
How do you do that?
1. Use twitter chats
Twitter chats pull people who are interested in your niche into active, energetic conversations. Participating in one would connect you with people who are highly likely to respond to your content and share it. If you can’t find a chat relevant to your industry, you could always create one.
2. Import Email leads into a Twitter list
Use an email integration app to match people on your emailing list with their accounts on Twitter. Create a Twitter list for these people and nurture leads by sharing useful information and entertaining content.
3. Interact with niche influencers
Identify influencers in your niche and initiate as many conversations as you can with them. If you’re interesting and add enough value to those conversations, you could get an influencer to retweet your content.
Track, Monitor and Reinvent
Failure of a plan is the best thing you could ask for, because that’s one more idea off the list of possible strategies. As a marketer, or a professional of any kind, you have a lot to gain from social media failures because it tells you exactly what’s not working and what you should change.
In that sense, a 100 social media marketing failures translates into a sound social media strategy strengthened a 100 times! And Twitter is absolutely the best place to do this.
Caution: When I say fail here, I mean in implementation of something you think will work. Because Tweets get buried in seconds, and you can gather your insights and move to the next idea on your list. However, blatantly disregarding what you know and taking high risks isn’t a good idea on Twitter. Just as Tweets are buried, silly mistakes can also blow up on Twitter, so walk on eggshells and be sure of what you’re putting out there. Legit and beta phase marketing ideas can be tested by the dozens on Twitter, without fear of low engagement or wasted time.
Twitter’s dashboard has a ton on features, analytics wise. For detailed analytics and insights you could add Twitter specific social media analytics tools like TwitterCounter and Hashtagify (for hashtag specific analysis).
The following are Twitter metrics that you should definitely track on a regular basis to evaluate your content marketing effects.
1. Tweet reach
The number of people who have viewed your content, tweet reach is a solid measure of the distance your tweet has travelled on Twitter
2. Engagement rate
Engagement is a sum of interactions in all forms – Likes, re-tweets, quotes, replies and links shared. Engagement rate is (Total engagement/total impressions), and tells you how effective your content is on Twitter.
3. Type of engagement
Helps you analyze engagement on a deeper level in terms of the type of engagement that took place (Likes, re-tweets or replies)
4. Top influencers
Lets you identify the top Twitter accounts that Tweeted with links back to your content, so you can focus on engaging more with those individuals
5. Follower breakdown by region
Understanding this will give you insights on how to culturally orient your content for better engagement (Language, tradition and interests)
6. Top 10 interests of your audience
A no-brainer, this metric directly points out the fields you should cover while creating and curating your content
7. Web traffic
With Google anaytics you can identify the quantity of referrals you receive from Twitter and which landing pages are the most popular (a reflection of the content on them)
Ultimately, like I stress on all my blogs, the strategies you choose to incorporate must align with your type of business and goals. The metrics you choose to analyze and rely on should assist you in refining your social media strategies. Do you have ideas or points that belong here? Our guides are meant to be all inclusive, so I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Go ahead and comment, and I’ll do my best to include it on the write-up.
Note: The complete infographic is available for re-print and sharing. Please feel free to do so with a link to this blog.