While Twitter’s growth is said to be in decline, the 140-character social network is still a valuable asset for your business.
Because it’s almost 1 billion users still have significant influence over your customers and an ability to amplify the reach of your content.
Maybe you feel intimidated by Twitter or don’t see value in it for your company. Perhaps your ROI is hard to track and you prefer to rock out on Pinterest.
But this doesn’t mean you should ignore the blue bird and disregard having a Twitter account altogether.
The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing for Business
1. It works for viral promotions and special offers
Imagine you’re launching a new add-on service, or you’ve got some hot seasonal discounts to promote. Twitter is the place to be when it comes to launching viral campaigns.
Here’s a recent case study to illustrate the concept. Virgin America decided to do a Twitter announcement about their selected flights now equipped with Netflix. A single Tweet placed them on top of the trending news section and right in the middle of that week’s conversation according to word cloud. It also resulted in landing extensive press coverage and getting a 96% positive sentiment from the audience.
How can you do it?
Spice up your Tweets with full-featured images (440 x 220 px).
Tweets with visuals receive 150% more retweets, 18% more clicks and 89% more favorites.
Turn your promo codes, announcements and calls-to-action into appealing, inspiring, and fabulous graphics that could be later repurposed for other social media networks like Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.
Also, make sure to Tweet at the optimal times when most of your audience is online.
In the U.S. the peak hours are 8-9 am for Pacific Time Zone, 12-1 pm Central, Mountain Time and Eastern Time according to Buffer.
However, according to the same study if you’d like to maximize the amount of clicks per tweet, you should schedule them between 2:00 and 3:00a.m.
According to Dan Zarella, the following types of tweets get the most re-tweets:
- Tweets with links
- Tweets that are between 100 and 115 characters long
- Tweets containing news and trendy content
To get even higher engagement rates, use a set of words that trigger activity from your followers. Including: “free”, “how-to”, “help”, “you”, “please”, “social” and “great” among others.
2. It’s great for customer support
Long gone are the days when people just ring up a company to complain. Now users prefer to get social and publicly reach out or bash companies on social media.
If you are not on Twitter, you may have no idea of how your reputation is screwed or praised by the community.
Use Twitter to offer effective, timely support to your users.
Here are just a few key benefits:
- Timing is crucial for modern users. They want to get help here and now. That’s where Twitter becomes essential, as your customer reps don’t need to dig through contact information data and can shoot immediate replies with links to FAQs or a respective help information section.
- You can increase your brand visibility with the use of special hashtags, re-tweets and mentions by your customers. Your brand will get organic promotion and also appear more approachable and human.
- Building new leads. Here’s the trick. If you start offering customer support to those users who are not your clients yet, they are likely to become them. Set up alerts for search terms with the most relevant words to your industry. Answer the questions that pop up on Twitter now and then. When you just help people out, a lot of them naturally check out what you are doing and become potential prospects.
Here are some of the companies who nailed the concept of Twitter customer support to give you a better idea of how you should do it.
3. It helps build relationships with influencers
You’d like your business to be acknowledged by the industry experts, right? Most probably you have even reached out to some of them via email or Facebook and got some luck. Or not.
Twitter can be an excellent medium to start building relationships with industry thought leaders. Start engaging with them by curating their content, mentioning them, asking relevant questions or answer their queries. Get them to know you and identify you as “a lovely helpful chap” from Twitter, rather than a stranger asking for something out of the blue.
If you create a connection through Twitter, next time you reach out to them with a quick favor, the chances are you’ll receive a positive outcome.
4. It can expand your customer base (with Twitter chats)
In simple words, a Twitter chat is an online meetup scheduled for a predetermined time, where users discuss and track replies on a certain topic using a dedicated hashtag.
Hosts or moderators usually pitch those questions (marked as Q1, Q2…) and re-tweet, answer and prompt responses from participants (using A1, A2…). Usually, a Twitter chat lasts about an hour.
Why should you participate?
Twitter chats are a great way to expand your professional network and learn a few more things about the subject as well.
By actively participating in the conversation and exchanging thoughts with other tweeters, you leverage your authority and credibility. On top, you get plenty of ideas and tips for your content, as you now know what interests your target audience.
Next step – host a Twitter chat yourself! You may need to get some training first and wait till your followers base grows to reach the best results, but the reach of Twitter chats can not be underestimated.
5. It enables you to curate user-generated content
Twitter is the ideal medium for content curation. In fact, it’s essential to curate content if you’d like to keep your fan base active and engaged at all times. Or produce tons of personal content on a daily basis that is mission impossible for most businesses.
According to U.S News, 85 percent of followers feel more connected with businesses after following them. And 72 percent of followers are more likely to buy something from a business they follow.
Most people feel flattered when a brand acknowledges them and shares their content.
So, how can you interact with your audience on Twitter?
a. Create a custom business hashtag (or a few).
First of all, custom hashtags help you expand your long-term reach and track it accordingly. You can use them to analyze the success of the Twitter campaign after it’s over.
You need to have custom hashtags for promo campaigns; events you organize (online and offline) to help people track, connect and spread the word easier.
Hashtags also strengthen your SEO, especially when used consistently over different social media platforms as they tell the search engine what accounts are connected.
- Re-tweet users who mention your brand
Let them feel acknowledged. Also, always shoot a quick “thanks” message when they share your content or a brief reply to their mention.
b. Run a creative competition
Offer special discounts or promo codes to users who Tweet with your products. Or use the #LuckyTweet to run competitions when each tweet with your brand @mention and special hashtag enters the draw to win.
Another effective idea is to run a Q&A session with a dedicated hashtag. Imply that the answers need to be as creative as possible and the winner will be chosen by the organizers and rewarded with a great prize.
Here’s a few more amazing ideas that work for Twitter competitions.
So what do you think of Twitter now? Is it a Yay or Nay for your business? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Guest Author: Carmelo is marketing writer and blogger helping small and medium business to craft winning content strategies. She’s always scouting the web for new social media strategies and is slightly addicted to apps. When not tapping the keyboard, you are likely to find her in the park playing with her uncontrollably friendly Irish setter.