While Oreo’s and Old Spice’s social media campaigns make it seem like Twitter is built for consumer-focused companies trying to sell a product, there is plenty of room for other folks trying to master social media to play ball as well. By fully utilizing its simplicity, wide reach, and analytical prowess, Twitter can become an incredibly effective tool for any marketer. Here are 9 tips and tricks that we believe all social media marketers should be using:
1.) Fully utilize hashtags, but don’t overdo it.
When creating tweets to carry out your social media strategy, consider important keywords and phrases relevant to your industry; oftentimes, these phrases will be hashtags capable of connecting you to your audience. Simple searches and checking out competitor profiles are often the easiest ways to determine what people are currently talking about. While it may be tempting to throw every hashtag under the sun into your tweets, use a maximum of two hashtags per tweet so you don’t overwhelm readers.
2.) Visual content is king.
Other visual-heavy social media avenues such as Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram are gaining mass quantities of users every day. It’s no surprise that these platforms are gaining steam, as 83% of human learning is visual. In order to utilize this on Twitter, companies need to include different forms of rich media into their tweets. Simple text or links often do not stand out enough on a timeline and may be overlooked by users, rendering content ineffective.
3.) Activate summary cards to make things more shareable.
Activating summary cards is an important way of controlling how your content shows up on Twitter, whether you or someone else is posting links to your content. Instead of seeing just a hyperlink to the content, summary cards allow users to preview the landing page within the tweet. Better yet, there are numerous summary cards to choose from depending on your business needs, including summary, photo, app, and video player cards. In order to get started with summary cards, check out Twitter’s post about setting up meta tags and use the Twitter Card Validator to ensure it is working for your site.
4.) Analytics are here to help.
One feature unique to Twitter and missing from other social media outlets is the breadth of analytics it has built right in. You can see a wide variety of statistics on the Twitter Analytics page such as number of followers, top tweets, and monthly summaries. Be wary of which numbers you analyze though. For instance, “impressions” can show you how often your tweets are showing up on people’s timelines, but it doesn’t tell you how many people are actually recognizing and engaging with your content.
5.) Make campaigns daily to avoid “dead times.”
If your company is new to Twitter or looking to increase traffic to their website, Ads is the best tool for reaching out to your target audience. However, there is one major flaw with the system that inhibits a campaign from being completely effective: the campaign scheduler. While you can select the start and end times of a campaign, Twitter Ads does not provide an option to “pause” the campaign during specific hours. In a B2B setting, the majority of your target audience will most likely be using Twitter during work hours. Since campaigns continue to run through “dead times” (late at night / early morning), almost 33% of your budget can be eaten up before your target audience even wakes up! While it may be cumbersome, the best way to counteract this is to create separate ad campaigns for each day of the week. This provides flexibility with the timing of a campaign and allows for more concise tweaking throughout the week.
6.) Website cards are not just for promotion.
Website cards are typically the most popular form of media for promoted ad campaigns. However, not many people realize that these cards can also be used outside of their campaigns for normal tweets. Unlike summary cards, creators of website cards have more control of what image, text, and headline appear in their tweet. Website cards can be found in Twitter Ads under the “Creative” subhead.
7.) URL Shorteners will allow you to pack in more content.
Twitter only allows 140 characters per update, so there isn’t much room to get your message across. In order to save as much room as possible for essential information, consider using a URL shortener. There are plenty of URL shorteners out there, but we recommend using either Bitly, Hootsuite, or the Goo.gl Shortener. Bitly is useful for those that want to have some statistics such as click rate, dates, times, and demographics. Hootsuite is perfect for those that are already using its platform, as it is built right into their interface. Last, the goo.gl Shortener is perfect for those that use Google Chrome, as it it is built in as an extension that can easily generate a URL when you are browsing any page.
8.) Schedule tweets in advance.
You need to prove that you are worthy of following by posting content when people want to see it. However, most people cannot sit down on their Twitter timeline all day finding the perfect moment to tweet about their blog posts. With applications like Hootsuite and Buffer, you can set up tweets in advance so you don’t miss posting at busy parts of the day. On top of this, schedulers make it easier to execute long-term content strategies. Since it may take several tweets before your target audience actually see your content, multiple future posts can be scheduled all at once. Just remember, if a major crisis or natural disaster suddenly occurs, you may want to halt your scheduled tweets to avoid messy situations like this.
9.) Share content from external sites.
It is far too common for businesses to use their Twitter to solely self-promote themselves over and over again. We would like to introduce these companies to something called the Internet, a wonderful place with a wide range of interesting content and ideas. If you find a great piece from an external website, don’t be afraid to tweet about it. If you like it, your target audience is sure to enjoy it as well.
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