How to Use Twitter for Marketing

April 23, 2018

How to Use Twitter for Marketing

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With 280 characters, images, video, live video, links, and polls, Twitter can be (and is) used in a myriad of ways—and it has the potential to advance the marketing efforts of just about any brand. Plus, with 330 million active monthly users, you can be sure that a community of your customers exists, is tweeting, and is ready to interact with your brand—80% of users have mentioned a brand in a tweet! Here are a few reasons brands use Twitter:

    • Image management
    • Establishing thought leadership
    • Announcements, product launches
    • Customer service, responding to customer feedback
    • Brand awareness

Making the Most of Twitter Marketing

While many of the same principles of social media marketing apply to Twitter, such as goal-setting, planning, and establishing a brand voice, (note: do not skip these things!) in this post we’ll focus on how Twitter is different from other channels, and how to take advantage of those differences. When it comes to using Twitter for marketing, the most important things to remember are:

    1. It’s a conversation
    2. It’s fast

While it’s important to interact with your customers on all social media channels, the immediacy and conversational culture of Twitter means you have to double down on interactions. Think of it this way: if Instagram is a stage where you give a talk and take some questions, Twitter is more of a social event where you’re working the room—and occasionally clinking the side of your glass to make an announcement.

The immediacy of Twitter stems from the fact that, save for a few exceptions like ranked tweets, the timeline still functions mostly in real-time, unlike the fully algorithmic timelines of Facebook and Instagram. In fact, the sense of immediacy is so strong that, users expect brands to respond within an hour.

Twitter Interactions: Just Ask

A great way to spark conversation on Twitter about your brand is to ask for it. In the example below, Fenty Beauty prompts the community to tag their makeup looks and use a specific hashtag. When the brand receives the responses, they can then retweet and reply. Target did something similar for Valentine’s Day where they prompted users for love stories and then retweeted and replied to the responses.

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Twitter Chats

A Twitter Chat is a live conversation taking place at a set time and followed through a hashtag. A moderator facilitates the conversation by asking questions typically with the labels “Q1, Q2….” so participants can follow along with the replies. Twitter chats are essentially a networking event, so it can be really helpful to find one and join in. Beyond replying to the questions, comment on others’ responses and follow relevant accounts you discover. And don’t stop when the chat is over. Follow up and interact with your new acquaintances in the future as well. Who knows, maybe next time you’ll be the host!

Social Listening

Social listening is the process of monitoring social media channels for brand and product mentions, competitor mentions, and industry buzzwords—and then analyzing that information for actions you can take. There are many tools like Hootsuite available to help out with this. For all channels, social listening can provide insights into your competition and the conversations in your space, but on Twitter especially it can really up your conversation game. In the tweet below, Starbucks caught a product mention and retweeted it with a comment.

Staying On-Brand and On-Trend

In addition to looking for conversations around your brand, it’s also useful to watch conversations your target customers are having, and in many circles that will include jokes and memes of the moment. In the example below, Pop-Tarts hopped right on the “If you don’t love me at my” meme in a way that aligns with their brand.

Plan and Adapt

Twitter for marketing is a combination of planning and adapting. Just like with other channels, you should keep a content calendar and use tools like Buffer to schedule your posts. For example, if you’re a pet brand, you’d better be ready for #NationalPetDay!  But you also have to react, especially with the immediacy of Twitter. In addition to watching and hopping on to trends, keep an eye out for national news or PR issues for which you might want to pause scheduled tweets.

Don’t Forget Visuals

Including an image in Twitter posts is not required, nor is it always needed, but most accounts will benefit from regularly incorporating visual elements. In the same way that your post copy is not one-size-fits-all, your visuals should also be optimized for Twitter. A tool like Canva can help create custom imagery in the best dimensions for Twitter. We’ve got more tips on creating visual elements for social media here.

So there you have it! Twitter is a platform that connects customers and brands in a truly unique way. Remaining active on Twitter can give your brand an invaluable advantage when it comes to brand loyalty. And when you need those visuals, we’ve got you covered.

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Caryn Tayeh

Caryn Tayeh is a freelance writer whose specialties include tutorials, content marketing, and video production. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading books by women she admires, researching social media trends, and tweeting about #TheBachelor.