Twitter – when used properly – is a powerful tool for networking, marketing and brand engagement. When it’s used properly, that is. Most Twitter pages are a pretty pitiful sight. Under 100 followers, a post a month (that’s being generous), and a stuffy profile description better suited to LinkedIn (or a resume, for that matter).
Maybe your profile page matches that description, maybe it doesn’t. In any case, you shouldn’t despair. Here are some great steps you can take to building up a large, engaged following on Twitter for your brand or business.
Create A Distinctive Profile
Your Twitter profile shows the world who you are, what you stand for and, importantly, what you can offer them. While your profile is fairly simple, getting each element right is essential to creating a compelling identity on the platform.
Username – Your @username is your profile’s unique ‘identifier’. It sets you apart. For most accounts, your brand or business name will do (e.g. @cocacola). You could also include something relevant to your brand (e.g. mjc_photography, pro_blogger). Keep it sort and memorable (e.g. Wall Street Journal’s ‘WSJ’). Some more tips.
Profile Photo – Choose an image that is the essence of your brand. Depending on your business, this could be a friendly, professional headshot of yourself, or an image of your brand’s logo. Again, keep it relevant and memorable – this will appear next to all of your posts and comments. Use GIF or PNG file formats.
Header Image – Use something to capture the appeal or personality of your brand here. Examples are Starbuck’s enticing coffee close-ups and Old Spice’s humorous laser-shooting helicopters and flaming lion and bear heads. You could also include your logo, a custom hashtag, or a company deal or discount. Get creative! Here are some more ideas.
Biography – This is the pièce de résistance of your profile – use the 160 characters wisely. Describe the unique aspects and benefits of your business concisely. Bonus points for humour or creativity – here are some good examples. Don’t get too smart though – you want your reader to understand who or what you are. Tip: Add one, relevant link to your business’s website, landing or promotional page at the end of your bio.
(Bonus) Pinned Tweet – In 2014, Twitter allowed you to ‘pin’ tweets, essentially turning them into ‘promoted’ tweets. This can be something humorous, relevant to your company or, even, a promotion, deal or discount. Content that engages your audience is best here. Here are some amusing or poignant examples.
Develop A Content Strategy
When it comes to getting more engagement on Twitter, creating a content strategy is vital. In posting content, considering the whats (what content), the whens (when to post), whys (why is this important to my audience?) will help to make your content far more effective on the already competitive social media platform.
Time Your Tweets
Simply posting whenever you feel like it won’t cut it. With content, timing is everything. Here are some tips to maximise the effectiveness of your content posting strategy:
- Use Tweriod to find out when your key audience is active – and post content during these hours
- Post content on Saturday and Sunday – weekend posts receive 17% more engagement than weekday posts
- Create content at the beginning of the week – and schedule it throughout the week using tools like Buffer and HootSuite – post during the times your followers are active (using the insights you gained from Tweriod)
Observe Your Competitors
Find your competitors through Twitter’s search. What are they posting? How are they interacting? Find content that seems to show the results (followers and engagement) and try to keep that in mind.
Use Tweepi to find the most influential accounts following your competition. Follow them and engage with them. Prove you’re better than your competition – just don’t get spammy!
- Retweet key influencers and accounts regularly – but only if the content is worth retweeting
- Write comments on relevant posts with the aim of being entertaining, friendly, helpful, and always 100% honest and transparent
- Like and follow new accounts on a regular basis – this’ll increase both your engagement and following very quickly
Post Great Content
Simply resharing content isn’t enough. To excel with engaging your ideal audience, it’s essential to nail the creation of great content. While this’ll take a bit of experimentation on your part, here are some tips.
- Use the 80/20 Rule – Make 80% of your posts engaging, relevant, interesting content – and the last 20% promotional posts and calls to action to drive your audience to action (e.g. visiting, subscribing or buying).
- Be Entertaining & Relevant – Content that makes your audience laugh, provokes your curiosity, or teaches them something new is far more likely to be successful. Keeping it relevant to your industry will keep your followers relevant, too. Use industry keywords. Ask questions and submit polls. Create fresh content. Don’t bore your audience with mindless updates. Here are some samples of great content.
- Get Visual – Tweets with images get 18% more clicks, 89% more favourites and 150% more retweets. This should be stunning photography, videos, infographics, memes and screenshots. Even better – design and brand content specifically for your business’s purposes. Remember – keep it relevant to your audience, and make sure it imparts some sort of value.
- Use Hashtags – Use a few, select industry hashtags (2-4) with each post. This will allow the right users to find your content. Use Twitonomy to find out what hashtags the influencers in your industry are using. Use Hashtagify to find even more relevant hashtags.
- Use Twitter’s Promoted Tweets to selectively target the right audience with carefully honed, relevant content. Be sure to include a compelling offer, value proposition, or call-to-action.
Track, Track, Track!
Tracking the performance of your activity on Twitter will allow you to hone and refine your strategy. After all, different approaches work for different brands, accounts and individuals. Here are some top tools to help you track and optimise your performance on Twitter.
- Commun.it helps you find out about who you’re following, your followers, and what accounts you should be following to help you grow your Twitter community.
- Twilert alerts you by email whenever your brand or hashtags are mentioned on Twitter, allowing you to quickly engage when it’s necessary
- Twitonomy will give you insights into your most popular, engaging content, giving you an insight into what works and what doesn’t.
The steps in this article cover just a few important elements of becoming distinguished in Twitter. Experiment with your approach and see what works and what doesn’t. Your Twitter marketing approach will quickly become unique to your business and your preferences. If anything has worked particularly well for you, feel free to share below in the comments! Also you can follow us on twitter.