With over 328 million monthly active users, Twitter can be a very powerful tool to boost and build a community around your brand, engage with potential new customers. Twitter also plays an important role in search engine optimisation as Google uses Twitter to discover new content. The process of indexing web pages is complex and timely, with the amount of content being produced daily and the popularity of certain posts, such as how many tweets, retweets and the time frame of when the content was shared are all taken into consideration when indexing your content.
Twitter is a social network that works well for all businesses, irrespective of size or industry. The key fact to remember is its high velocity which means that updates get lost very quickly. You can form some great networks with fellow tweeters, as there is no need to approve connections and users follow each other based on the interest in the other person’s tweets.
1. Setting up a Twitter profile
Setting up your profile is quick and simple. You will need to come up with a Twitter handle, profile and cover photo. It’s a good idea to align this to your business’ branding so people can recognise your brand at first glance.
You will then need to fill out a short bio – this is where you should use all the relevant keywords so others can easily find you. Use hashtags to highlight the keywords and add your website – and you are ready to send out your first tweet!
2. Creating a tweet
Creating a Tweet may seem a bit complicated for those who are not used to the # or @ signs, or link shortening but it’s actually quite simple:
# – a hashtag is used to highlight a keyword that you want people to search for in order to find your tweet
@ – a sign to tag other users, mostly used in Twitter conversations or mentions when sharing content produced by others
Include visuals in your tweets Tweets – they are 150% more likely to get retweets than text-only tweets. Twitter’s algorithm rewards users who share content which gets engagement and if followers are actively and consistently engaging with your tweets, you’re more likely to show up in their feed when they first open Twitter. When tweeting, ask questions, reply to others and when you are sharing links, add a few words using your own insight.
3. Growing a real Twitter following
It takes more than just occasionally tweeting. To organically grow a real Twitter following it’s essential to engage with your target audience and regularly interact with them. To grow your following, you will need to engage in conversations in addition to broadcasting your content.
An effective way to see organic growth in active Twitter followers is via Twitter chats. By using Twitter chats, you are engaging with users who are actively engaged on Twitter and don’t just distribute and consume content – these are the people who will retweet, like and reply to your tweets. To learn more about Twitter chats, have a look at this insightful article by Sprout Social: The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Chats.
To find your target audience on Twitter, search for other users via the search functionality using keywords they are likely to use on their profile. Create a profile for your ideal followers and get actively engaged in a conversation – follow them, respond to their tweets, like or retweet their tweets. There is a good chance that if they like what you got to say, they will follow you back and get actively involved in a conversation.
4. Timing your tweets
As Twitter is so dynamic, it’s important to be active at least a few times a day. You can schedule your tweets in advance using a social media scheduling service such as Buffer.com or Hootsuite.com. Use a variety and content and spread it throughout the day. Research suggests that Mondays through to Thursday between noon and 3pm is the best time to post, with Thursday being the most recommended day to post. Every business is unique, so test a few times and see how much engagement your activities are generating and then plan your tweets for those times that work best.
5. What to tweet about
Most brands and individuals focus on tweets with links to either their own or third party content in a text format. But there is a lot more that you can share with your followers. Twitter’s video feature allows you to record videos up to 140 seconds long and upload them directly on to Twitter. You can also post GIFs or start a poll to start a conversation.
If you are out of topic ideas, you can consider tweeting about the following:
- Questions about your followers views, preferences, feedback on your products or services or even Trivia questions such as ‘did you know..’
- Industry news to showcase that you are on top of the latest trends (a great tool to find relevant topics is buzzsumo.com)
- Positive shoutouts about your team, clients and suppliers
- Promotion of current events and causes you care about
- Throwback Thursdays and Flashback Fridays
- Short stories about your business’ day to day and what you are working on
- Hashtag holiday posts
6. Setting your Twitter objectives
41% of companies have no idea whether or not their social media efforts are working or not. This is due to lack of objectives and keeping track of their return on investment. Setting your Twitter objective should interlink with your overall marketing objectives such as generating leads, driving website traffic, building an engaged following and brand reputation management. You can then break these down into measurable indicators such as generating 10 leads from Twitter per month, grow number of followers by 10% month on month, improve monthly referral website traffic by 20% or increase mentions and retweets by 10%. Measuring your success is essential to keep track of progress. Google Analytics as well as various social media management tools will help you measure how well are you doing.