Twitter offers a powerful opportunity for promoting your business with relatively little time or financial investment. What’s more, it’s a surprisingly effective way to offer moment-to-moment customer service. While other social platforms like Facebook and Instagram prize visuals above all else, Twitter remains the place for brands to spark conversations online. If you’re looking to develop your brand’s online identity in 2018, here’s how to ensure you’re making the most out of what Twitter has to offer.
It’s basic advice, but it’s important to remember. If you want to ensure that your tweets actually get noticed in users’ crowded feeds, you can’t make do with tweeting just a couple of times a week. Daily posts are essential, preferably in the region of 5-20 tweets per day. What’s more, each tweet should be useful and relevant, mixing links and images with video clips and other rich media to gain as many favorites, retweets, and clicks as possible.
Use the search function
Used well, Twitter can help you showcase your business to people who are ready to take relevant action — and it’s all about using the native search function to find them. Say, for example, you sell mountain bikes. Search queries like ‘looking for a mountain bike’, ‘want a mountain bike’, or ‘mountain bike recommendations’ may turn in some potential leads.
Keep modifying your search queries until you find ones that work. You can save your searches and return to them later, or if you use a monitoring tool like TweetDeck, you will be able to keep track of them daily and respond to enquiries as they occur.
Engage in conversation
People don’t use Twitter to be bombarded with sales pitches. They use it to get involved in conversations. If you hope to use Twitter successfully for business, you need to cool the sales chat and actually make a contribution.
Twitter is a great place to demonstrate your knowledge and insight around your industry. You’ll find that people will naturally become drawn to your products and services because they trust you and what you have to say (not because of any direct promotion). Using Twitter is a little like attending a party where you initially don’t know anyone — you need to figure out who people are and what they care about before you jump in with your own agenda.
Embrace Twitter advertising
Looking to grow your Twitter following as fast as possible? Of course. Then you may want to try Twitter’s own advertising platform, which lets you promote tweets, trends, and accounts so they reach a wider audience. It’s easy to get started – all you need to do is sign up here, hit ‘start a campaign’ and follow the steps. Your campaign will then begin right away.
Before you start, consider your advertising objective. What’s most important — engagement? Growing your following? Generating leads? Sending traffic to your website? Knowing your objective will help you hone your advertising strategy and develop a more effective call-to-action.
Install Twitter Cards
Twitter Cards give your updates more impact by letting you attach rich images, videos, and media to your tweets, ideally driving more traffic to your website. The process of implementing basic Twitter Cards on your website varies, but should be easy enough if you use a standard CMS – you’ll want to check the code specified in the Twitter Developers documentation.
There are 8 different types of Twitter Card:
- Summary card
- Summary card with large image
- Player card
- Product card
- App card
- Gallery card
- Lead generation card
- Website card
Each offers a different type of media experience, from enabling direct downloads to playing video and audio. In a case study conducted by Agorapulse, tweets using Twitter Cards got more engagement, while tweets using just an image and link got more impressions. Arguably, engagement is the more important of the two.
Here’s an example of a product card being used by vintage fashion brand ModCloth. Product cards are particularly useful for ecommerce sellers because they make it possible to share information on a product (including price, user rating, and a short description) with one tweet.
While setup for product cards can be a little tricky, there’s plenty of support to be found if you look around — for just one example, anyone running a store on Shopify’s hosted fast-build webshop system can follow this tutorial to get everything working properly. And if you really get stuck, you can always consult a developer.
Set up social sharing on your website
Your website and social media presence should be working together to promote your business. Therefore, when setting up your website, you will certainly want to incorporate social share and follow buttons. When you integrate social proof to your website, you’re giving your visitors trust signals that will make them more likely to see you as a valuable business – 79% of consumers trust social proof as much as personal recommendations.
Create a hashtag campaign
One of the most effective ways for a brand to build a Twitter presence is to create a unique hashtag and get it trending. Not only can it bring you followers and recognition, but it will also generate buzz around your brand and potentially lead to sales. The best hashtags are catchy, relevant, and incentivize users with some sort of reward.
The goal is to inspire users to want to use the hashtag so your brand gains more visibility in the process. Positioning the hashtag around something fun, meaningful, or universal is a good way to do this. Here’s how to find the top hashtags on Twitter to get some inspiration for your own.
One of the most effective Twitter hashtag campaigns of all time was Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke. The idea behind the hashtag – selling cokes with names and titles on them – drove huge sales and generated a vast amount of user-generated content.
Offer great customer service
Twitter is a great social channel for giving customers a quick and easy way to contact you, and since the mobile app has notifications, you can answer incoming queries from anywhere. By leveraging Twitter as a customer support tool, you can swiftly respond to questions that may be preventing you from making a sale, and score brownie points for good customer service at the same time.
Twitter makes it simple for an online business to develop an authentic brand voice and engage with a wider audience on relevant topics. A fast-paced and flexible platform, it shouldn’t be missed if you hope to build a loyal and devoted following.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to spreading the word about startups and small businesses of all shapes and sizes. Visit the blog for the latest marketing insights from top experts and inspiring entrepreneurial stories.