Social media has become one of the most effective marketing tools over the past decade. However, this doesn’t mean that all social media channels are equally effective for digital marketers. For a few years now, pundits and users alike have pontificated about the future of Twitter. However, is Twitter still a worthwhile marketing tool, or has the social media channel passed its prime?
Marketing is no longer a one-way conversation where marketers tell customers how great their products and services are. Today, the customer wants to have input into how businesses talk to them and meet their needs. If you are using Twitter to post links to your product description pages or to your blog posts, you aren’t going to do well. However, if you are willing to engage with others on the site, you may notice a steady stream of traffic to your blog or sales page. You may also notice an increase of brand mention or customer reviews.
Twitter is notorious for fake accounts. Fake accounts generally spam other users with annoying or even harassing content. If your account comes across as fake or spammy, it is a good way to get your account banned. It is also a good way to make sure that your marketing efforts fail as your target market will ignore you or actively tell their followers to ignore you. However, if you make your tweets relevant and exciting for your readers you will be able to get a lot of really good feedback. Just be yourself. Add your own personality onto your account and you will be sure to see success.
Relying solely on Twitter for your digital marketing efforts is like making a ham and cheese sandwich with no ham. In addition to Twitter, you need to be on other sites such as Instagram or Facebook. This is because most people use Twitter to find links to interesting content that they then share to a Facebook account or share on Instagram or Snapchat. Therefore, you are hindering your efforts to reach your audience by using only one site no matter how good or bad it may be.
You may also notice a difference in the results that you get when you use paid advertising compared to just posting on the site and hoping for organic engagement. Paid advertising through Twitter makes it possible to buy a trending hashtag or have your tweet put at the top of user timelines. This may make it easier to gain new followers or increase engagement because you are increasing your visibility. With millions of accounts, you may need to pay for exposure through Twitter and any other channel that you use.
There are many flaws as it relates to the Twitter platform. First, the site has a long history of allowing sexual and other types of harassment to go unchecked. It has also become a site where you don’t know if a follower is a real person or is an automated account. That makes interaction difficult and uneasy for some. Furthermore, there are issues when it comes to monetizing the site. Unlike Facebook that has seen its share price go up rapidly, Twitter has routinely lost money. At some point, investors may pull out completely, which means that there is no more Twitter to market through.
Is Twitter still a worthwhile marketing tool? That depends on how you use it and what your goals are. For now, it seems as if those who understand how to use the site and how their target audience uses the site can still make a good return on their marketing time and money.
Twitter is home to over 305 million active users, and you should take that for everything it’s worth. You’ll never be able to reach everyone, but with a user base as staggeringly large as Twitter’s, you’ll certainly be able to reach more than enough people to do whatever it is you’re trying to do. Twitter comes with tools to help you run a successful campaign, and that removes much of the guesswork. All you need to do is understand what these tools do, and determine how to most efficiently use them for your desired end.
Before you start planning your Twitter campaign, decide what are your critical goals on Twitter. Twitter’s Ads feature allows to choose from several different objectives like website clicks, conversions, engagement, Twitter leads, followers or video views. Pick your goals carefully and identify your target audience. You can’t take another step without knowing who it is that you want to convert.
Here’s a case study to help you understand how Twitter campaigns look like in real life. Following their transition to Fair Trade produce, Ben and Jerry’s launched a Twitter campaign to make the most from this new awareness. The brand created a simple tool which allowed customers to send tweets directly from their website – if they didn’t use up all 140 characters, Ben and Jerry’s would add their own short message about Fair Trade produce.
Turning their campaign into a donation action, Ben and Jerry’s managed to acquire over 500,000 characters from Twitter Users, helping the brand to effectively spread the #FairTweets message around the web – all thanks to the brand’s followers.
When you’re beginning your campaign, Twitter will give you a list of preset options. You can start a campaign for followers, website clicks, website conversions, Tweet engagements, App installs, or leads. You also have the option to launch a custom campaign, but that won’t be necessary in most cases. The basic tools cover the most prevalent ways to draw people in, and you won’t have to worry about convoluting your plan if you stick to the basics.
If you aren’t already blessed with a large crowd of followers, you may want to run two campaigns consecutively. You should run a campaign solely to grow your number of followers to increase the success rate of whatever you decide to do afterwards. There’s no sense in preaching if you have no pulpit. Once you’re happy with the amount of followers you have, move on to a more specific campaign.
Twitter’s list of presets is very direct, and easy to work with. When you run a campaign for clicks, conversions, apps, or leads, Twitter presents you with the opportunity to design a card. These cards are entirely customizable images that will run with your tweets. This will help more people find your card. Take advantage of your card to show off killer images, leaving the burden of text mostly to the accompanying tweet. Don’t forget to use the right hashtags.
There are several ways to target Twitter users, and using a combination of all of them will never hurt. Start by familiarizing yourself with trending hashtags. When you know what people are talking about and searching for, it’s much easier to work your campaign into the current global conversation.
You can narrow down these hot topics even further when you sort them by interest. If you can’t provide anything meaningful to the general crowd, you may be able to get involved with people whose interests are in line with your campaign by researching the goings-on in Twitter’s 350 preset interest categories.
Twitter will also give you the option to work within targeted audiences if you already have a thorough understanding of the demographic you’re trying to appeal to. With different labels, you can be as specific or as general as you wish.
With Twitter’s thorough tracking system, you’ll be able to easily view and interpret every relevant metric you can imagine. Knowing what’s going on will allow you to make changes that will maximize the results of your campaign. If your engagement is low, it’s time to try something else. You don’t have to waste time hoping you got things right on the first go around. You can modify your campaign while it’s still in progress to drive your numbers up higher.
Take a close look at your metrics every month. You’ll be able to separate your productive Tweets from the ones that didn’t work so well, and develop a plan based around the positive results you’re getting. A campaign is an evolving process – you can’t set it and forget it. If you want to see meaningful results, you’ll have to be willing to make small changes along the way.
Mary Frenson is a Marketing Assistant at Checkdirector.co.uk, a new source of information on UK companies. Mary is always happy to share her marketing ideas and thoughts on business issues. In her free time, she enjoys handicrafts.
How do you get more retweets? That is the million dollar question we are all trying to solve. People and businesses are always out on the hunt of getting more retweets. For one don’t think that is should just happen.
For starters you need to build your authority and your influence before anyone even wants to retweet your content. You need establish credibility in your space as an expert. Also, if you want to be retweeted you need to start retweeting others as well. Scratch someone else’s back and they will eventually scratch yours.
The awesome folks over at Quicksprout put together this infographic showcasing how to go about your Twitter marketing to establish more retweets.
Twitter has cemented itself as an important business tool for marketing, customer service and brand building. The 140-characters-per-Tweet platform has unprecedented versatility for businesses, especially considering most of the important business functions are free.
Businesses large and small are using this outlet to build their brands and connect with potential customers. From Lowe’s instructive Vine series to JetBlue’s proactive connection to disgruntled customers, Twitter is helping businesses show their stuff in a whole new way.
Twitter has developed a relaxed culture that enables businesses and organizations to reveal more personality than traditional marketing outlets. Twitter is an always-on, real-time outlet, so businesses can use a portion of their tweets for agenda-free customer interaction. Whether it’s a contest, question or simple hello, Twitter gives users a chance to connect on a personal level. Once they do, they’ll be more likely to use a business’s products and services.
BusinessInsider.com named Whole Foods the top brand on Twitter because of its friendly, active presence. Whole Foods senior social program manager Natanya Anderson appreciates Twitter’s interactive spirit. When asked her favorite part of her job, Anderson responded: “The ability to connect one-on-one with customers every day, many times a day.” Consumers appreciate this personal connection, too.
Check out Twitter conversations.
Businesses and organizations are always looking for efficient ways to spread the word about their latest updates. Twitter’s word-of-mouth model makes it the perfect engine to earn free marketing. The more followers you have, the more likely any particular tweet is to get retweeted. If your followers appreciate your Tweets, they’ll follow you too. The ultimate result is a wide network getting up-to-the-minute info on your business.
Clothing retailer Gap often posts links of its new or popular products on Twitter. Not only does Gap’s brand grow when users retweet this content, Gap also has a chance to make a sale. The link follow to its online store.
— Gap (@Gap) January 5, 2014
Social media gives businesses direct access to consumers, but communication goes both ways. With Twitter and other social media outlets, disgruntled customers have a public platform to voice their complaints. Savvy businesses respond to these concerns in public. You’ll retain customers, and onlookers will see that you care about customers service. It’s a win-win. Airline Jet Blue is notorious for strong Twitter customer service, assisting users with updates and apologizing when things go wrong.
@Jessica_SmmithhSorry about the delay Jessica, we understand how difficult they can be. Is she in touch with our Airport crewmembers?
— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) December 15, 2013
Twitter is filled with mindless information and spam content, so businesses that provide real value stick out. Post a link to your blog post, offer a tip relevant to your industry or provide a discount code on your website. You’ll gain followers and build your brand reputation. Digital agency iAcquire produces its own blog content, but it often uses its Twitter stream to provide followers with links to pertinent industry information. Home improvement retailer Lowe’s uses Twitter’s Vine app to provide six-second repair tips with its #Lowesfixinsix series. In the post below, Lowe’s teaches you how organize ribbon with a common household item. These tips are clever and simple — the perfect combination for Twitter.
It doesn’t matter if you own a small local business or a mid to large company with ample employees — you need Twitter. I know it sounds very cliche to say you need to be active on Twitter but the truth is that it is an important platform to get in front of your audience if you are serious about social media marketing. Twitter has an option for small businesses to leverage their voice on the pages of their social networking platform.
Twitter advertising comes in two different flavors.
Recently Twitter put out a whole section on their site on how to properly market yourself as a professional musician. Musician marketing is nothing new, Music marketing on Twitter however is! Basic music marketing starts with getting online and becoming active — Twitter is a great place to start that process. Many musicians have been able to spread their wings quite a bit by utilizing and harnessing the power of Twitter for music marketing.
Here is an excerpt from the official Twitter for musicians marketing page:
“For music fans, Twitter is the next best thing to being backstage. And for performers, connecting with your fans in an authentic way is one key to your success. A Twitter connection tells fans how much you appreciate them, and it also enables you to tailor your messages. The fact is, Twitter provides more authenticity and creative control than any other online medium. Tweets come straight from you, and go right to your followers all over the world, in real-time.
Twitter styles are as varied as the people who use Twitter. Whatever your goal, Rule #1 is that your Tweets should reflect the things you’re passionate about. And you won’t be surprised to hear us say that practice makes perfect— just like learning an instrument or writing music. That’s why we’ve put this guide together: to help you and your fans get the most out of every single Tweet.”
We are not saying that marketing yourself on Twitter is going to be the answer to your success but it is an amazing platform to have yourself and your brand image heard.
Here are some of the basic music marketing points a musician can make online through Twitter:
Not that long ago we had a project that we were working on with a local clothing business we are part of named Boston Knucklehead Clothing. The task at hand was all about building the email newsletter list up a bit. The project was simple; we put out a free sticker pack and in return you were on the company’s list for all future communication efforts. What happened next nobody could have predicted in their wildest marketing dreams. It was like an email marketer’s dream come true.
Our first location to start the message occurred on Twitter. This can easily fall into the Twitter success story bucket for those of you who still do not believe in marketing your business online with Twitter. One tweet caused the list of followers to start pushing the tweet around and 48 hours later we had received over 1,000 sticker requests, yes 1,000! I personally had my email account hooked up to this campaign and I had an email every 30 seconds or so for two days straight dropping into my inbox. Emails from every corner of the world came in. Emails from Europe, Central America, China, Japan, Australia, Canada and then some. Our little sticker pack went global almost instantly.
We ran out of stickers. For those of you who never got a pack we are sorry and we will make it up to you as soon as we can. =)
For all those Twitter non-believers social media marketing does work. Does it happen like this every time you try something? no but it does work if you keep at it and try different things. We had an advantage because we were giving away something for free which people love these days. Free items to the right audience can be gold if you position the campaign strategy correctly. The community will make a trade with you or your company if you are willing to give them something back that is worth it to them. The challenge is finding out what that is so it makes business sense for both parties.
How to find your sweet spot with a Twitter promotion:
Often times many businesses get into the mindset that self-promotion is the most important aspect to social media and they tend to overlook the true capabilities of marketing themselves through social channels like Twitter. I know there are many posts out there currently on why you should tweet or update your Facebook status, how you should you do it and everything else in between but I still want to write this because I think it is important to understand that there are highly successful companies growing their business by using Twitter.
It is imperative to realize that Twitter marketing does work when done correctly. I can sit here and kick and scream and let the world know that they should be highly active on Twitter but I think sometimes businesses need to hear it from someone else’s mouth so that they fully understand the magnitude of the whole situation.
These are some very important aspects to not forget about when venturing into the Twitter space.
You don’t have to sit there every day only letting everyone know about your company services. Show your followers and your audience that you are more than just a desk and a computer. Let them know there is a soul behind your brand and a real human being that is eager to converse with your audience. Have you have ever heard the expression you can get more bees with honey than with vinegar? Same principal applies in this case as well. Don’t just whack people over the head every day with ads about your services, hit them up and let them know about a funny piece of mail or a crazy phone call you just got.
I know it’s crazy, promote someone else? Retweeting other blog posts and information is a great way to get on other people’s radar, plus it is a nice gesture and eventually someone will do it for you as well. It also shows that you are there to strengthen the Twitter community and not just promote what you got.
Don’t be selfish and help the people around you. Look at it this way, every time you tweet anything it gives you one more touch point on the Twitter wall. It is one more time someone can see your logo or your company name and trust me people will notice that you are helping others out.
Twitter is an unbelievable way to find a very quick audience but you have to come at with a quality solid approach otherwise you are going to get burned. Other Twitter users are immune to the craziness of ads all day long and the hoopla that people throw at the wall to see if it sticks. Join the community and show everyone that you are a person behind your brand and you will get much further than you think. Plus it will make you feel good too. If you are still confused try reading through the official Twitter guide located on their website.