Twitter is a microblogging system (a system of short text updates) which allows you to share short posts, these posts are called Tweets. Tweets are only 280 characters long. The idea behind Twitter was quite simple: keep friends posted about what you are doing. Now, Twitter has gained popularity among other Social Media platforms for business, celebrities, and entrepreneurs majorly.
Twitter has its own culture, art, and language. If you are not familiar with this platform, you will find it unfriendly and totally unapproachable. A few years ago I hated Twitter, I thought “it’s a waste of time, I don’t understand what people do there and why they love wasting time on such Social Media platforms.” It wasn’t because I really hated it, but because I couldn’t understand my way around it so it became a “waste of time”.
Let’s briefly go through some features of Twitter:
The content that a user posts or shares is what is called a tweet. Unless you make your profile a public one, only your followers can see your tweet. Just as in Facebook, to see someone’s post send a friend request to the person, on Twitter to see someone’s tweets, follow that person.
Newsfeed is where you have the unending display of Tweets in chronological order. The tweets are usually from your followers and other users’ tweets retweeted by your followers.
It refers to a stream of tweets by a user and all tweets relating to one topic. This is done by the user replying continually to the previous tweet. This is the only way to share longer content on Twitter.
Retweet usually means you agree with someone’s thought or you consider it important, so you decided to retweet that person’s tweet.
Twitter offers explore or trending pages or topics which appear on your newsfeed. When many users tweet or hashtag on a specific topic, the topic becomes Twitter’s trending topic. This feature makes it easy to know what is going on in the world.
This is any word or phrase with the hash symbol (#) before it, as in #hashtag. It’s a way to tell what your tweet is about. It also helps in categorization by Twitter. If I share a graphic design done by me, and I hashtag it as #GraphicDesign, if anyone is looking for graphic design inspiration and searches it on Twitter, my post would pop up and many others.
• Direct Message (DM):
The direct message is a way Twitter users can communicate privately, it’s just like a message feature in any other Social Media platform. Some users, however, change their settings where an incoming message from other users requires their approval.
Twitter is a very big market to grow any Business, the con is just that there is a very short lifespan for Tweets (about 16 minutes on the average). The reason for this is because there are usually thousands of tweets every second, so after a short period, your tweets are lost in the flood. This short lifespan can make it very difficult to create a strong and lasting impression on your audience as it is easily lost in the multitude of other tweets.
So great expertise is required in delivering an impact-loaded hit on your audience so you can get their attention. There are techniques to do this, and we will be seeing them in this post.
Using The Appropriate Handle, Profile Picture, and Header Image
Your Twitter handle (@username) should be short so people can tag you easily and should be easy to remember. Upload a high-quality image for a profile picture that is bold enough to show your face clearly, a passport-size picture is okay. Use a good graphics designed image for your header image.
Write Excellent Content
The limited number of characters (280 characters) does not mean you cannot write meaningful content. Your audience is the target, so write something that your audience will read and find interesting, something they can use. Good content is not in length, you don’t have to exhaust 280 characters. For instance, as a graphic designer, you can have something like “good design is good business, your brand needs professional exposure to get awesome design.” You can write long and short tweets, make sure you mix the length of your contents.
Hashtags give your content the right exposure, making sure it can be seen by as many people as possible. It helps you categorize your content so that other Twitter users will find your content easily.
There is an art of hashtags that you should pay attention to. You can’t use hashtags carelessly, if used incorrectly, hashtags will do the opposite of what you intended for your posts.
Hashtags can help you increase your awareness and engagement. In 2012, Twitter reported that brands that use hashtags have 50% engagement more than brands that don’t. An increase in engagement of your tweets will cause an increase in your brand’s exposure. So you can use hashtags to announce the new arrival of your products or service. Hashtag having this importance, you should know when and what hashtag to use and there are tools that can help you with these like hashtagify, ritetag and many more.
Follow What Is Trending
You are missing the whole point of twitter if you think all you have to do is just broadcast information to your followers. If you are doing that, you are not exploring the full potential of Twitter as a social platform and you won’t go far.
There is something I call “Social listening“, it is following what is trending on social media, learning what people are talking about. Twitter requires a huge devotion to “social listening”. You need to know what users are talking about, your Twitter community, what are their interests, what kind of content they interact with, who they engage with and most importantly, what are they saying about your brand.
There are social media tools that can help you monitor “social listening”, examples are below:
• Social Mention:
It helps you track what people are saying about anything across all social media including your brand, company, and any topic on any platform.
• Twitter Advanced Search:
This tool lets you prune your search to your desired expectation or result. You can search by relevant hashtags, positive or negative comments and more.
It allows you to easily monitor conversations and keywords, and not just that, but also to assign responses. With Hootsuite insight, you can monitor news sources, social media platforms, even blogs to stay updated with what is trending in the Social Media community. It can also help you discover contents that resonate with your followers.
It is a basic listening tool that helps you monitor the conversation about your brand and company.
Connect with influencers
Find social influencers, even experts in your field. “Social listening” can help you with finding influencers too. Why do you need to connect with social influencers? Twitter said nearly 40% of Twitter users reported that they’ve made purchase(s) because of a tweet from an influencer, and 49% of Twitter users said that they rely on influencers’ recommendation when looking for a product.
A Social Media influencer is someone who can exert influence through Social Media. A right influencer can reach your target audience, build a relationship and shoot up engagement. So you have to partner with influencers in your field. When choosing influencers consider some important things:
Consider the relevance of the influencer to your brand. If you have a fashion design brand, it will be wrong for you to choose a travel influencer.
The audience of the influencers need to be aligned with your own target audience, so if your influencer is from a different field, the interest of his audience will not be towards your business’ products or services. The relevant influencer posts content that is relevant to his/her business.
This is the number of right audiences you can reach through an influencer. Mind you, it’s not always about the number of followers the influencer has, millions of followers that are not interested in your offer is meaningless. Some influencers have a few thousands of followers, but their recommendation is like a gem to the followers.
Before reaching out to an influencer, do your research about them, make sure you know what they do, the kind of content they post and the kind of followers they have. Let them know you’ve invested time learning about them. You can follow them, like, comment and retweet their tweets. And you should make it easy for influencers to trust you by providing as much information as you can and be as transparent as you can.
When choosing an influencer, plan your budget. Influencers with panoptic reach will expect to be paid for their work. So consider your payment structure either a one-time payment or commission, decide which will be better. Micro-influencers (influencers with few followers) can be very flexible with payment agreements.
Include Media Content
Media still remains the best and easiest way to catch the audience’s attention, you shouldn’t hesitate from including media content in your tweets. Mix your content evenly, there are different media formats including images, videos, and gifs.
Relevant images catch the attention of your audience and encourage engagement. Use good quality images and if you are sharing someone’s or a group of people’s picture, tag them in the post.
GIFs have become a very popularly shared multimedia since 2016 when it had over a hundred millions share. GIFs help you have fun with your tweet, it’s just a way of spicing things up so your tweet can be friendlier to the audience.
Twitter carried out a survey on media usage, and the survey came with statistics that reported that 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter and that they want to see more videos posted by companies, public figures, brands, and other Twitter users. It will be wise to give your followers what they want. Video is a better way of passing a message across with detailed explanation and with better clarity. People are more convinced to purchase a product by watching a video campaign than any other means. Tweet videos from business or similar and relevant ones that will be of value to your audience.
As discussed earlier, tweets don’t last. If you tweet, you have to make sure it is at the right time so that you can have an audience to engage the tweet with before it is lost amongst thousands of others. I will recommend that you tweet AT LEAST once a day, once is not really enough, but it’s better than not making any tweets.
Consistency is very important in Social Media, that’s the best way to engage your audience. You have to understand your audience to know when you have the most active audience in a day. You can start posting and use the analytics to determine when your audience views and engages your posts. Research has proven 12 pm, 5 pm, and 6 pm to be the best time to post on Social Media. Start by posting at these times as your initial strategy and once you have gathered data on how the audience are engaging with your posts, you can use Twitter Analytics to adjust your time of tweets.
Interact With Your Audience
Marketers often get carried away by the growing numbers of followers and forget the most important thing to do with their followers. No matter the number of followers you have, do not make the mistake of not engaging them. Twitter was structured from the start to connect people and build a relationship on a personal level.
Monitor your followers’ tweets, their tweets can reveal their interest, needs and other important information that might be of great advantage for you. Learn to like, follow and retweet your followers. Your followers will receive it as a good gesture when you follow them back, and even like their tweets. Don’t follow all your followers, follow the relevant ones.
Treat response and feedback well. Research showed that 42% of Social Media users (consumers) expect an hour response time. Respond to your followers’ comments, questions and review as quickly as you can. You can also ask questions in your tweets and see your followers’ response. You can run a survey like a Twitter poll for feedback on product or customer service, you can ask for their opinions as well.
You can also communicate with your users through a direct message (DM). The direct message is a way Twitter users can communicate privately. You can get customer’s contact details through a DM if there is a need to contact the person outside Twitter.