Twitter is one of the easiest social media websites to use. With a free account, you can blast out a maximum of 140 characters to millions of other users around the world; it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular tools for marketing teams. In fact, approximately 85 percent of content marketers use Twitter.
Clearly, most marketers know they should use Twitter as part of their social media marketing campaign. Unfortunately, many don’t know what to do beyond that. The truth is, simply sending out a Tweet every few hours isn’t enough. You may be on Twitter, but are you doing it right?
Keep It Consistent
In an article I wrote in March 2014, “5 Reasons Why Your Social Media Campaign Isn’t Working,” I addressed a couple reasons why social marketing initiatives tend to fall by the wayside. One that specifically applies to Twitter is a lack of consistency.
Let’s say you go full throttle on posting tweets on your company profile at the beginning of the month, but other tasks at work get in the way of maintaining your pace. Your profile can go from active to dead in a matter of days, and your followers are going to notice.
If you’re attempting to establish your brand as an industry leader, you need to consistently put forth an effort to build and maintain this reputation. Make it a point to tweet on a consistent basis; this will also help you grow your following on Twitter, because people like to follow active accounts. If you find that a lack of time is holding you back, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a specialist to manage your Twitter profile for you.
Participate in the Right Conversations
Think of Twitter as one large room with many people having multiple conversations. Any socialite will tell you that if you want to be the life of the party, you need to pipe up. Getting involved and interactive within the right conversations on Twitter starts with understanding hashtags and knowing how you can use them to your advantage.
Hashtags are placed in front of words or phrases to categorize tweets and make them searchable to other users. Twitter allows you to search through public tweets including specific hashtags, which is helpful if you’re trying to find others who are discussing industry-specific topics.
Similarly, people can find you when you’re using hashtags, which is where the marketing potential of Twitter truly shines. As a best practice, Twitter claims that it’s best to use no more than two hashtagged words or phrases per tweet. As you start to talk to other people on Twitter, concentrate on building out your network by following users who could eventually turn into leads.
Master the Art of the Retweet
Retweeting is the equivalent of a pat on the back on Twitter, and it’s essential to building positive relationships with other users. Sharing other users’ tweets does two things — it helps you connect to other prominent Twitter users, and it proves that you’re active on the website.
Retweeting content can also help you attract more followers who are specifically interested in your industry, product, or service. In many instances, you’ll gain followers — the people you retweet may follow your account. This not only puts more leads in your hands, but gives you the opportunity to build your network and grow as an influencer.
Links are constantly flying around Twitter, but how many of them really matter? Your goal as a Twitter user should be to make meaningful contributions, and sharing links can help you in your efforts. This means only linking to content that your target audience would find valuable or entertaining.
Furthermore, tweeting out news links that apply to your industry can make you a go-to resource. If your goal is to become an influencer and increase brand recognition, adding richness to your tweets in the form of informative links is a surefire way to do so.
Stand Out from the Crowd
Your goals of social media marketing should always be to build relationships, and establish brand awareness and credibility. As you look to make social media a more prominent part of your marketing efforts, it may be a good idea to assign Twitter responsibilities to one team member who can make it his or her primary focus. My article, Signal to Noise: How To Stand Out From The Pack Online, is an ideal place to start as you look to establish a presence on Twitter — or any social networking site.
Companies with 1,000 followers on Twitter generate about 800 more website visits per month. Social media is no longer just for teenagers who want to sound off on the latest television show — it’s a significant portion of the marketing strategies at some of the world’s largest companies. Tweet now or forever hold your peace.