In case you’ve been under a rock for the last 20 years, we can safely tell you social media has all but taken over the internet. With 2 billion active profiles, social platforms like Facebook and Twitter aren’t going away anytime soon. It’s high time for us business owners and marketers to take advantage of an (almost) free digital marketing effort that will bring more business, higher ROI and credible recognition.
Twitter is easy to utilize for your social media marketing efforts—once you know what you’re doing. The following guide will take you through basic and advanced Twitter techniques. Don’t feel like reading all this? At Post Launch we can read it to you, or just do it for you (whichever one you think is best).
Twitter 101: Getting started
First things first, what is Twitter and why does it matter for your internet marketing strategy? This may surprise some, but it’s not a bird watching site. On the contrary, Twitter is a platform that allows millions of people with nothing to say the opportunity to say something to millions of other people who don’t really care. So it’s like a bird watching site, except the birds are people and the people spend all day chirping at no one and everyone at the same time.
According to Twitter Support, Twitter is “an information network made up of 140-character messages called Tweets.” Like Facebook, Twitter is a way to see your friends and followers posts and trending topics. Unlike Facebook, Twitter’s news feed is instantaneous, and tweets get lost in the mix of 500 million Tweets posted every day. That’s a lot of tweets to read.
Here’s the good news: You don’t have to read every tweet.
The average person tweets 22 times a day. Of course, this number will go down or up depending on your industry and audience. But still, 22 is a lot. Who has time to tweet 22 times a day and run a business?
Twitter profiles are easy to setup and complete. The first thing to do is sign up. Enter your name, email, and password, and select a username. Your username will represent your unique Twitter handle. For example, a Twitter profile with Beyonce as a username will have a twitter handle that looks like this: @Beyonce. And, just like the real Beyonce, there can only be one unique @Beyonce handle, no duplicate handles allowed.
Just like Facebook, there is a big difference between joining Twitter and completing your Twitter profile. It’s like the difference between tweeting at no one and actually getting followers— meaning no one will follow you if you don’t at least have an image and bio. Good news is it’s easier to complete you twitter profile than Facebook. There are two basic steps to completing your profile.
Complete your profile
- Add photos to your profile (and not that close-up picture of your dog— no one cares what your dog looks like. We’re talking real pictures of your face or business logo).
Twitter will want you to come up with a profile picture and a cover photo. Don’t miss this opportunity by not adding the cover photo. When thinking of what sort of photo to add, something related to you and your business is great. Make your photos original and catchy, but not too noisy or salesy, (or completely unrelated pictures of your dog). We already told you not to post that picture! But in all seriousness, if you don’t post a cover photo, people are less likely to follow you. Don’t miss out on follows for a silly mistake.
- Add a Twitter bio.
Twitter will also provide you with the opportunity to fill out a bio, something you should also take advantage of. Writing a strong bio with relevant keywords has many advantages. It can lead to more followers by making it easy for people to find you using the Twitter search bar when searching keywords. It is also a way to introduce yourself to other people and give them an idea of what you’re all about and what you will likely post about.
Twitter bios can be funny, but it’s more important that they’re descriptive. Why? Two reasons: First, what is funny to you may not be funny to me. In fact, with so many annoyingly sensitive people these days, what’s funny to you could be offensive to me (unlikely, we have a sense of humor). Second, using descriptor words will allow your profile to pop up in search results with that keyword, making it easier for potential followers and customers to find you. Show off your skills with a descriptive bio, but don’t go overboard on the hashtags.
To see the tweets you’re most interested in, try these Twitter tips:
– Organize the people you follow into Twitter Lists
Twitter is a mess of people from all different walks of life interacting. If you don’t care about the preteens tweeting about One Direction or Kylie Jenner, then don’t follow these people or add them to your lists (no judgement if you’re feeling Kylie Jenner, we totally get your obsession with her lip kits).
How do you organize the conversations you want to be a part of? The answer is Twitter Lists. Lists are a way for you to organize your followers into different groups, to make engagement easier with the followers you are most interested in (and allow you to ignore the profiles you don’t give a shit about). You can create many different lists and add as many Twitter users as you would like. The following are a few screenshots to help you know where to find your Twitter list options.
– Search the keyword or hashtag of the topic you are interested in. But, what’s a hashtag anyways?
Hashtags are keyword or phrases with a pound sign in the front. You know the pound sign on the phone? Ok, how about the number sign on your keyboard (above the number 3)? Still no? Well get it together, we went back like three generations of hashtag names.
Hashtags are used to identify posts about a certain topic, effectively allowing you to join any Twitter conversation by simply using the same hashtaged word. For example, #doglovers and #Superbowl50 and #WorldCancerDay are all trendy hashtags. Obviously, #Superbowl50 is only trending relative to the time of year, but other hashtags trend on Twitter throughout the year. To find the hashtags most popular in your industry or topic of interest, start typing in some keywords and hashtags will pop up in popular posts. Still struggling? Check out website’s like this to give you some inspiration: http://hashtagify.me/. Still struggling? Just hire us to do it for you.
So now you can find trending topics and conversations that you want to be part of. But how do people find you? To make yourself easily “findable” you’ll want to complete your Twitter Profile. That includes the pesky bios and photos we were talking about before. Come on; you know it won’t take long to say something about your business in less than 140 characters in the bio section. So just do it so you don’t look like that creepy Twitter profile with no image and no information. Would you follow that profile? We wouldn’t.
Twitter 102: Tweeting
By now you know the basics of Twitter. It’s like Facebook, but not. You don’t have to read every Tweet your followers post, and you know what Twitter Lists and hashtags are, as well as how to setup your Twitter Profile. Yet, there is so much more to Twitter—the act of tweeting for one. So, how do you post engaging tweets? Check it out:
Tweeting is simple. Saying the right thing in 140 characters can be more complicated. Every tweet you post should have the following
– Image or video
– One or two key hashtags (don’t overdo it)
– Call To Action (website link, phone number, etc.)
Note: Twitter’s been talking a lot about the 140 character limit this year, and they loosened its grip on character limit restraints. The 140 character limit no longer includes images, names, and links. It’s like a whole new world has opened up and we can now go image crazy!
Here’s an example of a good Twitter post:
(Notice the subtle use of hashtags, the call to action link, and the engaging video? These are all key factors to get your audience to do what you want them to do. And that’s buy your stuff.)
Want to tag another profile to be in your tweet? “@” symbols are the way to go. For example, @Google. But this brings us to the number one rule of Tweeting: If you want everybody to see your tweet, do not start it with an @ symbol.
You should only start a tweet with an @Profile when you are directly tweeting to or responding to that profile. If you want to make a public tweet with a tagged profile at the beginning, here is what you do:
.@PostLaunch CEO Geoff Radcliffe is super awesome.
Notice the period in front of the post? That’s the trick to remember.
Twitter 103 – Building your followers
Now you know how to tweet engaging posts, but now you need people to Tweet to right? This is where your follower base comes in. Without followers, you are literally tweeting to no one (unless you use a hashtag). Don’t feel bad; there are a few ways to build your follower base.
Follow these tricks to get your Twitter follower base going in the right direction:
– Respond to everyone.
This is what builds your Twitter “engagement”. When someone likes, retweets or follows you, that is them trying to form a connection by engaging with your post or profile. You will do well to take advantage of this and establish the connection by interacting with them. Whether you are managing an international brand or a startup business, engagement is key. But what if you don’t like people and you don’t like engaging with people? Too bad, your business needs Twitter engagement.
– Follow everyone who follows you.
Maybe not the Asian porn profiles, though. There is some argument about this tactic. Some say to only follow profiles you are interested in following and keep your follower to following ratio BIG. However, this will make it harder to grow your followers quickly, and Twitter Lists are already there to keep your top priority followers organized. Others will say to keep your follower to following ratio small. This will allow you the chance to follow everyone who follows you, but not go overboard with following too many people at once.
No matter your opinion, the fact is that if you follow someone who follows you, Twitter will recognize that connection and your profile will be more likely to pop up in the “Who to Follow” lists of that follower’s followers.
– Download and use tools like https://www.crowdfireapp.com/ to track your following and followers.
This app makes it incredibly easy to see people who are inactive followers, people who you are following but aren’t following back, people who most recently followed you, and people who most recently unfollowed you. This is a nifty way to keep those serial followers/unfollowers in check. If someone follows you and then unfollows you after you follow them just to get the follow, you can tell them to eff off with their selfish following ways. No one likes a faker.
– Follow your followers’ followers.
You don’t have to do this with every follower. But, let’s say you are a snowboard retailer and a well known snowboarder just followed you. We’re just saying, It would be a good idea to follow that snowboarder back, plus some of his followers. Why? Because there is a good chance that snowboarder is friends with other snowboarders—people who might buy your snowboard products.
– Search your top keywords and follow accounts associated with that keyword.
This is a good way to find the top dog influencers on Twitter in your industry. These profiles will likely have higher engagement and interesting content (that you can share with your followers). You can use hashtags to find related accounts, too. Take advantage of the trending hashtags in your industry, and follow some accounts associated with those hashtags. If you are a pizza place and you missed out on #PizzaLoversDay, you missed out on a bunch of people that care about your product.
Twitter 104: Expert Level
You know what hashtags are and what handles are and how to form an engaging tweet and gain new followers. Congratulations, you got the basics down! What else do you need know about Twitter? Check it out.
Found in the drop down menu that appears when you click on your profile picture in the right-hand corner, Twitter Analytics helps you track how good your Twitter profile is doing. Twitter Analytics includes information on your top tweets, your total tweet impression, profile visits and new followers, and much more.
Use this free Twitter tool to track how good your company profile is doing. Is your follower rate going up or plateauing? What is your most popular tweet and how can you get that level of engagement on your next batch of tweets? Find out with Analytics and help your business improve its Twitter status.
Just like Google and Facebook, Twitter will give you the chance to pay them money (pretty much like everything else in life too). Check out the following Twitter advertising campaigns and social media marketing available on Twitter:
o Followers campaign
o Website clicks or conversions campaign
o Tweet engagement campaign
o App installs or engagement campaign
o Leads on Twitter campaign
o Video views campaign
o Build brand awareness campaign
If you want to learn more about Twitter advertising campaigns, don’t hesitate to give us a call and setup a Twitter tutorial appointment. Or you can just throw your money at the Twitter wall and see what sticks, it’s up to you.
The internet is filled with tools to help advance your Twitter experience. Here are some of our favorite tools to use for Twitter:
o Commun.it – to setup automatic tweets
o Tweetdeck – to schedule tweets
o Crowdfire (mentioned above)
o Buffer – to schedule tweets
Take a deep breath. You made it to the end and now you are ready to rock Twitter. If you’re looking to add Twitter into your business’s marketing efforts, create a content calendar to schedule out all your Twitter tweet and Facebook posts in advanced.
One last tip:
It is okay to recycle, repurpose and reuse your content.
Twitter is such a fast-paced world, it’s perfectly acceptable to recycle and reuse your tweets at different times of day and week. Just don’t post the same picture over and over again, that get’s annoying. But you won’t have to rack your brain thinking up new, engaging content all the time if you recycle content appropriately.