As far back as 2012, people have been predicting and, in turn, debating the “death of Twitter”. From a declining user base, to company financial struggles, there are certainly a number of arguments one could spin in favor of this idea.
In the present, Facebook’s ups and downs are understandable based on reactions generated from recent algorithm and ad network changes; with some businesses going so far as to quit the network altogether. Does this mean it’s time to follow suit? Is dedicating time to a network like Twitter (or Facebook) a bust?
The long and short answer is: it depends.
Every business is different and what works for one might not immediately (or ever) work for another. Bu just because something isn’t working doesn’t mean it inevitably can’t.
Welcome to the gray area.
What is certain is that you can’t approach a channel like Twitter and expect to reap the rewards without strategy. You can’t haphazardly shoot off Tweets when they come to mind, then point to an article about Twitter dying a slow death as the reason for why your efforts have been unsuccessful. With high expectations comes a high level of necessary planning.
Here’s how to approach Twitter marketing strategy in terms of some of the most effective Twitter marketing tips.
Answer the Question: What Does Success on Twitter Look Like?
Everyone’s going to tell you to set goals. It’s a favorite phrase in the digital marketing business, and not without good reason. Goals will help guide you in prioritization; in understanding where to focus efforts as you begin to put plans in action.
Having thoughtful goals in place will also provide a means of gauging success. If it helps in the goal setting process, work backwards by asking your team, “What does success on Twitter look like?”.
Answers could be as simple as, “build brand awareness” or “drive more traffic to our website.” Whatever they may be, use these answers to develop checkpoints and sub-strategies along the way — remaining mindful of the need for flexibility as new information and learnings come to light in the future.
Audit Your Current (and Past) Efforts
If you’ve already been dabbling in the Twitter-sphere, your past efforts shouldn’t be discounted. Especially if you’ve made the mistake of not diving into analytics in the past, use this time in developing a newfound Twitter strategy to do so.
As you audit current and past efforts on Twitter, take note of the following:
- What does average engagement per Tweet look like?
- How much website traffic is currently driven from shares on Twitter?
- Are there, generally, any types of content shared on Twitter that perform better with your audience over others?
- Who is currently following your Twitter account? And who else do your followers follow?
Analyze the Competition
Inspiration comes as much, if not more, from looking outward as it does inward. This is why competitive analysis is such an important component of Twitter marketing strategy.
But don’t misinterpret this advice.
In evaluating the efforts of your competition, don’t just regurgitate everything they’ve already done; sharing it through your streams. Some philosophers may posit that “originality is dead”, but that doesn’t mean you can’t individualize a previous idea into something that’s new and specific to your brand.
Personalize Your Twitter Presence for the Audience
One size does not fit all when it comes to your brand’s social media shares. Different channels and different audiences mean that you need different ways to format and distribute content.
If you’ve ever come across a long, part-way chopped off Tweet with a Facebook link tacked to the end, you’ve seen this idea first-hand. For the sake of efficiencies and keeping their share count high, it’s not uncommon to see companies automate shares from one channel to the next. But if you’re truly looking to get the most out of Twitter, this kind of defeats the purpose.
This is not to say that you can’t schedule and plan content in advance, just that the beauty of Twitter has always been its immediacy. Trends come and go so fast, and reaction times in relation to them can make or break a timely campaign.
Take the time to get to know your audiences on Twitter; what they react to and care about as they scroll through their own feeds. Many fast food brands have taken this approach to the next level with whacky, tongue-in-cheek engagement that typically has nothing to do with their product. They’ve found success from approaching their presence in a way that stands out above the rest; in a way that caters to the teens and young adults they’re attempting to build awareness across.
Put the Right Tools in Place
You can’t do the work without the tools. In looking at your brand’s Twitter marketing strategy, make a list of processes that might require third party assistance.
This could include:
- Gathering analytics and generating reports
- Scheduling planned content
- Tracking hashtag influence
- Monitoring Twitter conversations around specific keywords and/or campaigns
Or, simply run through this list of 40 Twitter tools from Hootsuite to see if expectations align.
Format Tweets Accordingly
Twitter may have started out as a text heavy platform, known for its 140-character limit, but times have changed. From multiple photos to live video, there’s no reason not to explore creative formatting of your content shares on Twitter.
Rather than simply pushing to this channel for the sake of having a presence there (with generic headline text and heavily circulated stock photography), give Twitter some extra thought. Twitter threads, for example, are one way of exploring long-form shares in a more interactive way.
See an example of this in action: check out this thread from General Electric celebrating 125 years of innovation.
Know Your Twitter Ad Options
As with any social network, Twitter offers its own methods for advertising. You’ll have objectives to choose from and different ways of targeting audiences based on things like, who they follow, keywords they’re interested in, and basic demographics.
Twitter also recently launched something called Promote Mode. With a flat monthly fee, brands are able to amplify their Tweets to a wider audience as a means of aiding discoverability and influence. Weigh all of the potential possibilities and don’t be afraid to experiment with promotion when it makes sense.
Final Thoughts: How to Approach Twitter Marketing Strategy: Twitter Marketing Tips
If you’ve been less than satisfied with your business’ results on Twitter up to this point, don’t just throw in the towel. Take the time to breakdown the pros, cons, Twitter marketing tips, and everything in between. It’s a critical eye and strategic approach that’ll prove most beneficial in driving desired outcomes — not assumptions or trend bandwagons.
Has Twitter marketing strategy been a point of contention or celebration in your organization? Leave us some thoughts in the comments below.