How to use Twitter for marketing
At first glance, it may seem like the only way to use Twitter is just to show up and start Tweeting. While you do want to be prepared with plenty of content, there are some strategies that successful businesses use to stand out on the platform and use it to their advantage on Twitter Marketing .
How is Twitter good for marketing?
Twitter is a great place to promote your blog posts, product updates, public press releases, and more. By including links in your Tweets to your website pages and landing pages, you can increase traffic leads traffic right to the doorstep of your website.
What is a Twitter marketing strategy?
A Twitter marketing strategy is a plan centered around creating, publishing, and distributing content for your buyer personas, audience, and followers through the social media platform. The goal of this type of strategy is to attract new followers and leads, boost conversions, improve brand recognition, and increase sales.
Creating a Twitter marketing strategy will require you to follow the same steps you would if you were creating any other social media marketing strategy.
- Research your buyer personas and audience
- Create unique and engaging content
- Organize a schedule for your posts
- Analyze your impact and results
How to create a Twitter marketing strategy
You should always approach social media with a plan of action, and Twitter is no different. Understanding how the platform works and how it fits in your overall social media strategy is the key to success.
So where do you start when creating your Twitter marketing strategy? We’ve outlined the components of a successful foundation below.
Audit your accounts
Does your organization already have an existing Twitter account, or maybe more than one? Your first step should be documenting all existing accounts, and which team member has been responsible for them.
Once you have your list, conduct a thorough review of all accounts. Collect information like:
- How often does this account tweet?
- What’s the engagement rate?
- How many followers does it have?
Twitter Analytics or Hootsuite Reports can provide you with these metrics.
You should also audit brand compliance for existing accounts. Is the Twitter handle the same as your other social media accounts? Are your bio and profile picture on-brand? Did someone forget to update your header image after your 2017 Holiday Campaign, and now— whoops!— it’s advertising a promotion that’s several years out of date?
It’s a lot of information, but we’ve got a template for conducting a social media audit to make this process easy.
Once you’ve audited your existing accounts, you’ll have a baseline for your Twitter performance. This will help to inform the next stage of your strategy: setting goals.
Success on any social media platform begins with having clear, measurable goals. There’s no way to know if your strategy is having a positive impact on your business unless you understand what you’re trying to achieve.
You want to create SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. So “going viral” doesn’t count. These goals should align with your high-level business objectives, and be broken down into measurable indicators of success.
For example, you may want to drive more traffic to your website. Translate that into a SMART goal by aiming to increase your average click-through rate. You can use your baseline click-through rate from your Twitter audit to set a specific achievable goal over a reasonable period of time (say, an increase from 1.5% to 2.5% in three months).
Check out the competition
Isn’t doing a great job its own reward? Well, sure. But admit it— you also want to leave your rivals in the dust.
So don’t forget to review the Twitter accounts for your industry competitors. Analyzing their social media can help you refine your own, by revealing weaknesses or gaps in their strategy, and ways that you can distinguish yourself.
We’ve got a free, customizable template for conducting a competitive analysis.
You need to ensure your accounts are monitored and active, and that someone is replying to direct messages and mentions. Twitter conversations move fast, so it’s noticeable to your followers if you’re not checking in regularly, and a failure to be responsive and timely will damage your brand.
Busy accounts may need multiple team members monitoring them, like Vancouver’s Translink account. Individual team members sign their names, to provide a personal touch to their customer service.
You need a social media style guide to keep your communications clear and consistent. Guidelines also help you onboard new team members, and prevent mishaps and mistakes on social media.
Your guidelines should be shared with everyone on your social media team, and may include elements of your overall brand style guide, like your tone and details about your audiences.
But it should also be specific to how you use social accounts, including Twitter, with details like:
- Branded hashtags and how to use them
- How and where you use emojis
- How to format links
Every kind of conversation—good, bad, weird— happens on Twitter, so you want to be ready for anything. Criticism is inevitable, especially as your account grows, so you should plan for how to respond to trolls and manage a PR crisis. Remember, it’s much better to have those resources and not need them than the other way around.
Check out our tips for creating a social media style guide to help you get started.
Make a content calendar
Planning your content takes a little bit of time upfront, but ultimately saves you effort and stress later on. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did it when you’re not struggling to come up with a witty, original tweet for #NationalDoughnutDay at the last minute.
A social media content calendar is useful for aligning the content you’re posting on all your channels, and spotting possible gaps and conflicts that you can address. It also helps you Planning ahead helps seize opportunities for timely or interesting content, like sharing your sustainability practices on Earth Day, or celebrating your female founder on International Women’s Day.
When creating your calendar, consider:
- How often you want to post
- The best times to post
- Who should approve posts
A calendar can also help you assess your content and see if you’re sharing a balanced mix of tweets. You want to follow the rule of thirds (number 8 on this list): ⅓ of tweets promote your business, ⅓ share personal stories, and ⅓ are informative insights from experts or influencers.
However, you can’t set it and forget it. You still need to keep an eye on your Twitter account so you can reply to DMs and mentions and join conversations.
Worried about spending too much time on it? Don’t be— you can manage your social media in just 18 minutes per day.
Measure your impact
Once your marketing strategy is underway, you need to be regularly evaluating your efforts and checking your progress against those SMART goals you set.
But the data available to you can be overwhelming— there are a ton of metrics at your fingertips, including vanity metrics that aren’t always meaningful. So think about which metrics really matter. Getting a lot of retweets from a funny meme is great— but did any of those translate to conversions or sales?
Collecting meaningful data will help you demonstrate the value of your marketing efforts, and provide insights that will help you refine your strategy over time.