The social media platform with the fewest characters, Twitter may just require the largest time commitment from marketers. Yet with 271 million monthly users, the time can be well spent.
In order to get the highest return on your investment—both in money and in time—we’ve compiled a list of tips to integrate into your marketing strategy.
- Spend time listening and following.
Twitter is a great resource to gauge public perception about your industry, access trends and learn about your competitive set. Need content ideas? Twitter can provide a plethora of information about what prospects and customers are talking about. Want to position yourself as a thought leader? Share information from others and provide your own insight.
- Develop lists.
An effective way to keep up with all of the chatter on Twitter is to segment the people and businesses you follow into lists of industry or type. That way you can quickly scan through specific information without being distracted by competing messages. Remember that Twitter allows you the option of making your lists public or private. If you follow your competitors for instance, you can group them into a list and make that list only viewable to yourself. It’s a way to do a bit of stealth research on competitive positioning along with their sales and promotional activities.
- Engage in conversations using Twitter symbols: #, RT, @
The beauty of all social media is the ability to converse with audiences in an interactive way. Twitter has taken online conversations to the next level integrating the use of hastags, retweets and handles. When you use these symbols in your own messaging, you are increasing your reach to a broader audience, while also connecting with other users on a more personal level.
- Utillize Twitter tools.
Not only does Twitter have one of the easiest help sections to navigate, it is also full of helpful tips on expanding your presence on the platform. For instance, there is a section that can assist with developing a content calendar that also includes tweet ideas and message templates for you to integrate into your own social media strategy. For those who may not be as familiar with Twitter, the help section offers a plethora of information that makes the experience less intimidating.
- Consider advertising.
Hootsuite, one of the foremost content management systems in the industry, recently noted that Twitter Ads drive leads at one third the cost of other paid channels. Similar to Google Adwords, Twitter ads are purchased via a bidding system. There are different ways to advertise on Twitter, depending on your objectives. The most common is with promoted Tweets (think Sponsored Posts on LinkedIn or Facebook), but you can also promote your Twitter account. If your goal is to increase sales leads, for example, you can pay to have your Twitter account appear in the “who to follow” tab on a user’s feed. Both of these options can be highly targeted based on gender, location, keywords and interests. You can also use your own list or purchase third-party lists for additional targeting.
Whether you are spending a lot of time on Twitter or using it sporadically, one thing is certain. If your Twitter posts are an afterthought to your other social media efforts, you are not likely to see a return on your investment. As with most marketing efforts, the time invested on the front end will help you achieve results in the long run.