We recently posted a blog about How to build a digital marketing strategy and within this we talked about the consideration of where you should you look to engage with your customers. There are a multitude of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter etc. that allow you to engage with potential customers.
If you are a small business owner, then you should really be looking to work with a select number of platforms rather than them all. Over the following weeks we will talk about each platform within our Digital Marketing Blog and present some key points to help improve the results of using that platform. This brings us to the first of our social platform reviews and today we are going to start with Twitter.
Twitter is one of the smaller platforms, but this platform still has 330 million monthly users worldwide and within the UK there are approx. 20 million users, which is about a third of the population!
Twitter provides its users with a feed showing tweets (messages or posts) from other users that you follow. The amazing thing with Twitter is the scale, there are 6000 tweets sent a second worldwide, which equates into 500 million a day. So, with 330 million users the average twitter user sends 1.5 tweets a day, but as with everything in life Plato’s 80/20 rule applies so lots of users don’t tweet, they just read, and a smaller number of users tweet multiple times a day.
I just want to focus on this group before we get into the stuff about how to exploit Twitter for the benefit of your business. When you have a group that just read and don’t appear to engage its easy to forget about them, but the reality is that 70% of consumers will conduct research about a purchase they are about to make via social media. So, given that a third of the UK population are using Twitter its fair to say that these group of readers are very important to your business’s future.
All the points below talk about engagement and creating conversations with your audience, which is exactly right. Your engagement with the few will help you reach the many ‘readers’ that use Twitter.
So how do you as a small business owner or marketer create awareness and engagement with the 330 million users.
1. Tweet Frequently
When twitter first started you could get away with sending a tweet a day and have knowledge that your followers would see it and read it. With the scale of tweets, you should be looking to tweet on much more frequent basis. But there is caveat to that statement, are your followers engaged with what you are tweeting? If you are tweeting every 10–15 minutes and getting likes and re-tweets then you have an engaged audience, don’t let me stop you, carry on!
If you are not getting that type of response, then you need to question the quality of the content you are tweeting. A suggestion would be to look at around 5 tweets a day and pay attention to twitter analytics.
2. Don’t be a one tweet wonder!
You are in high volume zone when you tweet into someone’s feed and the reality is that the average life of a tweet in a feed is a maximum of 30 minutes. After that it is highly unlikely that the tweet will be seen again. So, if you are tweeting links to your latest blog post you should be tweeting that tweet multiple times through the week or month to give your followers a chance to see it. Using a scheduling platform will help you achieve this and we talk about this later.
3. Work with the twitter algorithm
Twitter changed how it’s users feed works from a chronological timeline to an algorithm based feed. At first this seen as a bad thing, however for a business it’s great news in that it can create greater opportunities for you to increase your reach. How?
When a tweet is posted, Twitters Algorithm is checking multiple factors before it ranks the tweet for listing within user’s feeds. In essence the algorithm is looking at consistency, relevancy, engagement response amongst many other factors unknown to us and if it see tweets coming from a user that tick these boxes then the tweet will feature higher within feeds when users open their app.
As a business you will have a product or service that you want to sell or promote. Listening by following relevant hashtags within the search facility with twitter provides you with a means of finding those users that are talking about your product and service and from there you can converse with them.
You can also use Twitters advanced search to look for keywords and all manner of filters to narrow down the results. The filters include location, other people, dates and even questions. This can be a very powerful tool as the advanced search will catch people that are talking about the keyword you searched for and it creates the opportunity for you to engage…
What? Engage? How?
As mentioned above you have a powerful listening tool within Twitter that isn’t as used as it should be. But from this you can easily find users that are tweeting about your product/service and from here you have the perfect opportunity to engage.
With Twitter the ability to converse is very easy and one of the easiest ways to influence the Twitter algorithm is conversing with other users on twitter. It is also a great way to overcome the scale of Twitter. I think of it like this; with a single tweet you are shouting at everyone of your followers. With a bit of luck a few might catch a glimpse of what you said. By conversing you are having the one to one dialogue that maximises engagement in a good way.
6. Use a Scheduling Platform
We talked about 2 scheduling platforms in our last article on building a successful marketing planner, and I would really recommend that you consider investing in one of these platforms. The reason being is that they give you the means to save time when engaging with platforms like Twitter, and when you factor in the points I have mentioned previously maximising your time to exploit the opportunities that this creates is key.
7. Use Hashtags
Twitter was the platform that invented the hashtag and to that end it really is key to helping you get your message out to as big, but filtered an audience as you can. Why is this important? Its hugely critical when you have 500 million tweets being created a day, and by using hashtags you are applying your own filters to the audience that might read your tweet. Although we don’t know for sure, it may also impact on the algorithm as well.
Hashtags have become an industry within Twitter and typically commonly used hashtags form the basis for ‘trending’ topics within Twitter. For example, popular hashtags could be #Mondaymotiviation or #wednesdaywisdom. #FollowFriday was also a popular hashtag as well. Using these allows you to reach users that might not get to see your post.
Ultimately the best way to work with Twitter is to go and use it. There are many other aspects like using the right pictures within your profile, having a relevant and up to date bio as well using images and video within your tweets that will help drive engagement. However, for me the 7 points I have made above will make a big difference.