Twitter is making a comeback on the social media scene, with 11.7 million app downloads in the first quarter of 2019, and is one of the most important networks to include in your marketing strategy.
If you are like most brands and businesses, you are using social media to:
- Increase brand loyalty
- Reach out to new customers
- Promote your products and services
Twitter can feel like one of the trickiest platforms to achieve these things, with its limited character count and the seemingly short lifespan of content. The purpose of Twitter, however, with its public and real-time nature, is actually not to ensure that your audience catches everything you say. It is to be online at the same time as your fans (and potential new fans) as if you were all hanging out at the same spot.
While this is a fantastic networking opportunity for your brand, attending this event every day and always making a good impression can be a daunting task. The cultural etiquette of Twitter is ever-changing, and getting it wrong could mean that you end up alienating people instead of creating a loyal fanbase.
Fear not. Here are 5 top tips for brand behaviour on Twitter in 2019.
- Show off your brand personality
Twitter is well known for enabling brands to take on personas that allow them to connect with customers on a whole new level. The concept that people follow other people, not brands, has led to the humanising of some of our favourite snacks, shoewear and cleaning products. SunnyD got bored watching the Superbowl, MoonPie started flirting with Wendy’s and Burger King used a Kanye West rant to have a jab at McDonald’s. While it can arguably be taken too far, there’s no doubt that tweeting humorous, provocative and wacky content drives engagement. It makes you relatable and gives people a welcome relief from marketing jargon. The winning is twofold – people are much more likely to remember a brand who made them laugh than they are one who tried to sell them something.
- Know when to stay quiet
Not everybody is entirely comfortable with brands be over-intimate, or trying to be their best friend. “Silence, Brand” was a recent meme rebellion against companies becoming intrusive with their online presence. Social media management software which allows businesses to see when they are being tweeted about without a mention, or when a product that they sell is being talked about online, has led to brands replying and joining private conversations that they were never intended to be a part of. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that not everybody likes this, even if they do know that Twitter is a public forum, and to only pitch in if you are offering customer support.
- Target your ads properly
If you are venturing into paid advertising on Twitter, be sure to maximise the chances that the right people will see it. While it may seem as though the more people your ad is aimed at the more effect it will have, targeting a niche audience with content specially designed for them is actually much more likely to achieve results than trying to please everyone with something general. You can then target the followers of relevant influencers in this niche to reach people who genuinely care, leading to much more interaction with your ad and much less risk that you are bothering people who aren’t interested. Match this with high quality images or video, a simple call to action and a clear introduction to what your brand is about, whether this is part of the image, video or copy (remember that when you’re reaching new people, they might not know who you are!) For video advertisers, it’s also worth noting that Twitter has now introduced a new 6-second video ad bidding, which means that you will only be charged if and when your video ad is viewed for at least 6 seconds.
- Be community-driven
Building community is the new goal of marketing on social media networks and Twitter is no exception. It showcases authenticity, builds trust in your brand and allows you to connect with all the right people for your business. Follow other brands and influencers in your industry, give them shout outs, retweet their content and join in discussions. By doing so you will be providing valuable content to your followers as well as building awareness of your brand with new audiences. There’s a good chance that they will follow you back and return the favor! This is especially true when promoting small brands and businesses, who will be extra grateful and excited to join forces with you.
- Interact with trending topics/news
Twitter is actually listed in the App Store as a news app, not a social media one, and if you are an active user on the network you’ll know why. Twitter is a global network that people use to connect with what is happening right now, in the moment, all over the world. Many people use it to see more genuine, first-hand accounts of events, preferring it to the biased perspectives of major news networks. This is a great opportunity for you to showcase your brand values in reaction to current affairs – if you have strong principles on recycling, for example, you may want to join in discussions around environmental news; if you are a sportswear brand, you might want to offer an opinion on a recent report about health and fitness. Remember not to use news as an excuse to desperately promote your products. You are reaching new people and making an impression just by being a part of the conversation, and shamelessly spamming won’t do you any favors.