How to Use Twitter for Your Content Strategy. The Ultimate Twitter Guide
As a content writer and marketer who works for a SaaS business, for the last few years I’ve been trying to find the most relevant social media networks to work with.
In my case, it’s Facebook and Twitter – the two giants – that have always remained at the forefront. Having a social presence on these two platforms seems to always pay off.
So naturally, all my marketing efforts were wrapped around these two leading platforms.
And while Facebook is the place to go once or twice a day, Twitter is the fun spot; it’s an endless stream of fresh information (that lives a very short life). It’s full of news, up-to-date jokes and topic-centered or hashtag-focused discussions that (most importantly) demand a quick reaction.
Twitter is one of the major social media channels to support content marketing strategies of any b2b business. Its nature applies to the instant interaction with the followers, spreading the news and information.
Anytime your post goes viral, it’s usually because of the activity and buzz Twitter users have generated.
This is why Twitter and its applicability to content strategy is the evergreen topic to talk about, and that’s why I’ve come up with a comprehensive guide on how to use Twitter for your content strategy.
You are going to win over your followers’ hearts by providing them with compelling and relevant content that will grasp their attention. Let’s dive in.
Like all things in marketing, Twitter starts with setting goals.
What is your Twitter marketing objective? Brainstorm on this for a while. Your goal can be generating leads; building awareness; shaping your Twitter presence as an expert in a particular field and industry; creating a community; or sharing your blog articles.
- Lead generation – sending users (the referral traffic) to your landing pages
- Building awareness of your products and services
- Shaping a positive presence and opinion about your brand
- Establishing expertise in a particular field and industry
- Building a community
- Generating new shares of your articles
Twitter is often used by many enterprises for handling customer support related cases. This application of the network will help keep your Twitter board alive.
However, it has its drawbacks too. In a short amount of time, you may find your board cluttered with complaints about technical issues and on display for all your followers to see.
If you’re up for replying to the complaints and ensuring a fast resolution to any issues, using Twitter for customer support may be an option for you. But if you want to maintain the impression of having the perfect product, the Twitter stream used in the form of Zendesk won’t help.
In the end, employing Twitter as a customer service tool has its pros and cons, and whether you decide to do so is your choice..
Clearly defined Twitter objectives will help you achieve them more efficiently.
Btw: save your time with powerful social media monitoring tools.
Once you have the Twitter marketing objectives ready, you can go a step further.
After setting specific goals, before you can begin planning detailed Twitter activity, it’s important to identify your perfect segment audience and ideal follower profile for your business.
If you’ve had your Twitter profile for at least a year or two, you can go to Twitter Analytics, then the ‘Audience’ section and see your current audience specifications regarding:
- the top interests,
- the top languages,
- the top lifestyle type,
- consumer behavior,
- mobile footprint.
By doing so, you can learn some basic information about the biggest demographic of your Twitter followers.
If you find that you’ve been aiming your content strategy toward a slightly different group of followers, go back to your overall marketing personas and perfect customer profile, and check whether and how these two groups overlap.
When organizing your Twitter account, make sure to create various lists of users which make up different groups of segments.
This may demand some extra work because a social media manager needs to look at each profile to judge which list it belongs to; but it’s worth doing because having the people you follow in different segments will make targeting the right audience easier.
Lists can include:
- The industry influencers.
- Inspiring profiles that can boost your social media creativity or be a great help when you want to retweet something relevant to your audience.
- The various tools or products related to your business.
- All your competitors (keep this one private).
- Your employees – Having such a list will motivate your coworkers to:1) establish own TT accounts,2) complete them with nice photos and descriptions,3) keep their profiles alive.An employee list will also show your company’s culture and help with employer branding.
- Your clients – IMPORTANT – This list should be kept as private – don’t make your prospects feel like they are being watched by Big Brother. You shouldn’t publicly show who your customers are (unless they agree). You don’t want to end up with customer complaints.Testimonials and case studies are the exception.
- Bloggers. It’s beneficial to have a list of bloggers from your niche because it makes content outreach much easier to achieve.
By the way- do you know how to create a Twitter list?
Lists are located on your TT profile page. Each admin of the account can see all the lists next to the likes section.
Other Twitter users can view the public lists, so be cautious when adjusting the privacy settings.
It’s best to keep (ALMOST) all the lists private.
It’s wise to set all your lists private because they’re there to serve your internal purpose.
However, the one list you want to keep public is the list of employees of your company.
As mentioned above, such a list will help establish company culture and boost employer branding; so keep it public.
How to add a specific user to a dedicated list
Once you log into Twitter and go to a particular user’s profile, click on the settings button on the right side of the screen to display the drop-down list. Then, click on the “add or remove from lists” option in order to add a person to one of your lists.
<And here goes the video>
Now that you’ve identified your perfect audience, adjust the posting time to their time zone or time zones. Find out when your followers are online so they could see your updates too.
Unfortunately, this can’t be checked with Twitter Analytics, but there are other free tools which can help.
I use Tweriod.
Tweriod reveals when your tweets have the potential to gain the most exposure and hours when followers are online.
If you use Buffer for scheduling your updates, it’s good to time your posts around the data right away.
Knowing the life expectancy of a single tweet can also help you decide how frequently to post. Tweets live very short lives; your updates are technically capable of generating engagement for up to two hours.
So it’s a good idea to maintain two-hour intervals between tweets to ensure nobody feels overwhelmed with your content.
You don’t want to deal with an angry customer who accuses you of spamming and end up being blocked. Trust me.
The next step is to decide on the content types for maximizing engagement. You can start with all the types and then narrow them down over time by looking at which work and which don’t.
Let’s go through Twitter content types.
The Twitter social network supports various media formats – from text updates, photos, and videos, to SlideShare’s and links.
Personally, my favorite media format on Twitter is a text update with a picture and a link.
Link updates foster lead generation, so they are essential for promoting a blog and eventually your products and service.
Experiment with the various content types and mix them up during the day for the optimal results. Your followers will feel that you are creative at shaping your social presence., and you will quickly realize what evokes the best reaction.
Statistically, a photo update is more actionable than just a bare text update. However, a video is superior to all types and gains the most impressions and engagement.
The statistics may differ in your case.
- There is a character limit on Twitter; you can compile updates up to 140 characters (excluding pictures). In the past, adding an image shortened your character limit. This limited length is the most characteristic feature that makes Twitter different from any other social media network.According to Lifehacker, The Ideal Status Length Is 100 Characters for Twitter. Short updates that are focused on a specific message are more robust than those that communicate multiple things. As there is always an option to add a link if you have something more to convey, make your updates as short and impactful as possible.Pro tip: Learn some powerful words and rules on how to use them. Leverage magic words as often as you can.The update should clearly explain what you are sharing. Don’t mess around with click bait as it can result in a bounce and hiccup.
- Experiment with using and omitting hashtags to determine when your content performs best.Avoid spammy, overused hashtags. Go ahead and create unique and creative hashtags (branded and non-branded) for your marketing campaigns. Perhaps some of them will become recognizable in your niche and location or even go viral. Then, as the author, you will enjoy the buzz around your hashtag, campaign and your brand too.
- Have a complete account. Your social presence on any network starts with adding a compelling description and having a profile picture and cover picture that represents your business. You don’t want to be an ‘egghead.’ Incomplete profiles usually discourage people from following and interacting with you.
- When you share blog posts, try to quote their intriguing parts (subheadlines of a vital thesis). However, you shouldn’t reveal any solid facts or data. You want to coax your followers to click through.
- Initiate discussions and mention top fans (+ niche influencers) when raising questions. Mention authors of articles whenever you retweet or share any, and add a nice comment about their content.They will surely appreciate it, and you will be on your way to building a mutually beneficial relationship.
- It’s okay to ask for retweets on Twitter, so don’t be afraid of violating any rules. Ask for a retweet once in a while, but of course, not with each update.Asking for retweets is a huge opportunity that most brands fail to realize. Reports say that asking for retweets results in 12 or more times the usual RTs. – Jeff Bullas
- If you are a beginner on Twitter and don’t have a strong following yet, promote your Twitter content so it gets even more exposure and speeds up gaining an audience.
- Follow users strategically. Following everyone back is not a good audience building strategy. Don’t think it creates a bond or anything like that. All you’ll end up with is a board full of unrelated tweets.
- But, on the sidebar, there is the “Who to follow section” and it usually recommends personas linked to your industry.
- Actively follow industry influencers from your niche and profiles that can potentially share interesting content that you can benefit from. There is alway a chance they will follow you back.
- Get inspired by your competitors’ campaigns. As mentioned before, create a private list of your competitors and check it often. Maybe some of them have successful tactics you can follow.You should constantly learn from you competitors; whether their actions prove to be successes or failures, their activity is always a great lesson to learn from. It’s better to learn from someone else’s pitfalls than your own.
- Another rule that applies to all social media networks is the 80/20 rule. This rule is about sharing exciting updates from the industry versus sharing your content. Your products and services shouldn’t be the only subject you post about because your followers will get bored and eventually unfollow you. Social media wasn’t built for that. So limit own content ratio to 20%, and dedicate the other 80% to industry news, fun facts, trending topic, etc.
What practice will gain you new, active followers?
The untapped (at least for some), but robust, method is Twitter Chats. Only active users will participate in Twitter Chats; and for energizing your profile a little, they are all that you need.
If you don’t know how to host a Twitter Chat, take a look at those from your industry who do. If no one in your niche does, see how other/ unrelated companies run them. Then think what your chats could be about and decide how frequently you would like to conduct them. 🙂
Also, promote the chats so people know when they’ll start. You can also actively invite those who you care to have (like influencers).
On the day of the chat, keep your eyes wide open and react to each tweet quickly. And don’t forget to add a mention so followers can be notified when you answer.
Most companies don’t plan their Twitter activities ahead of time; consequently, they miss out on many great opportunities.
Your content scheduling shouldn’t be limited to the current day or the current week – always be ready for an occasion way ahead of time. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentines, Independence Day, Pizza Day: they will all pass unexpectedly, and you won’t leverage them in a strategic way without having a plan 2-3 weeks in advance.
You should know what to expect in the month to come in order to think of ideas at ease, without having to rush. Spare time is necessary because usually, the most creative ideas come to you when you are fresh and rested.
Now it’s all in your hands. Take my tips and try them out on your Twitter page. Put your heart into growing your profile and you will quickly notice the payoffs.
How do you like my guide? What suggestion is new to you and which was your favorite?
Am I missing an important Twitter hack? Would you like to add it?
Feel free to answer my questions in the comments below.
And one more thing to remember when setting up your Twitter: have a reliable social media monitoring tool – like the Unamo Social Media Tool – which will allow you to monitor various discussions around your business and brand to help you be on top of what is going on and react quickly when and where needed.
Happy Marketing Guys!