A Guide to Twitter for Business
It’s well-known that most people online have relatively short attention spans, flicking from website to website or page to page, and scrolling quickly through social updates. But what does this imply for online marketers? Could Twitter for business be considered part of a solution?
Prepare for a rather unbelievable stat: according to a 2015 study, a person’s average attention span was around 8.25 seconds. That’s shorter than the attention span of goldfish, which is 9 seconds.
Twitter as a minimalist platform
Twitter is a marketing tool that can be adapted for people with short attention spans. As a microblogging platform, Twitter is designed for short posts and rapid (viral) trending. There are few distractions and you can easily use the platform when you are on the go.
Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter is extremely streamlined, meaning that people aren’t generally overwhelmed by information overload. As Twitter is a “follow-only” platform, users follow the people and brands they care about and don’t receive an abundance of friend or follow requests.
What is Twitter?
Launched in 2006, Twitter is a social networking and microblogging platform. Originally, each tweet was limited to 140 characters – which was a great way to test whether you could get your message across succinctly! – but it has now been upped to 280 characters.
It is estimated that there are now more than 330 million users of Twitter, and more importantly for businesses, 145 million of those use Twitter daily and are monetizable. The power of Twitter for businesses comes alive in the stats:
- The US is Twitter’s largest country, with 20% of Americans using the platform
- 92% of the population knows and understands Twitter, even if they don’t use it
- 44% of 18-24-year-olds are active users and they are better educated with a higher income than the average population
How Twitter works for businesses
It’s important to know whether your target audience actually uses Twitter. If they don’t, it’s probably not worth your business running a Twitter account – it can be very time-consuming, and if it’s not going to generate results there’s little point. But how do you know if your audience is there?
You can find plenty of information about Twitter users that will help inform your decision. Users are generally young, Democrat, well-educated, and earn a good wage.
To get more specific, there are tools you can use to identify potential customers. For example, tools like Followerwonk allow you to search for customers by using the keywords that they might use to define themselves. You can also search by location.
Running a Twitter account for business
Number one rule, remember that you’re talking to people! Your content can be a little less formal than normal on a social platform.
You really do need to have the time and resources to dedicate to a Twitter account to make it work effectively for your business. It’s also important to have a strategy before you start. What are your business objectives? Are they to raise brand awareness, generate leads, create engagement, or drive sales? How will you measure all of these things?
It’s also important to set your account up properly and make sure it ties in with your brand identity. This means creating a strong bio (160 characters only, though!) as this will be one of the first things people read about your brand. Don’t forget to include a link to your website.
As you think branding, your logo should be your profile picture. You also have a cover image, which should be something relevant to your business and will probably be taken from your brand photography.
Once that’s done, it’s all about engaging your customers…
How to engage with your customers on Twitter
Listen to what your customers are saying. Don’t just bombard them with what you think they want to hear. It’s important to take the time to understand their needs, wants, and pain points. In that way, you can then provide content that they really want to see.
You should also interact with your customers by replying to comments and sharing or liking their tweets.
Think about how often you’ll tweet, as well. The science says that anywhere between 10-50 times per day is optimal.
What type of content should you post?
Well, you’re limited to 280 characters, so this is not the place for long-form content.
Video is a really important consideration for Twitter. More than two billion videos are watched on the platform every day, and watching videos is listed as the third most popular reason for people to use Twitter. They also get ten times more engagement than other posts.
That’s after news and photos – which is why you should make sure that the majority of your posts also include an image.
Paid tools and solutions
There is also a number of advertising options for reaching your customers on Twitter. Twitter business solutions help you build your brand and boost awareness. This encompasses:
- Twitter Ads – set your budget and customize your ads to build your campaigns. Ad engagement is up 23%, so this is definitely something to consider, and in comparison to other social media platforms, Twitter users spend 26% longer on ads
- Twitter Ads for Agencies – get dedicated support and proprietary resources for best results
- Interest-based targeting – if your business caters to a very specific target market or niche, you can be very targeted in your approach
Why Twitter works for businesses
Just like other social media platforms, Twitter can be an excellent marketing tool for business. It can provide leverage for your online presence, reaching a wide range of potential customers. Some of the reasons why Twitter works for business are:
- Generating leads from your target audience
- Discoverability of your brand
- Openness of users to discover new brands
- Potential viral trends related to your business
- Interactive real-time response
- Great potential for building networks
Twitter users will start following your brand if you interact with them and have something relevant, interesting or entertaining to say. You certainly don’t need to be a celebrity to become an influencer on Twitter.
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