Business Social Media Marketing – Part Two: Twitter

Our four part series on social media marketing will guide you through the basics of marketing with today’s social media giants. In the last instalment we tackled the basics of Facebook for small businesses. This week we’re taking a look at the ins and outs of Twitter – from writing a tweet and using hash tags, to maximising your click-through-rate and optimal times to tweet.  Let’s dive in.

How to write a tweet

This one is easy. You’re limited to 140 characters so make them count. Be brief, and selective with the information you include.

Consider the type of professional identity that you are trying to portray. Do you want to berecognised as authoritative and a thought leader within your field? Are you trying to come across as personable and friendly? Think on this, and then develop a tone to reflect this.

Basically, your tweets can be in the form of an offer, command, statement or question. 

Questions are useful for garnering interest and driving engagement amongst followers. 

Statements help to show authority on a topic. 

Soft commands are useful for prompting followers to engage with a URL or come to an event. 

And offers are a way to endear yourself to the follower – don’t think ad copy, think about how you or your tweet can benefit them.  

Use your tweets to curate relevant content to your business. Even though Twitter asks “what are you doing?” you should be trying to answer the question “what has your attention?” Retweet content from other twitter users that interests you and is relevant to your business. Including URLs comes in handy here, but more on that in a moment.

How to use hash tags

Hash tags let other users find your tweets more easily. They bring your tweet into the greaterconversation about the topic. And as a bonus: hash tags can increase engagement by almost 100%, so a smart business twitter will include them in every tweet.

Hash tags can be used in two ways: to tag the subject material, or to provide context and describe. Write a tweet, and then pick out one or two words that describe the subject of the tweet (e.g. #coffee and #cafe) – hash tag these. Alternatively, write a couple of hash tags at the end that provide context to the body of the tweet. 

Twitter timing

Timing is everything. A well-timed tweet can bring about huge engagement and click-throughs so a little research in this area will go a long way. Twitter streamgraphs let you view in real time what people are tweeting about and at what time. You simply enter in a keyword (like “PC” if you’re running a Twitter page for a computer retailer) and see when PC’s are most talked about.  

Link sharing and improving your click through rate (CTR)

Twitter has the highest CTR of all social media by far – so incorporate links where you can!

Including a URL doubles engagement with a good tweet. And don’t just link back to your own site: tweeters linking to external sources generally experience a bump in followers. Share what you’re reading, and any other interesting media that is relevant to your business.

You might not realise it, but people are more likely to click on a link depending on its position within the tweet. An analysis of 200,000 link containing tweets revealed that 25% of the way into the tweet is the optimal position to place a link. So write an intro, include a shortened link (use to shorten links), write an outro and then @ source your reference.

Sourcing references is important too – and surprise surprise, they help increase engagement with a tweet. Including the Twitter handles of your source and other parties you’re mentioning within the Tweet increases follower growth and engagement. It’s simple to do this: just include via: @twitterhandle at the end of your tweet.

Monitor your audience

Finally, monitor using Twitter Search. Listen for yours and competitors’ business names, and topics relevant to your business. Hot topics and popular hash tags for your industry should be incorporated into your tweets.

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