Twitter is, by far, my favorite social channel to work with for both business and personal use. What originally started as a channel for letting people know what you’re up to has since turned into one of the largest networks where both businesses and people interact and share with one another. In other words it has become one of the best customer service tools available. And it’s free.
Since its debut in late 2006, Twitter has made quite an impression on the social world. Its early design was simple – a website, some space to write your status update, the option to find and see new followers, and a timeline of all of the updates from people you’re following. Yes, that simple. It wasn’t heavy on the eyes, but the changes that have come since are imperative to how we learn and interact online.
What makes Twitter stand out from the other social channels? Let’s take a look.
- You can only work with 140 characters or less – That’s all you need to make a great first impression, sell something, or inform your followers (friends or fans) what you’re up to. Trust me – 140 characters (or less) can take you a long way! However, it can also take you quite some time to put together the perfect Tweet! Did I also forget to mention that you can add photos, videos, and other content pulled in from other applications and sources? Well, you can.
- Twitter is a real-time network – Twitter informs others about what is currently happening (in your area, at home, at your business, at a horror film convention you’re attending, etc). Also, it was first reported on Twitter about a plane landing in the Hudson River in 2009 before any other news outlets. How much more real-time can it get than that? Since then, the rise of news organizations on Twitter have increased, breaking news to their followers as it happens (in addition to any other information streams they have).
- Bird’s Eye View – Many celebrities, musicians and politicians have embraced Twitter, allowing their followers to get a better understanding of what they do on a daily basis. For example, I follow my two favorite bands, Depeche Mode and 16volt, to learn about events, new album information, or behind-the-scenes footage (photos and/or videos). Some may also Retweet (the option to share another’s Tweet on your timeline) what their fans are Tweeting to them.
- “@” and “#” – These two symbols have become a constant staple across websites, television broadcasts, advertising, etc. The “@” symbol has been used to send a message to a username on the service. For example, Marketing.AI’s username on Twitter is “MarketingAI“. If you or someone else wants to send us a Tweet or mention us, they will include “@MarketingAI” in their message so that we see it in our ‘Notifications‘ area. The “#” symbol (or Hashtag) has been used to allow people to follow certain events, such as the World Cup (#WorldCup) or a film that’s trying to raise awareness online (#PurgeAnarchy).
So, after taking in all of the above, let’s talk about how you can use Twitter for your content marketing needs/plans. There’s a lot of work that goes into creating and executing this plan, and then ensuring that you are obtaining the results you’re looking to achieve. Here’s what you and/or your company need to think about:
- Goals – It’s important to define specific goals prior to executing your campaign(s). Who are you trying to reach (Audience)? How are you going to attract new customers while pleasing your current ones? Develop ways that you want to engage your audience
- Messaging – How are you going to craft your messaging to both attract and connect with current, potential and, eventually, future customers (those who may search for how your company has grown over the years, and then decide whether to work with you or not)? This also includes how you’re going to construct your message in regards to length, tone/voice, and more.
- Hashtags & Keywords – It’s important to choose specific keywords and/or proper hashtags when you’re trying to identify and connect with your audience. People tend to search for specific keywords that may relate to themselves, their business, or area of expertise. The same goes for hashtags, but in a slightly different sense. Hashtags are used to identify various topics and conversations happening on Twitter (or even offline, such as at an event).
- Frequency – . It’s important to be aware of how much content you’re going to be producing and sharing. You don’t want to inundate your current audience with non-related mumbo jumbo. You want to be sure to schedule your Tweets at times when your message(s) will both be seen and resonate with your followers.
- Creativity – Please, please, please be creative and think outside the box! Experiment with your account by asking open-ended questions, creating polls, sharing content relevant to your business/industry.
After developing your plan, it’s now time to measure your campaign’s performance and success. Here are some things you can measure on either a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis:
- Fans / Followers – While it’s important some to focus on their follower counts, I suggest this to be the least of your worries. It’s not possible to evaluate how you’re getting new followers or fans as it could be organic, paid or, sadly, just plain old spam bots. Boo!
- Engagement – How are users connecting with your content? Are they clicking your links and, if so, how many times were they clicked on? How many times have your Tweets been shared (Retweeted)?
- Conversion – Did any of the links you share result in an item being purchased or did a new member register on your site? The analytics you setup and review can tell you the entire story!
Overall, Marketing.AI is the perfect content marketing solution that will help you align your Twitter strategy(ies) and execution(s), whether as an individual or as part of a team. Our content marketing solution allows you to connect multiple Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ (through our Buffer integration) accounts, as well as Bit.ly for analytics.. So, what are you waiting for? Sign-up for a free trial, and start planning your social media content today!
(PS: I’m going to shamelessly promote my book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Twitter Marketing, here. You can both read more and purchase the book at Amazon.)