Building off of our original “Tips” write-up that focused on how to best leverage Facebook, here is our second social media site in focus – how to best leverage Twitter to promote your brand and/or business.
For those that may be unfamiliar with the Shore Branding site and our commentary throughout many of the Sunday Musings entries, Twitter is a personal favorite in terms of getting your brand/message out there, but also in overall usage. The Twitter explosion has, quite honestly, changed the world. When breaking news occurs, do you find yourself going to Twitter just as much as or more often than turning the channel on your television? I certainly do. I feel like I get better information and it is available instantaneously.
Without further ado, here are eleven tips when leveraging Twitter for your brand.
#1 – Engage with followers
This one isn’t too original, particularly if you read our Facebook recommendations. However, the #1, most powerful action you can take when working on Twitter, or any other social media site, is engaging with your followers. Here are several specific examples of what this could represent on Twitter:
- #FF – Follow Friday’s remain popular. Every Friday, you can send your followers another Twitter handle, or group of handles to recommend other pages that they should consider following.
- Responding to @ replies in a timely manner. Someone has reached out to you for a reason, make sure you get back to them in a reasonable amount of time – as quick as possible.
- Thank those that “RT” (re-tweet) or “Favorite” your tweets. Your message/tweet is now being shared with other page’s own followers. It doesn’t get much better/easier than that, so thank them for their efforts.
#2 – Share other’s work that matches your niche/category
Similar to comments above, use Twitter to help your followers as much as you can. That doesn’t always have to be your own material. There is plenty of information to be shared out there and pointing to other people’s work will help you build a level of trust with your audience, i.e. not asking them to click on links that always take them to your site, page, etc.
#3 – Fill in your bio information and web site
Seems like this should be commonsense right? Well, not always. Fill in as much information as you can and allowed by Twitter. Make sure you load pictures for both your profile and header. Include your web site in your bio and add a description that is both relevant and attention grabbing. This is an opportunity to show off a little bit of your / your brand’s personality.
#4 – Start thinking about how you can incorporate Vine
Online video sharing may or may not be in its infancy stage, but rest assured, it is growing into the next phenomenon. Twitter purchased Vine and has since turned online video on its head, launching the Vine app for Apple in early 2013 and having just released its version in Google Play in June. Download the app and get creative!
(We’ve included a good handful of stories and links on Vine in our Sunday Musings – here is the most recent entry to start reading more about the app and how to use it.)
#5 – Use #Hashtags
Twitter created a marketing monster by using hashtags in tweets. The hashtag is simply the # sign in front of a word or phrase that allows you to search for topics of interest or connect with those that have similar interests. As a brand/company, you can create your own hashtag which will then allow you to easily trace who else may be sharing, reading, or writing about similar topics.
You can create your own, unique hashtag and see how far it goes in the Twitter-verse. Conversely, you can use a more common hashtag to speak to a particular topic of interest. See the picture below, as I’ve simply searched for “#branding”. In the search, Twitter provides suggested profiles that touch on branding, photos, videos, and of course, tweets that include #branding within them. Within seconds of this search, there were 20 more tweets on the topic. You simply hit refresh to see what the latest comments are on your specified search/topic.
#6 – Don’t beg for RT’s (re-tweets)
There is data that goes against this recommendation, saying that asking for RT’s makes others more inclined to actually RT your post. However, I personally hate the idea of doing this. It feels forced and if you are doing it on every Tweet or for every new blog entry you create, it looks a little “needy” – for the lack of a better word that wouldn’t offend too many of the culprits that are reading this.
If your message is good and your content is interesting, your audience should grow over time and those RT’s will come with this. Don’t worry about the number of RT’s you do / don’t receive in the beginning. Ensure your content is up to par and people will start to notice your work.
#7 – Try to keep your tweets short
Twitter allows you 140 characters to get your point across. Try to condense your message to an even shorter number when at all possible. Shoot for 120 characters or less, as this will give readers an opportunity to “RT with Comment” and provide their own thoughts and feedback while sharing your link with other followers. This is particularly important when sharing a link to another web page.
#8 – Use Twitter Lists
Twitter allows you to group the people you follow into lists/categories. When you click on your profile page, you’ll see the Lists hyperlink on the left hand side, currently below your “Favorites” (tweets that you have clicked to favorite). Here you can start to segment those that you follow based on niche, category, and really anything of interest that you are following on Twitter.
I have yet to do this for the Shore Branding page due to following a limited number of groups – branding and digital marketing pages, bloggers and social media personalities, and brands themselves. If this ever gets overwhelming or if I feel like I’m missing too much due to the number of people or brands I’m following, I will very easily start creating lists. I have done this on my personal account, in order to easily track my favorite sports teams, marketing, stocks, and friends separately.
Once you click on a particular list, it filters out all of the tweets you see in your timeline to only those you have included in that particular group/list. This certainly helps make things easier to digest, particularly if you are following a large number of pages.
#9 – Please do not auto-tweet
You will see a number of people that auto-tweet, which is setting up dates and times for certain messages to go out automatically to your followers. You can also set up auto-messaging to thank new followers. I can’t stand this and will typically un-follow someone as soon as I get that ‘thank you’ note or if I see that their auto-tweets continually pump out the same links/stories at different times of the day.
If you want to build a relationship with your fans/followers, take the little bit of extra time it takes to write directly to them. Don’t turn your account into a robot, where you are sharing links at all times of the day to ensure you are appearing on timelines. Try to be as consistent as possible when you are posting on Twitter, but do it yourself.
Here is one prime example from Scott Stratten of how auto-tweeting can turn into a nightmare scenario.
#10 – Have a public profile
Twitter provides you with the option of protecting your tweets from the public so that they are only seen by those that you allow to follow you. (On a private profile, someone would have to click on the link to follow you, and you would then have to accept – or reject – that request. That person would not see your tweets until you accepted them as a follower.) This really eliminates any ability for others around the world to find and follow you. Your message is never going to get out there with a private profile.
#11 – Consider using SharedBy.co
A bonus 11th tip here for Twitter and this one is really more for bloggers and “smaller” brands or companies. I would not necessarily recommend this for many others beyond this. However, shortly after starting Shore Branding and the Twitter page, I ran into SharedBy.co and thought it was a fantastic idea, so I am now using it to share other stories that peak my interest around the web.
Essentially, you sign up on the site (for free, but there are also premium upgrades if you so desire) and create your banner. Now, when you want to share an article with others, you click on the SharedBy.co “Personalize” button that you have created and it takes you to the account(s) that you have linked into. From there you can personalize the message a bit and share it with your followers.
When someone else clicks on the link that you have shared, they will see your banner at the top of the page. This is another reminder of who provided them with that information, along with links back to your site and/or social media pages (however you decide to set up the SharedBy.co account).
Those are our eleven tips for leveraging Twitter for your brand. Do you find any of these to be of particular benefit to you or your brand/company? What other tips would you recommend to readers? Please feel free to drop them in the comments section below or send us a message on Twitter @ShoreBranding.