While Facebook remains the tool of choice for small business owners seeking to maintain relationships with their customers, Twitter – with more than 302 million monthly active users – should undoubtedly be included in your business’ social media arsenal. So much more than just 140-character updates about the cold slice of leftover DiGiorno that Joe Schmoe ate for a midnight snack, Twitter has the advantage of being built for personal, one-on-one conversations. It’s that ability to engage sincerely and creatively that separates Twitter-savvy businesses from the rest of the pack. Here are four effective ways to get people interacting with and sharing your brand on Twitter:
1. Create focused, meaningful content
Sharing news articles is a great way to keep your brand at top of mind on social media, but sometimes focused, meaningful content can cut through the clutter and grab an audience. StartupSmart offered advice for those trying to capture attention on the rapidly evolving social platform: Be genuine and add value with your content.
"If you go to Twitter looking for mass market reach you may not be happy with the results. But you'll definitely be happy with the engagements," said Sandra Kirwan, marketing manager for Australian small business Pitchi, in an interview with StartupSmart.
Twitter can be used for much more than simple advertising. The nature of Twitter is to find and share content that is personally meaningful to the user. If you create a meaningful post or share industry thoughts, interested parties will seek it out and engage with your brand.
2. Use videos and GIFs to grab people
If your posts still need a good boost, consider using video to draw attention. Twitter announced that users' social media feeds will now autoplay videos and GIFs for users. This is huge for content creators on the platform; one eye-catching video could draw much more attention than a static photo or a text-only tweet.
Creative marketers will be able to use in-depth product videos to highlight fascinating aspects of their products to engage users and get more clicks. Of course, a few well-placed cat GIFs can win over audiences too, particularly if your product or service is less tangible.
3. Connect with industry icons and Twitter influencers
While Facebook is mainly used to connect friends, people use Twitter to feel closer to celebrities and industry icons, big and small. AdWeek suggested putting yourself out there and connecting with Twitter influencers to increase your brand visibility and credibility. By reaching out to these respected voices and presenting them with meaningful, shareable content, you can create relationships and improve your reach through accounts with thousands of engaged followers. Not only that, but your brand will also come off as more credible when acknowledged by power players in the Twitter game.
Now, we're not saying you need to get Kanye West to tweet a selfie with you – if you could do that, you may already have your brand locked down, anyway. There are hundreds of smaller accounts in your industry that can be just as lucrative as the bigger ones. Thought leaders with 5,000 dedicated followers are extremely valuable resources, as they are likely looking to cross-promote and build their brand as well. These are the people who will listen to you, share your ideas and become advocates for your brand. All it takes is an initial follow and some negotiation!
4. Use insights to target customers
Twitter introduced its audience insights in 2015, helping marketers to better understand and create more effective targeting. More recently, the social media company added "personas" to its insight dashboard, making profiles easier to identify and speak to. These groups include college grads, parents, baby boomers and people with high incomes, all targeted easily with one click. Twitter's insights platform has become more robust and user-friendly, making for more effective advertising and better engagement metrics.
Need even more ways effective ways to get interacting with and sharing your brand on Twitter and other social media outlets? The Social Media Track at the 2016 Nightclub & Bar Show can give you all the answers you’re looking for.