Do you remember the birth of Twitter, way back in 2006 when the idea of reaching a celebrity in real-time was new, hashtag usage was an emerging concept, 140-characters was the standard, and Chrissy Teigen had not yet taken a seat on her thrown as the Queen of Twitter?
If you’re shaking your head, don’t worry – we understand.
Twitter has entered its teenage years, and has gone through a serious evolution since its inception!
With all of this in mind, you may be asking yourself how social media marketers are supposed to respond to Twitter’s evolution and power, and what’s most important to know to succeed with the platform in its new era?
We’ve got you covered with our Top 12 Ways to Succeed with Twitter in 2019. Here’s what you should know …
1. Have a Conversation, Avoid Being Overly Self-Promotional
It’s easy to get carried away on Twitter, shouting to the masses about what you’re doing. If you proceed too far down this path, however, you will wind up shouting to the Twitter void (or even attracting unwanted Twitter trolls).
The point of Twitter is to engage with others and have conversations about content, current events, interests, issues, etc. that matter to you. It’s about sharing points of view and having conversations around varying points of view with other users.
As brands, there is a line and balance of course, and even if you’re promoting yourself, you should strive to represent yourself in a mindful and respectable manner.
Remember to intermix self-promotion with relevant tips, articles, insight, etc. that you can use as conversation points with your networks. Leverage your expertise and skills to develop meaningful relationships with your audiences and retain them.
The same logic applies to your business. This tip applies to personal and brand profiles. Leverage what your business is good at to relate to relevant conversations your target audience is having on the platform.
Did you know when you search for the Twitter app in the App Store it’s not listed as a social media app, but a news app? Knowing this should help to put its purpose into perspective when you approach it as a brand or personality!
You don’t want to become a Twitter troll in the process of getting the word out there. While it’s important to post consistently and frequently, you don’t want to overdo it. Set a posting cadence that works for you and your audience.
Be especially careful with how you use automated tweeting features available with blog plugins, for example. Let your users decide what they want to say. Allow for variation. You don’t want to get flagged as a robot or spam on the platform.
This decreases your brand and/or personality profile’s reputation and credibility over time.
Find connections with your brand or public personality and relevant social media holidays or days of the week.
This doesn’t mean you have to find a connection with every holiday or day of the week. For example, if you’re a fragrance brand and find a connection with Macadamia Nut Day (#MacadamiaNutDay) or Taco Tuesday (#TacoTuesday), this is probably far-reaching. Even if your fragrance includes notes of macadamia, this is still pretty far-reaching …
Yes, Macadamia Nut Day actually exists, and we’re just as surprised as you. Even among places with more clear connections to the social media holiday, like ice cream brands or bakeshops, for example, should be weary of overdoing it with social media holiday utilization. It can come across as forced marketing instead of authentic and fun.
However, if you are a fragrance brand and want to promote your company work culture on National Dog Day, for example, and showcase employees with their pets on your social media channels like Twitter, explaining how your fragrances are not tested on animals and are cruelty-free, this could be a nice and genuine way to participate and connect with the holiday.
Remember to use the right hashtags to truly capitalize on trending social media holidays on Twitter! Check your trending bar to see what others are using to be sure you’re relevant.
For example, while some may use the hashtag #NationalDogDay2019, others may be using #NationalDogDay more frequently. Certainly, you can use both. Use your own judgment, and don’t overdo your hashtags (see tip #4).
4. Don’t Overkill Hashtags
Hashtags should be considered in the same terms as the well-known childhood nursery rhyme, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”.
Do you remember the story? Goldilocks breaks into a home of bears to discover porridge, chairs, and beds. One bowl of porridge is too hot, one is too cold, and one is just right. One chair is too tall, one is way too tall, and one is just right. One bed is too soft, one is too hard, and one is just right.
One hashtag on Twitter is okay, three is pushing it, and two is just right. Using more than three can come across as spam, automated, or trolling.
Data from late 2018 showed that tweets with more than three hashtags suffered a serious drop in engagement.
Conduct A/B tests, comparing tweets you use with one-two hashtags versus three or more to see which perform best on your channel. You can use relevant social media analytics tools to record and analyze your findings, like Hootsuite, Twitter Analytics, etc. All data on the Web may not properly reflect what your audience prefers.
This is a general rule of thumb for most brands and personalities to follow.
5. Optimize Your Twitter Handle and Bio
Before we get too far into the list, if you haven’t already – it’s time to optimize your Twitter handle and bio!
Both of these fragments of Twitter should properly reflect your brand or personality. Use updated links, descriptions, and hashtags to clearly demonstrate to your audience what you’re all about and why your presence on Twitter matters.
Since you’re limited to 160 characters in your bio, include keywords that describe your brand or business. Also consider using a shortened URL (which you can create with websites like Bitly) to make your bio more clickable and clean.
Update your bio with relevant campaign hashtags if/when you have them. For example, a beauty brand may have just released a new line of eyeshadow palettes they want to promote for fall with the hashtag #FallingForShadows, but change it in winter to promote a new line of hand creams with warm fragrance notes, and update it to be #SofterThanSnow come early November.
Your handle can be changed at any point so long as it’s not already taken. Don’t give your followings whiplash, though, and abuse the ability to change it. You should strive to get it right off the bat, or only update it when undergoing a brand makeover.
Since you are limited to 15 characters, you’ll want to be as clever and concise as possible. Don’t mislead your audiences with your Twitter handle. Properly reflect your culture, purpose, services, business, etc. and lead your audiences to your ultimate end-goals with every section update.
*Note: Twitter has changed its guidelines on who can apply to become verified, and who is eligible. Click here to learn more about the official rules.
6. Aim for Size and Quality
It’s not just the amount of people following you or your brand on Twitter that matters, but the quality of the engagements you derive from the following you build.
Build a strong and qualitative audience by showing your value.
Post with purpose! I’ve said it many times, and continue to live by this value. This ideology applies to all social media marketing work.
When you post with purpose, it shows. When you post just to post, it shows (and your audience sees right through it).
Additionally, post with passion. Consumers can tell if the marketer behind the account believes in the brand they’re promoting. There’s no hiding a lack of genuine interest and likability.
The modern consumer is smart, and knows more about you than you know about them upon first interaction. This is true for a variety of marketing concepts and campaigns. Solidify your value(/value proposition) to make your first impression a knockout!
Twitter aficionados say best practice is to return the favor of a follow with a follow. Why? It shows your willingness to engage, and organic, honest, and humble nature. It’s the most widely-known “unsaid” social etiquette best practice to follow on Twitter.
The bigger your brand and following are on Twitter, the better traffic you’ll get to your blog/website and reputation you’ll have.
7. Plan Your Tweets with Social Media Scheduling Tools
If you’re not sure which is right for your brand or campaign objectives, test a few out to see what works best for your team. Trial and error is a constant phase of business development. Social media scheduling tools will help you stay organized and on-pace to maintain your defined frequency.
There are different plans available for most social media scheduling tools, so depending your plans and objectives, you will want to consider if upgrading or having the ability to is important to you for your current and future state.
This will help eliminate randomization and keep you up to date with what your networks are sharing as well, especially with platforms like Hootsuite where you can build custom dashboards to track relevant talking points around your brand or brand interests.
Many of these tools allow you to tag account handles across social media platforms to further engage them as well, which helps keep you part of the conversation without having to be there in real-time.
Screenshot from Twitter, Sept. 4, 2019
8. Follow Your Peers, Industry Idols, Customers, etc.
This falls closely in line with tip #7. You want to seek out your customers, partners, peers, idols, etc. on Twitter to keep your feeds fresh and relevant. If you care about what they care about, you should be following them on Twitter.
This will help you stay up to date with your community and easily reshare from their feeds to seed to your own audience.
The more you engage with and share their content, the more likely they are to do the same. Don’t be a passive tweeter, be an active one!
Screenshot from Twitter, Sept. 4, 2019
9. Become Familiar with the New User Interface
Earlier this summer, Twitter launched a new interface. Notable updates include:
Simpler and cleaner profile and homepage designs – text is more legible with more white space
Trending topics have been moved to the right sidebar
Direct messages are all in one place and feel more like checking email (via your left sidebar)
Lists that you’ve created and have been added to are all in one easy-to-navigate place (via your left sidebar)
Profiles can be customized by color, background, and font size (via your left sidebar, click More > Display)
As a Twitter user, and especially as a marketer, it’s important you become familiar with the new interface and feel confident using it. This is best practice for any social media platform or technology update.
The sooner you embrace its evolution (and adapt), the better equipped you’ll be for success!
10. Size Your Visuals Appropriately
It’s important to use the right aspect ratios when you’re updating your profile icon, banner photo, creating ads, or are posting photos or videos to your Twitter feed. By following the right aspect ratio sizes, you will help your audiences see your content in the way it’s supposed to be absorbed/how you intend it to be.
It’s not just the aspect ratio of your graphics and visuals you should be mindful of, though. Maintaining the recommended pixel size will help you keep your resolution quality high and branding strong.
Your Twitter sizing guide (in pixels) for 2019 is as follows …
Profile picture/icon: 150 x 150
Header/banner/cover: 1500 x 500
Post image: 1024 x 512
Image ad: 1200 x 675
Video size: 720 x 720 (square), 1280 x 720 (landscape), 720 x 1280 (portrait)
Video length: 140 seconds (max)
Video ad: 720 x 720 (square), 1280 x 720 (landscape), 720 x 1280 (portrait)
Screenshot from Twitter, Sept. 4, 2019
11. Participate in Relevant #TwitterChats
This helps you engage in natural conversation over topics that are relevant to your audience, show your expertise and credibility, and gather insight in the process to help you enhance, refine, and boost your strategies.
Twitter Chats are one of the best ways to engage with like-minded people. For marketers, a few I recommend include:
#CMWorld by @CMIContent – Every Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. CT
#SEMrushchat by @semrush – Every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. CT
#Appy by @AppExchange – The first Wednesday of every month at 1:00 p.m. CT
#SMEChat by @SMExaminer – Every Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. CT
#G2Fireside by @G2dotcom – Every other Thursday at 10:00 a.m. CT
#TwitterSmarter by @MadalynSklar – Every Thursday at 12:00 p.m. CT
Get more ideas for chats to participate in and download the official calendar here!
Screenshot from @LedgeviewCRM on Twitter, Sept. 4, 2019
12. Use Your First Five Words Wisely
Why are the first five words of your tweet the most important? They stand the highest chance at contributing to your SEO value. Don’t ramble. Be clever and concise when you post.
There’s a 280-character limit for a reason – you’re not meant to post a blog-long or novel-long tweet.
Though, threads have taken things to a different level, especially in terms of celebrities posting their own PR. Regardless of that, as a brand or professional our recommendation is that you keep things short, sweet, and simple whenever possible!
The first five words you use are more likely to appear in a Twitter search than anything else in your update. Be mindful of the messages your brand is seeding.
We hope these tips help you take your Twitter marketing strategies to new and exciting levels. If you’d like more tailored tips and actionable guidance for success, reach out to our Marketing Consultants for help.
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