A Modern Guide to Social Media Content Marketing, Part 2: Twitter

This is the second installment in a five-part series focusing on best practices to up your content marketing game

This is the second installment in a five-part series of articles focusing on best practices to up your content marketing game on the “big four” platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Catch up on the first installment  here, and stay tuned for future installments. Share your own favorite tips in the comments–we’d love to hear from you.

With more than 310 million active monthly users, Twitter is a “must-have” network in any marketer’s tool kit. How are marketers using this rapid-fire social network to their advantage?

Customer experience is the unifying thread tying all marketing activities together, so it’s important to understand the demographics of Twitter’s users.

According to Pew Research, 24 percent of internet users use Twitter, 37 percent of whom are between the ages of 18 and 29. And they’re slightly more likely to be male than female. Also, eight out of 10 Twitter users access the platform via mobile, so whatever content you share on the platform must be optimized.

On point and to the point

The upside to the 140-character limit is that it forces you to be punchy and to the point. The downside is that there’s little room to clarify and explain things in detail. Brevity has the potential to cause misunderstandings and uncharitable interpretations, but good tweeters can refine complicated thoughts into compact statements.

Hashtags can insert your brand into active conversations or help start your own. Tweets with hashtags get twice the engagement of those without and are 55 percent more likely to be retweeted. But less is more: Tweets with only one or two hashtags have 21 percent higher engagement than those with three or more.

Here are a few #HashtagHacks to help your tweets get more traction:

  • #ShortAndSweet: Keeping it simple makes the hashtag more memorable and forces marketers to focus on the clearest, catchiest keyword.
  • #LookBeforeYouTweet: The most popular trending hashtags in your geolocation can be found in the sidebar of your Twitter.com home feed or the mobile search tab. You could also set up a social listening project to monitor trending topics and hashtags among your target audience. This will ensure that your chosen hashtag is inserting your brand into relevant conversations, and that you’re making a valuable contribution. Plugging into hashtag conversations without any contextual insight could backfire. Remember when DiGiorno Pizza  accidentally used the #WhyIStayed hashtag to promote pizza?
  • #ContentForDays: If you need inspiration, try using a popular hashtag associated with a day of the week, such as #TBT (Throwback Thursday) or #FBF (Flashback Friday), with a photo from the early days of your brand or the prototype of one of your products.

The epicenter of customer service

Twitter has become the go-to social tool for customer service. Advertisers say that more than 80 percent of their inbound social customer-service requests came through the platform. Both customers and companies benefit with social customer service, as customers who receive fast and thorough answers will be more likely to repeat purchases and refer friends.

Social media as a destination for customer service shows no signs of slowing down. In the past two years, the volume of tweets to brands’ customer-service handles more than doubled. And it’s cheaper for brands, too, as the cost per resolution via tweets is one-sixth of that through call centers.

However, the rapid rise of chat bots like those on Facebook Messenger and Alexa, among many others, will give Twitter a run for its money in the customer service space in 2017.

Influence the influencers

Today’s influencers are a digital-age hybrid between endorsements and word-of-mouth. Working with them can drastically extend your brand’s reach and amplify your advertising investment.

A recent survey by Twitter of its users found that 49 percent of respondents rely on influencers for product recommendations and nearly 40 percent made a purchase based on a tweet from an influencer.

Finding influencers on Twitter is considerably easier than on other networks. You can start by entering a search query featuring your brand or topics and hashtags relevant to your business. This will bring up the groups on social media talking about what you offer. Further filtering will help pinpoint the people whose reach you wish to leverage.

Ad targeting on Twitter

There are three main ways to target your audience on Twitter to ensure that the money you spend on ads is being used effectively:

  • Tailored audiences: Upload a list of users to Twitter to deliver ads directly to the people who have shown an interest in your brand. This list can contain emails, phone numbers, Twitter or mobile advertising IDs, visitors to a specific web page or even users of your mobile app. You can also use social listening to generate a list of users by entering keywords and topics relevant to your brand to identify trends, customer needs and the factors that sway their decision-making. Once you’ve uploaded your list(s), create ad copy that is relevant to each. Twitter requires a minimum list size, so you may need to combine.
  • Handle targeting: Targeting “@usernames” allows you to reach users with interests similar to followers of that account. For example, enter @TwitterAds to target people likely to be interested in advertising on Twitter. You can also add keywords or exclude them to make your audience more precise.
  • Engager targeting: This is Twitter’s version of retargeting, but with a twist. By targeting people who have viewed or engaged with your organic or promoted tweets, it allows advertisers to reach audiences already interested in the brand without using first-party data. This makes engager targeting easy to scale and execute and allows content tailoring. A good use of engager targeting is to promote events, such as conferences and webinars.

The ability to engage directly and in real-time with Twitter users is helping marketers build brand loyalty and improve the overall customer experience. And identifying new consumers and future brand ambassadors will not only help the business achieve its goals, but make the marketing team look good in the process.

Next up: LinkedIn.

Ulrik Bo Larsen is founder and CEO of social media management software-as-a-service platform Falcon.io.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.