Tools of the Tweet: How to Use Twitter for Marketing
Not all social platforms were created equal. And they definitely don’t play by the same rules. Case in point: Twitter. It’s a fast-moving world of articles, breaking news and memes—all wrapped up in a 280-character limit. But is this a world your brand needs to live in?
Just because a social platform exists doesn’t necessarily mean you need to participate in it. In fact, it could actually hurt your brand image if you’re not using the platform correctly (and the last thing you want to do is be seen as a social media dinosaur). With Twitter, in particular, you get what you put in. And that means doing much more than sending out one-way messages.
So, ask yourself these questions before getting started.
Should Your Brand Start Tweeting?
- Is anyone listening? First things first, determine if your audience is already using Twitter. You want to be where your potential and existing customers are. So, if they’re not on Twitter, your message could fall on deaf ears.
- Did you say something? Your message needs to be concise and engaging. Again, Twitter is not the place for one-way messages. The ideal Tweet will start a conversation and spark audience involvement.
- Do you have the time? To be successful on Twitter, you’ll need to dedicate some serious time and effort to the platform. With an average lifespan of 15 to 20 minutes, Tweets die faster than your old iPhone’s battery. So, you’ll need to post several times per day in order to be seen.
If you’ve determined that your brand belongs in the Twitter-verse, that’s great! Now, how are you going to use it to your advantage? Twitter appeals to a unique audience and comes with a specific set of strengths. Here are a few ways to leverage the platform to fit your specific goals.
5 Ways to Use Twitter for Marketing
- Establish your brand voice. Because Twitter users actually want to hear what you have to say (seriously, they’re all ears), it’s a perfect opportunity to establish your brand’s voice. An otherwise “boring” brand has the potential to be more interesting. Take Wendy’s, for example. An audience of over 3 million users follows the fast-food company for its snarky jokes and good-natured roasts—and its stores have seen tangible growth because of that.
- Offer customer support. If you sell a good or service, customers could turn to Twitter to ask questions, report concerns or give feedback. By monitoring brand or product mentions, you can see what they’re saying in real time. Capitalize on these Tweets as opportunities to build relationships and show your customers that you care about them.
- Change the narrative. Unfortunately, you might see your fair share of criticism and complaints. But that doesn’t mean you should sit idly by and ignore them. Using Twitter to change the narrative, whether that’s with a “clap back” or an apology, can go a long way.
- Start a conversation. Hosting (or joining) a Twitter Chat can help your brand get noticed. It’s an opportunity to show your expertise and thought leadership on a particular topic, and can even help grow your following.
- Have some fun. It doesn’t have to be all about business! Merriam-Webster (yes, even the dictionary is on Twitter) uses GIFs, shares quizzes and makes jokes to make learning about words more engaging. Being authentic and humanizing your brand are great ways to connect to your audience.
Twitter isn’t for everyone, but it can definitely give a competitive advantage to those who know how (and if) to use it. It’s a place where companies can build relationships, establish brand loyalty, start conversations and show some personality, making it a powerful tool to have in your arsenal. That is, if you decide it’s the right tool for your “trade.”