How to use Twitter

If you aren’t using Twitter by now then you’re making a huge mistake with your marketing and brand awareness; haven’t heard of Twitter? If so where have you been! For those who don’t know too much then we’ll quickly dive into Twitter for you, and you can quickly learn how to use Twitter to your benefit and as a large part of your marketing strategy.

A brief introduction to Twitter

Launched in 2006, Twitter has been running for just short of 10 years, and in that time has been able to grow to over 500 million tweets each and every day, and a user base into the hundreds of millions. According to the DB5 + Twitter “Customer Insight Study” which was conducted in 2014, it is shown that there is statistical evidence of the benefits of using Twitter for your business.

Twitter users buy from businesses

50% of Twitter users follow businesses that they buy from

There is an extremely strong engagement rate showing that 50% of Twitter’s users visited or shopped at the websites of the brands that they follow. This would suggest that should you have just 1000 genuine and qualified followers, we could estimate that 500 of them are users which are likely to engage with different brands online and be influenced by their marketing efforts.

Twitter users buy due to your posts

60% of Twitter users have bought something due to something they saw on Twitter

It is also worth noting that an even larger 60% of users purchased products or services from a brand because of something which they saw on Twitter. If your marketing strategy is conducted correctly, you could easily become one of those brands which they purchase from. Quite easily from your smartphone, tablet or computer, you can effortlessly and in seconds increase your chances of making a sale to one of these users.

Twitter users plan to continue buying

43% plan to purchase something from businesses they follow

Research also shows that 43% of users plan to purchase from brands they follow on Twitter. Twitter is about regularly conversing and building trust with your customers; this should mean that the more regularly that you interact with your customers and followers, the greater the trust you build and the better you promote your products or services, the greater chance you have of securing a purchase from people who are already open to making purchases with brands they trust.

Based on those figures alone, I expect you’ve already started creating a Twitter account. Keep reading here to continue learning how to use Twitter and you’ll find out more about the benefits and different ways you can use Twitter to your advantage.

Branding

Quite often when we use other 3rd party services, it is difficult or near impossible to create some continuity with your brand (unless you are willing to pay of course), however with Twitter it is relatively simple and straightforward (and free!) to customise your twitter profile to integrate with your branding.

We’ve put together a quick and handy guide / key here. Check the image below and the relevant number.

How to use Twitter branding methods
  1. 1. Profile name and @username

Easily change your @username to represent your brand and make it simple for other users to tag you in tweets. You can also access your account using this e.g. http://www.twitter.com/ridomedia

2. Company bio

This is how you quickly tell users what you are about, a quirky quote, a brand motto, a link to your website, or any other related business information. You’ve only got 160 characters so keep it short and sweet, think of it like a Twitter elevator pitch.

3. Website URL

Ultimately, Twitter is a tool to help you gain custom. Make sure once you’ve started grabbing attention that you send them to your website and convert them into sales!

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  1. 4. Profile picture

Your profile picture is likely the one image that is noticed the most on Twitter – make sure it represents your brand and is likely to grab attention, whilst maintaining your brand image. This is a perfect opportunity to brand your Twitter profile further with your business logo or even a professional quality photograph of yourself as people do sometimes relate to a personal figure much greater in comparison to a logo, it just depends on your market and your brand.

  1. 5. Header image

Use the header image to show creative graphics showcasing your products or services, use it as extra advertising space for your business or simply use a graphic to grab attention or create a desired perception of your brand.

  1. 6. Pinned Tweet

A pinned Tweet is simply a Tweet which is pinned to the top. If you are a user of online forums, essentially this is Twitter’s version of a “sticky post”. This allows you to make sure that the first Tweet that any user sees when they visit your profile is one which you want them to notice; this is brilliant if you are trying to push a service or promotion, or wish to keep sharing a Tweet which has a particular point which you feel your followers need to see.

Hint: You can also customise your Twitter colour scheme by clicking “Edit Profile” and then “Theme Colour”.

Customer Service / Feedback

One of the key reasons large brands use Twitter is the opportunity for real-time customer feedback. Yes, most brands will have their own customer feedback forms on their websites, ticketing systems or even an account manager (depending on the type of business and client), however do your clients really want to go through to those systems all of the time, when they could quickly fire off a tweet from any device without having to log into any particular system? Admittedly, sometimes these systems must have their place, and you have the option of referring them back to the system, but it does help to improve interaction between your customers and also helps to keep you up to date should your systems be running behind schedule. Not only this, if a tweet is noticed by others, it can help for other customers with similar points to “come out of the woodwork” giving you a better understanding of the topic and who else is involved, whilst also allowing you to minimise the number of times that information would need to be repeated.

It is also important for general comments too, sometimes a user may mention you in passing, and if your staff members are watching the twitter account, allows many opportunities to jump into conversations and interact with them where you previously would have never known. This also gives you opportunities to turn conversations into leads.

Hint: Learn how to use Twitter to keep an eye out for unsatisfied customers communicating with your competitors. This is a perfect opportunity to introduce yourself and secure a lead, especially when you know you are able to show that you can specifically offer a solution to a particular pain point that particular user is experiencing.

Tweets are limited to 140 characters, perfect for forcing your customers to keep complaints to the point and short and simple, and allowing you to reply with just as simple and to the point solutions. This keeps information to the facts, minimises opportunities for bad press, and also brilliantly keeps tweet management time and costs to an absolute minimum!

News

With the convenience and availability of Twitter to its users, essentially anybody can become a real-time reporter, effectively your competitors, and even your followers can become the source of information and news which can help your business grow, or more importantly sustain your business’s position when a competitor makes a bold move or a follower announces an issue which may affect you converting them from a prospect into a lead.

To make this easier, Twitter has a rather intelligent search function found in the top bar. This allows a user to find other users, helping you to monitor different tweets, but also allows you to follow trending topics, or follow all topics with certain keywords or hashtags (more about that later).

More on trending topics. You may notice different trending topics or hashtags on the left side of the Twitter interface. This can be then be narrowed down to different geographical locations which is perfect for studying which issues your followers from certain issues are concerned about and can allow you to decide to react and potentially target those efforts through different methods including advertising (again, more explained later). Alternatively, this section can be configured to show topics which may be of interest to you calculated on your interactivity on Twitter.

With this further knowledge you can learn when to tweak and focus your efforts alongside your other Tweets. The larger the following you attract, and the greater the input you produce, along with a dedicated content marketing strategy, you will be able to move towards positioning yourself as a source of important and trusted content. It is this quality content that will encourage your followers to retweet you, increasing your reach, potentially gaining more followers and further opportunities to increase your lead conversion ratio.

Hint: Produce your own content and become a trusted source in your own right. Use this to drive visitors to your website and focus on how to use Twitter to convert those leads into sales.

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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Twitter can also help with your Search Engine Optimisation efforts and should be integrated into part of that strategy. Although absolutely no replacement for an in-depth SEO strategy, with the recent move between Google and Twitter, there is a higher chance of your tweets appearing in the first page of related search results. Although this doesn’t create any suggestion that the new change will help your website rise through the search results, it does show that you do have a chance to reach the first page and compete with your long standing competitors (who may have invested thousands of pounds over many years to maintain that position).

You know your competitors better than anybody else, you know how active they may be on social media, or potentially how inactive they may be. If they prove to be inactive, this is the perfect opportunity to increase your engagement through Twitter, keeping engaged with current issues or topics, and focusing on the keywords or topic that your potential clients would be searching in order to find a business like yourself.

You likely would have seen many websites integrate their Twitter feed into their website which has a benefit to the visitor as it makes it easier for them to see your multiple online presences. Depending how this is integrated, it yields different benefits towards your SEO. We’ve developed our own custom integration software that allows your Twitter feed to be integrated with your website, and encourages full customisation. This allows you to control what your website displays and how it displays, but also directly outputs it into the website – the largest benefit in mind for SEO. This directly displayed content allows for an ever updating website, with new and different content showing each time a search engine crawls your website. These changes depict how current and relevant a website is and influences your search engine position.

Marketing

Of course, your main strategy should exist before considering using and how to use Twitter ads, however these can be a great extension to grow your following with targeted followers, or to push your product, service, or app. How you structure your advert is up to you; there are multiple conversion methods, including the following:

  • – Pay per follow
    – Pay per click
    – Pay per engagement
    – Pay per app download
    – Pay per lead
    – Pay per view
    – Pay per custom rule you create

The whole concept of advertising on Twitter is more suited for its own article, which we will produce shortly. If this is something you wish to proceed with in the mean time, please contact us regarding managing your next Twitter advertising campaign.

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Hashtag

I don’t think we need to go into great detail regarding the hashtag, as you likely already know it’s purpose, especially as other sites and social media websites such as Facebook have followed Twitter’s lead and integrated the hashtag. However simply put, the hashtag is a very quick and easy method to show further meaning or specificity.

Hashtag Tweet

You may have noticed that the tweet by School for Parents has a hashtag in it (firstly, you should definitely follow this great cause on Twitter, and of course check out their newly built website by us).

As you can see hashtags are clickable. This is a massive benefit as it allows people to easily find your tweets either through searching for a hashtag or directly clicking on one. This also shows the importance of updating regularly, but the real benefit found here is that any people finding your Twitter profile for a specific hashtag are essentially a self qualified follower and potential customer.

Analytics

Another great benefit of Twitter is it has a clear and easy to use analytics section which can be found using through the Twitter menu.

Through here, you will find the analytics panel which will give you specific statistics to your Twitter profile, showing how many new followers you’ve earned, which is your most popular post, etc.

Although not a necessity or requirement of a Twitter strategy, it can be useful to analyse the success of any methods that you are using, and allows you to evaluate what direction or strategy you take next.

Twitter Analytics link

How is Twitter different or better than Facebook?

If you’ve been running a Facebook page you may have noticed how difficult it is to gain any traction for your posts, and that if you check your post reach you would find that you are likely to only reach 5% of your following (this is a figure which keeps reducing the more they push you to pay for their adverts). The only way to reach a higher amount of your following is to pay for Facebook adverts, which is something that is pushing thousands of businesses away from Facebook; why should you pay to reach customers you’ve worked hard to earn or even paid to earn? The great difference between Facebook and Twitter here is that Twitter doesn’t limit your reach, and only charges if you wish to promote further, or reach new people who wouldn’t have reached your business through normal practices.

The advertising practices are very different between the two social networks, although customisable somewhat, Facebook is still very limited in comparison to the Twitter equivalent, where there are many more options for conversion and measurement, and through our experience, have proven more effective whilst also showing a reduction in costs.

The key benefit of Twitter in comparison is the difference in behaviour between businesses, prospects and followers. It is easier to directly communicate, and in general communications are conducted on a softer tone, more social and informal (great for building a rapport).

Get started with Twitter

By now, you should be more than confident with how to use Twitter after reading this article, you know enough now to jump into the world of Twitter and immediately be moving forward in the right direction and immediately tweet effectively. You’ve learned facts, figures, and the history of Twitter, methods to personalise and continue your branding, how to use Twitter as a customer feedback and communication tool, a way to distribute vital information through to customers pockets in real time, how to use Twitter to find new customers and jump to the top of Google and compete with your biggest competitors, and briefly learned about the potential for advertisement investment to further your marketing strategy.

We’ve produced this because it’s vital our clients do well, and also have a strong understanding of current methods.

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