Using Twitter for marketing success
People often tell me that they don't use Twitter as part of their social media marketing. But I think Twitter is fantastic. Unlike the other platforms, it's not driven by connections or friends. It's driven by content. You can reach anyone in the world by sharing content that's relevant to them.
Before we look at how powerful Twitter really is, though, let me share my top tips for social media success in general.
- Know what you want to get out of social media before you use it - don't just post for the sake of it. Think about what you're trying to achieve through your marketing and ensure that social media helps you achieve it.
- Make it work as part of an overall marketing plan - whatever you post on social media, make sure it is aligned with all other marketing activities. Don't treat social media as something different. Everything needs to be integrated.
- Choose your channels carefully and know your audience - decide what social media platforms to use based on the audience you're targeting.
- Know your brand - if you're posting on behalf of your business, or even just representing your business, make sure you know your brand and you're keeping everything in line with how that brand presents itself.
- Plan in your content - plan in advance so your content is well thought through and aligned with all other areas of your marketing.
- Be sociable - don't just show up and leave, actually interact with other people on social media. Having conversations is the best way to build relationships.
- Measure success - how is your social media activity helping you reach your overall objective? It's not about likes and shares, it's about how much business you're getting from your activity. Ultimately that's all that matters.
Now you've mastered social media in general, let's focus on Twitter. The real power behind Twitter is hashtags. There are 5 ways that hashtags can be used, and all of them can help you interact with your audience and build those connections.
Sum it up
Hashtags were used by Twitter originally to help alleviate some of the issues of limited characters. You can say a lot with a hashtag. I use #marketing all the time. I don't then need to say I work in marketing or I'm a marketing consultant. I can say what I need to and then just use #marketing to sum up the context. If you were sharing information specifically for small businesses, you could just say what you need to and then put #SME at the end. It says it all without you having to go into the detail in the post. Think how you can use hashtags to keep your posts punchier.
One of the more common ways that hashtags are used in the business world is to find and connect audiences. If I'm sharing one of my blogs that offer marketing tips, I might use #marketingtips. Then anyone who is looking for marketing tips might come across my content. I often get people I don't know like and share my content through the use of hashtags.
What hashtags do you think your audience will be searching for?
Hashtags can be a useful way to connect with people, but they can also be used to connect your company's information together. If you use #yourcompanyname at the end of every post, then anyone who is looking for more information relating to your business will be able to find it. They'll also know what to use if they want to comment on something relating to your business.
If there is a cause you're passionate about, a national day you're celebrating or an event happening that you are interacting with, you might want to add in a relevant hashtag. If people are aligned to your cause or have an interest in what you're talking about then they might search for that hashtag and see what is happening. Or if someone is following you, they will see what matters to you in a simple and effective way.
Just saying that you support an issue and using the relevant hashtag alone can be quite powerful. A hashtag brings things to life more.
One of the ways that hashtags work really well is to allow conversations to be had on social media. This works especially well on Twitter. It's how Twitter Hours work, such as #Solihullhour. If you put in something like #Solihullhour after every post that you write within that hour, then everyone else partaking in that Twitter Hour will be able to see what you've said and take part in a giant conversation. It works extremely well.
It's also good for TV programmes or live events. It connects people all over the world who want to talk about something at the same time. For example, at the end of Line of Duty, people took to Twitter to pass their comments, and anyone who was interested could take a look at what other people thought of the series simply through the use of #lineofduty.
The only thing that is important here is that enough people know of or want to use the hashtag. If not enough people are interested in it or no one knows about that particular hashtag, it simply won't happen.
Use them wisely
Whatever you do, think about how your audience is likely to react and don't waste your time doing things for the sake of it because you hope it might work. Hashtags have their place, but know why you're using them and what you hope to get out of them.
As a little tip, hashtags work well on Twitter and Instagram. Not so much on LinkedIn, and not at all on Facebook.
If you'd like any more tips on marketing, please sign up for my monthly newsletter that is packed full of marketing tips to help you stay ahead of the competition.