There’s no doubt that Twitter can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses. When used creatively, the platform can help drive awareness and build communities around brands, as well as help you to reach sales goals. But with dozens of thousands of companies incorporating Twitter in their outreach, there’s a lot of pressure on community managers to rise above the noise — and doing so requires a well-balanced strategy.
The average U.S. brand sends 221 tweets a week. Each tweet is an opportunity to communicate directly with customers, but with social platforms more crowded than ever before, you don’t want that message to get lost in the shuffle. If the tweets you’re sending are simply self-promotional, you can quickly lose your audience’s attention.
A successful content strategy on Twitter masterfully balances promotional, educational, and relevant messaging. Although the exact proportions will vary by business, day, and even time, a smart, integrated mix of curated content will create a strong brand with a healthy social presence. Here are a few examples of well-balanced branded Twitter feeds. For more tips, check out our infographic.
Always Be Interactive
Does anybody have a rooftop I can shout @smiley_kylie1’s awesomeness from?
— Skittles (@Skittles) June 25, 2014
Skittles has perfectly incorporated the above two points and then some. The brand tweets from the perspective of The Rainbow — which, if you’ve read our article about mascots on social media, then you know great things can happen. Social mascots are a great way to show that you’re an engaged brand, and it will only help to grow and depend your relationship with your audience.
What we love most about @Skittles is that it’s a big fan of its fans, and it shows. The brand regularly highlights its followers in tweets, even if it’s just thanking them for a Retweet. And some lucky followers even receive Skittles snail mail. Interacting with fans — whether it’s answering questions, sending a thank you, or supporting a partner — is an essential part of your Twitter strategy.
Promote When Relevant
One of the most important aspects of a successful social media strategy is knowing where your audience is. The ZzzQuil team was skeptical about establishing a presence on Twitter, but found through social listening that the platform was already lighting up with tweets about its product and sleeplessness. So the brand gave its community manager the night shift and is now able to engage with fans and followers when they were most active online.
And by diversifying its content strategy, ZzzQuil was able to bring warmth and humor to a category that has been dominated by medicinal talk. If you scroll through its timeline, you’ll notice a lot of self-promotion, but it’s done in an entertaining and valuable way. Now the brand receives more than 132,000 mentions a month (compared to the 23,000 prior to launching its Twitter profile).
Let Your Personality Shine
Throughout 2013, Delta Airlines leveraged a simple, witty, and brand-appropriate approach to its content on Twitter. By integrating pop culture moments into its messaging, the brand was able to grow its Twitter following by nearly 50 percent. Not only does this content strategy keep its audience entertained, but it also helps to reaffirm Delta’s marketing message and commitment to customer service. The brand’s Twitter content generated more than 60 million online/earned media impressions in 2013.
Those are just a handful of our favorite brands on Twitter. Inspiration is all around — take a look at some of the other brands you’re following for engagement ideas. And don’t forget to check out some more of our tips on creating a well-balanced Twitter feed in our infographic.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.