When 75.3% of people make a purchasing decision because of what they’ve seen on social media, you need to make sure your Tweets stand out from the crowd.
Twitter’s algorithmic timeline favors highly engaged Tweets over new Tweets. Tweets used to last only for a few hours in a user’s timeline. But now it’s not uncommon to see a grouping of Tweets from yesterday scattered among the ones from 30 minutes ago. This is encouraging for companies, since it entices you to create and share high-quality content.
In order to improve your chances of success in 2017 and beyond, we’ve compiled a list of eight proven Twitter tips.
The Twitter tips listed here aren’t meant to be executed all at the same time. Pick and choose the best ones for your company. Be sure to execute them one at a time so you’ll be able to better understand the analytics.
1. Set Your Twitter Account up for Sales Success
Begin by taking 20 minutes to complete a thorough Twitter audit for your account. Why is a Twitter audit necessary? Auditing allows you to see what’s working and what’s not.
Let’s say you are posting news links consistently at 10 a.m. because you read somewhere that it was the best time to Tweet. You also post news links at 3 p.m. After posting to this schedule for several weeks or months, you check out your Twitter analytics and find out that your posts in the afternoon are far more engaging than the ones in the morning.
In fact, almost no one clicks on the links at 10 a.m. If you never looked at your analytics, you wouldn’t know to stop sharing links at 10 a.m. Imagine yourself as a potential customer when you’re auditing your account.
- How can they get in touch with your company?
- Can they figure out what products or services you sell by looking quickly at your profile page?
- Is the pinned Tweet relevant to a potential customer?
- Do your Tweets with your products or services include a link?
2. Increase Engagement with a Twitter Chat
The more engaged your audience is, the more willing they are to trust your brand. There are many ways to use Twitter chats for your brand. For example, you could:
- Host a weekly chat: Sprout has its own #SproutChat, which is set up to engage with our audience on a personal level. While it’s definitely a more intensive process to host your own weekly chat, the followers you gain during the event are strong followers. They have a history of engaging with you and are likely to be receptive to future marketing.
Q1: What are some best practices for using an event hashtag? How should you tweet speaker quotes or anecdotes? #SproutChat
— Sprout Social (@SproutSocial) November 9, 2016
- Host a collaborative chat with a brand or influencer: It doesn’t have to be a weekly occurrence but it can be useful for expanding your audience. Much like if you hosted a collaborative event in person, you can promote a chat ahead of time and then reuse the participating tweets for a new blog post.
— Forbes (@Forbes) November 17, 2016
Forbes does an excellent job at inviting experts for co-hosting their Twitter chats. For one hour, the expert responds to as many questions as possible on the hashtag #AskForbes. The benefit for Forbes is they’re able to build up brand trustworthiness, which then can drive up their subscription rates.
3. Schedule as Much as Possible
As you may have noticed from this article, a good portion of achieving goals on Twitter is setting up processes to help you reach the goals. This includes knowing what to post on certain dates and not scrambling at the last minute because you forgot it was Memorial Day.
Creating an editorial calendar is an important part of this process because it sets you up for holidays and other events.
When you’re making an editorial calendar, be sure to also write down other notable events, even if they have nothing to do with your brand.
- Super Bowl: Not every brand will care about the Super Bowl. But the fact is your Tweet will be lost in the noise, especially if you are not posting anything related to the event.
- Any awards show: Awards shows like the MTV Video Music Awards or the Oscars may not be directly in your brand’s views. However, your audience may be watching the show and only looking out for event-related Tweets.
- Major religious holidays: This boils down to knowing your audience and their behaviors. Not all religious holidays will be relevant to your brand or company. But if it is important to your business or your audience, then special care must be given to the Tweets that day.
4. Focus on Social Customer Service
A smooth social customer service experience ensures that you have returning customers. This means making it easy for your customer to contact you. Some brand even have a seperate Twitter Handle just for support.
If you have your Direct Messages set up for anyone to contact you, then the next step is to make sure your customer service features are activated.
For accounts that provide support like Southwest Airlines, you can navigate to the customer support dashboard. Once there, mark that your account can provide support as well as with any hours you might have.
This selection then shows up on your public profile page, signaling to customers that you’re there to help them.
5. Create Graphic Templates to Reuse
Graphic templates are easy to set up with a service like Canva. Pick one template to be used for quotes and stick with it. If you host a lot of events, create a template specifically for promoting the event.
If you have a company blog, go through your posts. For each post, pick out three quotes that you think will grab someone’s attention and make them want to learn more.
Now use the template to create the matching three quote graphics. Save these graphics in an organized place. Finally, begin scheduling your post several times in the next few months.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 20, 2016
The New York Times consistently uses the white text on black background when they pull quotes from their stories. Notice that the font and color combination matches their brand.
As you use more quote graphics, your audience will begin to recognize the graphics as coming from your brand. Also, you can add a small phrase and/or logo in the corner for all of your photos.
While the branding is clearly marked on the photo, a good template will subtly nudge the reader into noticing the phrase.
— PUMA Football (@pumafootball) November 8, 2016
6. Use Videos & GIFs to Promote Your Products
For each new product release, consider adding a video or GIF to the marketing checklist. Creating social media videos does not have to be daunting. Try one or two low-budget and simple videos to begin with and see how they perform.
— Jeni's Ice Creams (@jenisicecreams) November 23, 2016
Don’t let a massive video production budget get in your way. There are plenty of ways to get creative with video on Twitter.
7. Run Twitter Ad Campaigns
Utilize Twitter’s new website conversion campaign initiative (in beta at the time of publishing this article). By adding a pixel to your website, you’ll be able to track which clicks from your Twitter ads directly lead to a purchase in your store.
Twitter’s Ads dashboard has evolved through the years. You are no longer limited to throwing a Tweet out into the abyss. Audience targeting can be done through an uploaded email list or a selection of certain purchasing abilities and even the TV show they like to watch.
The ability to tailor Tweets to the audience of your choice is an important one.
8. Create a Flash Sale
Once you’ve built up a large and engaged audience, you can set up a flash sale available only on Twitter. This can be anything from a major discount on one item or a one-day, site-wide sale. When you’ve decided on your discount, begin the campaign by teasing your audience during the days leading up to the event.
— Target Deals (@TargetDeals) November 23, 2016
Track All Social Media Analytics
As with any goal, be sure to analyze your efforts after each campaign. There are many ways to find out if your Twitter efforts are converting. If you connect Google Analytics to your Sprout Social account, you’ll be able to note immediately where your web traffic is originating from.
The report breaks it down for you by the social network.
Like we mentioned earlier, you can add a pixel into your website that will help you understand if your Twitter ads are converting the way you want them to. For every link you share, you can shorten it with a trackable service, like bit.ly.
It does not matter how you track your conversions. As long as you have reliable data on the traffic source and its conversion, then you can measure your Twitter management efforts.
Be Open to New Ideas
At the end of the day, you know your audience best. If you find that one tactic works for sales (for example, using photos for 80% of your Tweets), then stick with it. The ideas we listed here are meant to help you increase your sales.
But the foundation of sales will always be the relationship you build with your customer. As sales expert Patricia Fripp says, “You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise.”