Twitter is still one of the best social media platforms for growing your business. While it’s not the largest social site, it has a distinctive format that isn’t served by Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or anyone else.
However, many businesses don’t get the kind of results from Twitter that they’d like to see. You may need to make a few adjustments to get the most out of this unique social media site. Here are seven tips to help you leverage Twitter more effectively.
1. Upgrade Your Profile
Before you start looking for advanced strategies to improve your engagement on Twitter, make sure you’ve mastered the basics. Making the most of your profile is a good place to start. Make sure your user name and profile picture are a good match for your brand. Your picture could either be a logo or a picture of yourself, depending on whether you want to draw attention to the company or your own personal brand.
Another place where you have a chance to make a statement is the header of your profile page. Many accounts leave this area blank which is really a waste of space. Placing a compelling image here can help you make a stronger impression on visitors.
Finally, be sure to make your Twitter bio as engaging as possible. You only have 160 characters here but that’s still enough to fit in a good summary of your product or business. Don’t forget to put in a website URL. If you want to promote different offers at different times you can always change the bio and URL to direct traffic where you want it.
2. Make Your Tweets More Visually Interesting
Inserting visuals into your tweets is a sure way to get more attention. Research indicates that tweets with images get 150% more retweets than text-only tweets. Visual content is important everywhere today, whether on your website or social media pages. On Twitter, it’s particularly important to grab the reader’s attention as the timeline is so crowded.
Use relevant and compelling images to make your tweets stand out. Avoid using the kind of generic stock photos you see all over social media. Another way to make your tweets more visually interesting is to use emoticons and gifs. Twitter provides a good selection of both. Of course, you need to consider your audience and stay on brand.
Videos are another way to increase engagement. You can upload short videos of up to 140 seconds directly in your tweets. You can also link to longer videos from YouTube or other platforms.
3. Use Twitter as a Micro Blog
A while back, Twitter increased the maximum character length from 140 to 280 characters. This is actually a big difference in terms of how much you can express in your tweets. Aside from posting longer tweets, you can create a series of connected tweets or Twitter thread for a blog-like effect. There’s a plus button that lets you do this. When you’ve finished the thread, simply click on “Tweet All.”
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also post shorter tweets, of course. There’s value in short messages with helpful links and images as well. In fact, some research indicates that shorter tweets get more engagement. However, mixing in some longer threads gives you a chance to build authority with your own Twitter microblog.
4. Make Use of Advanced Search
Doing advanced searches on Twitter can help you drill down and identify potential clients, timely trends and influencers that you might otherwise miss. You can use the search function to search in specific areas or for particular topics or people.
With Advanced Search, you can use queries such as All of These Words, Exact Phrase or These Hashtags. You might find influencers who frequently tweet about a particular topic. You can also find specific tweets from users which is useful if you want to address a specific topic.
5. Hold Twitter Chats
Twitter chats are a useful feature that’s overlooked by many businesses. This is a way to engage your audience in real time. Of course, there are many ways to do this online such as Google Hangouts, webinars, and conference calls. With Twitter, however, you have some unique advantages.
A Twitter chat lets you engage with your existing followers and perhaps pick up some new ones. A good way to do this is to invite some influencers in your field to participate. They don’t have to be famous figures with millions of followers. Even someone with a following of 10,000 can help you get more exposure.
When planning a Twitter chat, identify your topic and goals. Promote the chat on all of your marketing channels, including Twitter itself of course. During the chat, make sure you include a call-to-action such as inviting participants to subscribe to your email list.
6. Use Hashtags Strategically
You should include hashtags in all your tweets. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds of your time and it could mean attracting more eyes to your messages. In fact, in some cases, you could do it the other way and plan tweets around certain trending hashtags.
Don’t go crazy with hashtags. One study found that beyond two hashtags engagement actually drops. It really depends, however, on what’s appropriate for your tweet. Including vague and very broad hashtags such as #happy or #winning probably won’t do much for your engagement. Get as specific as possible.
Study the hashtags listed under Trends For You. You can change the location to get different suggestions. You can also use specialized social media marketing tools that will help you find hashtags.
7. Create Twitter Polls
People enjoy participating in polls, especially when they are short and easy to fill out. Twitter polls are geared to users’ short attention spans. You can easily create polls on any topic by clicking on the poll icon in your tweet. You can create serious polls for demographic research or fun polls to entertain your followers. To maximize participation, post multiple times per day and request that people retweet. With a poll, you have a built-in excuse to ask for retweets as you want more replies to make the results more accurate.
These are some ways to start getting better results with Twitter. If you’re consistent, this is still one of the best social media sites for engagement. More than any other platform, Twitter is a way to connect with your audience in real time.