Twitter remains one of the most widely used social media platforms. You’d be hard-pushed to find a business in any industry who would claim “none of my customers are on Twitter”. Twitter is both a great content platform and a great way to find and interact with new audiences. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, Twitter plays an important role in the zero moment of truth – influencing people’s buying decisions.
If you’re going to start spending time and other resources on Twitter, make sure it results in productivity rather than just activity. Develop a strategy!
Twitter strategy for business
For many the businesses we work with, Twitter is the most powerful and effective tool we have at our disposal. Twitter’s use in a business capacity is complex and there is much more to the platform than content creation and distribution.
So… Are you getting the most out of Twitter? …and… Have you yet unlocked the power of search and interaction?
So this is the important thing:
Most social media networks are actually content platforms (I’d say about 7 of these 10 groups are types of content platform). Twitter is a genuine social network. Why? Because businesses can actively go out and interact with their audience online. Once you know how; this is seriously powerful stuff.
Twitter for business: how is it different?
Truly effective Twitter for business involves numerous techniques in order to generate leads and sales, many of which are almost never used by individuals during their personal use of the platform. Personal use of Twitter involves lots of content sharing, opinions, and direct tweeting with friends to keep them up to date with what you’re doing.
Whilst the functionality of the platform remains the same for businesses as it does for personal users (unlike for Facebook and Instagram, for example), only some of these activities are relevant to Twitter marketing in a commercial sense.
Before we reach the realms of advanced Twitter for business, there is the matter of conveying your brand exactly how is needed to generate interest and achieve your goals. This is dictated by your strategy.
Some of the key elements of Twitter for business (which you don’t have to consider when using Twitter for personal use) include:
Branding – making sure your Twitter profile fits in with your branding, website and other social media accounts. People are making split-second decisions as to whether they favourite or retweet tweets, whether to click on links and whether or not to follow you – first impressions count!
Voice – what is the ‘voice’ of your brand? How does this make your followers and potential clients feel? Is it consistent?
Content – you can’t post daily updates on boring topics or anything irrelevant to your company. How are you engaging your followers with your content? Content must add value to your audience – try to evoke a reaction. If someone’s response to your post is ‘meh’ or ‘who cares?’ – how can you improve it?
Call to action – what are you ultimately trying to get your audience to do? How are you hoping social media activity will benefit your wider marketing goals?
Strategy – how is all of your activity going to contribute towards your overall business goals? Do you have a short term and long term strategy?
To ensure you’re getting some return on all your hard work, you need to be clear on all of the above. Of course, the other major pitfall is being too self-promotional and using Twitter to simply broadcast corporate, salesy messages. Remember, over social media, you are in a conversation with your audience on their time – add value to them through your content.
If you’re confident you have your content nailed, you’ll need to explore the interactive element of Twitter. Social media interaction is paramount to engaging with and influencing your target audience and you can identify them very accurately using conversation drivers. Twitter is really the only platform upon which true, two-way, social media interaction can take place so it simply cannot be overlooked within the realms of Twitter for business.
Twitter strategy FAQs
We’ve compiled a list of FAQs relating to Twitter strategy, hopefully, we answer your burning question!
What should my Twitter strategy look like?
What are your business goals and how will Twitter help you achieve them? Remember that “getting more followers” isn’t a business goal and may not even contribute towards it. Think carefully. Identify your core goal (clicks to the website, collaborators approached etc.) and have another two or three secondary goals to shape your strategy.
Your strategy should incorporate content that adds value to your audience in some way and a strategy for interaction. Take a look at our main social media strategy page and see if you can answer the key questions about your audience.
Give yourself a few months to work towards your core goal. Be patient – it won’t happen overnight.
How do I achieve my goals?
Your goals should provide purpose to your content and your interaction. Make sure everything you do contributes towards these goals in one way or another. This isn’t to say if your goal is to sell more widgets you need to post links to your widget buying page all day – that’s not how it works. You’ll need a method – what will make people buy your goods in the medium term? Get them onside, entertain them, engage them – sell later!
If you add enough value to your audience, when the time comes to be more self-promotional, use a clear call to action. The better your relationship with your audience the effective your call to action will be. You should employ a series of tactics that work toward your goals.
How do I find my target audience?
This is one of the most common Twitter strategy questions! There are five main ways to do this:
1. Use Followerwonk’s bio search – search terms that people would mention in their bio that identify them as being relevant
2. Identify and search for your conversation drivers – find out more here.
3. They already follow you
4. They will be in relevant Twitter lists you can access
5. Find relevant hashtags your audience is using or engaging with
All of these techniques are fully explained our #Winning at Social Media book.
What should I say to them?
This is going to depend on your goals and what your brand ‘sounds like’ on Twitter. Don’t just sell to people – engage with them. Build a relationship and use a call to action when it’s appropriate.
The key to increasing your reach and influence over your audience is the ability to resonate with them through Twitter.
How will my Twitter strategy differ from my Facebook strategy?
There are a couple of key differences:
Facebook is more of a content platform so whilst it’s great for posting images, videos and text, going out and finding and interacting with potential consumers and collaborators is more limited. Therefore, you need to maximise this powerful element when on Twitter and get involved in conversations.
Twitter is more fast-paced. Whilst you might only post three or four times per week on Facebook, you’ll be posting more frequently on Twitter.
Does my follower/following ratio matter?
In a word, “yes”. The ratio between the number of people you follow and the number of people who follow you is incredibly important, especially when we’re talking about Twitter for business. Arguably, this ratio probably says more about a company than the sheer number of followers.
Why is it that so many accounts seem to have a similar number of followers and ‘followings’? This is because of the follow-back culture associated with Twitter, the ‘follow for a ‘follow’ type thing. With these accounts, you’ll often find they have an unusually high number of mutual follow-backs.
What about accounts that have bought followers?
Of course, there are going to be accounts that have bought followers to distort their follower numbers and their ratio (similar to buying Facebook likes). However, this is something that we do not recommend since it is usually very obvious. Trying to work out the genuine ratio is virtually impossible but always assume it would have been poor originally.
In terms of achieving your actual business goals, having loads of bought, spam Twitter accounts is unlikely to help you.
What is a good follower/following ratio?
1:1 is average since for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. You can make up your own mind whether a brand looks better if it has 1000:1000 or 65000:65000.
Anything worse than 1:1 will likely limit the overall followers an account has since to follow more than 2000 people, you’ll need to have near enough 2000 followers. A new account that has followed lots of people in the hope of follow backs might look like 450 followers to 1760 following, which looks quite poor. There used to be software available that would automatically follow and unfollow accounts which didn’t follow you back but this violated Twitter’s rules.
Above 1:1 is great, especially if the numbers are in the thousands and above 1:10 is excellent. Beyond that, you’ve got a great presence and maybe an established brand (unless you’ve bought them!).
How much should I worry about ratio if I’m just trying to get more followers?
Remember why you’re trying to get followers. You need people interested in your brand, not just people who want you to keep following them – these are not your customers! Think about it logically. Think about your business, its audience, and its sector. What would be a reasonable number of accounts to follow? How many could you feasibly keep up with?
Ultimately, how you want to accrue more Twitter followers is up to you but remember that your follower/following ratio has an important role to play. Far more important is going to be how you integrate great value-adding social media content with targeted interaction.
It makes our jobs a lot easier if everyone uses Twitter to its fullest so we’d love to help you if we can. We provide specific Twitter training as well as general social media training across all platforms.