Long considered a tech giant and one of the “big socials,” Twitter is one of the best channels for engaging both existing followers and strangers with shared interests.
Still, effectively leveraging Twitter toward repeat marketing “wins” remains a challenge.
To help you out, I’ve shared strategies that may help you crack that code.
What You’ll Learn:
- How to define your brand:
- How to use Twitter Lists for custom feeds
- What tools to use for Twitter marketing
- How to track your Twitter marketing performance
Twitter Marketing Strategy
If you don’t spend a ton of time on Twitter, the social media platform can be a bit overwhelming.
Twitter comes with features like filters and lists that allow users to cut through the noise and focus on the topics, users, and unique marketing tactics it has to offer like audience polling, lists, and of course, its built-in ad platform.
In all, I’ve found that most Twitter features are pretty easy to use–including things like audience targeting, analytics, and setting up an ad campaign.
Define Your Brand’s Identity
Unlike Instagram, Twitter is all about mastering short-form text.
And while images and video are certainly essential components in any Twitter strategy, success hinges on your ability to connect with audiences in your unique voice–that means you can’t hide behind that amazing photo.
Every brand has their own voice, values, and tone, which, as I get into here, should remain consistent across all platforms. That said, here are a few things that brands should make sure to include when creating content for Twitter:
- Showcase Your Brand’s Personality. While your brand voice should be consistent across all touchpoints, Twitter’s text-first culture is the perfect platform for showcasing what sets your brand apart from your competitors.
Are you edgy? Funny? Inspirational? Bold? These qualities should be conveyed through your tweets.
- Consider How Your Tweets Might Be Perceived. While Twitter’s reputation is often defined by its feuds, public shaming, and a whole host of embarrassing rants, it’s still important to carefully consider what you post on the platform.
Given the state of the world right now, sincerity is a huge deal–especially for brands, influencers, and celebrities with sizable followings. Skip the promotional posts, empty platitudes, and political statements and focus on providing useful information to your audience in an empathetic way.
- Avoid Repeat Tweets. Not only is pasting the same message over and over lazy and ineffective, it violates the platform’s policy. Each tweet should have a unique caption–even if you’re promoting the same blog post multiple times (which by the way, is a strategy I do recommend).
- Engage Like a Real Person. After several years of collecting followers indiscriminately, we’re beginning to come around to the idea that maybe that’s not the best way to “do” social media. Be thoughtful about building trust with the customers that care about your brand. Focus on having two-way conversations with your audience instead of attracting as many followers as possible.
Poll Your Audience
Polls have the unique advantage of being fun and interactive for your followers, while also serving as a tool for capturing valuable insights about your audience and industry.
It’s also quite easy to put together a poll.
All you need to do is click the big blue “Tweet” button and select the “add poll” icon below the text box:
From there, you can enter your burning questions, set a time limit, and then hit publish when you’re ready to capture some insights.
It’s worth mentioning that coming up with questions that capture your audience’s attention enough that they’ll engage does require a bit of effort.
Often, you’ll see brands taking more of “light-hearted” approach to polls, as T-Mobile has done here:
If you’re looking for information about a specific topic, product, or service, you might try following Rand Fishkin’s lead and ask users about their experience.
You could even run a series of these and turn the results into an original research report–a process that is otherwise resource-intensive and time-consuming.
Keep in mind, part of the reason this works is Google’s updates are known to shake up the SERP landscape, a topic that Fishkin’s followers likely care about quite a bit.
Use Twitter Advanced Search to ID High-Intent Buyers
Twitter Advanced Search allows users to filter content based on criteria like user names, date ranges, engagement stats, location, and more.
In another post, I take a deep dive into advanced search, how it works, and share some tips for using it in your marketing strategy.
If you’d rather keep things brief, here are some tips for connecting with qualified buyers with the tool:
- Use Hashtags to Track Lead Gen Efforts. If you’re planning a hashtag campaign or recently wrapped one up, advanced search makes it easy to check in on the conversation and respond to users engaging with your branded or campaign-specific tag.
Again, you’ll want to err on the side of minimalism and stick to one hashtag to include in a long-term series of tweets. Additionally, you might use a similar approach to keep track of conversations around specific keywords.
- Find & Connect with Leads. One of the main benefits of advanced search is it allows users to search for questions using keywords like “advice” or “recommendations” along with words that are relevant to your brand. This process can help you find people actively searching for solutions you already provide.
Additionally, reaching out is as simple as following and capturing their attention with an “@mention” (which could help you reach even more potential buyers. Or, you can send them a DM with more detailed information.
- Target Local Leads with Geolocation Filters. For local businesses, Twitter’s geolocation filters are a great way to quickly target leads local to your area–and weed out users based in far-off places.
Set it up by entering ‘near: (location) to see tweets from a certain region. You can then get more specific using the “within (distance)” to create a radius around whatever regional border is most relevant to you.
Additionally, location-based filtering isn’t just useful for local businesses, it can also be useful for creating personalized campaigns–allowing brands to target customers with location-specific offers.
Use Paid Ads to Generate a Following AND Gather Data
Twitter Ads are slightly more expensive than Facebook Ads, but there’s no minimum ad spend and it’s easy to build ads around your target objective.
They’re also an effective way to infuse some engagement into your page, increase awareness, and capture audience insights that can help guide future strategies.
Here’s a quick look at the current offerings:
Promoted tweets are the in-feed ads that look like regular posts and can be used to increase reach, visibility, and website traffic.
Followers campaigns are designed to help users build their audience and increase brand visibility by appearing as a “promoted account” in users’ “who to follow” section.
Followers campaigns are billed on a “cost-per-result” basis, which means you’ll only pay when your ad is working.
Twitter does recommend that marketers prepare to spend $2.50-$3.50 per each new follower, which means you’ll want to get really granular with your targeting.
Targeting options allow you to target audiences based on the conversations they’re having or reconnect with users who engaged with your content in the past.
Pre-roll ads offer another way to boost brand visibility, this time with video.
Twitter’s pre-roll campaigns are similar to the Google Display Network and some of the YouTube ad formats in that advertisers are matched with publishers with audiences overlap.
How to Curate Feeds on Twitter Using Lists
Twitter Lists are an underrated, yet incredibly useful tool that transforms a chaotic social media experience into a custom collection of curated lists, like this example that focuses exclusively on tech news.
Lists are an effective tool for keeping track of influencers you might like to work with.
Sure, you won’t find the Instagram models, YouTubers, and TikTok stars that rule the influencer game on Twitter.
But–if you’re looking for industry movers and shakers, B2B thought leaders, writers, and other influential folks, Twitter makes it easy to pitch your ideas to them directly.
Additionally, you can check out influencers’ public lists to see who they follow–be it competitors or other relevant accounts.
You can also look at other users’ Twitter Lists featuring a particular influencer or competitor by selecting “member of” from the top of their lists section:
You might also use lists to create small communities based around shared interests, like the example below from leanstartup.
Or, you might create a List of content recommendations–be it your own material or curated content.
Content curation feels like something of a “throwback” topic. It was a major part of the conversation circa 2014/15, and as of late no longer comes up much.
It’s worth noting that sharing other peoples’ content, when relevant, offers a couple of key advantages. First, Twitter moves at a rapid pace.
Even if you’re churning out content in advance, it’s hard to keep your editorial calendar stocked with top-shelf content.
By sharing your favorite finds with your followers, you’re still connecting them with something they might find valuable–which from a user perspective–who cares who wrote a particular e-book.
To create a list:
- Click “Lists” on your profile page
- Then “Create List”
- Enter a name and description
- Decide whether you’d like to make it Public or keep things Private
- Save your work
To add or remove accounts:
- Head over to another user’s account and click the person-shaped icon on their profile page
- Select either “add” or “remove from List”
- To add an account simply select a List and click to add a new user.
- To remove a user, uncheck the box next to the List you’d like to clean up
What Tools Can Be Used for Twitter Marketing?
When it comes to selecting your Twitter marketing tool stack, there’s no shortage of options.
If you’re after hashtag research tools, you might try any of the following:
I provide a full list in a recent post on Twitter hashtags for more details.
As far as distribution goes, your best bet is going to be any one of the many social media management tools like SproutSocial, HootSuite, Buffer which make scheduling Twitter posts (along with Facebook, Instagram, and the others) in advance super easy.
That ability to plan ahead can help you strike the right balance between original and curated content.
The calendar view also makes it easy to space out repeat links. For example, you might take existing evergreen content (say, a long-form blog post or YouTube video) and turn it into countless Tweet-sized posts.
Here’s a look at SproutSocial’s visual calendar, which offers a zoomed-out view of your scheduled posts.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can store the evergreen assets you use on repeat in the platform’s built-in content library.
For keeping up with trends and engagement metrics, Twitter’s Trending Topics provides a basic overview of current trends and hot hashtags.
How can you track your Twitter marketing strategy performance?
Users can track campaign performance from directly inside Twitter’s analytics dashboard, which offers a ton of information for a free tool.
You can track metrics like:
- Top posts
- Top influencers
- Top mentions
- Best times to post
- Audience breakdown
You can also review campaign performance by keyword:
Or by audience interests:
The platform’s reporting tools provide detailed insights about your audience and key performance metrics, though for people running cross-channel social strategies, using an all-in-one social media platform stands to save you a lot of time.
In the end, I think that many of the challenges of Twitter marketing come from the fact that there’s just a lot happening on this one platform.
If you take the time to peel back the layers, you’ll find that Twitter offers some unique tools and insights with the potential to kick any social media plan up a few notches.