When it comes to social media marketing businesses often opt for Facebook as their preferred platform. It boasts a significant market share in terms of user numbers and has sophisticated segmentation tools, making it very attractive to marketers. However, marketing with Twitter can give businesses speed and agility with their marketing efforts that other platforms may lack.

As a social media platform, marketing with Twitter allows businesses to:

  • Quickly share information and content
  • Drive engagement for promotions
  • Easily interact with customers and followers
  • Network with industry leaders
  • Improve brand recognition
  • Manage the brand’s reputation

That’s quite a diverse list of uses for any business. More importantly, it’s a list of uses that makes Twitter a very attractive marketing tool.

With this in mind, if you’re looking to start marketing with Twitter, this essential guide will provide you with all you need to know.

Get a Handle on Your Twitter Marketing

To begin with, we’ll go through some of the basics. Before you begin marketing with Twitter it’s important to carefully set up your profile. And that all begins with choosing your handle.

For the uninitiated, a Twitter handle is effectively your username. It’s important to take time and consideration when choosing a handle for your business.

Make sure your handle is easily recognisable, easy-to-remember, and short enough to allow people to easily tag you without using up too much of their character count in a tweet. Likewise, you should consider keeping your usernames consistent across all your company’s social media profiles. Otherwise, you run the risk of confusing followers or making your various profile pages hard to find, with usernames that differ from your brand or company name. In short, keep it simple, relevant and identifiable (ours is @socialink_co).

Of course, you may have to get a little creative with your Twitter handle if your first choice is already taken, but follow the advice above and you’ll be off to a strong start.

Marketing with Twitter Begins with Your Bio

The importance of a good social media bio cannot be understated. It’s your chance to make an instant impression on anyone viewing your profile. Thus, it’s where your marketing with Twitter begins.

Your Twitter bio should provide a summary of useful information about your business, along with links to your website or other profiles. However, with Twitter, there’s a caveat. You have a maximum of 150 characters to use in your bio. That’s the shortest character count for any of the major social media platforms, which means you need to get creative. Luckily, we have some creative bio examples to give you inspiration.

Remember, marketing is all about attracting prospects to your brand by offering value and solutions. Start by showcasing this in your Twitter bio.

The Importance of Profile Imagery for Branding and Marketing

Wendy’s profile has branded imagery and colour settings.

With your Twitter handle and bio done, your next step is branding. Keeping your branding and imagery consistent across all your channels is imperative. Once again, it’s about mirroring the style of imagery and brand logo used on all your external communications to facilitate brand recognition and recall. Don’t confuse your customers.

Make sure your logo features prominently in your Twitter profile pic. The recommended dimensions for profile photos are 400×400 pixels. Similarly, your header image should reflect your business too. This could be anything from artwork from your website for familiarity and consistency, a play on your logo or brand colour scheme, or even assets from a marketing campaign or offer.

Your header image is yet another chance to get creative and kickstart your marketing with Twitter. It’s a blank canvas that can be used as a visual lure for prospects, so consider it carefully. How can you start the marketing process with your brand’s header image?

Whatever graphic you decide to use, make sure your artwork is optimised for the recommended header image dimensions of 1500×500 pixels.

Signpost Your Marketing Efforts with Hashtags

Now that your profile is good to go, your next step is to consider your social media strategy. It’s important to know the purpose of your presence on each social media platform. More importantly, you’ll need to identify your goals for each specific channel. A social media audit is a good start. It will form the basis of your social media strategy and guide your efforts when you begin marketing with Twitter.

A key consideration when marketing with Twitter is your use of hashtags. Hashtags are effectively social media search terms that enable users to join in conversations and track a specific trend or topic. You can create a hashtag for your brand or as part of a marketing campaign, or you can research and use industry-specific or trending hashtags in your tweets to increase their visibility and engagement.

However, unlike Instagram, try to keep hashtagging to a minimum on Twitter. Users don’t appreciate hashtag overload on this network. In fact, the optimum number of hashtags to use in a tweet is two. So consider them wisely and use them judiciously. And remember, only use hashtags that add context to your tweets. They act as signposts for your content, so they need to be relevant to users searching for information under that hashtag.

Images, Video and GIFs

Engagement is essential to the success of any marketing efforts. That’s why it’s a key metric. So, how do you increase engagement with your tweets?

It’s no secret that we’re highly visually responsive animals. Therefore, the best way to increase engagement when marketing with Twitter is to regular incorporate visuals in your tweets. Consider including graphics or photos that are relevant to the content of your post or your marketing campaign and amplify meaning for users. These could include useful infographics, offers, photos of your team or products, or an image related to a particular blog post. Whatever your choice of graphic, it should be compelling, relevant to the content of your tweet, and high-quality.

Similarly, you may want to incorporate GIFs into your tweets. These are highly entertaining, informal and fun, showing a more personal and irreverent side to your brand. GIFs are best used when replying to comments as they are engaging and can represent an emotional response in a humorous way.

However, the best way to increase engagement with your Twitter marketing is to use video. You can upload existing videos to your tweets (the maximum video length is 2 minutes and 20 seconds) or you can go live.

Read our 30 Days of Live Streaming case study and find out why going live is good for your business.

Alternatively, you may be interested in finding out why, how and when to use social media video for optimal engagement (including links to free stock video resources to get you started).

Finally, another key point when it comes to using video in your Twitter marketing is to make sure it’s branded. Don’t forget your logo and other relevant contact info. Make the most of every marketing opportunity you get to increase brand recognition and engagement.

Twitter Marketing with Polls, Emojis and Moments

Are you ready to take your marketing with Twitter to the next level? Other ways to use the platform to generate engagement and start conversations is to explore its poll feature. It’s an easy way to generate more activity on your profile.

A Twitter poll can have up to four options, each up to 25 characters in length. Use the body of your tweet to pose your poll question (you can use up to the maximum character count for this so consider incorporating hashtags too). Once ready, you can set the duration of your poll to anything between 5 minutes and 1 week (the default duration is 1 day).

Intriguing questions and creative answer choices can prove highly engaging. Furthermore, polls can also be used to conduct market research and gather feedback, so it’s definitely a marketing tool worth exploring on Twitter.

Similarly, emojis are a fun way to engage users on Twitter. These can, of course, be incorporated into a poll as fun answer options to questions seeking an emotional response, or they can just be used to amplify the meaning of your tweets. Why use words when an emoji can neatly sum up a response or feeling in only two characters? Yes, at the equivalent of two characters, emojis are an economical way of adding meaning to tweets. Just beware of the meaning behind each emoji.

Check trending moments to see how they look ‘in action’.

Lastly, when putting together your Twitter marketing strategy, you may also wish to consider creating Moments. Similar to the stories function on Facebook and Instagram, Twitter Moments allow users to combine multiple tweets into slideshow-like stories. This could be a useful way of showcasing your brand at an event or even collating media coverage of your brand. The Moments function is a creative way to tell your Twitter story.

Add Value through Content Curation

So far, we’ve covered ideas for creating original marketing content on Twitter. However, you shouldn’t feel pressured to continually create and original insight. The content you share on social media doesn’t have to be entirely your own. That’s where you can add extra value. Curated content from industry leaders or reputable sites and accounts can add another dimension to your tweets and show that you are knowledgable and active within your sector.

Follow interesting accounts and influencers within your industry. If they offer some insight that catches your eye, retweet it with a comment. Share your opinion and invite others to respond. Alternatively, if someone you follow posts a link to a blog or shares a relevant infographic, create your own tweet to linking to their content and tag them, explaining why you found it insightful and why others should check it out. All this acts as a conversation starter. Also, you never know, you might get a mention or follow in return and expand your professional network as a result.

Marketing with Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are a great way to engage with people and showcase your industry expertise. A quick online search will yield a whole host of different Twitter chats and their associated hashtags. Find a few in your industry and start talking to people. You’ll soon find that both your follower numbers and engagement rate increase.

You may also be interested in finding out how to get more followers on Twitter.

The beauty of Twitter chats is that people who take part in them enjoy actively engaging on Twitter anyway. It’s why they’re there. So you have a captive active audience to engage with. An audience that’ll reply to your tweets, comment on and retweet your content.

A word of warning though: don’t come across all salesy in Twitter chats. This is not the forum for direct sales. It’s a space for conversations, shared insight and relationship-building.

Advanced Planning for Effective Twitter Marketing

When it comes to marketing with Twitter, or marketing in general, a bad plan is better than no plan. Planning your content in advance allows you the time to carefully prepare and schedule content and campaigns to coincide with specific dates and events during the year. With this in mind, you can leverage holiday or industry-specific hashtags to gain more exposure and increase engagement.

A social media calendar is a useful tool to help with advanced planning. It gives you the chance to prepare posts and build up to specific celebrations and events several weeks before they occur. You can download our social media calendar template to get an idea of the upcoming holiday hashtags you can use in your Twitter marketing.

Once you have determined your overall strategy on Twitter, you can fill your social media marketing plan with relevant content and specific hashtags well in advance, leaving you more time to engage with users directly.

Twitter is a Conversation: Engage

By now you’ll have realised that marketing with Twitter is about starting and engaging in regular conversations with users. Therefore, your tone of voice on Twitter needs to be conversational and approachable.

Consider the following conversation-starting tips:

  • Tweet questions and polls inviting people to respond or share an opinion
  • Reply to other users and engage them in conversation (around 30-40% of your Tweets should be made up of replies to other users)
  • Add insight, opinions and questions when Tweeting links to curated content to help spark discussion

But, always remember this is your corporate account. Make sure conversations and comments remain well within your brand and tone of voice guidelines. Keep them professional and avoid getting personal (unless that’s your brand’s style).

Monitor and Listen to the Chatter

With all this activity on Twitter, a point often overlooked is the need to monitor and listen to what is being said about your brand. You won’t always get an @ mention, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t talking about you. And it’s important to listen out in order to correct any misconceptions or respond to any comments.

Additionally, you can monitor and listen to what people are saying about your competitors. This can help inform your marketing with Twitter, allowing you to create responsive campaigns that give you the edge over others in your sector.

In summary, some of the things you should listen out for on Twitter are:

  • Your brand’s name (including misspellings)
  • Your brand’s product names (including misspellings)
  • Competitors (again, including misspellings)
  • Industry buzzwords
  • Brand slogans
  • Your CEO’s name, as well as those of other public figures within your company (and misspellings)
  • Campaign names or keywords

Scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Twitter’s own TweetDeck allow you to set up streams to monitor specific hashtags and keywords. Make sure you do. Otherwise, you might want to find help with your social media marketing.

Streamline Twitter with Lists

Another useful Twitter feature is the ability to create lists. Again, this is an underused tool that can be highly effective when you’re marketing with Twitter.

Lists are essentially groups of Twitter users you follow and monitor. You can collate users together under different categories, for example, Industry Experts, Interesting Brands, Competitors, etc. When you open up a list, you’ll only be able to see tweets by people on that list. So it’s a great way to streamline your timeline, by giving it a specific focus. If nothing else, it’s another form of social listening you can add to your repertoire in order to improve and refine your marketing efforts.

Promoted Tweets

So far we’ve explored a whole range of free or organic Twitter marketing strategies. And with good reason. Paid or promoted content should be your last option because there are so many different tools, features and approaches available for free. However, promoted tweets may be an avenue you wish to pursue down the line.

Effectively, a promoted tweet can target a specific audience. This means your tweet will appear in the Twitter streams or Twitter search results of the user types you specify in the promotion campaign. As a result, this is a handy little option if you’re looking to direct Twitter traffic to a specific page on your website. It all depends on how long you’re looking to run the promotion and how much you’re willing to spend on it.

Marketing with Twitter in Summary

As shown above, marketing with Twitter is a highly versatile option and one worth considering as part of your overall social media marketing strategy. If this all seems a bit much, contact us. We’ll be happy to talk you through your social media marketing strategy and identify ways you can implement some of these Twitter marketing activities to increase engagement and drive traffic to your website.

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Gareth Alvarez
Gareth Alvarez

Gareth, Social INK’s Head of Content (sometimes playfully referred to as ‘spellcheck’), just adores words. He’s written copy for ads, websites, and blogged extensively. Content marketing is his bag. He loves getting creative with his writing.