I shouldn’t have to convince you by now that you have to be on Twitter. The social media home of the 140-character blast has 310 million active users every month, sending 500 million tweets per day, or 6,000 tweets every second. Nearly one-third of all social media users in the U.S. are on Twitter.
And aside from just being a great channel for reaching a huge and active audience, Twitter has proven to be an incredibly powerful tool for marketing purposes. 80% of Twitter users have mentioned a brand in a tweet. The average Twitter user follows five businesses. And more than 50% of Twitter users say that they’ve taken action after seeing a brand mentioned in Tweets.
But like with so many marketing tools, there’s a right way to use them, and a wrong way. Here are some of the biggest no-no’s and yes-yes’s for using Twitter:
DO: Make Use of Profile and Header Pic Space
If you’re leaving your profile picture and header image blank, frankly, you’re already blowing it. Not only does this look unprofessional and amateurish, you are missing a huge opportunity with some of the most prime real estate in all of social media. The main profile pic on your Twitter account is a no-brainer place to put your company logo. That way, whatever you do on Twitter you know will be associated with your brand, and people will easily be able to recognize you.
The header image is a space where you can get a little bit more creative. This is the area to reflect and communicate something about your brand. It should be evocative of a tone that is in-line with your company’s tone, and that also meshes with other company designs and branding. It’s also a great space to do something a little bit fun, or to promote a current campaign. Just DON’T leave it blank.
DON’T: Go Follow-Crazy
Twitter is a community, and you should treat it like one. Following people and influencers and other brands is great, but don’t go crazy with it and follow everybody in sight – that just makes you look like a weirdo. Instead, follow people who you feel like are actually in your community. Follow accounts that are tweeting information you think is insightful or interesting. Follow users who are you are actually going to connect and interact with.
DO: Interact With People
Twitter is a community, and you should—oh right. Anyway, the Twitter-sphere doesn’t have much love or tolerance for those who take, take, take. You’ve got to give love if you want to get love. Favorite and re-tweet or quote tweets that you like. When people tweet at you, tweet back. Ask questions. Answer other people’s questions. If you make people feel like you are engaged with them and part of their community, they will reward you for it.
DO: Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a very useful and powerful tool. If you are mystified by them, check out a few on Twitter either through the search box or through the trending topics on the left-hand side of the screen. Basically, hashtags are categories or topics, and by including a hashtag in your tweet, you are coding that tweet with that topic, making it show up in any searches on that topic.
DON’T: Overuse Hashtags
It is so very easy to get carried away with hashtags. Once you’ve gotten the hang of them, you may feel the inclination to include a ton of them so that your tweets show up under a lot of different searches. Resist this urge, as it is super duper annoying, and will 100% backfire on you. If you use more than one or two hashtags on a tweet (SOMETIMES you can get away with a few more), people will either just ignore the tweet, or possibly un-follow you. While we’re at it, don’t try to jump onto every single trending topic. If you see one that you think is fun or interesting or applies to your brand, by all means throw your hat into the ring, but save these occasions for the times when it is going to count, or, again, you are going to annoy people.
This is one of the most important aspects of Twitter. You can’t just re-tweet and quote others, and you can’t just pop in every once in a while to promote a product. You actually have to be active in tweeting. Go for once or twice a day for starters, then increase that as you feel more comfortable.
Hopefully these Do’s and Don’ts will help you start to zero in on a Twitter strategy that works for you, and you’ll start to see an increase in followers, and hopefully, click-throughs that translate to a boost for the rest of your business. Need help! Contact 10twelve today.