With over 313 million monthly active users and a young demographic to boot, Twitter is a great platform for most marketers.

Starting up a Twitter page for your company is easy. Anyone can come up with a Twitter handle, upload their profile photo, fill out their bio and send out their first Tweet. What’s not so simple, however, is growing your Twitter account and turning it into an actual tool that generates leads and builds up your brand.

Growing a real following on Twitter takes more than sending out Tweets whenever your company has a product being released or an upcoming event. It’s about engaging with your target audience and interacting with them. Successful Twitter marketing is powerful.

What Makes Twitter Different

Your approach to every social media site should be different. For example, your Twitter marketing strategy isn’t going to be the same as your Pinterest or Facebook marketing plan.

Some of the main ways businesses use Twitter include:

• Sharing information and content
• Driving engagement for promotional activities
• Interacting with consumers
• Networking
• Branding
• Reputation management

As you can see, most of these activities have to do with interactions. It’s not necessarily just about broadcasting your content like Instagram or Pinterest, for example. Twitter thrives off communication. Keep that in mind as we continue with the rest of this guide and get into the nitty gritty of Twitter marketing.

Twitter Chats: The Untapped Market

For years, marketers were asking the question “how do I get more Twitter followers?” But the question you should really be asking is “how do I get more active Twitter followers?” The answer is Twitter chats. The reason why Twitter chats are so effective is because the people who participate in them are the ones that enjoy actively engaging on the social network. They don’t use it just to distribute and consume content. Instead, these people use Twitter for the purpose it was meant for, which is to interact.

Plan Ahead
By late September or early October, you should already have special Tweets and content ready to go for Halloween. By the time November rolls around, you should have some Thanksgiving-themed Tweets ready to go. Planning ahead for holidays and special events will give you time to craft high quality content to take advantage of trending hashtags and topics. For instance, we know hashtags like #Halloween, #Thanksgiving and #Christmas will be trending as it gets closer to those dates.

Make Tweets Conversational
The way that a lot of brands Tweet is very one dimensional. Their Tweets are essentially just broadcasts, which is not what Twitter is about as we mentioned earlier. Your Tweets shouldn’t consist of only headlines with a link, inspirational quotes or funny statements. They should open the door for communication and conversation.
Here are some tips to help you out.
• Tweet out questions
• Make at least 30-40% of your Tweets replies to other people
• When Tweeting links, add a line of your own insight to spark conversation.
• Tweet directly to your audience. Instead of “Blog Post Title, [link]”, try “What do you all think of this new post? Blog Post Title, [link]”

Create a Tweeting Strategy/Schedule
Similar to planning ahead, you should also have a set posting schedule for your Twitter account. Your Tweeting schedule should detail what and when you plan on Tweeting. Your strategy should outline things like when you’re going to Tweet links to your new posts and other updates.
It’s a good idea to include this as a part of your overall content strategy, particularly if you publish content across several different platforms like a blog, YouTube, guest posts and media coverage. A benefit of having a set Tweeting strategy is you can avoid mistakes like only Tweeting out links to your new blog posts once. In general, this is one of the biggest mistakes brands tend to make on social media, but it’s particularly bad on Twitter.

Twitter Video
Twitter might not be the first platform you think of when it comes to video marketing, but it’s not something you should overlook. Twitter gives you a couple of options for using videos.
First, you can use Twitter’s native video feature. This allows you to record videos up to 140 seconds long and upload them directly to your Twitter stream.
A second option is to use Periscope, which is a live streaming app owned by Twitter. Periscope integrates into the Twitter so your live streams show up in your followers’ Twitter feeds. Once the stream is over, the recording is still available for people to watch.
Live video from Twitter’s content partners reached over 31 million views in 2016, so it’s safe to say your followers are likely interested in consuming your videos.

Set Goals & Milestones
An astounding 41% of companies have no idea whether or not their social media efforts areworking or not. A big reason behind that number is companies aren’t keeping track of their activity, and haven’t set any type of objectives for what they want to achieve on Twitter.
Instead, businesses just publish content and hope that something happens to improve their brand. The publish and pray approach simply won’t cut it. First, you’ll want to set some objectives and goals on Twitter:
• Build an engaged following
• Monitor and improve your brand’s reputation
• Respond to customer complaints quicker
• Generate leads
• Get more traffic to your website
• Network with bloggers and influencers
Then, you’ll establish accomplishments that tie in with those objectives:
• Increase @mentions and Retweets by 15%
• Keep response rate above 90%
• Maintain a response time of under 10 minutes
• Generate at least 20 leads from Twitter
• Improve referral traffic from Twitter by 30%
• Add at least 100 new contacts from Twitter
Of course, all of your goals should include a specified deadline. This could be weekly, monthly, quarterly or whatever works best for your industry. Use a social media management tool like Sprout Social and a website analytics tool like Google Analytics to measure your activity and track your goal’s progress.

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