When you are an inbound marketer like I am, you sometimes catch yourself thinking in "Tweets".
Hannah and I are huge Downton Abbey fans. More than once I catch myself watching Lady Rose pitching yet another idea to Lord Grantham using helpful information tidbits here and there (perfect landing page building) to sell her idea. And then she says this great line and you think - oh, that is tweet-worthy!
Your Twitter audience would get it, they would find it funny and retweet worthy, it's timely and relevant. Oh, and also you can use a #hashtag that's currently trending on Twitter.
But then... crickets. The huge response you had hoped for falls flat... you get a couple of retweets or favorites, but that is it.
Don't Shout Your Tweet In The Dark - Turn On The Lights
Have you ever wondered why some tweets perform better than others?
Yeah, we thought so.
So here is a compilation of a bunch of research we did to how you can get the most for your Tweets.
Depending on how many accounts you follow on Twitter, your stream can sometimes update faster than you can read it. That is especially true if you are following a trending #hashtag. Timing and luck play a big part in your Tweet being seen, but there are several statistically proven ways to catch a reader's eye when they are scrolling through.
So here are some best practices to stand out in the never ending scroll of Twitter.
Just Tweeting Is Not Enough Anymore
Twitter has 284 million active monthly users that generate 1 billion Tweets every 2 days with 78% accessing it via mobile. That's 1 tweet for every person on Earth every two weeks. It's easy to get lost in that planet of Tweets.
Live tweeting has become common practice for all forms of media now, like the nightly news reading or showing your tweets. Shows like American Idol and Masterchef create #hashtags and flash them on the screen at the appropriate time for you to interact.
Or made-for-TV-movies that wouldn't have even had a cult following suddenly become almost mainstream popular, like Sharknado. Getting your #hashtag to trend live while your show is on can spike those ratings faster than an extra sweet quadruple espresso from the Coffee Bean can spike your blood sugar/caffeine levels.
57% Have Discovered A New SMB On Twitter
Twitter is not just about being interactive with your TV, 57% of users discovered a small or medium-sized business (SMB) on Twitter: 35% via a Tweet in a #hashtag conversation and 35% via a friend's @reply.
9 out of 10 users have engaged in a conversation with or about an SMB on Twitter. That means 334 million users are talking about SMB's, not only huge brands like Oreo and Doritos. An SMB not using Twitter is missing out on a huge market of people.
Tip #1: The Shorter The Better
Sure, 140 characters already isn't much, but Tweets with 120 characters or less have a +8% engagement. Even better is to use less than 100 characters to boost your engagement by +18%.
So how do you say something worthwhile in under 100 characters? Curate with a relevant #hashtag, picture, video, or call to actions.
Also, not everything needs to go into one Tweet.
Making your Tweets into a conversation lets you spread them out, so there is a better chance of users seeing it. Even though user's Tweets are scrolling by fast, it is easy to pick up on a Twitter conversation by clicking onto your profile.
Tip #2: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
That phrase might have been first termed 100 years ago, but it is as true today as it was then. (Maybe even more so)
Promoted Tweets with rich media have +313% engagement & +52% retweets @organicseopress #tweetsmarter http://ctt.ec/l78aB+
313% not enough for you?
Add a Vine video (super short looped video sequence) to get +256% engagement or multiple pictures to get +173% then having one solitary picture.
Pro tip from Twitter's own Russ and Anne: Don't interrupt users from Twitter by taking them to Instagram or elsewhere. Keep the media in Twitter. It is like Outbound vs. Inbound Marketing, don't disrupt but be helpful. If they can see your media while scrolling on Twitter, you have a better chance of a retweet or favorite.
Tip #3: Put A Call To Action In Your Tweet
Getting someone to read and enjoy your Tweet is only half the battle.
If they truly enjoyed what they saw, give them an opportunity to turn into a lead.
Using Twitter Cards let's a very interested user easily click-through to "Book Now", "Subscribe Now" or "Read More" - this will give you +42% engagement and it also makes it easy for users to take your desired action and can give you accurate information.
Do you have a giveaway to increase your email database?
Use a Twitter lead generation card where all the user has to do is click "Enter Now" and you get their email from Twitter. No fake emails (even if it is a fake Twitter account) or mistyped emails.
Easy for the user and you. Double Win.
Tip #4: Be Responsive And Start Conversations
The more active you are on Twitter, the more you will be noticed. Let's say you run a pizza shop and someone tweeted "Your #pizza tastes like a frozen pizza" would you leave it alone and hope it gets swallowed up by a billion tweets in the next 2 days?
Let's not forget the release of Susan Boyle's album with the #hashtag #SusanAlbumParty or **aehm** #SusAnalBumParty. It might not have trended for long but it still has consistent Twitter activity for 2 years, it is clearly not forgotten.
While the old adage "There is no such thing as bad publicity" or "Any publicity is good publicity" might not be entirely true, it does hold a lot of merits. Responding to a negative tweet, which gives it more attention, makes the disgruntled tweeter 2x more likely to come back to your store.
Imagine that, turning someone angry enough to badmouth your brand on social media back into a customer, just by replying to them and trying to be helpful. It also shows to other users that you are responsive to the bad and not only good, and maybe you will learn from your mistakes. You're engaging and having a conversation with them, not just shouting at them (or in the dark).
Tip #5: Really Think Your Tweet Is Good? Promote It!
Sure you would love your Tweet to go viral on its own merit right.
But, most likely it won't go viral at all, but you can increase your chances of getting leads from it by promoting it.
Sure it is going to cost you some money, maybe even more than you were willing to spend, but how much is a lead worth to you?
If you took all of the above advice, kept it short, added media, used relevant #hashtags, call to action on a Twitter card, then promote it to get the most out of all your hard work.
Just make sure that you are targeting your buyer persona when you promote. One way to do this is to target users similar to your followers. Another is to really research who your buyer persona is following, and target their followers.
And if you do everything right, you might get an email from Twitter like this.
Pro Tip: If you are a B2B business, look at who your customers are following on Twitter. Find the ones that don't follow a lot of accounts (less than 100, about 20 is even better). That way you can find the accounts that a majority of your persona follow and promote to them.
Having trouble getting your ads started, contact @TwitterSmallBiz, they will be more than willing to help.
How do you use Twitter? Do you promote your #Tweets?
#TwitterTalk with Russ Laraway @russlaraway and Anne Mercogliano @akmercog at #Inbound14