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Twitter Marketing Tips: Everything You Need to Know

Your business should be on Twitter for one of two reasons (or both). You believe lots of your customers use the channel and:

  1. You want to improve your customer support experience.
  2. You have content that’s newsworthy and want to share it.

That’s it. That’s the tweet!

Seriously, consider being selectively social, which is a digital marketing trend for the year ahead. You didn’t join every club as a kid – just the ones you were interested in. By picking a few social networks to join, you’ll find the right friends and build real relationships.

And, before you invest in paid Twitter advertising, we need to ensure your organic presence is kicking butt, because it will provide the social proof (lots of Followers trust these people!) your ads will need to succeed. So that’s what we’ll cover today.

Why should you care about Twitter for marketing?

Twitter has 145 million monetizable daily active users, defined as people who can see ads. (Get the book on Twitter’s history here and support my affiliating.) That’s a big audience your company can tap into. Furthermore:

  • 30 million of Twitter’s daily users are American.
  • 92% of the U.S. population is familiar with Twitter (even if they don’t use it).
  • Twitter is key for people whose jobs involve thinking and communication such as politicians, celebrities, journalists, and comedians, who all use it as a part of their work.
  • 44% of U.S. 18- to 24-year-olds use Twitter.

At the end of the day, remember its users’ intent: they’re there to get news. Twitter is a news site, and your content should be conscious of that.

92% of the US population is familiar with Twitter (even if they don’t use it). Click To Tweet

Quick navigation table of contents:

  1. How to use Twitter for customer marketing
  2. How to Twitter to get blog visitors
  3. New Twitter marketing tips
  4. How to create the best tweet
  5. Twitter shortcuts
  6. The best Twitter marketing tools
  7. What to learn next

Here are some of the best ways to use Twitter as a marketing tool:

First up, let’s take a look at how to use Twitter marketing to provide the best customer support experience.

See Twitter marketing tips for a superior customer support experience:

1. Create lists of customers

Create lists of your customers. You’d probably want to make most of these private, except for the influencers one:

  • By product: You can create these by product they have purchased, so that you can see in aggregate what those folks are thinking about, or complaining about. You can even Select All and export their tweets into a .csv to identify specific words that get used a lot, and convey that to your copywriters to use in product-related copy. (I’d suggest making it private.)
  • By customer value: You can create a list with your highest value customers, and make it a point to proactively engage with them by retweeting them, or replying to their tweets. (I’d suggest making it private.)
  • By previous customer support interaction: You can create a list of people who frequently write into CS, and proactively ask them how things are going, as well as follow up with them 24 hours after you’ve lasted answered their most recent email. (I’d suggest making it private.)
  • By influencer value: Keep a list of customers with the highest followers, and proactively retweet them to help bolster their profiles, and in return they might show the love back.

2. Sign your tweets

People want to do business with real people. Have each customer support person initial their tweets to keep the interaction personal.

3. Speak directly to specific customers

Just @ the account and do not include a period in front of their username. Not using period indicates a private conversation with you and the other handle. But, be aware, Twitter pushes a “conversation” tweet (where you @ a specific account at the very beginning of the tweet) to your feed if you follow both the tweeter and the account mentioned, so other people can potentially still see the tweet.

4. Have a 1-minute response time.

At a time when you can have a meal delivered to you in minutes no matter your location, and two-day shipping reigns, response time is of the essence.

  • Mobile notifications someone tweeted: You can use Twitter’s instant mobile notifications to set alerted when someone tweets at your account, replies, follows you for the first time, and so much more.
  • Web notifications: Or get instant notifications on web, when someone tweets. You can use this to track your longest customers, or your most high-profile customers. Or to track bloggers that cover similar content beats to you.
  • Notifications about searches: You could also chose to get notifications from Twitter search mentions using this Zapier flow.

However, you can no longer automatically follow your new followers. That means if you have someone manually following back new folks within minutes, you’ll really delight your customers!

5. Proactively share product information

Share mistakes! Be sure to let customers know about down time or that certain items are out-of-stock. Keep them informed of when it will back, and what they can do in the meantime.

6. Give real-time updates

If your product isn’t working as it should, keep everyone updated every 1-5 minutes with how you’re trying to fix it, and how you can help them in the meantime.

7. Connect with icebreakers

Icebreakers have always been a fun way to connect with people you don’t know. For example, “What was your first job?” or “What animal are you feeling like today?” Bring that spontaneity online. Ask similar questions to engage your audience, and make your interaction memorable.

8. A/B test new copy

Test new product or feature names, or which benefits to highlight about something. You can tweet out two different options, within an hour of each other, and quickly find out which got more engagement. Buffer has the step-by-step instructions to do this.

9. Put Twitter buttons in places people look for support

Embed Twitter buttons in your help center content. Put a link to your Twitter profile on your support website page to allow visitors follow you easily. And, put links to your Twitter profile in your support team’s email signature files.

10. Host a Twitter chat

Twitter chats bring people together to talk about a topic they’re passionate about, during a condensed set period of time – such as Sundays at 7PM-8PM. Sometimes they feature a special guest each week. Some of the best I’ve seen are #scriptchat and #kidlitchat. Find a topic your customers tweet about a lot (get back into that .csv we exported!), that’s ideally somewhat related to your product, and set up a chat session. Check to be sure your idea isn’t already covered on hashtagify.me, and then get your chat setup with these steps. Be sure to send out an email reminder or a calendar invite. And use a tool such as Tchat to keep an eye on the chat while it’s live.

11. Learn more about your followers

Automate a DM message when new accounts follow you. Thank them for joining you, and let them know the other best customer support resources you have. Plus, ask them what they want to learn about or how they found you. That way you’re learning more about the content to provide to be helpful, and personalizing their experience.

12. Share UGC & answer customer questions

Customer marketing is all about your customers. Showcase their work, tweets, and maybe even funny or happy emails if you get their permission. Provide informational tweet string series where you explain how you solved one customers’ problem step by step, in case it helps others.

13. Provide support in multiple languages

If you have customers worldwide, ensure you have native speakers tweeting thoughts, ideas, and help, as well. Test this with your largest international market first, and make sure it’s worth the investment. At the very least, use Google Translate to try to proactively provide content everyone can enjoy. (Plus, use emojis because everyone can understand them.)

Next up, let’s take a look at how to use Twitter marketing to distribute your awesome content far and wide.

See Twitter marketing tips for a getting more content readers:

14. Stalk competitor’s lists

Subscribe to other competitor’s lists and engage those people.

15. Be transparent about your account

Explain the best ways to reach real people fast (such as the customer support email address) and that the purpose of your account is to help your customers never miss a great story, all in your bio. I’d even suggest being transparent that your content is automated, if it is, by explaining why that benefits your customer (Twitter moves fast and they might miss things. You’re doing them a favor!).

16. Engage with like-minds

Mention other people who might share your content further. @ other bloggers you feature in your content (quote them, link to them, etc) and ask them if they’d be willing to share your post. Also be on the look out for authors who write about similar topics, and small businesses who reach a similar audience as you – as they might be looking for good content to engage their followers with. Share similar brands’ content. Spread #FollowFriday love to brands with similar audiences that you don’t compete with, or #ShoutOutSunday to highlight a great new piece by a blogger.

17. If you’re publishing business content sync with your LinkedIn account

Connect your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to save time publishing new posts across platforms. Just install the LinkedIn “Tweets” application on your LinkedIn profile. This simple app even helps you create a Twitter list of your LinkedIn connections.

18. Use the Goldilocks amount of hashtags

Tweets that have hashtags get double the engagement of those that don’t. But tweets with more than two hashtags receive a drop in engagement by 17%. In fact, Twitter recommends only two: “We recommend using no more than 2 hashtags per Tweet as best practice, but you may use as many hashtags in a Tweet as you like.”

19. Share content multiple times

Content flies by in timelines. Your followers are going to miss content. So, it’s OK (and even helpful!) to tweet the same thing multiple times at most popular times of day throughout the week. A frequency of up to 3 tweets a day is used by most brands to drive engagement.

20. Tweet at the right times & days

Posting between 12 PM and 6 PM is the best time to post on weekdays, which are the best days for B2B companies. B2c companies are better off posting on weekends. According to the American Marketing Association as of June 2019:

  • Best times to post on Twitter: Wednesday at 9 a.m. and Friday at 9 a.m.
  • Best days: Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to post on Twitter.
  • Most consistent engagement: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Worst day: Saturday gets the least engagement.
  • Lowest engagement: Occurs every day from 10 p.m–4 a.m.

21. Break the news!

Set up Google Alerts for terms related to your company and your company name and its variations. Plus set up alerts for competitors. This way you get news relevant to your audience faster, and can be one of the first to share it on Twitter, providing even more value to your audience.

22. Include Twitter buttons where your content lives

Embed Twitter buttons within your blog articles to have visitors tweet them easily. Put a link to your Twitter profile on your website to have visitors follow you easily. Include a link to your Twitter profile in your content email newsletter.

23. Do an influencer takeover

Invite someone else, such as a blogger in your sphere, to do a takeover of your account for a short amount of time, such as an early evening hour during the week. Encourage readers to send in questions ahead of time, as well as ask live questions.

24. Use embeddable tweets in your content

Embed tweetable quotes in blog posts and tweet them out. Create a section of tweetable takeaways within each article, and ask readers to to tweet the article to their friends. Beyond takeaways, data makes a good embeddable tweet, and anything that causes emotion such as shocking news.

25. Front-load keywords in your tweets

If you’ve optimized your articles for SEO keywords, use those keywords at the front of your tweet. That will immediately connect your content, to what the user is searching for, so they’ll be more likely to engage with it.

And, get a few tips for both Twitter marketing use-cases:

26. Use search tricks to find the right people to follow or talk to

  • Find real people talking: Add a “http” to your search for a keyword, username, or your company’s name. The quotation marks tells Twitter to search for that exact keyword phrase. And the “http” tells Twitter to only return search results that don’t contain links. You could also use ‘-filter:links’. Both make it more likely you’ll see conversations from real people, rather than automated content.
  • Find people sharing your content: You can also do that same thing and search Twitter using a competitor’s blog post URL. Or search for your own blog post URL to find all the people sharing your content, and thank them.
  • Find people physically close by: You can search Twitter for conversations happening near you. This works well for brick & mortar shops, as well as for when your company is hosting events. Just go to Twitter’s search and check “Near you” on the right. You can also use tools such as Follower Wonk to find industry people in your region.
  • See all results: Either way, ensure you’re seeing all results by clicking on All at the top of the page, versus just seeing the Top results.
  • Find new leads: Track new leads by doing username searches to track mentions. Just add ‘to:’ (see what other accounts are saying to the person you’re searching) before a username. For example search to:@theirhandle search term to see what the user is talking about related to your company.
  • Get advanced: You can also just use Twitter’s Advanced Search option to get very specific about what you want to see. This way you can find people looking for the exact thing you’re offering, engage with them one on one.
  • Save searches: You can also save up to 25 searches per account, which is helpful for tracking your brand names, competitors, or readers sharing your posts.

27. Master etiquette

When re-tweeting use quote function to add context and hashtags. And because sharing is caring, when tagging someone in the comments, share the original. That way they’re sure to see exactly what you’re referencing without having to dig through a long chain and guess.

28. Bring novelty to your profile

Encourage people to come back and check out your full profile and all your content regularly by updating your header image weekly. You could include a different offer, a funny cartoon, or the the latest featured customer and their testimonial. But remember, your header image is your billboard on the fast-moving Twitter highway. The classic rule for billboards is to not use more than six words, in order to ensure people remember what you said.

29. Check twice for spelling mistakes!

How bizarre that a tweet is so fleeting in your feed, but so permanent! You can’t edit a tweet now, and you probably won’t be able to for a long time.

30. Get verified

The blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. That will help build trust with your brand. The thing is, Twitter’s verified account program is currently on hold, and they are not accepting any new requests at this time. Bookmark that page, and check back frequently.

31. Create your Moments

No for real! Create your own section of Moments, by stitching together multiple tweets into slideshow-like stories for your followers to view on your profile. Basically Moments are a more dynamic way to tell your brand story. For customer marketing, share products customers were excited about, and excited customers delighted by your support. For content, share your most popular posts. Access Moments through the Moments tab, your profile page, or through a Tweet detail. To get started all you need is a title, description, Tweets, and a selected cover image. Here’s how to do it!

32. Be relevant

Make a big deal out of big calendar days. Oreo super bowl tweet example – be current, timely, trending hashtags where applicable Use a Hashtag Holidays Calendar to get a look at upcoming holidays you can Tweet about. One great example of this was the Oreo super bowl tweet from 2016. It was a tweet about a major event relevant to their audience (the Super Bowl), they were able to connect to a trending topic (use trending topic hashtags when applicable), it was incredibly timely, and funny to boot.

33. Set up Twitter cards

When you see a tweet that has a View summary link, that means they’ve use a Twitter card. The cards allow you to add more content to your title and description, and bigger images. Twitter has a few card types and each allows you to have a larger presence on your followers feeds:

  • Summary card (or same thing but with a full-width image): Displays a preview of site content, including title, description, image and URL.
  • Photo or gallery card: Just has one photo or four. Great for a gallery of happy customers!
  • Player card: Shows video and audio clips with a play button.
  • App card: Promotes content related to apps, including name, description, ratings, cost and URL or download button to app.
  • Product card: Shows product details which makes it great for sharing new product launches.
  • Lead gen card: Only available through Twitter ads, and allow you to capture leads through a form fill.
  • Website card: Only available through Twitter ads, and drive people to click to go to your website.

34. Get more from your bio link

Since you’re able to include a URL in your profile and it shows up right under your bio, use the bio space to tell people why to click the link. Use social proof such as your number of happy customers, and explain how you help solve a pain they have.

35. Pin a tweet

Use the pinned tweet option to push people to the fastest way to get the best customer support, or to share a happy customer story, or to a lead magnet featuring your newest content. Try to pin a tweet that already has a lot of likes and replies, so that upon arrival, people see how much other people engage with your account. You could even rotate a new pin weekly, to show off your best performing article.

How to create a tweet in 427 easy steps:

1. Open up Twitter. Stare at the intimidating blank tweet box.

2. Take a water break.

3. Have an epiphany. Begin typing. Wait. How do you spell “wich”? Google how to spell “wich”.

4. See witch gifs. Try to find the perfect .gif. Go down a .gif black hole.

Just kidding, it’s not so bad.

5. Keep in mind these creative considerations:

  • Text only: up to 280 characters per tweet
  • Images: up to 5MB each, including up to 4 photos per tweet
  • Videos: up to 140 seconds long
  • Text only: up to 280 characters per tweet
  • GIFs: up to 5MB mobile & 15MB on web
  • Polls: up to 4 choices & 1 week in length

6. Use all the available visual formats!

Seeing is believing, so show your tweeps why they should follow you.

  • Use polls because they’re fun (and they’re about your followers inherently, not about you!)
  • Include videos because According to AdWeek, videos are six times more likely to be retweeted than photos and three times more likely to be retweeted than GIFs. A survey commissioned by Twitter found that the inclusion of video attracted 2.5 times more replies
  • Include images because tweets with images typically receive 89% more “likes” or favorites. Specifically, try images with bright colors, gradients, and splatter to stand out.
  • Include emojis to help break up the text and provide a visual people immediately understand. These are especially helpful if you have customers worldwide who speak different languages.

7. Use all sorts of engaging formats: Offering promotions, providing educational content, and sharing interesting visuals are the actions that most prompt consumers to purchase.

  • Hold a giveaway or a contest: Try to keep it closely related to your product offering. Incentivize your followers to retweet to reveal a special deal, once you hit a certain number of retweets. You can tell them the deal in your first tweet or reveal it after the limit has been hit.
  • Ask for engagement: Make a “tag a friend” who reminds you of this content post. Animals, oopsies, and comedy are good themes for those posts.
  • Use action words: Research by Dan Zarrella shows that tweets that use action words (adverbs and verbs) get more clicks than those that use nouns or adjectives.
  • Be positive! Positive content gets shared more. Channel those #motivationmonday vibes. Get the book on contagious ideas and support my affiliating.
  • Provide helpful how-tos: Use threads to share step-by-step advice for things your readers might need to know.

How to save time using keyboard shortcuts for the Twitter website:

My favorites:

  • n to write a tweet
  • l  =  like
  • r  =  reply
  • t  =  Retweet
  • b to block a user
  • / to open search

All the other good stuff:

Actions

  • m  =  Direct Message
  • u  =  mute account
  • enter  =  open Tweet details
  • o   =  expand photo
  • /  =  search
  • cmd-enter | ctrl-enter  =  send Tweet

See even more here.

Here are some Twitter marketing tools to try:

Check out a few handy tools that could save you time, and ensure you don’t miss a tweet. None of these are affiliate links by the way, but I’ve either used them or seen them highly recommended:

  1. Buffer: Bookmark and schedule tweets. Great for teams working together across social because you can respond to social conversations from a shared inbox.
  2. Tweetdeck: Good for listening to topics relevant to your business, and being timely with responses. Create collections, keep track of searches, and manage multiple Twitter accounts.
  3. Hootsuite: From what I’ve seen most social media managers at bigger companies prefer Hootsuite because it helps combine multiple accounts into one, and has scheduling features, and analytics.
  4. Audiense Connect: Create a custom chatbot and engage with subscribers via Twitter using Direct Messages automatically.
  5. Canva: A free way to pop out eye-catching visuals.
  6. Zapier: This tool helps you connect your twitter account with a number of other services, and automate your common work flows – basically it’s a great way to save time. Here someone has pulled together 23 ways to use it for Twitter.
  7. Viralpost by SproutSocial: Helps you automatically post at the right times.
  8. Shareaholic: Any easy to install WordPress plugin to embed social buttons within your content, to make it fast to share.

We’ve accomplished so much. Let’s review!

What is the best way to use Twitter for marketing?

To provide a superior customer support experience with help how-to threads & less than 5-minute response time. Or to distribute your content to drive more traffic to it, by sharing popular posts using keywords at the front of your tweet, 2 hashtags, & a visual.

Is Twitter good for marketing?

Yes. Twitter is a great marketing channel because there are 145 million users worldwide that visit it for news and insights. You can reach those users with Tweets, Moments, Cards, Hashtags, and more.

How do I create a Twitter strategy?

1. Find the right people to follow. Use Advanced search to see who’s talking about your company, your competitors, your products, topics your brand covers, and people nearby physically. 2. Pick the best ways to engage them. Engage them by reweeting them, or replying to something they said.
3. Create original tweets. Use bright colors, emojis, images, videos, gifs, and polls to create visually-appealing content.
4. Post at the right times. Optimize your posting cadence based on when your audience is most active.

Now you’re ready to rock Twitter marketing

What’s that? A bird! No. It’s a plane! No. It’s your Twitter account soaring to new heights of popularity and reach because you used these tips. Up next, check out some ideas for Twitter retargeting marketing.

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You can now add Moments to your Twitter profile! But you can’t get Verified or edit a tweet. Learn more! Click To Tweet

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By Megan Mitzel

I'm the wearer of overalls behind the marketing advice website Marketing Overalls. I'm also a senior marketing director with more than ten years of experience leading acquisition and lifecycle marketing at successful startups. Before that, I got a business degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. Before that, I owned a seashell shop. And that's the tea on me.