What is Twitter?
Twitter is a fantastic tool for sharing information about your business and connecting with those that you want to market to. Twitter can be considered as a curated newsfeed of lists, these lists include anything from new launches of products, world news topics, people talking about their day to day life, and interactions with businesses.
Getting started on Twitter
A key thing to remember while getting started with Twitter is the timeliness of Twitter. Twitter users look for frequent posting, the fact that “80% [of Twitter users] access via mobile devices” (Batesole, 2017, para. 2) means that they check in on Twitter often throughout the day. By interacting with more users and gaining more followers on Twitter you are increasing the number of leads your company has. Twitter claims that by following or interacting with a user they are “72% more likely to make a purchase” (Batesole, 2017, para. 5) from your business.
Twitter has some key terminology that all users should be familiar with before getting started:
Twitter Handle: This is your username on Twitter and always begins with @. My username on Twitter is @WardoGolf.
Tweet: This a short message of a maximum of 280 characters published on Twitter by your personal account or brand. (recently changed from 140 to 280)
Timeline: This is a real-time feed of tweets from users you are following and other tweets they are interacting with. The timeline is also where you will see sponsored tweets.
Following: By following users it will allow you to see all of their updates in your news feed.
Follower: A Twitter user who has chosen to receive updates from your personal account or business profile.
@Reply: A response/message from a specific user.
Mention: A tweet that includes a @username
Direct Mention: A private message visible only to you and who sent it.
#Hashtag: A term that begins with a # symbol, hashtags are used to reference a specific topic.
Retweet: Resharing another users post with the Retweet button.
Knowing all of these key Twitter specific definitions will now allow you to get started confidently.
The first step on Twitter is creating your username, this is an important step because this is what your brand will be represented as on Twitter. For most brands the simple answer to this is just to use your company name, however, some companies names may be too long, not descriptive enough, or already in use.
These are the best practices for selecting a username from Brad Batesole’s video on Twitter for Business:
Twitter Username Best Practices:
- Relevant to your brand
- Be specific
- Avoid using your personal name unless you are the key focus of the business
- You have 15 characters for your username so keep it short
- No underscores, these are outdated and hard to remember
- Avoid irrelevant numbers, imagine having to type @WardoGolf908491897 every time you want to interact with that user
- Use a relevant keyword, this will help people find your business when searching up that keyword
Once you have signed up for Twitter and created a username this will now give you the opportunity to tour the interface. It is important to gain familiarity with both the desktop version and the mobile version of the Twitter interface. An important thing to remember about how your Twitter timeline works is that it no longer is in chronological order, it now displays the tweets that their algorithm thinks is most important for you to display at the top.
Another use of Twitter is the Twitter trends and moments section that displays major news developments and topics that are relevant to your Twitter preferences. The trends section is a great way to find new people to interact and follow in your industry.
To access your Twitter profile page you can click on your profile photo displayed on the left side of your desktop interface. It is here where you can see your landing page and fine tune it to best represent your brand.
Creating an effective business profile
Setting your profile page on Twitter is extremely important for representing your brand; your name, profile picture, bio, and header image all play a vital role in telling your brand story. Your Twitter profile page is your first opportunity to capture your audience’s attention through providing visual language. The first view of your landing page will be where the Twitter user decides if they want to read your tweets and choose to follow your business. It is important to craft your profile page to attract the interest of what your target market is.
Before you start to follow other Twitter users it is important to establish an effective profile image and header image. Your Twitter profile photo will also be the thumbnail attached to each tweet you have so keep this in mind when selecting one. As you can see in the picture below the profile image for my brand is my logo and appears to the left of every tweet I post.
When selecting your header image remember that for best results use an image that is at least 1500 x 500 pixels.
The visual aspects of your Twitter page play a vital role for your success, however, the bio section is just as important. This should be a short 160 character concise description of your brand and should inspire users to follow your brand. Your bio can act as a call to action for your company and can include links, hashtags, and other handles.
Connecting with your audience on Twitter
Once you have built a profile to be proud of it is tempting to start tweeting immediately, however without connecting with other users and gaining followers you will simply be tweeting to yourself. The first users you should look at are others in your industry to see how they are connecting with users. When you start to follow other users on Twitter it is best to avoid accounts you don’t want to be related to your brand. Following politically charged accounts or any other accounts that people are passionately for or against can deter people away from your brand. Start by following key people in your industry like I have by following @CallawayGolf and @PGAofAlberta. After you selected a few key industry professionals you should start to connect with your contacts. Twitter makes it easy to do this because of its ability to match email addresses to Twitter handles of contacts you have made through email.
Hashtags can be very useful to increase the discoverability of your tweets. Find relevant hashtags in your industry and use these hashtags to connect with those in your industry. You can also use a brand hashtag, this can help users give your brand a shoutout and doesn’t rely on a specific event or time of the year.
Using the Tweet feature
Define your brand personality
It is important to identify how your brand wants to appear on Twitter, your tweets should balance between being personal and professional. Your brand is the human element of your company, this creates the appeal for your company. To retain your following it is important to be consistent and avoid imitating your audience to try and fit in. Also, be sure to share unique content to showcase your brand, and provide users with interaction through @replies and retweet relevant tweets from your followers.
Establish your marketing objective
To be successful on Twitter it is important to establish a clear-cut objective that you can look back on to measure success on Twitter. An example of a company whose main objective is customer support should focus on answering questions and use qualitative data to measure engagements. Another objective would be brand recognition where an effort should be placed on building authority and measuring success with total reach and followers gained.
Writing an effective tweet
It is important to have an objective for each tweet, these objectives could be to drive traffic to your website, earn retweets, or encourage signups on your website. The four steps for writing an effective tweet are to:
- Identify a goal
- Determine a call to action
- Build message
- Add visual content
People will generally interact with a tweet if it’s either “funny, helpful, newsworthy, or inspiring” (Batesole, 2017, para 3). Pay attention to the timeliness of your tweet, this will also play a major role in the effectiveness of its reach.
Adding visual content to your tweet
In order to maximize the effectiveness of your tweet, it is important to go past the 280 character limit and add images and video to your content. The pictures you add don’t count against your 280 character word count, in fact, you can add multiple images to a tweet with the same effect. Posting multiple photos in one tweet can be very effective when promoting a new product or recent event. Images do appear different between the desktop and mobile versions of Twitter so keep this in mind when adding visual content.
Animated gifs are also a great tool for adding low maintenance visual content to your tweets. They can be used for visual tweets if they are relevant but also work great when replying to your followers and other users tweets.
Scheduling your tweets
A common question about Twitter is how often should my business tweet? Your audience will determine this, test whether your audience is looking for timely tweets once and a while or looking for as much content from your brand as possible. Once you have determined what works for your audience it is important to stay consistent. Some relevant scheduled tweets for a golf instructor could be #GolfTipTuesday and #GolfFitnessFriday these can be tweets that create value for your followers and retain their loyalty and encourage engagement.
Measuring the success of your tweet
As a business, it is important to be able to measure your success on Twitter. Beyond retweets and likes, it is important to look at impressions and interactions with each tweet as well. A great tool is to visit Twitter Analytics, it will take you to your homepage and provide more data to measure your success.
Generating leads through Twitter
Twitter allows you to jump into conversations between users if you believe you can add value to it. By doing this it can promote your brand and potentially gain new clients for your business. Imagine two users having a conversation about their recent round of golf and how horribly they played, this would be a great opportunity for a golf instructor to add value to their current issues on the course and potentially lead to a lesson, and even if it doesn’t, it shows that you are willing to interact with the community. Search for these conversations from keywords about your business; it even can be a conversation about a competitor.
Understanding the true value of retweet is important for success on Twitter. A retweet acts as an endorsement of your brand. This can lead to an extremely extended reach for your original tweet from one user retweeting to their followers and a few of their followers doing the same.
Integrating your Twitter feed
Adding Twitter buttons to your website
In order to have your audience interact with your Twitter account directly from your website, you will need to have a Twitter button on your website. You will have five buttons to choose from to add to your website.
Adding embedded widgets to your website
If you use a WordPress website you will have the ability to upload a widget directly to your website that will act as a Twitter newsfeed for your handle.
Your embedded widgets will be fully interactive and allow users to access all of your tweets with access to all features. Using a timeline widget brings a social presence to your website and can be used as a newsfeed to share information about your business. You can also embed Twitter lists to your website to share a trending topic in your industry.
Adding Twitter cards to your website
Twitter cards are a great way to add media to your tweets. Twitter cards allow you to share a URL and it will automatically format it with a headline, photo, description, and link. Cards can also be made with the Twitter card validator found here.
Advertising on Twitter
Creating an advertising account for Twitter
Advertising through Twitter has many advantages due to the large audience of Twitter users worldwide and how easy it is to share content. Twitter advertising works through cost per engagement advertising where you only pay for your ad once a user takes action with the advertisement. To get started with this advertising technique you will need to first create an account with Twitter ads. While setting up be sure to correctly answer the country and time zone questions properly because you cannot edit them after being selected. Before creating your first ad on Twitter you will need to set a goal for your campaign and a budget for your efforts.
Launching promoted account and tweet campaigns
It is important when creating a promoted account to market your brand to those who will find the value in it. In some cases, companies will gain many followers using a promoted account but later find out that many of the followers have no real interest in their brand. The tweets you are promoting are more to build brand awareness and are not meant to generate engagement like other tweets.
An example of a campaign that you can run through Twitter is a Follower Campaign. You have many options for customizing your campaign, you can filter the interest and region of who you are advertising to gain effectiveness for your ad. After customizing your ad you will then set a budget on how much you are willing to bid per new follower, you also are given the option to set a total budget to stop advertising when a particular number is reached.
Measuring your advertising success
Earlier in this blog, I discussed how to access Twitter analytics for your account. Twitter Ads page provides similar information but goes more in depth about the information needed to measure your advertisements success. You can review total impressions, engagements, spend, the estimated cost per engagement (ECPE), and conversions. Like analytics, you can select a date range to further break down the data. Twitter ads also allow you to review what platforms you are most successful with, locations that worked the best, and what customer demographics were most engaged with your content.
Other great marketing tips for Twitter
Creating exciting content
When looking at the most successful tweets for engagement on Twitter they all have three things in common, they are relatable, excellent, and unique. Make sure your tweets create value for your audience and be unique in the way you create value for them.
Create compelling offers
A huge motivation to capture engagement on Twitter is by creating compelling offers. These work best for companies that benefit from having repeat customers or have a long lead time to get a customer. Your offer should be valuable for the Twitter user and can’t be something they can already find online. The offer should also have a sense of urgency in order to get users to click immediately and should have a reason for promoting this offer with a potential theme.
Tracking your Twitter through Google Analytics
You can also use Google Analytics to gain more information about your Twitter metrics than Twitter currently can. It also is a familiar layout for many people and may make it easier to collect the data you need.
Using Twitter for your golf course or personal brand
For most golf professionals and golf courses, one of the biggest struggles is gaining brand awareness. By increasing the engagement of your audience and sharing valuable content you will increase your following and reach. Twitter is a great opportunity to get involved in conversations Twitter users are having about golf. A potential opportunity for a golf course to gain business would be to join in on a conversation users are having about a negative experience at a given golf course. By joining the conversation and adding value with an offer to come try your facility you can potentially gain a new customer while showing engagement in the community.
Twitter can also be a great tool to interact with the members of your golf facility. It can act as a newsfeed for upcoming events, share weather notifications like frost delay information, and post member only sales and offers to increase engagement.
As discussed in a previous blog post of mine posting contests and offers on social media can be an effective way to gain engagements and followers with the platform. By running an effective offer such as a free round of golf or lesson for 4 players by tagging 3 friends and following your page it can increase your reach dramatically with a low cost to promote.
Overall Twitter can be an extremely effective tool for just about any golf facility or golf professional for gaining brand awareness and increasing engagement. Be sure to use the tips discussed in this blog and you will be finding success in no time! If you have any questions about anything discussed on the blog be sure to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or interact with me on Twitter @WardoGolf.
Be sure to check back next week to learn about Thought Leadership for your business!
Batesole, B. (2017, April 18). Twitter for Business [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Twitter-tutorials/Twitter-big-picture/480768/495350-4.html