Social media has become an important tool for many businesses across the United States. About 87 percent of B2B companies are actively using social media for marketing purposes, and more than 50 percent are looking to increase their social media content in the next year. To reach their goals, businesses need to have a strong strategy tied to objectives when approaching each social media platform.
One of the most popular tools companies use for social media interaction is Twitter. Eighty percent of B2B marketers use Twitter, making it the second most popular platform used, right behind LinkedIn. Many people find there are two main challenges with Twitter. The first being Twitter’s 140-character limit; and the second finding ways to get more engagement on Twitter. To make your job easier, we put together a list of 10 tips to help you get the most out of your tweets.
- It’s OK to abbreviate – If you use Twitter you know that it is sometimes necessary to shorten words, to use numbers instead of spelling things out, and to use symbols where possible. Using “&” instead of “and” or typing “w/” instead of “with” is sometimes a must. It doesn’t obey proper grammar or AP style, but Twitter plays by a different set of rules.
- Always shorten links – Conserving characters is key. Using a site like bit.ly allows you to make a long website address much shorter. Inserting links can be very useful for driving traffic to your own content, or for sharing something interesting. Links invite the audience to interact with your tweet and possibly retweet.
- Use #hashtags – The goal of social media marketing is to have your audience interact with your brand. It’s easier to cast a wider net by using hashtags. Twitter users can search the site by hashtags, and if you tweeted recently with the hashtag they searched, they are more likely to find your tweet. Check to see what hashtags are trending and you may be able to get in on a popular conversation topic by using the right hashtag. It’s #important to #remember not to #overload the #user with too many #hashtags; they can be #distracting.
- Mention other @users – Interacting directly with users is a great way to utilize 140 characters. If your message is short enough, leave room to give a shout to a follower or someone you follow. Mentioning another user will appear on their Twitter feed, increasing the chances of engagement. Starting conversations with the @ symbol is the “social” part of social media.
- Ask questions – One of the best ways to encourage your audience to interact with you is by posing questions. It can be something simple like “Who else has plans for the upcoming holiday?” It can also relate to your business: “Would your company ever make this drastic decision?” Leaving the questions vague in that way helps build intrigue. Then, a curious follower will feel inclined to answer your question by mentioning you in a reply!
- Ask for retweets and do the same – Retweets are the most useful way to interact because not only is someone finding your content interesting enough to recycle from their own account, your tweet and your brand are now being exposed to their entire list of followers, thus growing your social media web. Asking for retweets is like an invitation for your followers to interact with your company. For example, “RT (retweet) with your favorite social media platform!” And be sure to RT tweets you find interesting as well. This will encourage others to do the same for you.
- Add pictures – Visual content drives engagement. Including a picture increases your tweet’s “clickability.” People are more inclined to click on a link that promises a visual. Even if other users do not interact with your company by retweeting or mentioning your post, the information and your brand are still getting noticed.
- Tweet at the right time – Peak times when your audience is on Twitter vary. It is important to keep an eye on what times of day work best to tweet. Considering the limited amount of information you can put out there, and the fact that there is no control over if your audience will notice it at all, timing out your tweets properly gives you an advantage in reaching your audience. You can also use different social media tools to track when key users and followers are tweeting. With the ability to monitor their activity over time, you can build a window of optimal tweet times every day.
- Tweet more often – Tweeting multiple times is better than tweeting sporadically – it is important to be consistent in your strategy. First, tweeting more often is a way of getting more of your content out. It increases the likelihood of engaging with your audience as well as the odds that more people will see your tweets on their home feed. Tweeting more than once a day shows that you are an active Twitter user and that your company has content to communicate on a daily basis.
- Use analytics – There are many websites available that companies can use to track their Twitter experience. Getting the most out of your tweets means using these sites as a tool to understand how social media is working for you. It is easier with these analytics tools to track numbers, statistics, users and trends. Staying on top of social media will require keeping an eye on your followers, mentions and engagement.
Social media is an exciting world of interaction that has changed the way business, marketing, advertising and news are handled. Using Twitter is a great way for B2B companies to keep in touch with their key audiences. Twitter is also the perfect landscape for introducing new content, reposting other’s content and discussing it with a wide community that shares your company’s interests. Getting noticed amidst all of the companies striving for attention is not easy. It takes a well thought out strategy to guarantee you get the most out of 140 characters.
This blog was contributed by Ryan Sabatini, Account Coordinator at Clearpoint Agency.