Twitter is definitely a platform that doesn’t receive as much credit as it should. I can honestly say it’s probably my favorite and longest account I’ve had. With its many improvements over the years, it is now a powerhouse tool to connect and engage with customers, the fastest way of staying up to date in the world, and it’s also less of a hassle (there’s no stress over the perfect high-quality photo, the photoshopping, or the filter). Twitter makes way for genuine engagement and once you leverage it correctly, you’ll see great results.
What is Twitter? What happens on there?
Twitter is considered microblogging. It’s a social media website where people communicate through short messages. Originally, it only allowed 140 characters and has doubled that in recent years to support longer messages. Aside from messages, you can share videos, images, and even polls. Each person has a profile and the platform also allows direct messaging. You can also search keywords or see what the trending topic is around your neighborhood, country, or the world.
How are companies using Twitter?
Companies use Twitter as one of the easiest ways to get short bits of information out as soon as possible. Think announcements, just less content creation (whether copy, photography, or design).
Announcements are the biggest pieces of information shared: new product releases, damage control, updates on the company or a product, or simply something to engage with their audience. Twitter gives you the capability of getting creative with your messaging.
1. New Product Releases
This is typically 80% of what you see on a company’s Twitter. New product releases should be announced on all platforms, but the best part of Twitter is how easily this information can be shared by your followers.
With a click of a button, your reach can almost double: customers can retweet to share the tweet with their own followers, or like it. Recently, Twitter has been featuring content that is “liked” on feeds. For instance, if I follow my best friend on Twitter and she likes the above tweet about Wendy’s Spicy Nuggets, it’s highly likely it will still show up on my feed even if she didn’t share it. Twitter is making it so much easier to reach an even larger audience.
2. Damage Control
One of my favorite ways companies use Twitter is for damage control. Honestly, every time Instagram is down and I want to see if others are experiencing the same problem I go to Instagram’s Twitter (funny, I know). Instagram will usually always announce when they’re experiencing problems – if it’s happening to multiple people.
I remember recently sometime this year (2019), Wells Fargo was experiencing issues with their app and website. No one could log on and some people also couldn’t use their cards. They did a great job of updating customers on Twitter the entire time they were looking into the issue.
Twitter has also become a Customer Service center in a way. If you Tweet at a company about an issue, they are more than likely to respond. Why? Because it’s good for their brand to show they care and are helping their customers. Conversations also move into the direct messaging function for more privacy.
Every time I have an issue, my first course of action is hopping on Twitter. I once canceled my MoviePass subscription solely through Twitter’s Direct Messages. Recently, I was trying to purchase Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) tickets and the website kept telling me they were sold out, so I reached out to Universal’s HHN Twitter. Companies usually have someone monitoring their social media accounts 24/7 and it’s the best way to get someone to respond quickly (even faster than email or by phone). In case you’re wondering, they aren’t sold out! See you guys at HHN in October 😉
3. Updates on the Company or a Product
You don’t always have to be selling something to post on Twitter. General announcements work perfectly here. Like updates on policies, hours of operations changing, job openings, etc.
The Miami Marlins are extremely active on social media and I don’t think I’ve ever seen them trying to sell tickets. They just love interacting with the fans. They always post the final score to every game, announce lineup changes, or mention all the free stuff happening in the stadium that night.
4. Engaging with your Audience
I once heard that your social media should be 80% engagement and 20% selling. I don’t know about the accuracy or results behind that, but it’s a good way to explain how important engaging with your customers is. You want to build a lifelong relationship and trust. This is how you gain repeat customers.
Companies have clearly learned that lesson because you see them interacting on social media more and more. What I love about Twitter is that it makes those interactions so easy and far more entertaining than just replying to comments on Instagram or Facebook.
Companies are educating themselves on what’s happening in the world: they know the popular celebrities and all the viral jokes. They’re using this information to relate and interact with their audience. This is why I think it’s so crucial to have young people on your marketing team, especially if young people are a part of your target audience. You need someone “cultured” or active on the internet. Someone who knows what the people are talking about and what they’re interested in. Your marketing team should always reflect at least somewhat of your target market – trust me you’ll find a lot of success in this.
Small Businesses on Twitter
I know for small or new businesses Twitter can be a bit tough because you don’t have the same following as Wendy’s or Hulu. Maybe you have a solid audience, but they just aren’t interacting with you. There are tons of tools and strategies you can implement that help with this: announcing giveaways or sales if someone retweets an image, sharing other tweets or pieces of information your audience would like, asking for feedback, and so much more.
Get creative! Build a marketing plan. Create great content. Research your audience. Social media should be fun and not a burden. It’s a tool to HELP your business. It’s probably the most fun part of running a business (but maybe I’m biased).
If you need help finding someone qualified to run your account or would like some guidance in doing it yourself, feel free to reach out to me. I can provide great resources and feedback. Make sure to follow my blog for future in-depth articles on Twitter marketing specifics. I have some great content coming up!