Content Strategy on Social Media: 10 Tips for Success on Twitter
The micro-blogging service Twitter was founded in San Francisco in 2006. This short message service now only has serious competition in China where the Chinese mainly use their domestic product Sina Weibo because the state regularly blocks Twitter. In the second quarter of 2017, this micro-blogging platform had 328 million active users worldwide.
User contributions (tweets) are publicly visible via search engines provided that users do not classify them as protected. The latter is not recommended for companies because it strongly limits the marketing options available on Twitter.
Twitter – first steps
Twitter registration is fast and uncomplicated. Look for a memorable profile photo and a matching background image. You have 160 characters available for your profile description: State your thematic focus and introduce yourself.
The most important characteristic of Twitter is the brevity of its contributions. You can only use a maximum of 140 characters, including spaces. This forced brevity has encouraged users to be creative with abbreviations. For instance, NBC’s Sunday Night Football uses an abbreviated hashtag of #SNF to save characters.
Hashtags are important for communicating on Twitter, as they bring topics together. If a user wants some information about Mallorca as a vacation destination, for example, he or she searches the short news service using #Mallorca or #Malle. There, the user will encounter a wide range of accounts– travel agencies, travel bloggers and private individuals – who have commented about vacations in the Balearic Islands.
Twitter has different facets: Tweets can be informative, but many are also funny. You can link to your tweets and integrate photos or short videos. Photos are an addition – so you can write 140 characters and then add one or more photos. In addition, Twitter offers a survey function.
Versatile possibilities for dialogue make Twitter a social network where connections can be one-sided. If a user subscribes to the news of another user, that user does not necessarily follow him or her in return. Thus, companies, celebrities and media with Twitter representation often have far more followers than their own accounts ever follow.
Thanks to the retweet function, news spreads on Twitter in record time. By clicking, users can make a message they have read accessible to their followers. Alternatively, you can add a comment before you retweet, which is called “Quote Tweet.” Journalists use Twitter for their research and discover stories that sometimes find their way into classic media.
In addition to retweeting, you can also reply to tweets. This response is public, but it appears only on the timeline of users who follow both you and the other account. You can also add tweets with a little heart icon, and thus ‘like’ them – a feature that is familiar to many users of Facebook and Instagram. In addition, there is an option to have a private exchange via direct message, which others cannot read.
Twitter’s timeline has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that every user sees all the tweets on the accounts he or she follows. Compared to Facebook, there is no weight according to meaning and interests unless the user chooses an appropriate setting. However, if a user follows many accounts, it quickly starts to get confusing. The timeline then runs so fast that the information flood is difficult to manage. That’s why some users create lists with an individual group of users on different topics and tend to look there for the latest news. These lists can be created publicly or privately. Another way to clean up the timeline is to “mute” accounts. You might not want to upset a follower by unfollowing them, but you will still avoid receiving those 50 tweets per day.
Companies on Twitter
Analyze your audiences and goals before you start on Twitter. What content is your target group interested in? Establishing goals and target groups will help you formulate your content strategy and develop an editorial plan.
Your name, profile, photo and background image should all be appealing and consistent with your corporate design and mirror your presence on other social media platforms. As a company, your profile description must also include your official imprint.
In addition to organic tweets, you can buy paid advertising (known as sponsored posts), especially during your build-up phase. These will appear in user timelines as advertising tweets marked “sponsored.” Then, you can create your call-to-action and guide customers to your website or a custom landing page.
Even if you are not actively involved on Twitter, you should still include it in your social media monitoring. It is precisely because of the enormous speed at which information spreads that you will want to constantly monitor your mentions to avoid a PR nightmare.
Our 10 tips for Twitter success
- Listen carefully and read. In doing so, you will develop a feeling for when people tweet as well as what topics people chat about on Twitter.
- Personalize your social media networks. Even if your blog software can post to Twitter automatically, refrain from doing so. Most users will recognize automatic tweets and will be critical.
- Thoroughly analyze the terms your followers use to look for your topics and adjust your hashtags accordingly. Achieve reach by occasionally using popular and well-known hashtags. You can inform this approach by looking at Twitter trends where the current most-used terms are displayed. Use hashtags in a targeted fashion, but sparingly.
- Write in an entertaining, informative, and genuine style, and use your posts for storytelling. The text should be error-free and include correct links.
- As you know, a picture is worth more than a thousand words and grabs attention. You should occasionally attach photos, videos or infographics to your tweets.
- If you are addressing another account in your tweet, your account name should not be at the beginning. Otherwise only those users who follow you both will see the tweet in their timeline.
- Grow organically, even if it takes longer. You will receive tempting deals to buy followers for a few dollars, but these followers are passive and won’t take an interest. Prioritize quality rather than quantity: Having fewer followers, but the right ones, will gain you more in marketing terms.
- Twitter is a short news service – and a social network. If your followers like your tweets, and if the content is interesting, they will retweet them. This increases your connection with the community. Thank them for their retweets, especially if they add comments and recommendations. Participate in Twitter rituals such as Follow Friday where Twitter users recommend other users with the abbreviation #FF.
- If someone on Twitter sends you a tweet or a direct message, you should reply promptly. Twitter is a fast medium! Don’t automatically send direct messages to new followers!
- Use Twitter for competitions, challenges and prize draws. Create a new, distinctive hashtag for such activities. Encourage your followers to create their own tweets using this hashtag. This increases your reach and gives you a variety of user-generated content.
Always work with relevant and appealing content and keep up regular monitoring. Twitter Analytics offers a wide range of information about how your tweets reached your target audience, which you can use for monitoring purposes.
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