For many businesses, Twitter is a near necessity in their marketing plan. It's an extremely powerful platform with so much opportunity to reach out to your audience and develop your brand voice and your business. However, many struggle with how best to really use the platform. In an effort to help with this, I've put together my list of 6 super helpful Twitter tips that will help you drive more traffic and sales for your business.
But before I can dive into these 6 tips, I think it's imperative to do a quick recap of some good Twitter behaviors that are necessary to see even introductory success on Twitter.
First of all, you need to be active on Twitter. If you're ignoring the platform and tweeting once a month, you will not see success from Twitter for marketing your business. Beyond just being active, you need to be sharing unique content and your own tweets. If everything you share is literally a retweet from someone else, then you have no voice and your brand will suffer. Take the time to actually create your tweets and share content with your own thoughts.
Also, Twitter is a place for conversations and engagement (like all social media). Simply spewing your promotional messages and content when it's convenient for you and ignoring those who take the time to engage with you, is not how you are going to see success on Twitter.
Ok, so I know you probably already know these few things, but I wanted to reiterate them before I get into these more "advanced" Twitter tips. Because if you're not already using Twitter effectively, these tips aren't going to do much to help you.
1. Use Twitter Lists to Filter Your Followings & Optimize Engagement
This is probably a tool that you are already familiar with, and if so, great! If you know of them but aren't really using them, now is a great time to reintroduce yourself to Twitter lists.
You should be putting most, if not all, of your the people you follow on Twitter into one or more lists. As you follow more people, this tool becomes more and more valuable. Sure, if you're only following 100 people, you can probably keep track of most Twitter activity. But when you start following a few hundred or into the thousands, your Twitter stream will move so quickly that it's near impossible to stay on top of any activity.
You can customize your lists and create as many as you like (seriously, Twitter allows you to have up to 1000 lists, so yeah, go crazy!). Create lists for geographical areas, past/existing customers, potential customers, people who retweet you, influencers, people you've met in real life, competitors, people in your industry, top resources, or whatever else is of value to you to sort your followings.
Now that you have your followings sorted by lists, you can choose which one to view at any time, narrowing down your hyperactive Twitter stream to a much more manageable number of tweets. And you can focus on the content for respective groups to ensure that you don't miss anything important.
For example, you could choose to look at your influencers list to see what big news or topics they're currently talking about. This gives you content to retweet to your audience or conversations to engage with, showing your level of expertise and value to your audience. Or, you could choose to view your list of potential customers to see what's going on in their lives. What are they going through, talking about, or experiencing right now? And how can you use that information to your advantage to craft better content to share with them? Or how can you respond to their tweets as way to enhance their experience and provide value, making your business more impactful to them?
2. Use "Quote Tweet" When Retweeting
Twitter recently enhanced their retweeting structure with the introduction of "quote tweet" on both mobile and desktop. This allows you to actually add your thoughts or comments as a tweet, with the original tweet "quoted" beneath. You no longer have to write your comment, then put the "RT" and hope that the rest of the original tweet fits in the 140 characters limit.
Whether on desktop or mobile, when you click "retweet" on someone's tweet, choose the "quote tweet" option to type in your own response, thoughts, suggestions, or comments.
Again, this allows you to speak more to your brand voice, setting you apart from the other noise on Twitter. It also spaces out your tweet with a quoted tweet nestled underneath so it stands out more in the Twitter stream.
Use this tool to provide value, insight, calls-to-action, or other significant messages that will enhance your brand message and provide value to your audience.
3. Upload Photos to Your Tweets
Another way to stand out in a Twitter stream is to incorporate photos into your tweets. And you can actually upload up to four images per tweet for that much more effect!
Find unique ways to include photos that enhance your message and motivate your audience. Share before & after images showcasing the quality of work you do. Share photos that showcase your products or services (and include calls-to-action in the tweet). Share graphics of testimonials or other value-added content that demonstrates the value of your brand.
Social media always performs well when you include visuals so find as many ways as possible to incorporate photos into your tweets to drive traffic and sales.
4. Use a Scheduling Tool to Maximize Your Posting Schedule
I am a huge proponent of organic posting - which means post in real time, as you read, think, or hear about something. And I absolutely think this is a critical aspect to authentic engagement and brand development on Twitter.
However, there is a big advantage, due to the quick moving nature of Twitter, to schedule some of your tweets to ensure you maximize your content posting. This allows you to share content when you might not ideally be able to be online (although it is still ideal to be available within a reasonable time to respond to any comments or engagement). If you have a global audience, this is helpful so that you can tweet at various hours of the day and reach all of your audience. Or if you have a product or promotion that you want to share multiple times to maximize the reach of that content, a scheduler will allow you to share that content at desired intervals.
Personally, I use Hootsuite when occasionally scheduling my tweets. You can also use Buffer or a variety of other free or paid scheduling tools that are out there and available.
5. Use the Twitter Search Tool to Find People Talking In Your Niche
One of the best ways to engage and connect with customers is to respond to them directly. But if you don't know what they're saying or who's saying it, it's hard to engage, right? This is why the search tool on Twitter is so helpful.
You can look for people talking about a certain topic, search for keywords in your niche, look for people talking about your business or product or service. Or look for people talking about your competitors. Or look for people looking for advice. Or look for people's thoughts and ideas about a trend in your industry. There are ton of different ways you can search on Twitter to find your ideal audience and work to create a relationship that drives traffic and sales.
Once you've found these tweets, choose to engage with them in a way that helps and provides value. Don't just respond with "buy our product" or other pushy tactic. But take the time to offer a solution or support or suggestion to start the conversation.
Here are some search tips for you to help:
- Put the phrase you're looking for in quotations to find the exact phrase. For example: "social media marketing" to find all recent tweets on this topic.
- Use OR to add multiple search terms for a broader search. For example: buying OR selling house
- Use a phrase or keyword with a location. For example "conference" near: San Diego
- Use emotion symbols to find people talking about a topic with a certain emotion. For example: jewelry 🙂
There are a variety of other search tactics you can use but these should help give you some clear insight into how you can benefit from the search tool.
6. Reward Engaged Twitter Followers
I frequently recommend this tactic on Instagram but I think it works well for Twitter as well. When you have highly engaged fans on Twitter, take the time to acknowledge and reward them.
It could be as simple as a thank you or a comment to them. It could be a shout out via a retweet or direct tweet. Or, you can even go a step further and offer a discount or promo code. Tweet them a promo code to make sure they get a good discount on their next order as a thank you for their loyalty. You can tweet this to them directly or send a Direct Message with the code if you don't want it shared publicly.
There are advantages to using it publicly in that others may see it and use the code to take advantage of the discount as well, thereby generating even more sales from that one tweet. But if you want to take a more personal approach and reward someone individually, try a DM.
So there you have my six stealth Twitter tips to see more sales and traffic and engagement from Twitter. Of course, there are plenty of tips and tactics out there that I haven't covered. So if you have a tip that you want to share, please comment below with what you do and how it helps you!