Twitter turns 11 years old today. It’s gone through some incredible periods of growth, followed by a leveling off. Despite some claims that it’s “dying,” however, it remains one of the top social media sites in the world. According to Statista, Twitter had 319 million active users at the end of 2016. If these are numbers for a failing company, most businesses would welcome this type of failure.
Even more significant than raw numbers is the incredible amount of press that Twitter gets. During the recent presidential campaign, Donald Trump made some of his most newsworthy remarks via Twitter. Similarly, hardly a week goes by when you don’t hear about a famous celebrity, athlete or other public features achieving notoriety from a tweet. All of this has relevance for marketers. Twitter is still a large and highly influential platform for reaching almost any type of audience. Here are some tips to keep in mind for succeeding with Twitter in 2017 and beyond.
Make Use of Twitter Analytics
One of the best things about Twitter is that it’s possible to find out a great deal about your followers and people you might want to follow and other users in general. You can learn a great deal from Twitter Analytics. You might also use additional social media tools for greater insights. Wherever you get your data, let’s look at some of the key metrics to track.
- Measure engagement. This is one of the most important metrics with any social media marketing. With Twitter, you’re tracking retweets, likes and link clicks. You always want to know which of your tweets produces the most engagement, as this is a clue for creating popular content in the future.
- When is your audience engaged? What time of day or day of the week is best for tweeting? This varies according to your audience. Naturally, it’s best to focus your efforts during the times that produce the best results.
- Know your audience. Clicking on Audiences tells you things such as the location, interests and lifestyles of your followers.
- Track events. One category on your Twitter Analytics dashboard is Events. This is always worth clicking on, as it lists many events that might be worth tweeting about. You can filter these by type, location and dates. No matter what your niche, there will be events that are relevant, whether these are holidays, festivals, elections, movies, sporting events or anything else.
Of course, the real purpose of analytics isn’t just to collect data but to put it to good use. The best way to do this is to get ideas for content. It’s obvious that high engagement for a tweet means that this is a good topic to cover. In addition to Twitter, however, you can use this data for your wider content strategy. A popular tweet might also be a good idea for a blog post, video or even an e-book.
Live streaming video has suddenly gotten extremely popular, with Facebook, YouTube and others coming out with platforms for live broadcasts. If you have a large Twitter following, however, there are advantages to using Periscope, which was acquired by Twitter in 2015. Twitter now lets you broadcast live with its own app, powered by Periscope. Moving seamlessly between tweeting and live streaming is a powerful tool for businesses that want to increase engagement with followers. Here are just a few ways to use live broadcasts for your business:
- Broadcast from interesting events. This could be your event or any interesting event where you’re present. Depending on your audience, you might broadcast from a business conference, festival, big sporting event, art opening, or anything your followers would find fascinating.
- Introduce products. Introduce a new product with a live streaming event. Or provide instruction on how to use it. Remember, this is live so people can ask you questions in real time.
- Interviews. Talk to experts, customers or anyone who can speak intelligently about your field.
- Give people an inside look at your business. Whether your headquarters is a store, office or your home, you can stream live and let people see where you work.
Use Twitter for Social Listening
Twitter is a powerful tool to track how your customers and prospects feel about many issues. There are certain things that are especially good to monitor for the health of your business.
- Monitor brand mentions. You always want to know when people are talking about you. It’s helpful to monitor brand mentions for your competitors as well. This lets you learn what people like and don’t like about product features or other aspects of your industry.
- Track hashtags. Hashtags let you know which topics are trending. Aside from Twitter itself, a good source for comprehensive information on the latest hashtags is hashtags.org.
- Use Twitter lists to keep track of people. Lists are a Twitter feature that many people don’t use. You can add anyone to a list, whether you follow them or not. This lets you create lists for specific categories and find out what these people are up to. Lists may be private or public. Private lists, that only you see are a great tool for tracking influencers, competitors or consumers of a certain type of product. Public lists are useful for engaging people with certain interests.
- Use a social media listening tool to receive email notifications about Twitter activity regarding your chosen people, keywords, topics or hashtags.
These are some of the best ways to get the most out of Twitter. As with any marketing strategy, it’s essential to put in consistent effort at connecting with your audience. The number one tip in this regard is to simply tweet regularly on topics that your followers care about. Beyond this, making use of strong analytics, social listening and engagement tools such as Periscope help you make an even stronger impact.