Twitter has become one of the major social marketing points of emphasis for many companies today. With the right strategy and structure, it becomes easy to target specific demographics, interact with them, and even be proactive about solving problems. There’s a right way and a wrong way to market on Twitter, however, so these tips have been developed to help your next marketing campaign avoid a costly mistake.
1. Newsjacking Is Bad News
Many companies use current trending topics as a way to get their brand out to more people. The only problem with this is that using current topics can create some ill feelings within the consumer base if the hashtags for trending haven’t been researched. Having a retail outlet promote their materials after a terrorist attack, for example, can torpedo a brand faster than a submarine can scramble its weapons systems.
Newsjacking is something that sounds good on paper, but doesn’t implement very well in real life. If the news is brand reflective, then it can be a beneficial method of promoting a specific message. Otherwise don’t fall for the temptation.
2. Tweet Before Following
If you follow someone on Twitter, there is a good chance that they will follow you back. This advice has been spread around the internet like a bad marketing plague. Following someone for the sake of following them is a waste of time. If you’ve got 10,000 followers, but you’re following 80,000 different accounts, then it is virtually impossible to engage with someone in a meaningful way.
But my message will go to 10,000 people!
It’s true your message will appear on a number of timelines, but the average person doesn’t read every tweet. They skim tweets. Unless your brand has engaged with that person in some way, there is no way that they are going to actively look for that one tweet in the 1,000 tweets they are receiving every hour.
Just like in blogging, your content matters on Twitter. If you’re funny, provide valuable tips, or can create a meaningful dialogue, then you will gain followers that will want to engage with your account.
3. It’s a Photo Shop World
Marketing on Twitter often means engagement. To get that engagement, you need to provide someone something of value. For those on this social network, having something retweeted to a large number of followers is just as beneficial, if not more so, then a mention on your account or even free merchandise. For many, the goal is to have a large follower count because this reflects their popularity and impact on others.
How can you take advantage of this? By hosting photo contests, joke contests, or anything else you can think of that will put your brand into the hands of others. Offer to retweet the best photos of you and your brand and have them get submitted through Twitter using a specific hashtag. The first couple go-rounds might be lacking in participation, but keep at it. You’ll keep growing as people see you engaging with your follower base.
4. Prepare For the Inevitable
The NYPD decided to run a Twitter marketing campaign to generate positive images from the community. What they got in return were a bunch of images that showed alleged NYPD brutality. Bill Cosby went to Twitter for memes and wound up receiving a stack of tweets and images regarding his alleged sexual misconduct.
When you go to Twitter and ask for something, you will receive what you want. The NYPD did get soe good community image. Bill Cosby did get some of the memes he wanted. What they didn’t do was prepare for the inevitable. Just as you can newsjack a story, Twitter users can “marketjack” your campaign for their own needs. It isn’t always going to be a positive experience when this happens.
You’ve got one of two options: you can ignore the marketjacking or you can respond to it. The NYPD and Cosby pretty much ignored the negative tweets and this created a large amount of negative publicity in return. If you respond to it, then you run the risk of further marketjacking attempts, but you may also limit the negative publicity.
There’s no easy answer here. Do what you feel is best, but be prepared for a response either way.
5. Marketing Welfare
A Twitter marketing campaign can be summed up with that one word. Unless you have an established brand identity that already has an associated value to it, then you’ve got to give your followers and Twitter in general some level of value with your tweets. If you make every tweet something that tries to get someone to buy something, then you’re efforts will be for naught.
How do you provide value on Twitter? Some brands will blog and send links to the blog to Twitter. Others will put people in touch with research materials so they can make their own choices. The most valuable thing on Twitter, however, is conversation. Talking to people is what builds relationships and that is what leads to sales.
6. Pictures Are Worth What?
Visual content dominates the internet today. Your Twitter marketing campaign must have visual elements in order to success. Images are easy enough to upload, but what about videos? With Vine, which is a video sharing site that is owned by Twitter, you can create short videos that can make people smile and engage with your brand. For longer videos, use the same YouTube embedding that you’re likely using for your blog.
There is one visual you shouldn’t really be using for Twitter marketing: the GIF. You have to upload them directly from the site, but GIFs are more for the younger crowd. They work very well on Tumblr, but might turn off your Twitter audience for good.
7. Don’t Automatically Favorite Everything
First of all, Twitter suspends accounts if they think you might be favoriting everything to gain attention to your account. The TOS on Twitter prevents aggressive, random, and automated favoriting. It’s a bad policy anyway. All someone would need to do is list your brand in a tweet to make the automated system kick in and they could talk about anything. Can you imagine what would happen to your brand if your account automatically starred a tweet that promoted domestic violence?
Outside of tweet scheduling, you shouldn’t be using automated systems on this site at all. There are far too many things that can go wrong if you aren’t putting eyes on the entire system on a consistent basis.
These Twitter marketing campaign tips will help to promote your brand while limiting the outside damage that others might try to cause. Implement them today, retweet good content, and engage your follower base frequently to have the best possible experience.