When Twitter launched in 2006, it wasn’t envisioned as a channel for marketers. For co-founders Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams, programmers at the San Francisco based podcasting company, Odeo, Twitter was little more than an easy-to-use platform for texting on their cellphones. Dorsey sent the very first “tweet” on March 21, 2006: “just setting up my twttr.” Within days, they knew a communications revolution had been born—tweet #38 read, “Oh, this is going to be addictive.”

Fast Forward: 10 Years Later

Today, Twitter has roughly 313 million active monthly users, and a lot of those users are looking for information about products and services, a fact which hasn’t escaped the attention for forward-leaning marketers. Big brands as diverse as Jet Blue, Major League Baseball, DiGiorno Pizza, General Electric and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are pushing their companies to the next level on Twitter every day.

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They’re achieving success on the social media giant by personalizing answers to consumer questions, using advanced search options, reaching their target audience on mobile devices and customizing content to key market segments.

Here are 4 strategies the big brands use to succeed on Twitter, and which you can use to boost your brand and grow your business:

1. Use Advanced Search Options

With Twitter’s advanced search option (at search.twitter.com), you can search for keyword phrases Twitter users insert to find the products and services you sell, and you can even specify a given location to find consumers in your community. You’ll find a huge volume of tweets related to those keywords, tweets you can leverage by reaching out to the consumers who tweeted them, introducing yourself and beginning to build a business relationship.

For example, if you’re a marketing manager in higher education, you might enter “I’m looking for a good college.” You’ll find tweets from prospective college students looking for schools with specific majors, or in a specific location. If your school offers that major, or is in that area, you can send a personalized response to get the conversation going. You can do the same for virtually any industry, from finance to technology, food and beverage, automotive and fitness.

2. Boost Your Twitter SEO with Frequent Tweets

The more you tweet (and the more relevant those tweets are to consumer interests), the more Twitter rewards you by boosting your ranking in online searches. To increase relevance, use keyword-rich phrases in your tweets, and be sure to insert your name or your company’s name in your Twitter handle (if that’s not possible, insert the name into your bio). You can also increase your Twitter rankings by optimizing your profile, and linking to your website (you should also try to use the same keywords you use for your site).

3. Get Mobile Friendly

More Google searches now take place on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets than on computers in 10 countries—including the U.S. and Japan—and mobile messaging is among the most effective ways to connect with prospective customers on Twitter. Twitter includes an option for marketers to have their tweets sent directly as text to followers.

Any of your followers who has subscribed to your tweets from their mobile phones will automatically receive your tweets on that device. This can also save you money, since you won’t need to hire a text marketing company to do the job for you. You can increase your mobile followers by sending a tweet with a link to a brief tutorial on how to subscribe to your tweets via mobile devices.

4. Swap Out Link Headlines to Boost Traffic

According to Hubspot, Twitter accounts for 16% of all social media referrals to long articles, and 14% or referrals to shorter articles. That means you should regularly include links to relevant content—like blogs, articles and webinars—in your tweets to increase engagement and build trust. This will, of course, also increase traffic to your website. To maximize that traffic, tweet the same content multiple times, changing the headline (and tweeting the same content at different times of the day) each time to appeal to new market segments.

Brands like Charmin, Forrester and Innocent Drinks have been wildly successful on Twitter because they took the time to understand that site’s rules of engagement for marketers. They don’t, however, limit their social media marketing to Twitter. There are equally powerful marketing tools available to you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. Your social media strategy should effectively leverage the enormous audience available to you on each of these sites—and what you do on social media should be one component of your overall digital marketing strategy.

To learn more about the ways we can combine strategy, design, digital, experiential and social marketing solutions to create an immersive brand marketing program, one which will help you boost your brand and grow your business, contact us today.