Whether you hopped on Twitter when you could still get an account with just your first name or you're brand new to this game, the fact is that nearly 15 years later, Twitter still holds a lot of value. And so does Twitter Marketing.
Not just for trolls and celebrities, Twitter is a major content distribution channel for the world's top B2B brands. In this post, we're helping content teams make the most of this pervading platform.
Why focus on Twitter marketing in 2020
With 330 million monthly active users and 145 million daily active users, Twitter may not be the social media star in terms of volume, but it's not to be ignored. Twitter marketing is still very effective when you know how to start.
For B2B companies, Twitter remains an important platform. 80% of Twitter users are affluent millennials, which is the generation whose decision making power is steadily growing in the B2B arena.
Also, people are open to interacting with companies on Twitter. 93% of Twitter users state that they're open to brands getting involved in the platform and in conversations.
Understanding the Twitter algorithm
Once upon a time, the Twitter feed was a reverse chronological display of recent tweets. Now the Twitter algorithm shows you the "top tweets" and gives you the option to switch to seeing the latest tweets in your feed.
So what are top tweets, anyways?
These are tweets that have gotten a certain amount of engagement (likes, comments, and retweets) in a certain amount of time. The more engagement a post has in a shorter time span, the more likely it is that the algorithm prioritizes it at the top of the feed.
Posts with high engagement are seen to be interesting, high quality, or controversial so Twitter wants to show them to users first in order to keep them on the platform. That's exactly why there are no magic shortcuts: your content has to be interesting, entertaining, and/or educational to your followers in order to win. Making twitter marketing harder, but more valuable.
What makes Twitter marketing unique
All about community
Within Twitter, there exist all sorts of different communities that you might not be aware of. Book lovers, writers, marketers, sales reps, consumer tech, high tech, B2B tech...there are dozens—probably hundreds—of different Twitter communities.
Even if your company's content isn't relevant to a specific community, you should still treat Twitter as a way to build community, not a way to blast followers with me me me content. See more on this in our tips below.
Not all hashtags are worth it
Everyone says you should add hashtags to your posts, but some hashtags are far more valuable than others.
It's not just about volume, it's about...you guessed it...community! Some hashtags are extraordinarily popular with the best Twitter communities. Make sure to find your best hashtags, and not just slap them on.
Great for distribution and content repurposing
Twitter is not your long-form content platform. You can and likely should make content dedicated to Twitter (such as quote graphics and infographics), but for the most part, Twitter is used for distributing your long-form content like videos, podcasts, and blog posts.
One thing that's super awesome about Twitter is that it is a multimedia platform. You can create posts with...
- Native videos
- External videos
- One image
- Multiple images
- Podcast clips
This backs up our previous point about using Twitter for distribution and content repurposing. You can experiment with what content formats work best for your audience.
Check out this super smart way to promote a podcast interview. This tweet is goals.
Individuals and company accounts can collaborate together
Twitter is a platform where employees can help further the reach of company content and help humanize their company's brand. When employees retweet company posts, that adds up to way more exposure than the company would have gotten alone. Contrast that with Instagram where companies can include their employees in posts, but reposting company content isn't a thing. Meaning that employee advocacy works wonders for twitter marketing.
Lots of opinions and meaningful conversations
Twitter users are the most opinionated of any social media platform. When Twitter users get upset over something, it makes news headlines. This can be a blessing and a curse. You want your brand's content to spark conversation without attracting the insane amount of negativity that Twitter users can unleash.
This doesn't mean you should shy away from important topics. In fact, Twitter is one of the best places to add meaning and mission to your brand.
How to win with Twitter marketing
Alright, so Twitter is a unique social media platform with the capacity for massive organic reach, particularly with affluent millennial audiences. How do you get your company content to perform well?
Focus on community building
Because Twitter has built-in communities, you'd be wise to discover which ones are relevant to you. For example, if your audience is small business owners, then you can use #smallbusinessowner in many of your posts and also follow people who tweet with that hashtag often.
There's more to community building, of course. Here are some top tips:
- Follow your target audience
- Regularly comment on and like posts from your target audience (don't just engage with what pops up in your feed, but peruse through your following and follower lists and engage with people who might not always show up in your feed)
- Engage with the followers who engage with you the most (when someone comments on your content or retweets you, go and engage with one of their recent posts)
- Join relevant conversations
- Retweet the top influencers and creators in your niche
Essentially, you want to actively engage with your target audience. They're not numbers, they're people. Build your audience this way, and you'll be far more successful than the companies with inflated follower counts but zero post engagement.
Interview experts and influencers in your content
Unlike Instagram, Twitter might not be the best platform for paid influencer marketing. But that doesn't mean you can't have an influencer strategy.
Particularly in B2B, one of the best things you can do is interview experts and influencers in your content, then mention them in your tweets that promote your content.
You can interview several experts in one blog post to create a roundup.
Or you can interview just one or two influencers in every blog post in order to have a collaborator to mention every time.
Look for influencers and experts who...
- Have a following that matches your target audience
- Get at least some engagement on all or most of their posts
- Have a following of 1000 people or more (you don't have to only collaborate with mega influencers, you can work with micro-influencers in your niche too)
Partner with other companies
Twitter is also a great place to promote your content collaborations. You might want to collaborate with a non-competitive company in your industry just so you can make use of their Twitter following.
Use your mutual Twitter audiences to promote collaborative ebooks, webinars, blog posts, or other campaigns. Add more collaboration to your content calendar so that you can make the most of this distribution channel and expand your typical reach beyond your own audience. Twitter marketing means collaborating.
Create content worthy of employee advocacy
Twitter isn't as boss of an employee advocacy platform as LinkedIn, where employees are mutually incentivized to build their personal brand and stay active. Not everyone is active on LinkedIn. The number of employees who use Twitter for professional purposes is even less.
That said, Twitter can still be a channel for employee advocacy. Hubspot does this extremely well.
Many employees in the B2B space will include their previous and past workplaces in their profiles.
Your top employee advocates will also use their personal Twitter profiles to share company content that they both like and believe will appeal to their followers.
To really encourage employee advocacy, you need to do more than just tag employees in a Slack channel and ask them to share your blog posts.
You need to create content that your employees will want to share. This will increase your brand awareness and bring a larger audience to the top of your funnel.
Create content that...
- Appeals to the audiences of your employees
- Contains trends that employees care about
- Showcases the mission of your company
- Showcases any altruistic or impactful work of your company
- Showcases your company as a great place to work (so they can brag!)
Sure, your main goal is to create content for your target audience, but creating content that your employees will actually want to share is a really smart strategy too.
Make your content highly retweetable
Not every post will get retweets. Some will get a lot of retweets (more than expect). Some will get no retweets. That's just life.
However, you can engineer retweetability. These types of posts are more likely to get retweets:
- Meaningful content
- Altruistic content
- Educational content
- Controversial content
- Content with an uncommon opinion
Humanize and add personality whenever, wherever
Ugh, there's so much drab, boring content on Twitter. If you can find ways to include real pictures of real people (customers, employees, people at your events), you'll be lightyears ahead of your competitors. Twitter marketing done right!
These types of posts do not only showcase your brand as human and relatable, but they also get more attention in the newsfeed. Natural pics stand out more than the rehashed stock photos we've all seen before.
Retweet positive mentions of your brand
Retweeting positive mentions of your brand is related to some of our tips above (community-building and adding personality), but it's worth mentioning separately because it's such a quick and easy way to make your Twitter profile stand out.
If you get a lot of positive mentions of your brand, you'll need to sift through to pick the best ones. (For the rest, make sure to like or comment on them.) You can include one positive mention retweet for every 6 to 10 posts so that they don't take over your entire profile.
Ready to promote your content on Twitter?
StoryChief is a content ops and distribution platform for smart content teams. Collaborate, review, publish, and promote your content on every channel that matters to your business, including Twitter. Learn more and sign up.