A Comprehensive Guide to Twitter Marketing

A Comprehensive Guide to twitter Marketing

“A Comprehensive Guide to Twitter Marketing” written by Mike Marko.

Looking for the complete guide to successful Twitter marketing?

You’re not the only one. Twitter looks deceptively simple as a marketing platform, but there are a lot of tricks to learn and a lot of errors you can make. Most people find that out the hard way.

I was one of them.

Years ago, when I started on the platform, I didn’t get Twitter. To be honest… I thought it was dumb.  But I was told to use it so I did a half hearted attempt.

So not surprisingly, as time went by, things weren’t going as expected. I wasn’t getting the results I wanted.  I had proven to myself that I was right: it was a waste of time.

A couple years later, I attended a series of workshops and training on Twitter.  And suddenly it was so much clearer and I realized how important Twitter was to marketing online.

And I continued to learn more about this marketing platform.

I wished I had been more serious about Twitter years ago.  I wasted a lot of time.

Twitter ended up becoming one of my strongest marketing platforms.

That’s why I can confidently say today that I’ve mastered Twitter marketing. Now it’s my turn to pass on the knowledge to those who want to kick off their own Twitter marketing the right way.

Twitter Marketing for Business

Twitter marketing is one of the best tools you can have in your marketing arsenal. It’s relatively low-cost and once you get the hang of it, even surprisingly fun.

It’s also very accessible because the platform itself was designed for popular usage. You don’t need much specialized knowledge to get started on the network.

Before we start on how you can use it for business purposes, though, let’s cover the basics first. What exactly is Twitter and what do people do on it?

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What Is Twitter?

Twitter is a micro-blogging site used to spread news and do social networking. Posts on it are called tweets and are limited to 280 characters (right now). This makes them easy to read — but not always easy to write.

For most purposes, Twitter is free to use. You can purchase advertisement for you brand on it, but it’s not strictly necessary for Twitter marketing.

It’s definitely possible to get attention on Twitter without having to spend money. Some of the most popular Twitter accounts and tweets in the world have spent zero dollars on advertising.

This makes Twitter marketing especially attractive to startups and businesses with limited marketing budgets. Even big companies with bucks to spend use it too, though.

The Benefits of Twitter Marketing

Twitter marketing makes sense on multiple levels for a business owner. Let’s begin with the fact that it can help you establish your brand as well as engage consumers.

Then there’s the fact that Google indexes tweets. Even if it indexes only a small percentage of them, the sheer volume of tweets still makes that significant.

So Twitter marketing can be good for your business’s SEO (search engine optimization) too.

That’s just a few of the ways you can use it to serve your business. But as I said earlier, you have to do your Twitter marketing right to glean the benefits.

In light of that, it may actually be wise for you to define your Twitter marketing goals first. Understanding what you can do isn’t the same as knowing what you want to do on a platform.

So let’s clarify what you want your Twitter marketing to achieve, for a start.

Twitter Marketing Engagement 2

1) Reach More Potential Customers

Twitter has a large number of active users. Chances are, many of your potential customers are on it.

Like other social networking platforms, Twitter makes it easy to find a target audience. You can search for them using keywords or hashtags. The platform even offers advertisers a range of methods that include geographic targeting and behavior targeting.

This means you can find people on Twitter who aren’t customers yet but who may be future ones. You can study their tweets and communities and get ideas for reaching out to them.

So Twitter marketing can expand your customer base in ways you may never have imagined.

For example, some people discover customer groups in new industries or locations this way. Once they find them, they reach out… and that can lead to better brand authority as well as more sales.

2) Increase Your Sales and Revenue

The accepted wisdom is that the more followers you have, the more sales you’ll get… and an increase in sales is usually a key goal in Twitter marketing.

In fact, Twitter marketing is one of the most effective ways to boost business revenues. That’s because almost 69% of Twitter users purchase products that they’ve seen on their Twitter feed.

3) Increase the Credibility of Your Business

Being on Twitter can also increase the credibility of your business. A lot of people are wary of businesses that lack an online presence or testimonies. That’s because no one wants to fall for a scam.

Having an official and active presence on social websites helps. Posting tweets that are informative, useful, or relevant can also prove that you really work in the industry you say you’re part of.

This aspect of Twitter marketing makes you more credible to potential consumers. It tells them you (and your business) can actually provide the product/service you claim to offer.

4) Spy on Your Competitors

Twitter marketing can also help you gain insight into what is happening with your competitors. Most business accounts on Twitter are open to the public. This allows you to check updates, feedback, and complaints from their customers.

Tracking your competitors’ activities can help you improve your own products and services. Also, doing this helps you figure out how you can steal rivals’ customers.

5) Post Updates Instantly

Twitter is accessible on both desktop and handheld devices. The microblogging format also makes crafting updates very quick.

The platform basically gives you the power to announce anything to consumers in an instant. You can also do it from just about anywhere.

That means you can get time-sensitive news out as soon as you can type it. You can also react to events in your industry or niche quickly enough to be part of the first to take advantage of them.

All of this helps you keep pace with your communities.

6) Build an Engaging Community

On that note, another reason you should use Twitter marketing is that it can help you build a community easily.

Having a community helps create a relationship with your target audience. This improves the possibility of conversions, whether you’re trying to turn them into first-time customers or repeat ones.

Building a community also increases your visibility. If a lot of people are always tweeting about your business, your brand can reach more potential customers.

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How to Start Marketing Your Business on Twitter

Now that you know what Twitter marketing can do for you, it’s time to actually get on the platform.Twitter Marketing for Business

Most people already know how to do this because they have personal Twitter accounts. However, making a business account is a little different.

Marketing a business on Twitter is also a little different from normal socialization on the platform.

Don’t worry, though: I’ll make it easy for you and go step-by-step in this Twitter marketing guide.

Create Your Twitter Business Page

The first thing you need to ask here is what kind of Twitter account you want representing your brand. Twitter marketing is about your business’s identity, first and foremost. How do you want that identity fleshed out?

Most people think that means their Twitter marketing account should be a straight-up corporate one. That means all tweets posted are “official” statements from the company.

This type of Twitter marketing account isn’t ideal for every business. In fact, it can work against a lot of them since Twitter is so focused on conversations and engagement. It’s hard to engage an abstract entity.

That’s why a lot of companies are now opting for hybrid Twitter marketing accounts that assign a “face” or “persona” to the brand.

Sometimes, it’s not stated outright. Look at @DunkinDonuts, for example.

This is obviously an official business account, but it still has personality. Think of it as a “human voice” — as opposed to a cold, droning one.

In other words, it’s not a straight-up corporate account because it’s conveying more than company news. It’s also conveying the brand’s values and culture.

In other cases, the personal element may be more blatant. A company executive might open a Twitter marketing account that combines his name and the company’s, for example.

This is a signal that this isn’t a “purely personal” account. It shows that whatever he says on it is being said in his capacity as a member of the company — and possibly the brand’s ambassador.

A hybrid personal-corporate account is the best option for most Twitter marketing beginners. It opens up possibilities for relationship-building while still putting the business at the forefront.

Consider that when following the steps below.

Choose The Right Twitter Handle

Your Twitter handle is your username on the platform (@yourbusiness). It could be your business’s name or anything that identifies your business.

Some people use their names for their Twitter marketing handle. That’s fine as long as you append your business’s name to it, as mentioned earlier.

This keeps the branding consistent and also reminds people that the account is meant to represent the company you’re fronting.

Remember, by the way, that you should try to use only one Twitter handle. You can change it, but it’s not advisable. Your target audience will have a hard time recognizing your account if you change it often.

Add the Necessary Information

Add all important information about your business after creating your account. Fill out the location and URL fields. After that, use your page’s bio to describe your business’s value proposition.

The bio is actually where a lot of Twitter marketing novices go wrong. They stuff it with buzzwords that don’t really tell people what they can offer.

You only get 160 characters for your Twitter bio, so you have to be succinct but informative. Ask yourself if a person reading your bio would understand exactly what you offer based on it.

Twitter Marketing Business Plan

Customize the Look of Your Page

Many Twitter users will judge you according to your profile. That means it should portray your brand effectively at a glance.

Let’s start with the images. You need a header image (the banner at the top of your profile page) and an avatar image (the image next to your tweets and shown in your profile page’s sidebar).

The header should be 1,500 x 500 pixels in the PNG, JPG, or GIF format. Choose something attractive that represents your business or its products and services.

Do you sell furniture? Use a professional, high-quality shot of your wares. Do you provide piano lessons? Try a striking banner of a piano’s keyboard.

You don’t need to have your company’s logo on the header, by the way. You can if it fits and improves the look. Otherwise, it’s fine to go without it.

As for the avatar, it needs to be 400 x 400 pixels. Some people use their company’s logo, which helps keep the focus on the brand. But it may also be harder to relate to, which can mean lower audience engagement.

Which should you use? It’s your call. If you’re one of the people who used the @ formula to make your Twitter marketing handle, use both.

To be exact, try putting the company logo in the background of the avatar photo. Then have your face in the foreground. This could combine the best of both worlds: branding consistency and relatability.

Next, pick a theme color. This is going to be the highlight color for links on your profile page.

It’s best to pick a color that either matches or brings out the hues on your header image. This gives the page a consistent, polished look.

Pin the Right Tweet

Finally, think about your pinned tweet. Whatever’s pinned to the top of your page can influence what people think of your business.

If you pin a tweet about an event, for example, people may take it as a representation of what you do.

If you pin a tweet that has a high number of retweets or comments, people may take that as social proof of your company’s legitimacy.

Choose your pinned tweets with care because they can say a lot about your brand. You don’t want them to say something unpleasant!

For more tips on what to do and not do on your business’s profile page, take a look at my article on setting up a business account on the network.

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Learn the Basics of Twitter Marketing

Now that you have an account and optimized profile, it’s time to tinker around on the platform and learn the basics of Twitter marketing.

Here are some of the terms and activities you need to know, to be specific:

  • Tweet – A tweet is a short post or status update posted on Twitter. The character limit has changed several times, but tweets are generally brief. Some experts even suggest shooting under the limit at only 80 to 110 characters per tweet.
  • Retweet or RT – It’s a way of sharing a tweet from a certain user.
  • Mention  – You can mention a user in a tweet when you want to notify them of something. You can do this by typing the user’s Twitter handle on your tweet.
  • Hashtag – It’s a keyword or unspaced phrase with a # symbol at the beginning, e.g #twittermarketing. Its purpose is to categorize and mark tweets that are related to a specific topic.
  • Trends or Trending Topic – It’s a hashtag-driven topic that’s popular at a particular time. This could be a person, place, thing, or idea that is currently talked about by a majority of Twitter users.
  • Direct Message/ DM – A private message to another Twitter user. The only person who can see a direct message is the recipient.
  • Followers – Your Twitter followers are the users who follow your account.
  • Following – The users you follow are those who appear on the “Following” list on your profile.
  • Unfollow – If you unfollow a user, you will no longer see their tweets on your home feed.
  • Mute – It’s a feature that allows you to remove a user’s Tweets from your tweet feed without unfollowing or blocking their account.
  • Block – Prevents a user from seeing or interacting with your account. The user will be informed that you have blocked them when they attempt to view your profile.

Seek and Follow Relevant People for Your Business

So which of the above actions should you take as your first step into Twitter marketing? Some will tell you it’s the Tweet. But I think it should actually be the Follow.

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That’s because it’s the backbone of outreach on Twitter. Much of Twitter marketing is about making connections — and one of the best ways to do that is to follow people.

It can also give you a sense for how others are using the network. What are others doing for their Twitter marketing? What promotional strategies seem effective?

When seeking people to follow, look for your business partners, employees, influencers, and existing customers.

Following these can increase your page’s visibility to everyone interested in your industry and services. That includes potential customers.

Twitter will also suggest your account to users similar to the people you are following. In short, following people can be a great way to get others to follow you back.

In addition to that, following industry influencers and customers helps you keep track of what they’re talking about. This is hugely helpful for content marketing in particular. It’s a steady source of ideas!

IM Twitter Marketing Strategy

Make a Marketing Plan

Now you have an account, a profile, and ideally, the beginnings of a network (if you followed people). It’s time to draw up your Twitter marketing plan.

Do you remember your Twitter marketing goals? The ones I listed earlier included reaching out to potential customers, increasing brand credibility, and more.

Well, your Twitter marketing plan outlines what you’ll do to achieve those goals. Ask yourself questions like these:

  • What do I want to promote and how?
  • What conversations should I join?
  • How can I increase my followers?
  • How can I keep my followers?
  • How should I handle feedback, especially negative feedback?
  • Should I use Twitter Ads? (Usually, yes.)
  • Should I have a “tweeting schedule”? (Again, the usual answer is yes.)
  • How often should I tweet about the same topic, e.g. to promote a blog post? (Definitely more than once for things you want to promote, but space them out and rephrase the tweet each time.)
  • What time should I post? (This depends on your business, as different demographics will be active at different times. Try tools like Tweriod to find the best time to reach yours.)

Whatever your answers, remember that Twitter marketing requires high activity. Content can get buried quickly because new tweets are churned out by the second. The same for new topics.

This means you shouldn’t try to bite off more than you can chew. Start out modest.

For example, don’t arrange a tweeting schedule of 10 per day if you can’t actually manage it. QuickSprout’s Neil Patel even suggests starting with only 5 tweets a day. You can work your way up from there.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to dive headfirst into your Twitter marketing, you may want to look at this list of quick Twitter hacks and tips for businesses. You can combine these with your 5 daily tweets to get started quickly.

If your business is a small one, though, you may want more specific advice for your initial activity. In that case, try out my guide to the platform for small businesses and Twitter tips for small businesses.

By the way, don’t be afraid to integrate your Twitter marketing with your other social media marketing. If you need help with other platforms too, check out this Complete Guide on Marketing Business on Facebook and How to Market Your Business with Instagram.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Twitter Marketing

There are different ways to grow your business on Twitter because there are a lot of ways to engage people on it. You should make use of the platform’s features creatively to get the most out of it.

To give you an idea of how to do that, here’s a list of what you should and shouldn’t do when promoting a business through Twitter marketing.

Do Vary Your Twitter Marketing Methods

Many business owners think the main way to promote their business through Twitter marketing is through paid tweets. These are also known as promoted tweets.

A paid tweet will appear in the tweet feed of your target audience even if they’re not yet following you. It’s a good way to ensure that you reach your demographic for special tweets, e.g. promo announcements.

But this isn’t the only way to get your messages out to the right people. Some Twitter marketing methods can be just as effective while costing less. In some cases, they don’t cost you at all.

For example, you can also promote your business by doing the following:

1) Frequently Post Tweets or Updates with Valuable Content

IM Twitter Marketing TipsPosting tweets is still the best way to promote your business through Twitter marketing.

Keep in mind, however, that your tweets should have actual content. They could be links to a blog post, updates about a sponsored competition, or even just jokes about the industry.

What matters is that they offer the reader something of value, whether through utility or entertainment.

It helps to have a content calendar when it comes to content-focused Twitter marketing. In fact, you can even schedule tweets to be posted automatically (with tools like Hootsuite) if you have a calendar.

Still confused about what to tweet? Try my guide to strategizing what to post on Twitter for business and my list of ideas for what to post on a Twitter business account. You can also check out my advice on creatively promoting your business on Twitter.

2) Make Partnerships with Influencers

Influencers are the popular people or brands in your industry. They can promote your business to a large audience because of their high follower counts and social media influence.

Imagine an influencer has 5,000 followers, for a quick example. Now let’s say that influencer happened to pick up one of your tweets and retweeted it.

The potential audience reached by your tweet has now expanded by 5,000. It’s because that influencer’s followers can now see your post.

That’s a lot of possible added impressions thanks to a retweet by one person. Imagine what more you could achieve with more than one influencer retweeting your posts!

People are more likely to retweet you if you have a good relationship with them, though. That’s why building relationships with the right people is so important.

Consider partnering with an influencer in your area to get a steady source of wide-reaching retweets. Sometimes you’ll have to pay them for it, but it’s usually worth it for the boost it can give your Twitter marketing.

If you’re not sure what influencers look like, by the way, take a look at this list of 9 top Twitter influencers in business. They may not be in your niche, but they’ll still give you an idea of what to look for.

3) Reply Whenever Possible

Just replying to others’ tweets can give you a lot of feed material. It’s a great way to contribute your voice to a discussion.

If the topic being discussed is something about which you’ve already published content, you can even get added promo points. Just link to your earlier content on the topic.

Be wary of doing that for products and services, though. You don’t want to have your “salesman persona” on too often when Twitter marketing, because it can turn off people.

Remember too that replies should always be polite. It’s possible to do that even in a discussion where some disagreement is happening.

Do Keep Buzzing

IM Twitter MarketingYou should understand by now that engagement and communication are the keys to Twitter marketing. Expressing opinions, sharing ideas, replying to others — all of this keeps your voice audible.

This reminds people of your existence. They’re not likely to forget your brand if you keep making a buzz.

Eventually, others may even hear that buzz and be drawn in. That’s why you need people to keep talking about you on Twitter: they’ll basically do your Twitter marketing for you.

So what are some good ways to draw attention to your voice and get others to raise theirs in your favor? Try the following methods:

1) Participate in and Start Twitter Chats

The Twitter chat is a public Twitter conversation around a unique hashtag. This is usually created to allow multiple users to talk about a specific topic.

Participating in a Twitter chat can increase your visibility and reach. Just make sure the chats you join or begin are ones relevant to your industry and demographic.

2) Make the Most of Twitter Lists

Twitter lists are carefully-curated feeds of all the people you want to hear from on a given topic. This allows you to immediately see and interact with tweets from specific users.

How can you make the most of these? By creating lists of just about everyone that can help you with your Twitter marketing.

That includes organizations covering your industry’s news, the influencers in your area, the people you often run into on Twitter chats, and even the people who retweet you often.

Sorting all of these can help you find out what’s happening in the industry at a glance. It can also help you manage your engagement with these Twitter users.

If your list is curated well enough, you may even find people subscribing to it. That boosts your authority and brand visibility again.

3) Impress Your Target Audience

Who says you can’t brag just a little in your Twitter marketing? Sharing accomplishments can help you gain influencer and audience attention, so don’t be afraid to show if you’ve done something impressive.

Posting tweets of special achievements can also increase your brand’s credibility. People will feel better about doing business with you if they see that your brand just got an accolade. It’s proof of your credibility and excellence!

Just make sure you don’t seem too boastful in this part of your Twitter marketing. Patting yourself on the back once is fine, but let others do the clapping afterwards.

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Do Use Twitter for Customer Service

Using your business account as a customer service platform should be among the key parts of your Twitter marketing strategy.

Being willing to help and answer customer concerns can convince consumers of your sincerity and reliability. Even if it’s just by saying “thank you” to feedback, you can gain points with consumers.

After all, much of Twitter marketing is about building connections… and the first step to making a connection is acknowledgement.

When responding to questions or tweets requesting replies, try to do it quickly. Twitter studies show 60% expect replies in the first hour of posting.

Use your Twitter marketing to keep your customers happy and you’ll be likelier to keep them. In addition, you may get new customers as others see how well you treat those who use your products or services.

Do Prioritize Engagement

Every action you take in your Twitter marketing should prioritize engagement. Think about how to raise the odds of your action provoking a (beneficial) response.

For instance, before you tweet, ask yourself what’s the best way to invite engagement with what you want to say.

Is there a particular way of phrasing your tweet that would help? Is there something you can add that can promote responses?

A good rule of thumb here is to have visual media accompany your tweets. Videos and images still tend to get the most retweets on the platform. So that’s at least one way you can easily encourage engagement with your Twitter marketing.


Do Use Hashtags in Important Tweets

Twitter HashtagsHashtags categorize tweets in a way that makes them easier to find for interested users. That’s why you should learn to use hashtags right, especially the ones used most often in your industry.

To get a sense of which hashtags may be most relevant to your Twitter marketing, look at influencers’ feeds. There are even free tools for hashtag research like Hashtagify and Tweet Archivist.

Use hashtags to promote tweet visibility. To know more about this, check our blog post about how to use hashtags on Twitter for business.

Do Establish Yourself as an Authority

Proving yourself to be an authority on Twitter makes you more influential. This will increase your chance of attracting potential followers.

I’ve already gone over some of the things you can do to establish yourself as an authority. You can reply to others, participate in industry-related discussions, and just take every opportunity to show your expertise.

You can tweet about unique industry insights you may have collected over the years. Some people publish insider tips. Others generate whitepapers and run their own studies.

Before doing these, be sure to research what topics your followers engage with the most. This can help you find out which part of the knowledge you have may be most interesting to them.

Don’t Buy Your Followers

There are many blog posts and articles on the Internet that will advise you to buy followers to increase your followers. Buying followers will make your profile look good, after all.

However, these fake followers won’t give you engagement. They’re all style and no substance, and they definitely aren’t going to be going down your sales funnel.

Just remember something a lot of digital marketers have already figured out: it’s better to have an audience of 5 who are all interested in your products than an audience of 20 who’ll never buy what you offer.

Rather than buying fake followers, prioritize engagement from the actual people who are interested in your business.

Don’t Use Too Much Automation

Twitter Marketing CommunicationAutomated or scheduled posts are useful for Twitter marketing.  Tools that let you do this can help you save a lot of marketing time.

However, automating too much of your Twitter marketing also has a downside.

Automation can rob you of vital engagement and relationship-building opportunities in some cases. In general, don’t automate replies, retweets or direct messages.

Most people can tell if a reply is automated — and won’t feel flattered by it.

Do some parts of your Twitter marketing the human way. It’ll help you convey sincerity yet again. It also shows others you care enough about engaging with them to do it personally.

Besides, some of the biggest marketing opportunities in Twitter are only available with manual posting. For example, I’ve talked before in a post on Twitter for business about how live tweeting (posting reactions to an event as it actually happens) can be a good way to get your brand trending.

Don’t Advertise Too Much

Twitter is a social media platform. People use it mainly to communicate with their friends or colleagues, not to be bombarded by commercials.

So when you’re doing Twitter marketing, focus on socializing or communicating with your audience. Avoid posting advertisements too frequently because it’ll annoy them.

That would defeat the whole purpose of your Twitter marketing efforts.

Just ask yourself how you’d react if you were in their shoes. Would you enjoy tweets from someone constantly trying to sell products? Would you be more likely to buy those products after being annoyed by their insistence?

I recommend a 20/80 guideline for posts where at most 20% of tweets are “direct selling” your products and/or services.

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Final Thoughts on Using Twitter to Market Your Business

Twitter is one of the best platforms to market a business because of its large number of active users and high engagement rate. Apart from that, Twitter also has a lot of useful tools and features for online marketing.

Twitter marketing can offer many benefits for your business. It can increase your reach, sales, and credibility. It can also help in building a community for your brand.

But in order to reap those benefits, you have to do your Twitter marketing properly. You have to set up your account right and familiarize yourself with the platform.

Once you’ve figured out how to use Twitter, that’s when you can create a marketing plan. It should be tailored to the platform and focused on your Twitter marketing goals.

Then you can put that plan in action to promote your business. You can do this by doing the following:

  • Being active in your community,
  • Posting tweets regularly,
  • Prioritizing engagement, and
  • Connecting with your audience and relevant influencers.

All of these things can help you achieve success with your Twitter marketing.

And that’s it! If you have more questions about Twitter marketing, don’t be afraid to leave them in the comments below.

And always remember to think before you tweet!

By the way, if you need help in getting traffic to your website then feel free to contact me and we can talk about the different consulting options we offer. Or use the link below to apply for your “Results in Advance” free consultation and let us get started right away.

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Suggested Articles:
1. Twitter For Marketing Your Business: A Beginner’s Guide
2. Useful Twitter Marketing for Business Hacks and Tips
3. Using Twitter for a Business: Tips and Tricks

A Comprehensive Guide to Twitter Marketing - Mike Marko

Author: Mike Marko
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