Twitter is changing. The cute bird has gone public, introduced self-service advertising and is verging on visual.
I remember when I joined in 2008, that the rules of engagement were just about fun and frivolity. It was a playground for social media enthusiasts that were exploring and pushing the boundaries. It was about having conversations with people all over the world.
There were only 4 million people on the platform when I began; and using it for marketing was not even considered — we were all just playing. Today, with mass media embracing it for TV, real-time breaking news, distributing content and viral marketing, the bird has muscled up.
With its increased maturity, the rules have become clearer and its marketing power much more obvious. Here are 11 essential rules for powerful Twitter marketing to increase brand awareness, leads and sales.
#1 Perfect your Twitter Profile
This one is often underestimated. When people check out your Twitter account and profile, they will only give you a few seconds. They must know at a glance what your brand is about, whether it is a corporate or personal brand. An example would be Content Marketing Institute, a company that is all about content and events — and their profile makes that obvious. There is no “perfect” Twitter profile, but make sure that it is sending the right message quickly. It can even be your brand’s elevator pitch!
#2 Link to your Online Platform
Social media (and Twitter) is not an island, and ensuring that your social networks and blogs are interlinked is key. Many people will check out your website before following your Twitter feed. They will be checking out your online credibility, so make sure you have that link.
#3 Create Tempting Twitter Headlines
Just check your Twitter stream and your will see the “good, the bad and the ugly” when it comes to headlines. Just take a moment to see which Twitter headlines you want to click on — what do you see? Be sure to think about your Twitter headline before tweeting, because it will make a difference. Studies have shown that you can increase your conversion rate on a link by 73 percent if you use a compelling headline.
#4 Use Visual Tweets
Visual tweets were not even imagined when Twitter started; however, the introduction of tweets that display in the stream without having to click have some distinct advantages. According to research from Buffer, tweets that included images received the following increases in activity:
- 89% more favorites
- 18% more clicks than those without
- 150% more retweets
That does not mean that every tweet should be visual, but you should work out ways to incorporate that into your tweeting habits.
#5 Tweet with Hashtags
The hashtag was an idea that was invented for Twitter. It started in 2007 by Chris Messina to tag topics of interest on the microblogging network. He posted the alleged first post on Twitter to include what would become the hashtag: “How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp?”
The first high-profile use of the hashtag was in the 2007 California fires by Nate Ritter with #sandiegofire. The use of the # hashtag has now spread to the other social networks including Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and even Facebook. It allows you to both find and see tweets/topics that are relevant to a particular subject matter and group them in one place. Hashtags are a powerful way to direct your tweets to people looking for that topic; however, be aware that it is more an art than a science.