Twitter goes beyond just clicks. There is messaging, content promotion, brand recognition, sales, marketing and overall engagement. Barry Feldman and Madalyn Sklar talked about these and other possibilities for Twitter users.
Feldman is a marketing consultant and author of The Road to Recognition, a personal branding guide. Sklar is a marketing entrepreneur, podcast host and Twitter chat moderator.
When it comes to conveying your message to your audience, Twitter lets you get your messages out fast and wide. It helps you respond quickly either individually or in a blanket message to keep your brand active and current.
“Twitter is messaging,” Feldman said. “Use it, but don’t overthink it. Public relations won’t fly on Twitter. Authenticity will. Another thing: You can’t convey your message unless you have one. Do you? If so, can you tweet such that your narrative at large supports it?”
Sklar said, “Twitter is a great platform to listen, connect and share. Don’t use it as a one-way street. Listen to people.”
There are several ways to set expectations for content promotion on Twitter. For best results, promote content early and often — at least daily — without becoming monotonous and spammy. Vary tweets so you don’t turn off your audience.
“One option is to claim what you’ll tweet about in your profile and put some thought into it,” Feldman said. “No duh, I guess, but many people will make a follow-no follow decision based on your profile. Also, potential followers are bound to look at your recent tweets. So, if you rap about a variety of topics as I do, but specialize in a niche, be sure to have a heavy rotation of tweets relevant to that niche.”
Sklar advised not to shoot for the moon.
“I don’t set high expectations,” she said. “I share great content and experiment to see what can I do better based on the analytics. For #VideoReplyDay, my expectation was to get people interested in connecting through video. It far exceeded what I thought it would do.”
To source content ideas on Twitter for your business, listen to your competitors. Then figure out what you do better that adds value to readers. Create your own content, and promote it independently of and without referring to your competitors.
“Use BuzzSumo,” Feldman said. “Set up Google alerts, read your favorite blogs, use Quora and other social media. Zest.is is an awesome new service for marketers. Set up keyword and hashtag searches in Hootsuite or any social media management platform to keep your finger on the pulse of the topics that matter most to your business — and followers. Don’t refrain from sharing your best evergreen content continuously over time.”
Sklar added Nuzzel to the news monitoring and research mix.
Users also can make better use of Twitter features to deliver helpful content to their audience.
“Take your content — or any great content — apart and share provocative sound bites,” Feldman said. “That’s more compelling than just a title. Pull a nugget out. A person. A graph. An amazing data point. Direct users to places other than your website where you’ve flexed your expertise muscles: Quora, forums, podcasts, etc.”
“I’m so surprised more people are not using this method for content delivery,” she said. “It’s a great Twitter feature. Try it out. I’m working on a Twitter Moments for Business online training class. Each week I post Twitter Moments recaps for the #TwitterSmarter and #SocialROI chats. People love them.”
User-generated content also can promote brand recognition and generate sales. Users generate comments, photos, videos or any combination of those and other content. If their content supports your vision and brand, ask permission to use it. Rarely will people decline the offer and compliment.
“Share tweets and retweets,” Feldman said. “Share photos. Create interactive promotions such as contests, and share interesting entries. Perhaps the best way is to foster UGC and conversations by tossing questions out there. Do surveys. Make democratizing decisions such as, ‘What should we call this thing? What cover works best?’ Use video. Think of creative ways to get your customers and followers talking and taping, so to speak.”
“It really is underused on Twitter,” she said. “I’ve been showing people you can make videos on Twitter the same way you do on Instagram Stories and Snapchat. Also use incentives such as giveaways. Pat Flynn is doing one right now to win a free virtual coffee with him.”
“Create traffic,” Feldman said. “That’s essentially what inbound is. So, create great content. Make it easy to share with buttons, click to tweet, highlight to tweet.”
Sklar added that Twitter is “a great place to develop a network and form partnerships. Have a call to action in your tweet, and send people to your website.”
Twitter helps convert content viewers to leads. Start by thanking with a tweet to those who viewed your content. That tells the rest of your audience that your content is meaningful and you readily interact with readers. That can lead to more interest in your brand and generate leads.
“Twitter used to have great lead-generation cards,” Sklar said. “It was an incredibly awesome and easy way to get people to opt in to your lead magnet, giveaway and other things. But it’s gone. Now you have to get more creative with calls to action.”
Feldman was hard pressed to see how Twitter can generate leads.
“I’m tempted to say it can’t — or seldom does,” he said. “I suppose this depends on what you call a lead. If a lead is an opt-in, you can promote the hell out of your offers. I propose you think of Twitter as just a door. When it opens, try to step through it and develop a relationship. Send direct messages. Email, talk, have a beer.”
To boost brand engagement and build followers, Feldman suggested “promoting that you’re active on Twitter. Do that everywhere. Online and off.”
Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.