In its more than nine years of existence, Twitter has evolved significantly. What started as a fun platform to share your thoughts with the world through 140 character messages - charmingly dubbed "tweets" - has transformed into a real-time pulse of world events and conversations, capturing a cross-section of the human experience, and connecting millions of people in the process. By the first quarter of 2015, Twitter averaged 236 million monthly active users.
But people don't just passively share their thoughts and musings with the Twitter-verse. Instead, Twitter has become a driver of thought and action and a central player in social movements around the world - from female empowerment in the United States, to soccer matches in Brazil, even to democracy movements in Egypt.
Twitter is also growing as a key platform for business, but being such a fast-paced, constantly moving network, it can sometimes be tough for businesses to keep up, especially if they're just jumping in and have no idea what's going on or what all these people are talking about. But never fear, help is available.
Here at Likeable Local, we wanted to share our expertise - we've distilled our Twitter strategy into 7 Proven Strategies to Maximize Twitter for Your Business. With these 7 easy strategies, you can optimize Twitter for your business use. You can download the eBook if you want the full strategy, or just keep reading if you have a quiz in the next 10 minutes and need a cheat sheet.
1) Listen Strategically
To learn what your audience wants, go out there and find it. Everything you need to learn about your customers is out there on Twitter. Locate, listen and learn to speak their language.
2) Respond to Everyone
Twitter is a direct channel, enabling consumers to speak to companies or individuals that have impressed or wronged them. If you're on Twitter, you can take control of the situation. Respond quickly and publicly, but indicate that you'll send the customer a private message to resolve the problem. And don't forget to respond to positive comments too. A "thank you" is just as important as an "I'm sorry".
3) Repeat Great Content
The average shelf-life of a tweet is 20 minutes. Uh oh. How do you maximize your Twitter exposure? Luckily, there's a solution: repeat tweets. That's all there is to it. Just repeat your content at intervals. Research has shown that repeating tweets can generate up to 86% of the performance of the initial tweet.
4) Hashtag Wisely
By placing a hashtag (#) in front of a word, you make it searchable. Just like keywords are important in improving your blog's visibility, hashtags are important in helping your Twitter visibility. You need to utilize hashtags that will resonate with the people you're trying to reach, so remember to keep it simple, make it easy to use, and make it fun (and informative).
5) Advertise Smarter
Twitter is working to build mechanisms to enable businesses to take full advantage of the power of its platform. The pillar of these efforts is Twitter Ads. Twitter Ads will distribute "Promoted Tweets," "Promoted Accounts," and "Promoted Trends" to users' Twitter feeds for a certain fee. It's a simple system, and is relatively unobtrusive. And the real genius behind Twitter Ads is WHO actually gets these ads served to their feeds - that audience can be built entirely by you.
6) Join Conversations
Waiting for someone to engage with your Twitter profile is passive engagement. The next step is active engagement. With all the listening you've been doing, you've probably found some interesting conversations out there on Twitter. Why not join them? Just remember to keep your business' voice consistent.
7) Use Tools
The most important element in growing your Twitter presence is care and regular attention to your social media strategy. However, you don't necessarily have to do everything actively at all times. You can use tools to help you out with curating your daily social media tasks. We even have a great one you can use for free called Likeable Hub.
Keeping up with Twitter can be tough, but with a clear strategy, there are tangible benefits in potential leads, happy customers, and an engaged base. Is Twitter mandatory for businesses? No. Is it essential? Absolutely. If you want the full experience, grab the eBook.