Twitter Basics: Terminology, Best Practices & Marketing Metrics
Hello everyone – welcome to today’s Digitize Your Firm webinar! Today we’re talking all things Twitter, from the very basics to best practices and Twitter marketing metrics. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, we welcome your input and questions as we go along. If you have something to add, simply click the green speech bubble at the top of the screen to open the chat and either write your comment or ask to speak.
As with all Digitize Your Firm webinars, this will be recorded for later playback if you wanted extra time with a certain section or for listening on the go. In the interest of time, we’ll be hitting all the key points that lead to the completion of his objectives but for a deeper look, we encourage you to review our past webinars which can be access from the webinar schedule on the Digitize Your Firm page.
Now, let’s dig in!
For today’s webinar, we’re going to talk about why you should consider building an account on Twitter, Twitter terminology, best practices, and finally the Twitter marketing metrics you should track.
So… why exactly should you consider using Twitter?
Every day 500 million tweets are sent out into the Twitterverse – that’s 500 million conversations starting that you want to be a part of.
Since its inception, Twitter has been letting people share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas in 140 characters or less. Currently, they report having 313 million active monthly users, with 82% active users on mobile phones.
It’s hard to not want to join in and share your business, service, or skill with people around the world – and we’re here to help you.
Your first thought when considering to open a profile on Twitter is to ask “How do I want to use this platform?”
The answer can vary depending on your business or industry — for some, it is a way to disperse information and interact with potential new clients. For others, it is a way to provide customer service while monitoring the conversations happening around their organization. Your reason could be a mixture of all of this and more!
Now, let’s start off by getting familiar with Twitter terminology:
The first off is a ‘Username’, which is your Twitter account name, much like a website domain name. Businesses typically use part or their entire company name as the username. In some cases, businesses may use their tagline as the account name.
Further, many businesses have sub-Twitter accounts for different parts of the business. They may have a separate account for customer service or different industries they are a part of through which they tweet.
A Tweet is a message, much like a status, that you send out – but it must be within 140 characters. These characters count for links, referring to other Twitter users and using hashtags – though photos do not use Twitter characters anymore. Tweets are what make Twitter such a unique platform as you need to construct concise messaging to send out while interacting with different audiences. This can be done a few ways, such as through @ (at’s)
The “at (@) ” sign is used to respond directly to another user or for other Tweeters to respond to you, creating a link, as in “Great presentation @SimplyCast!” Not only does this tweet appear on your Twitter stream, it is posted on SimplyCast’s Twitter page. “@” is also considered a “mention.” It should be noted you can send direct tweets. Another way to get your message out there is through hashtags.
Hashtags are possibly the most crucial and useful feature of Twitter. “#” designates keywords in a Tweet, allowing for the Twitterverse to search everything under that subject matter. “New #marketing tools are now available on our website.”
Essentially, any user searching for anything “marketing” related will have access to your Twitter stream. Though, don’t get too carried away with #keywords in a single Tweet. Try to keep “#’s” to a minimum of two per Tweet. Now – how exactly can you begin to see what others are saying? By following them, of course!
‘Following’ allows you to subscribe to a user’s Twitter feed and see what they’re tweeting, as other users can choose to follow you to see what you’re tweeting. Some new users think that by having a ridiculous number of followers makes your Twitter stream more relevant. Avoid this, and also try not to break out your contact list and Follow everyone you’ve ever met. Follow industry leaders, relevant industry news feeds, clients, and customers. Another way to interact on Twitter is by Retweeting.
Retweeting, commonly shortened to “RT,” allows you to share a tweet or message you like with your followers. Essentially, it is sharing someone else’s content on your own feed. This can be a great way not only sharing relevant information to your followers but to also have others follow you as well. It can also be a powerful method for your business to get its messages out, which if retweeted, can be seen by potential clients.
You can also choose to ‘Reply’ to someone’s tweet, which is commenting on someone’s tweet. This can be done to answer questions someone may have, to ask questions of your own, or simply to add to the dialogue.
Finally, if you’re looking to reach out to someone more privately, you can choose to Direct Message them. Also Known as a “DMing,” Direct Messaging another user creates a personal Twitter dialogue between two users, ideal for private communication between clients, vendors or customers. When you write a DM, you are not restricted to the traditional 140 character limit making it an easier to have more in-depth conversations.
If you’re still feeling a little uncomfortable, take the time to create your own Twitter account and try using the many features Twitter has. After all, practice makes perfect. Now, let’s talk best practices.
Twitter Best Practices
Twitter is a huge force for online marketing too, but you have to know how to use it for your business. We’re here with some tips to help you learn how to use Twitter for marketing.
Create a Twitter Marketing Plan
As always, develop a comprehensive Twitter strategy before embarking into the Twitterverse. Integrate your Twitter marketing plan into your business’ overall marketing strategy.
Where social media gurus are right are about why Twitter isn’t right for some businesses is usually directed at those who start Tweeting without any direction or plan.
Ask these questions before Tweeting:
• What do we hope to gain from Twitter?
• How will Twitter work with our established marketing strategies?
• Who is our target audience?
• Which industry leaders, organizations, and businesses should we follow?
• What is our Tweet frequency?
• Are we going to use an autoresponder Twitter tool?
• Who is the point person for our Twitter account?
• What kind of oversight will be in place for Twitter?
• What will the Tweet tone be?
• What are our Twitter marketing metrics?
• How are our competitors using Twitter?
• What keywords are important to our company?
• What trends are we going to monitor?
Maintain Brand Consistency
Social media helps you reach out to a new audience, so you need to be sure that you are promoting a strong and consistent brand. Make your Twitter profile picture a branded image with your logo and your colors. Your username should be the name of your company or as close as you can get to it. Promote your company’s identity in your biography. Ensure that your tweets maintain a consistent voice so customers can build a connection with you.
Provide Great Content
Gaining Twitter followers and using Twitter successfully for marketing depends on having engaging content. Pictures and videos are a great place to start. Contests and promotions are exciting and help you reach customers. These tweets are likely to receive a lot of interaction from your followers. Customer testimonials build trust and develop a sense of honest feedback. Links to online surveys allow your followers the chance to share their opinions. News and company information is, of course, part of the whole tweeting process. Links to educational resources such as buyer’s guides and white papers let your followers know that you are a knowledge authority that they can trust.
Get in Touch with Other Twitter Influencers
Follow big names in your industry so you can stay up to date with relevant news and developments. Who you follow is just as important as who follows you. Keep up to date and comment, share and retweet tweets put out by others. This shows that you are engaged with your industry and not just interested in boring self-promotion.
Interact with Your Followers
There is no point to having a Twitter account if you don’t intend to respond to your followers. When someone tweets a question or comment, reply promptly. When someone wins a contest, share their name and picture (with their permission, of course). When you take the time to interact with your followers on Twitter, you build up a strong reputation as a customer-focused company. This creates loyalty, trust, and engagement among your customers.
Have a Consistent Tweet Schedule
If you don’t post regularly, your Twitter page will look stale and uninviting. Tweet consistently and tweet often. Use an automated Twitter marketing solution to keep your Twitter content fresh so you don’t have to spend all your time manually tweeting.
Cross Promote on Multiple Channels
Twitter marketing by itself is not enough. Integrate your Twitter marketing with Facebook, email, text message marketing efforts and so on. This is the best way to keep your brand consistent and reach the widest possible audience.
Use Autoresponders Correctly
Across the board, social media gurus seemingly agree on how and when to use autoresponders.
First, always thank a new follower for following you. This is an easy approach for utilizing a Twitter autoresponder.
Second, keep the promotional pushes to a minimum or even better; keep them out of the thank you autoresponder altogether.
If you are a newbie to Twitter autoresponders, keep the autoresponders in the realm of thank you. Then, establish a regular schedule so that your Tweets remain fresh but also on point. Always strategize!
Don’t push products or offers initially.
Remember: Tweets Are Forever
Everything on the Internet is forever, or, of course, until the day that the web becomes obsolete.
Simply, there are not any “take-backs” with the Internet.
Before you tweet about something regarding your company, take a moment to consider whether what you’re posting reflects your company’s mission, ideals and whether it is in line with the Twitter strategy.
If the CEO or President of your company reads anything that you post, can you defend it?
Do take your content seriously, and post only something that you and your company will stand behind in five, ten or twenty-five years.
Don’t assume that a deleted account erases all postings. Tweets live on through direct messages, links, and screenshots.
Have another suggestion for your fellow Tweeters on what they should and should not being doing? Leave a comment below in the chat box for use to discuss as we go along.
Next up – everyone’s favourite topic, Twitter marketing metrics.
TWITTER MARKETING METRICS
As we discussed in previous webinars Facebook, social media has become a powerful area in terms of audience communication and interaction. It’s easier than ever using these channels to reach people who are interested in what you have to offer.
Remember the old maxim – build it and they will come. While not as prominent as Facebook, Twitter has become a very popular platform, boasting 313 million monthly active users. Not every one of those users will be interested in your organization – in fact, the majority may not speak your language.
However, it, like other social media channels, can be used as microcosms of inbound marketing, and your Twitter marketing metrics can help you see what you are doing right. You don’t need to establish contact to be successful – they will come to you.
Here are some Twitter marketing metrics you may want to track.
Impressions are often the prevalent metric on Twitter – that is, how many people have seen any given tweet. In terms of your marketing strategy, getting a lot of impressions may seem like a positive thing.
The more people that see your tweets, the better, right?
This is a common mistake to make. Although impressions are certainly useful for providing when the most people are seeing your tweets, it’s limited to exactly that – passively viewing your tweets.
Think of the last time you read a book you didn’t particularly like. You may have read it, but you probably didn’t engage with it. That’s the same thing that happens with impressions on Twitter. In fact, it’s a guarantee that not even users that follow you will see all of your tweets, whether because they’re not online at the right time or they follow too many people to reliably keep up with everything that’s posted.
One of the Twitter marketing metrics that you actually want to judge the success of your tweets on is engagement. Engagement displays how many people retweeted, replied to, liked a tweet, or interacted with it in some other way – clicks to your profile link, detail expands (clicking on a tweet opens it in a pop-up window), link clicks, or hashtag clicks.
Engagement provides valuable insights into how many people actually interacted with your tweet in some way. This is where you can get information about your audience. If your engagement percentage is low, don’t feel bad about it – not every tweet can be a winner, and the percentage is based on the number of engagements divided by the total number of impressions you’ve had.
Depending on how many people see your tweets, your engagement percentage may be very low, but it’s very useful to see the amounts and types of engagements on a given tweet. Having this information readily available, and accessible from anywhere, allows you to tweak your Twitter strategy on the fly based on real-time metrics, so you can focus on what works best for you to drive engagement with your account.
It will also help to keep track of your profile analytics as they will provide a monthly overview on how your profile is doing.
They will tell you everything from what your best media tweet is, who your best follower is, your top mention to your monthly impressions, profile visits and the amount of new followers you gained. Keeping track of these statistics will not only allow you to see if your experience positive or negative growth, but to set yearly goals that will see the continued expansion of your online presence.
That’s it with our suggested Twitter marketing metrics – what does everyone think? Questions?
To review, let’s go over what we’ve covered today:
1. Twitter is an amazing tool that you can use to reach both new and existing customers, clients, contacts and more. This being said, but sure that you go in with a strategy on how you wish to utilize it. Don’t be afraid of the new lingo, and feel free to create your own personal Twitter account and learn by using that first.
2. There are several best practices for you to follow, but some key learnings are to:
A). No surprise here – Have a Twitter strategy ready
B). Use multimedia content, photos, videos, polls, and more have a high chance of being seen and interacted with as oppose to text alone.
C). Interact with your audience – don’t be afraid to retweet, comment, and get involved.
D). Remember – tweets are forever! Keep a close eye on who has access to your Twitter profile and ensure they know the ramifications that can happen when people tweet thoughtlessly.
3. Like every other channel you use, your Twitter marketing metrics should be a top priority. Watch your impressions and engagement and track what is well received, and what gains a lukewarm response. This will not only help you better chart what your audience finds interesting, but can explain the value your company has in using Twitter.
We’re on a bit of a social media kick, so next week we’re going to talk Instagram and:
1. Why everyone seems to be on it
2. Whether it is strategic for your business to join in
3. And if you do, the metrics you can use to track your progress
Until then, please put any questions you may have in the chat or feel free to email me at jay – J A Y @ Simplycast.com. (firstname.lastname@example.org)