The way we use social media is changing, and for brands it’s no longer about having the most followers – it’s all about engagement. If nobody sees your tweets or interacts with them, then what’s the point in twittering at all?
We recently carved out a new social media strategy that has seen our Twitter reach grow by over 80%. We’re now achieving more than 100,000 monthly impressions, and engagement levels are rising accordingly.
Social media marketing can be a mixed bag, but following these tips should put you on the path to a successful 2016…
1. Find out who’s following you
If you’ve managed to build a decent following but you’re struggling to engage with them, perhaps you simply don’t understand your audience or know when they’re active. Initially, you should focus efforts on learning more about your existing followers rather than chasing new ones.
Followerwonk from Moz is a brilliant tool for getting a firm idea of who’s tracking your every move. You can use most of the features for free, but there’s a premium version with added functionality that’s particularly useful if you manage more than one account.
One of the best features is the word cloud it generates, allowing you to visualize the keywords in your followers’ bios – giving you a better understanding of who they are and the type of content they’re thirsty for. You can also analyse when they’re most active, allowing you to schedule tweets for when people are watching.
2. Content is king
Once you know who you’re targeting, you can tailor your output so that people will actually want to read and share it. Producing regular, enlightening and relevant content on your company blog is a fantastic way to engage people, and you can use your social media accounts to direct them to your work, thus forming a strategic inbound marketing campaign.
Your Twitter account should also offer more than just self-promotion, so share useful content from other sources too. Look at what’s trending and perhaps put your own spin on news stories, alongside a link to a trusted source that has already covered the story in detail.
3. Reference the right people
When linking to outside content, make sure to include the author in your tweet as there’s a chance they’ll retweet your comment. The same goes for including influencers – people who have a large following and are prominent within your field – who might be interested in what you’re doing. You can get thousands more impressions by including the right people in your tweets, but don’t spam them!
4. Use imagery
Tweets with images get more clicks, more favourites and more retweets so you should start making your Twitter much more graphically appealing. No matter your niche there will be images relevant to what you’re doing, even if you haven’t taken them yourself. Don’t brazenly start stealing images from around the net, use a source like Unsplash to find beautiful copyright-free pictures for your social media channels.
Share images of what you’re doing, and think about creating graphics with text to do some of the hard work for you too. Adding text to an image is simple yet effective.
5. Use hashtags in the right way
For years we’ve been told that hashtags are our friends, but so many people are over-using them. It’s fine to include one or two in a tweet but make sure that they’re tags that people will actually take notice of. Ritetag is a great resource for finding out exactly how popular hashtags are, giving you an amazing insight into which keywords will work best for you.
6. Keep it short and sweet
According to research by social media powerhouses Buffer, the best length for a tweet is between 71-100 characters. You’ve only got 140 characters to play with in the first place, so Twitter is designed to be a snappy medium and being concise leaves room for people to quote your tweet and respond – expanding your reach again.
7. Get shooting
Twitter Video is a seriously underused feature, but we live in a visual world and audiences crave video content. You may be limited to 140 characters with your messages, but you can say so much more in video because it’s so immediate – you can show rather tell.
Think about live tweeting short clips from events, or showing the world a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your work space. Uploading a 30-second video, whether shot directly through the app or pre-recorded, is a great way to make your account more personal.
Shaking things up with a broad range of content targeted at the right audience is key to boosting your engagement and making social media work for you. It worked for us, and continues to do so.
Emily Waddell is a Marketing and PR Executive at digital marketing agency, e3. Using her expertise, she’s raised the company’s profile on social media. You can check out her work by following @e3_media on Twitter.