On average, a total of 1.3 billion Twitter accounts have been created and 500 million people visit the site each month without logging in, so when it comes to using Twitter for your business, it's a social media platform worth investing in.
But, Twitter can be tricky. You only get 140-characters and there is no edit button anywhere, which means your one mistake could reach millions in a second. That’s why it is important to play smart and learn the most effective strategies for leveraging on Twitter for business.
How to use Twitter for your business
From hashtags and pinned tweets to Twitter lists and social media influencers, Twitter is used by companies to promote their brand and be involved in relevant discussions.
1. Build a clear Twitter profile
To set your Twitter for Business profile up for success you need to create a Twitter profile that stands out. This includes thinking about your banner image, and your biography. Points to consider include:
- How do you want visitors to feel when they come to your profile?
- What story are you telling with your images
2. Create content that is on-brand
Just like with any type of social media marketing, it's important to consider the purpose your Twitter profile serves, and
3. Make sure your content gets seen
Once you've created a tweet, you want to make sure that it gets seen. Hashtags are an easy way to promote your content via Twitter. Try not to use too many hashtags and stick to ones that are relevant.
Twitter for Business case studies
Another way is to post tactical content. To help increase your brand’s reach on Twitter, we have researched and curated some of the most successful Twitter case studies.
01. Showcase Your Wit
If Pinterest is about amazing graphics, then Twitter is about being witty. If you check the list of the most engaging brands on Twitter, you will find one thing in common among them – they are full of digs, quips, and smackdowns.
The idea is to try and incorporate popular trending topics with your brand and add a pinch of wit to it.
Delta, for instance, launched their new jet but instead of tweeting a boring announcement, they turned to an unmistakeable Sir Mix-a-Lot reference. Within minutes of publishing the tweet, people started reacting to it — including Sir Mix-a-Lot himself.
Baby got back! We like big jets and we cannot lie, this 737 is ready to fly. pic.twitter.com/N9BaWWi3SR
— Delta (@Delta) July 30, 2013
Let’s be honest, we have all taken our phones while going to the washroom at least once. Charmin, the toilet paper company, used this graphic and wordplay combo to ask its users whether they like watching videos while in the loo.
— Charmin (@Charmin) December 7, 2015
Lego tweeted this picture on April Fool’s Day. Not only was it a well-timed tweet but the company was also marketing their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game in a very clever way.
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) April 1, 2014
02. Start a Hashtag Campaign
What better way to get your customer’s attention than by launching a hashtag campaign? But, to trend hashtags, you have to market it and execute it the right way. Also, you have to make sure that the hashtag is relatable to people and still connects to your brand.
Charmin started a funny campaign on their Twitter account called #TweetFromTheSeat where they ask people to tweet from their toilet seats. People loved it.
— Charmin (@Charmin) December 24, 2015
— Charmin (@Charmin) February 16, 2016
Redbull has different Twitter accounts based on the country and city, but all of its accounts use the same hashtag #PutACanOnIt to urge users to share pictures of their Redbull cans.
— Red Bull (@redbull) November 11, 2014
— Red Bull NYC (@redbullNYC) April 16, 2015
Harley Davidson started #RollYourOwn hashtag campaign where it asked users to retweet to win the famous bike manufacturer’s posters.
— Harley-Davidson (@harleydavidson) April 9, 2015
03. Give Trending Hashtags Your Own Take
Starting your own hashtag campaign and trending it in the top ten can always be difficult. But, a quicker way to get attention is to give your own spin to the current trending and viral hashtags.
When “Damn, Daniel’ started trending on social media with Daniel’s crisp white Vans, many brands picked it up, and of course, one of them was Vans itself. But I think Axe found the right way to connect #DamnDaniel with their own hashtag campaign #FindYourMagic.
— AXE (@AXE) February 19, 2016
— Clorox (@Clorox) February 18, 2016
— Vans (@VANS_66) February 18, 2016
Similarly, when Sound of Music musical was being telecasted live on television and of course, trending on Twitter, DiGiorno gave its own ‘pizza’ twist to the famous story. It would be an understatement to say Twitter went crazy.
— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) December 6, 2013
Believe it or not, Netflix was actually not the one that came up with the viral phrase “Netflix and Chill”. But there was no way the brand could pass on it and let it go.
Netflix and chill? No, really. pic.twitter.com/ezcZ7V0peN
— Netflix US (@netflix) July 22, 2015
With the recent Brit awards, brands did everything they could to engage with their audience while making sure to use the right hashtag.
— MasterCardUK (@MasterCardUK) February 24, 2016
— Benefit Cosmetics UK (@BenefitUK) February 24, 2016
— ASOS (@ASOS) February 25, 2016
04. Add a Pinch of Humour to Your Replies
There is one problem every brand has to face on Twitter – angry and confused customers.
While it’s great to have an excellent customer support to make sure your customers are always happy, sometimes you can also add a bit of humour to your replies to keep everyone entertained.
When a customer tried to bring up a ‘bar cod’ problem with Sainsbury, this is how they replied
@TeaAndCopy Were there no other packs in the plaice, or was that the sole one on the shelf? Floundering for an explanation! David.
— Sainsbury's (@sainsburys) January 10, 2014
Now, Old Spice is one of the wittiest brands on Twitter and that is the reason they have such a high engagement rate.
@Sunillin try Tinder.
— Old Spice (@OldSpice) October 31, 2013
With 1.69 million followers, Taco Bell is also not far behind when it comes to humorous replies.
@MeanGirlsQuotes God, Karen you're so stupid.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) July 12, 2012
But, what happens when two major brands go head-to-head in a Twitter War? When Old Spice decided to take a dig at Taco Bell’s very famous fire spice, Taco Bell asked them the one question that has been on all our minds: are there really old spices in their deodorant?
@OldSpice Is your deodorant made with really old spices?
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) July 9, 2012
05. Use Good Ol’ Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is when brands collaborate with famous influencers who have thousands of followers. This way, the brands get noticed by all the followers of those influencers. We also talked about influencer marketing on Instagram in this post.
Right before the Oscars, Henry’s Hard Soda collaborated with IMDB for a very subtle Twitter marketing. In fact, if it weren’t for the #sponsored tag, it would have been very difficult to know that this was indeed a sponsored post.
— IMDb (@IMDb) February 25, 2016
With summer on its way, Corona too started its #CoronaFakecation campaign where it collaborated with several influencers for beautiful summer tweets.
This was actually a sweepstakes by the brand where users were urged to take fake vacation pictures and tweet it to Corona but to get the ball rolling, the brand decided to collaborate with a bunch of influences.
— triphackr (@Triphackr) February 25, 2016
06. Get Your Own Custom Hashtag Emoji
Hashtag emojis are the new trend on Twitter. It combines two things people love the most – hashtag and emojis. So, if your brand is looking for more exposure, you can get your very own branded emoji.
People love it, which means, every hashtag emoji gets way more attention than normal hashtags. But these haven’t been rolled out for all the hashtags yet. Twitter is keeping this feature premium.
Since these are branded hashtags, they are created especially by Twitter for particular brands and I am guessing there are a lot of big bucks involved. Another fact to remember here is that these hashtag emojis are only available for a specific period of time.
For instance, there was an emoji for Black History month launched by Twitter, but it was active for that one month only. After that, the hashtags stayed but the emojis vanished.
The first hashtag emoji created by Twitter was for Coca Cola to launch their new #ShareACoke campaign. The emoji showed two coke bottles clicking together.
— Twitter (@twitter) September 17, 2015
A few days before the Brit Awards, Twitter UK introduced special emojis for all the nominated artists including Adele, One Direction, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran.
— Twitter UK (@TwitterUK) February 24, 2016
Samsung recently launched their new Galaxy phone S7 along with Gear VR and to market their devices on Twitter, they decided to create a new hashtag emoji #TheNextGalaxy.
Now Oscars are the most awaited awards of the year and they receive a lot of online buzz too. This year Oscars got their very own golden statue emoji to celebrate the starry night.
Recently, when the new season of House of Cards was released on Netflix, Twitter released a hashtag emoji for the show. You will find the flag of USA every time you type in #HouseofCards on Twitter.
07. Always Be Ready to Assist Your Customers
Twitter has always been the preferred place for customers to share their problems with brands. Mainly because it’s a public platform and they can get an answer in real-time.
It is very important for brands to resolve customer issues brought up on Twitter instantly. Ignoring them can be extremely bad for any brand. I would suggest not copy/pasting replies and giving each customer an actual response.
While some brands prefer to forward the customer requests to the respective teams and keep the focus of their Twitter account on social media marketing, brands like Firefox and Dell make sure to help out their customers every which way possible.
08. Hold Contests
Everybody loves free stuff and they would do any amount of retweets to get it. In order to get more participation and engagement during Twitter contests, it’s important to keep the rules of the contest extremely simple.
You could ask the users to retweet or tweet back using the correct hashtag. Also, allow multiple entries to get the hashtag trending.
Or, if you are looking to get more hits on your website, you can just ask the users to enter the contest through a link.
The prizes for Twitter contests should be selected after a deep consideration. You need prizes that relate to your brand and get your followers excited as well.
Grazia held a Twitter contest last year urging users to sign up for the contest through a link to their website. The winners got cosmetics from major brands like Rimmel and Dior.
— Grazia UK (@GraziaUK) November 24, 2015
Doritos UK started a contest where every retweet made users eligible for winning a big party supply of Doritos.
Fancy winning a whole host of BRILL PARTY PRIZES? Simply RT to be in with a chance of winning stuff to make a #DoritosParty!
— Doritos (@DoritosUK) June 26, 2012
Prismologie, a beauty brand based in the UK, offered £100 worth of products for their followers in a Twitter contest. All they had to do was follow Prismologie’s Twitter page and retweet the post. Their post received over 1.1k retweets. This is the simplest way to increase engagement and followers on Twitter.
— Prismologie (@prismologie) November 5, 2015
09. Never Underestimate the Power of the Graphics
Even though Twitter is about the 140 characters, this social media platform could not run away from the power of the graphics. Now users can not only share photos and videos: Twitter’s recent collaboration with Giphy lets them pick and choose any gif for their tweets.
And graphics are being fully maximized by brands to get more attention on Twitter. We already saw above how Charmin is regularly posting pictures on Twitter with its signature bear cartoon. But when it comes to choosing graphics for your brand, it’s important to stay true to your brand’s identity.
Forever 21 brought its witty side out on last Thanksgiving with this GIF of Joey Tribbiani getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner in his turkey pants — both funny and relatable.
Waiting for tomorrow like... pic.twitter.com/IrxPIw3WrU
— Forever 21 (@Forever21) November 25, 2015
Etsy, on the other hand, chose to be more authentic by posting a picture right from its website.
— Etsy (@Etsy) November 20, 2015
Amazon posted this picture on their Twitter page right around the holidays. The picture is funny, posted at the perfect time and it is very relatable. It also leaves a link at the end as a call-to-action. Now, this link leads you to Amazon’s website where you can find items to make your travel more comfortable.
— Amazon (@amazon) November 25, 2015
10. Choose the Right Cover Page Photo
When you put so much time thinking about what to post and when to post, why leave behind the important cover photo which stays on the top of your Twitter page all the time?
While some brands like to constantly change cover photos depending upon what they are trying to promote, other try to keep it constant and funny.
Axe, for example, takes a dig at Twitter itself while trying to promote their products. The picture is relatable to Twitter users and markets Axe’s products in the best way possible.
Starbuck’s cover photo is a plain, hot and brewed coffee. A strong message with a very simple image.
Netflix regularly changes its cover photo depending on which new show has been released. Last month, it was Fuller House and then House of Cards. Now that DareDevil’s new season is out, it’s also up on the cover photo.
Now that you know all the steps other brands are taking to get more engagement and followers on Twitter, it’s your turn to create buzz-worthy tweets. And if you need any help designing graphics for Twitter, remember, you always have Canva!