Dubbed as the SMS of the internet, Twitter leads the pack of social network sites with its no-frills interface and messages, called tweets, limited to 140 characters only.

The simplicity of this microblogging service is also where its power lies. The platform

serves many functions: to voice one-liner opinions, pose questions, share interests, find connections, and receive real time status updates.

With an average of 328 million active users every month and with 500 million tweets circulating every day, Twitter presents an opportunity to touch base with a global audience. It’s no wonder brands are jumping on Twitter, not only to promote products and services but also to address client needs briefly and swiftly.

Straightforward and fast – these are Twitter’s influence on digital marketing, but there are many ways to approach Twitterverse.

Below is a guide for starters:

Define the context for using Twitter 

As a business, a Twitter business profile is preferred over a personal account though both business and personal accounts should coexist harmoniously. The difference is in its purpose. The business account informs news about the company and insights about the industry. The personal account is for the people behind the business who will engage with users on a daily basis. It gives a human face to an enterprise. Regarding following, brands will follow other brands while people will follow other people.

In Twitter, content comes in various packages. A tweet can deliver bite-size updates like announcing the opening of a new store.  A tweet can also tell a story beginning with a teaser and ending with a link to the full article.

Since every word counts in Twitter, learning the acceptable shortcuts such as ICYMI for in case you missed it, BTW for by the way, or ICYDK for in case you didn’t know economize tweets. Arresting visuals and portraits can provide the balance to a shareable post worthy of retweets.

People also treat Twitter like a search engine. Increase the chances of being found with the use of hashtags. Conversely, marketers should research on the common hashtags used in the industry and see what people are talking about around such topics.

Given Twitter’s flexibility, a business should decide how to use this communication tool to their best advantage. Is it for content sharing alone or to live-tweet an event or to engage with an audience?

Businesses observe best practices to manage Twitter accounts more easily and efficiently like including ready-to-tweet pull-quotes in the corporate website to encourage readers to tweet and scheduling and automating tweets.

More practical advice for marketers can be found in Twitter Support @Support for tips and tricks to boost Twitter skills and Twitter Amplify @TwitterAmplify for sales and small businesses where brands and media partners team up to deliver premium content to fans.


Join forces with influencers

Aside from media partners, brands can tap influencers as partners. Influencer Marketing is old school word-of-mouth advertising elevated to the digital sphere.

Influencers are people who are authorities in a different niche like health, fashion, or gaming. They are regarded as experts by their loyal followers. Influencers’ thoughts and opinions affect their audiences including buying decisions. Imagine the effect of several influencers wearing the same fashion statement in real time for example.

Consumers tend to trust the recommendations of influencers over billboard ads or broadcast commercials because influencers are like relatable friends caught in a situation and endorse the solution they discovered. Marketers benefit from influencers when the latter speaks of the active part a brand played in an experience. Influencers also carry a brand to its target market and even leads to a much wider audience.

Collaborating with influencers helps in understanding modern consumers, their motivations, current issues affecting them, and what efforts are looked upon as meaningful and responsive. The insights can enrich the types of topics, blogs, tweets, hashtags, and polls and surveys (for more interaction) that will likely interest people and prompt a following.

There is a range of influencers, from micro-influencers to the more popular personalities. Businesses profile the image of the best influencers fitting their campaign and brand. A Twitter feature recommends who to follow such as celebrities, athletes, industry leaders. For each new brand or person followed, Twitter further recommends other relevant users. It is Twitter’s way of building connections and widening the network.


Consider Video ads

Twitter believes in the potential of videos as content that will keep followers’ attention. It launched video ads that include promoted video or brand stories that aim for emotional connection and therefore, high recall.

Teaming up with Twitter Amplify partners, brands were allowed to create campaigns and run video ads. Twitter offers a neat template that asks for the campaign period, budget, geographic locations the campaign wants to reach, and call to action. The move opened a new avenue to bring brand awareness and improve ad recall.

Studies compared pre-roll ads with in-stream or mid-roll ads. Results reveal that viewers are more receptive to in-stream ads and see pre-roll ads as irritating and distracting that resorts to watching other videos instead. Viewing ads in the middle of a presentation is like watching television. A hooked viewer wouldn’t mind. This shows that strategic ad placement with short viewing time is critical.


Final Note

All these strategies help implement a successful Twitter marketing strategy, hopefully resulting in more conversations, retweets, followers and more important, prospects for the business.

The overall goal is to be discovered, get recognized for the brand’s strengths, and be transformed to a credible household brand. How to know if these goals are met?

Establish concrete and attainable metrics and targets regarding numbers or percentage so that results can be measured. This is important to check if Twitter is indeed instrumental in producing traffic for the website. For instance, links can be embedded to track if a website visitor was bought by Twitter. The great thing is that Twitter analytics is within reach to track and analyze if the platform is contributing to driving sales.

This has been a guest post by Davis Barbarap