Top tips for using Twitter to build brand awareness

28/11/2016 13:10:08
We all know social media is important for businesses – we’ve heard it hundreds of times now, and it’s nothing new. But when you’re wearily scrolling through Twitter for the fourth time this morning, or wondering what on earth you’re going to tweet about today, it’s easy to lose sight of the reasons why having a social media presence is such a fundamental part of any marketing strategy, and exactly what it can help us achieve. Today we’re focusing on Twitter – read on to find out our top tips for using it to build brand awareness and strengthen your relationship with prospects.

Build a strong following and interact with them

It’s only too easy to spend a couple of hours setting up a company Twitter account, uploading your logos, following your existing contacts, spending time seeking out new prospects, posting your first few tweets… then log off thinking “job done” and forget all about Twitter until you’re next reminded it exists.

It’s understandable that you’ll feel disheartened if you log into Twitter for the first time in three weeks to a paltry number of notifications, but if your activity is minimal then, really, it’s little surprise – why should your followers remember to interact with your brand if you give them no reason to? Speaking directly to social media followers is a key component of keeping them engaged: as well as giving your social media accounts a more personal edge, it helps make followers feel valued and contributes to an overall positive experience of your brand.

Post content which directly asks followers questions and makes them think; ask their opinions; or publish occasional polls. If you have time, hold the occasional Twitter chat or Q&A. To spread your message further, identify influencers in your field – industry publications, independent experts, or bloggers, for example – and build up a rapport with them: a retweet from an established authority in your niche can help lend credibility and bring your brand to a much wider audience.

Keep your activity regular and focused

Twitter moves alarmingly fast, and the half-life of a tweet is short – about 24 minutes. So just posting a single tweet about your latest blog post or amazing new product and waiting for the responses to roll in isn’t going to do the trick – to make sure your posts have the greatest chance of being seen and engaged with, you’ll need to help your followers out by posting regularly, at times when they’re most likely to catch your content. Don’t be afraid of a little repetition, either – a reasonable percentage of your audience won’t see your ‘new blog post’ tweet first thing in the morning, so it’s worth rewording your announcement and sharing it again later in the day to catch a different crowd.

If you don’t have time to tweet throughout the day – let’s face it, few of us do – then consider using a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule posts ahead of time. It’s still a good idea to tweet reactively when you get the chance, but scheduling posts in bulk stops social media becoming a chore and can help you keep your thread when planning a number of posts on a theme.

Don’t be afraid of data

Whether we’re talking Google, Twitter or both together, the numbers game is one of your most useful assets for shaping your Twitter strategy and helping to reach your audience more effectively. Having access to your data simplifies everything: once you’ve seen it, you’ll be able to make decisions about your social media activity based on evidence rather than conjecture. Finding out what your best-performing tweets have been can help you shape the direction your future posts take; discovering which follower’s retweet has given you the greatest visibility across Twitter gives a good idea of which relationships are it may pay to cultivate further.

If you haven’t enabled Twitter Analytics then we’d suggest you do so today – it may look basic, but its straightforward interface is actually a brilliant platform for insight and learning, providing information about clicks, engagement, tweet visibility, and your best-performing posts.

Google Analytics is a much more complex number-crunching platform, providing detailed insight into users’ behaviour once they leave Twitter and click through to your website. This is a great way to measure the financial impact of creating brand awareness: tracking users from referral to conversion gives a full picture of the customer journey, and usually gives more than enough justification for spending time and money on social.

Don’t lose sight of your ‘brand personality’

Let’s be blunt about it: at the end of the day, your Twitter account exists as a means to help you sell your products and services to your target audience; it’s not just a bit of fun to help your customers while away their afternoons. But users aren’t always looking to buy; conversely, the harder you push them to, the more you may find them running for the hills.

So, then, how do some businesses amass such engaged, loyal, and - well, enormous – social media followings? How are companies like Innocent Drinks and Red Bull so successful on social when they spend a lot of time not talking about their own products? The answer is their unique brand personalities: they’ve worked backwards to identify how they want to be perceived, then pinpointed their identities and communication styles, and used these to reach out to their audience.

Identifying your own brand personality can take some groundwork, but is a valuable thing to do for more than just social media success. You’ll need to evaluate the business you are, and the kind of business you’d like to be seen as. Who is your target audience – what do they like to see, and how can you provide that in a way that complements your brand rather than compromising it? If your brand were a person, what sort of individual would it be? Once you’ve considered these questions, find ways to action your answers in your Twitter activity. Avoid the hard sell whenever you can – you’re posting on the internet, not pitching to a board of directors, so an aggressive sales approach isn’t the way to go. And don’t be afraid of going off-topic now and again, as long as what you’re serving your followers is useful and relevant to their needs.

Feeling like you could still use some more Twitter tips, or looking for an agency to manage your social media for you? We can help – whether that’s in-house training workshops, our full social media management service, or helping to outline your brand personality.


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