How to Use Twitter Effectively

How to Use Twitter Effectively

How to use Twitter

This is a question that I get asked over and over again by many business owners and marketing departments and to be honest there is no `one-size fits all` answer or quick fix!

However…

I have put together a quick and useful guide for you on exactly what type of content gets shared on Twitter to help you get the most out using Twitter for your business.

How To Use Twitter for Businessimage of the blue Twitter bird

One of the key factors in your Social Media plan and strategy is to find what type of content you should be creating for Twitter? Whether it is tweeting links to your blog posts, tweeting quotes or funny images there has to be a type of content that will help boost your traffic and increase your brand awareness more than just pumping out random tweets for the sake of it, yes?

Because I was regularly asked the same question, I decided to analyse a large number of Twitter users and an even bigger number of tweets to see if I could get my head around exactly what type of content gets shared the more often. Like I said earlier there is no `one-size fits all` when it comes to content creation on not just Twitter but all of your Social Media channels. Each industry will have its own content creation strategy and some will work for one industry and not neccessarily be effective for the other.

One of the first things I learned is that all content types are not created equal. Some certainly get shared more than others, however below is my thoughts on generally how different content types perform on Twitter .

Images are better than video…yes I was surprised too!

From the Twitter users that I researched I found that over a staggering 300% shared images more than videos. I am surprised because I have always been a big advocate of using video and as online marketing evolves the use of video has become far more widespread so I was even more surprised to see from the tweets I looked at that was the results for tweets being favourited and retweeted. I found that images were retweeted far more than than videos, however videos were favourited slightly more than images.

Therefore I still cannot emphasise how much the use of visual content is far more favourable than just text and a good mix of both images and videos is an essential part of your strategy for creating content. All I will say is when it comes to your brand awareness it’s obviously far easier, cheaper and quicker to create images than it is video clips, so if time and budget are an issue (and isn`t it an issue for most of us?) I would certainly recommend that you channel your efforts on creating images rather than videos when it comes to Twitter.

Text over images? This one surprised me even more!

As someone who has been saying that Social Media is becoming far more visual I was amazed to find in my research that text out-performed images! 90% of all the tweets that I researched were text-based, they didn’t contain any images or videos and what I was amazed to find was that around 58% of those text-based tweets included a link. The link part is crucially important because it means:

  • It will drive traffic to your website
  • I found that tweets containing links received far more retweets
  • As I have always said if you can keep your tweets to around 100-120 characters as opposed to using the full 140, you’ll also get far more engagement

Now I may be `teaching you to suck eggs` here and it may seem blatantly obvious, but the best way to push more traffic to your site and business is to include a link to a relevant page (not just your Home page) in your tweets.

Focus on `how-to` type of content

Since the Google Hummingbird update I have noticed that `How To`, `Best Of` and `Tips` so it was no surprise when I was lookng into the tweets that only contained text I again found something very interesting. I naturally assumed that people enjoyed reading personal tweets such as what that person was doing right now or how their day was going and even what that person was eating for their lunch!. Strangely enough, those personal and particular tweets had received the least amount of retweets and favorites.

However what I did find that was popular and received the most engagement were tweets that linked to `how-to` or `tips` articles and Blog posts. On average, I noticed they received over 3 times more retweets than any other kind of text-based content. Things such as:

  • How To….
  • Top 10 tips…
  • Best of….
  • List of….

these all seemed to be the most popular (hence the title of this Blog post!) So bear this in mind when writing Blog posts that you are going to link to and share across not just Twitter but all of your Social Media channels.

Use Quotes on Twitter

I have always said to my clients “to increase engagement ask questions” even if this is to illicit a simple yes or no answer, it is still engagement in the eyes of Google. To this day I still recommend asking questions to prompt a response, however whilst looking at Twitter and tweets in general I have noticed that quotes are simply outperforming question related tweets, especially when the quote is in the form of an image..When researching these tweets I found that quotes tended to get an amazing 750% more retweets than questions!

Another startling fact that I am sure will interest you is that those users tweeting quotes had around 40% more followers than those who were not.

However, I have always stressed the impoortance of using questions in tweets and posts on Facebook, Google+, etc and my opinion has not changed as I found that tweets containing questions received far more replies than quotes. So if you it is conversation and engagement with your followers that you are after then continue asking them questions, if it is retweets or favourites you`re looking for then quotes would be far more favourable.

I would look for quotes online and then use something like photo editing software such as Photoshop, Serif Page Plus or Gimp2, the latter being a free piece of software where you can create and edit images. You can then create your own image quotes which are far more likely to be shared and increase your exposure as well as strengthening your brand.

In Summary

If your goal is to drive more traffic from Twitter to your website I would consider creating those `how-to`, `tips` or list-based blog posts on your site. Then distribute it across Twitter (as well as your other platforms). Obviously remember to add that link to the Blog post!

If you want to increase your brand awareness, the easiest thing you can do is to create your own image-based quotes with your logo and website URL on them and then distribute them out across Twitter, ideally with a link back to your web page to help drive traffic too.

Let me know if you use any other content or strategies or what other methods do you use to get your content shared?

Until next time

Martin

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