To tweet, or not to tweet? That is the question. You’ve got plenty of options to choose as your go-to marketing channel, but have you ever tried Twitter?
In studying Twitter user shopping behavior, the social media platform found that four out of 10 Twitter users carried out a purchase after coming across a product on Twitter. The probability that a Twitter user will purchase a product also increases by 2.7 times when exposed to a tweet from a brand.
With over 395 million users, it’s easy to see why a store owner should use Twitter. However, using Twitter involves more than posting the occasional tweet. To build brand awareness and drive traffic, use one or all of the following 11 Twitter marketing ideas to connect with your audience and increase online sales.
What is a Twitter marketing strategy?
A Twitter marketing strategy is a plan of action designed to create and distribute content for your target audience and followers through the social media platform.
It may seem like you have a lot of moving pieces to consider when building a Twitter marketing strategy for your online store. If you feel a little overwhelmed, don’t worry. Some key factors for a successful Twitter campaign are:
- Use your Twitter account as another way to offer customer support. Give potential shoppers the option to tweet at your brand or send a direct message (DM) to get help. Companies that use Twitter as a line for customer support see a 19% lift in customer satisfaction, on average.
- Publish a mix of educational and product posts. Aim to publish about 25% product tweets and 75% valuable content or lifestyle posts. This can help shoppers envision using your product and teach them how to use it well.
- Retweet customer photos and positive tweets. This helps provide social proof that real people buy, use, and love your company and its products. Even if a customer posts something on Instagram, you can re-post it on your Twitter account too. Don’t forget to tag each customer you repost, and include a link to purchase.
- Spend time browsing related hashtags. For example, if someone is looking for recommendations on where to buy new shoes, you can comment on their tweet and recommend your products. You can scan the timeline for trending hashtags like #needshoes or #healthylivingtips to find people who need help and are more receptive to your advice. Finding the appropriate hashtags for your products and business will help the targeted audience discover you.
Luckily, there are many ways to boost the performance of your campaign and create an effective Twitter marketing strategy that can help turn profile visitors into paying customers.
How to use Twitter for marketing
1. Take Twitter Flight School
Set some time aside to take Twitter Flight School if you plan on launching a Twitter marketing campaign. Flight School is a free online learning platform that teaches you everything about advertising on Twitter and more. Whether you’re new to Twitter or a marketing pro, you can find a course to help you level up your skills.
Marketing on Twitter has some key differences compared to Instagram, TikTok, or Google. Knowing the different kinds of paid promotions you can use on Twitter will help you be more successful on the platform.
Flight School lets you pick and choose what courses you want to take. Each course is fit with live training, downloadable resources, successful stories, and a personal roadmap to keep you motivated.
2. Connect with influential accounts in your space
Many expert marketers hang out on Twitter to start a network and connect with like-minded folks. If you want to increase brand awareness on the platform, converse with leaders in your industry. Don’t wait for others to come to you.
Spend time connecting with influencers or other prominent people in your space that are usually hard to reach. Journalists and writers are a perfect example. Send them a cold email and you’ll be ignored. But follow and reply on Twitter and you’ll often see them asking for questions, sources to site, etc.
When you increase your visibility among accounts that influence potential customers, it’s worth more to your business than random followers.
3. Set up your profile like a legit business
When it comes to social media marketing, a professional looking profile is key to building a following, whether you’re on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. A good question to ask yourself when you create your Twitter profile is, “Would I follow my business if I saw its Twitter bio?”
The answer should always be yes. There’s one deterring factor that makes people follow or unfollow brands on Twitter: an unprofessional-looking profile. This includes your display picture, header, biography, and Twitter handle.
Warby Parker, an online glasses retailer based in New York City, sports a simple yet notable profile. The header image showcases its main product in use, making a positive first impression when someone lands on their Twitter profile. You can get a sense for what they stand for in their bio, which gives off a fun and friendly feel.
If you have multiple Twitter accounts, for example, one for your main store and one for support, you can create two different URLs for each account. The URL can send a Twitter user down the right bot flow to help them achieve their goals.
Remember that even if you do tweet amazing, buzzworthy tweets and gain some popularity, you won’t gain lifelong followers if you have a sub-par profile that doesn’t get people to click Follow.
4. Use Twitter polls
If you want to engage with your target audience on Twitter, start using Twitter Polls. Twitter Polls are a fun and easy way to get valuable information about people’s opinion on any topic. What to name your product, what things your audience prefers, what type of people they are.
There are a few key ways ecommerce brands can use Twitter polls:
- Market research. Struggling to find out information about your audience? Curious what color to make your next product? Polls can get you those answers quickly, at zero cost.
- Trending topics. Find out what your audience thinks about the latest industry news or trends.
- Fast feedback. Discover what content your audience wants to see from you or what made them follow your brand. Use the information to improve your digital marketing strategy.
- Fun. Sometimes it’s OK to ask a funny question just to make your audience laugh. You can launch a quick A/B answer poll to find out anything related to your customers’ lives.
For marketers, it’s an easy way to engage with Twitter’s audience and find out exactly what people think. For those newer to the social media platform, it’s an excellent way to get your brand voice heard.
5. Use hashtags wisely
Don’t be afraid to turn on your hashtag game for Twitter marketing. Relevant hashtags are an effective way to tap into relevant conversations on Twitter and help potential shoppers find you more easily.
Use a tool such as Hashtagify to surface the best hashtags for each post. If you have a blog, share it on Twitter with the appropriate hashtags. If you talk about influencers in the article, tag them in the tweet—you might have a chance of getting it retweeted.
6. Create Tweet threads
Tweet threads are a fun phenomena that lets store owners and marketers get more creative with their Twitter marketing strategy. A regular tweet has a 280-character limit, but a Tweet thread is a virtually unlimited collection of coherent tweets.
Tweet threads can be about anything you choose. Take @getquip, a subscription-based toothbrush company. The toothbrush business created a thread matching their product colors to Rihanna’s outfits.
Some Tweets simply work better as collections than as ads. With a Tweet thread, you post each piece as part of one bigger thread. Each time you publish a new Tweet, it draws attention back to the entire Twitter campaign.
7. Run Twitter ads
Consider investing in Twitter ads to increase brand awareness and demand for your products. While Twitter users don’t typically buy directly through the platform, it’s become a popular resource for shoppers in their buying journey.
Take Sonos, a wireless speaker and home sound systems retailer, for example. The company wanted to launch a voice-controlled smart speaker during the pre-holiday months. To reach a particular tech-savvy crowd on the platform, Sonos launched a video short highlighting the Sonos One.
The video was viewed of 12.7 million times, and also resulted in:
- 58% higher view rate
- 10% boost in positive brand sentiment
- 2.5 times stronger purchase intent
You can also run remarketing ad campaigns on Twitter that target:
- Past website visitors
- People who’ve engaged with your tweets
- Cart abandoners
- Newsletter recipients
8. Engage in Twitter chat
Engagement is about interacting with your audience, and that’s exactly what Twitter chats is capable of doing. Twitter chats, a.k.a. Tweet chats, are conversations on Twitter focused on a topic decided in advance and use specific hashtags to help people follow the thread.
Twitter chats are typically hosted once a week. The hosting person or brand will ask a question (shown by Q1, Q2, etc.) and chat participants respond using (A1, A2, etc.).
Twitter chats are great for bringing a niche target audience together. People already know the topic at hand, they are active on social media in real-time, and are looking for new people to follow.
For marketers, it’s a low-effort, high value way to engage with an already segmented audience and offer the opportunity to connect with them. Plus, they can help inform your overall marketing strategy by learning more about who your customers are and what motivates them to buy.
9. Use Twitter marketing tools
To grow an audience on Twitter, you’ll want to take advantage of different Twitter marketing tools. These tools can help you easily find a new audience, make connections, and get them into your digital marketing ecosystem.
Some top Twitter marketing tools are:
- Agorapulse, a social media management tool that caters to all major social media platforms, including Twitter. You can easily schedule out tweets to be published at a later date. Plus, you can monitor mentions of your brands and spot angry tweets from customers so you can put out small fires before they become big problems.
- TweetDeck is a Twitter management and scheduling tool made only for Twitter. You can access it with your Twitter account by navigating to tweetdeck.twitter.com. You can schedule tweets and track mentions, messages, and lists.
- ClickToTweet lets you create shareable links your audience can use to easily tweet your content.
- Hashtagify is a Twitter marketing tool that gives you stats on hashtags from Twitter and Instagram. From the homepage, you type in a hashtag you’re interested in and the tool will give you the stats for it—including hashtag popularity, if it’s trending, related hashtags, influencers who rank for a hashtag, and more.
Once you’ve got your toolkit all set, don’t forget about diving into your Twitter analytics.
10. Create strategic Twitter lists
Among millions of users on the social network, lists provide a way to segment and identify groups with similar interests. Using Twitter lists, you can follow the updates of a group of Twitter users who share a common interest. You can create public and private lists of up to 500 Twitter users each.
You can add someone to a Twitter list by clicking the settings wheel icon next to the Follow button on their profile. You can also be added to Twitter lists by others.
Here are a few examples of ways to use lists:
- Create a private list of your competitors on Twitter to follow and monitor their updates without it being public knowledge.
- Create a private list of the top influencers in your niche or industry and engage with them to get the word out about your business.
- Create a private list of existing customers so you can easily connect and engage with them.
- Create a public list of brands your business carries to stay up to date on their latest news and products.
- Create a public list of stores that carry your brand to learn about new locations or policies.
11. View your Twitter Analytics
For any Twitter marketing strategy you decide on, you’ll have a certain group of people you want to attract with your Twitter content. Using Twitter Analytics can help you see which posts made the most impressions and received the most reactions, how many people visited your profile, and more.
You can use this information to publish more content your audience will most likely be interested in. According to Buffer, the top Twitter Analytics metrics business track are:
- Top interests of followers
- Engagement and like rates
- Tweet reach percentage
- Impressions and engagement by time of day
- Best days for engagement
- Video completion rate
Consider your overall marketing strategy goals and what Twitter Analytics metrics align with them. This will help give you better visibility into your campaigns and help improve performance over time.
Setting up your Twitter account
Optimizing your profile makes it easier for Twitter users to discover and interact with your business. In conjunction with other optimized social media pages, it can also help establish a professional and consistent brand image.
Setting up a standard Twitter profile is easy, but optimizing it for business takes some expertise. Whether you’ve just joined Twitter or have been active for years, these tips can help you make the most of your profile.
Your username, sometimes referred to as your handle, is the unique identifier that starts with an @ symbol. This is how other users will mention and address you on Twitter.
While there are over 390 million monthly active users, over a billion people have signed up for Twitter, meaning there are over a billion different usernames out there. That means you’ll have to get creative when coming up with the right username because, chances are, your ideal username is already taken.
The ideal scenario would be to have the same username across all of your social profiles for consistency and branding purposes.
For common names that may already be taken, like Beyonce’s activewear line Ivy Park, consider adding a unique identifier (@WeAreIvyPark). Other options might have been @GetIvyPark or @WearIvyPark. Keep in mind, the ideal is to have a consistent username across all social networks; do your best!
A few tips to consider:
- Make it relevant to your brand. Customers might actively search for you, so you’ll want to make it easy. @Aldo is owned by a private account with no association to the shoe brand. Aldo, the company, created @Aldo_Shoes instead. Simple, relevant, and easy to find.
- Shorten irrelevant words and generic words into an initial. Social Media Examiner probably could have landed @SocialMediaExaminer; however, it went with @SMExaminer instead, making it clear and concise.
Twitter has recognized that a distinct username isn’t the one single way users can find each other. With hundreds of millions of users, Twitter offers a powerful search tool that combines brand names and keywords.
Lebron James’ Twitter username is @KingJames, but his 51 million users didn’t seem to have trouble finding him. Because Twitter’s search tool is that good, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get your perfect username. Keep in mind that you can always switch your username in your Twitter settings.
Your profile photo is the square picture that appears on your profile and next to your Tweets throughout Twitter. It’s one of the quickest ways to identify an account, so use your company logo or something tied very closely to your brand. Recommended dimensions are 400 by 400 pixels.
Optimization tip: To build strong branding and consistency, use the same profile photo on all of your social networks.
Your bio is the 160-character description of your business on Twitter. It appears beneath your profile photo and in Twitter and Google search results.
Your Twitter bio should include the main keyword phrase you optimize your business with, plus links to your website or @mentions to other Twitter accounts related to your business. This approach will provide additional exposure in areas where only your bio is shown (like Twitter’s search results). You can also add a hashtag to help yourself get noticed. More on #hashtags later.
Twitter bios help customers find your profile and encourage them to click through to your website. Craft yours carefully.
Optimization tip: If you’re not sure what to include in your Twitter bio, take a look at your competitors. Tools like Rival IQ can provide a quick glance at other company bios and notify you of updates when they change.
Your header photo is the large graphic at the top of your Twitter profile. Recommended dimensions are 1500 by 500 pixels.
You can use your header photo to promote your newest products or draw attention to new promotions and deals. Be sure to review your header photo on both desktop and mobile browsers to ensure it scales properly.
Optimization tip: If you don’t have graphic design skills, you can use free tools like Canva to upload your own background image (or use a stock photo provided by Canva) and overlay it with text.
Your Design settings will let you modify your Twitter profile background image, color, and link colors. You can also use these settings to coordinate your background color with your header image and to change the link color on your profile to something that matches your company branding.
Making the most of your Twitter marketing
Twitter marketing is an effective way to build and grow your small business. As with any social media marketing channel, Twitter has its own strategies and tactics you can use to achieve growth. Armed with the Twitter marketing tips above, you’ll be well on your way to a successful campaign, whether you’re just starting out or are a digital marketing pro.
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Twitter marketing FAQ
How is Twitter used for marketing?
Promoting your business on Twitter can help grow your audience, increase website traffic, and earn more sales. You can advertise your account to get new followers or boost individual tweets to get more visibility.
How much does marketing on Twitter cost?
Marketing on Twitter is free. You only need to pay for ads if you decide to run them.
What are some challenges of Twitter marketing?
Maintaining a Twitter presence takes time commitment. Tweets tend to get engagement right away, then it falls off quickly. People could easily miss your tweets, even if they’re online.
What are the best marketing strategies for Twitter?
- Use hashtags
- Optimize your bio
- Complete you Twitter profile
- Run Twitter ads
- Post creative product and behind-the-scenes content