5 Ways to Leverage Twitter in a Post-Twitter World
Social media has become an inseparable part of our lives. We share our stories and photos, eager to get likes and shares. Today, social media is one of the most important components of a digital marketing strategy for any organization or brand. Few would argue with this.
However, in recent months, some marketers would say that Twitter in particular is fading from the spotlight. Whether it is due to the frequent management changes, lack of groundbreaking innovation, or just the rise of other networks such as Instagram and Snapchat, there is certainly a nugget of truth behind this statement.
But before you cast Twitter aside as the next Myspace, let me share with you some important reasons why you should continue to stay invested in this network.
Look, Twitter is no longer that place where you tell people what you’re eating for lunch or which movie theater you just “checked into.”
Twitter has become a public forum with a pulse on real-time information. It is still, in my opinion, the best place to engage directly with brands and make new connections with influencers.
So, once you realize how Twitter has evolved over the years, it is important to use these changes to your advantage.
Here are five ways you can get started with your new Twitter strategy:
1. One-to-one beats one-to-many
A lot of folks use Twitter as a broadcast channel. They just blast out a message over and over again. Okay, maybe they mix it up a little bit, but for the most part they’re just using Twitter as if it were a bullhorn in a crowded auditorium.
That isn’t going to work anymore. Twitter has become far too noisy for this. So unless you’re a celebrity with a sizable following, the broadcasts need to get cut down.
Sure, you can still use them, but just make sure they’re not the only thing you’re doing on Twitter.
Instead, take more time exploring the one-to-one features of Twitter. Find people who you want to connect with and strike up a conversation. Find brands you’re interested in and ask a question or leave a witty reply to one of their tweets.
You’d be surprised how these far these small actions can go to help you stand out from the noise.
But even one-to-one has its limits as we’ll see in the next tip….
2. DMs are (still) useless
For you Twitter rookies, a “DM” is a direct message. It’s sort of a private conversation between you and somebody else on Twitter. And unfortunately, this is the most frustrating feature of Twitter for many.
I keep telling myself that DMs will eventually get useful, but they don’t. There is just far too much automated spam and shameless self promotion going on in our inboxes to make it worthwhile to devote time separating the wheat from the chaff.
Personally, I’d advise you to just leave your DMs alone. Don’t send them and don’t encourage them. Maybe scan your inbox every now and then, but try not to put too much effort into them. They’re just a going to pull you in and waste your time.
3. The reply is more important than the retweet
If you want to get on someone’s radar, you’ll have better luck by replying to someone’s tweet than simple retweeting or liking it. Why so? Well, that has to do with the way Twitter’s notification system works. Retweets are grouped in with new follows, likes, list additions, etc. In other words, they’re easy to miss.
Replies or “mentions” stand out by default, so for most users, they’re easier to spot. And since it takes more time and effort to actually reply to someone, they’re seen as having a higher perceived value and more worthy of a response.
4. Plain text is just plain
Just like every other social network, Twitter is becoming more and more visual every passing day. If you really want to stand out, you need to use images, GIFs, videos, etc. The days of plain text tweets are getting replaced by visually-appealing, data-enriched tweets.
So feel free to add a little spice to your message with these items. It’ll not only give your profile a more authentic look, but it also stands out quite a bit. Even small details like using your location in a Tweet can help you jump out from the rest of the pack.
5. Automation only works if you do
Lastly, we come to the topic of automation. There are tons of inbound marketing tools out there that help you automate your Twitter activities. I’m certainly not against them. In fact, I use a few of them myself, such as Buffer, ManageFlitter, and SocialBro.
However, if you decide to use any type of automation with Twitter, make sure you’re following up with it. If you just “set it and forget it,” you won’t get very far.
In other words, if you’re scheduling some of your tweets with Buffer for instance, make sure you’re checking for replies, retweets, etc., and responding when appropriate.
You need to show that somebody is home if you want to encourage others to take interest in your account. These days, it’s very easy to spot a spammy, automated account.
Ready to start Tweeting?
Well, that wraps up my tips for leveraging Twitter in a post-Twitter world. If you think I missed anything, please add a comment below or strike up a conversation on Twitter.
Yes, that’s right, we can talk about Twitter on Twitter. How meta.
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