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How To Leverage Twitter To Help Your Brand Grow

How To Leverage Twitter To Help Your Brand Grow

When it comes to branding, many think first of Facebook or, perhaps, Instagram. In many ways, Twitter has fallen behind when it comes to businesses. In fact, for many business owners, using Twitter can feel like shouting into the abyss.

Going too technical on Twitter isn’t interesting anymore; communities for digital marketing and technology are rapidly getting overrun by, well, clickbait and spam, rendering them obsolete. As well, as vast majority of Twitter users aren’t on Twitter to interact with brands: they’re there to get news, interact with friends, and laugh. So, where does that leave brands and businesses?

There are ways to make it work.

Take, for example, Wendy’s on Twitter. Known mostly as a fast food restaurant, Wendy’s made a name for themselves in 2017 by starting a few very public “beefs” with other brands—notably, McDonald’s for using frozen beef. In early 2018, they had a #NationalRoastDay where, alongside other brands like Postmates, they roasted users who tweeted at them using the hashtag. It increased their engagement and was funny to boot.



This kind of irreverent humor can feel like it walks a fine line between being a really bad idea and difficult to pull off. And you’re right! But Twitter, more than any other social network, has morphed into a community of people who laugh at things that, well, you can’t exactly laugh at on Facebook.

Take, as another example, Moon Pie—a brand known primarily for moon pies, aka a marshmallow sandwiches—runs one of the most irreverent, random Twitter pages out there.



It’s nonsensical and funny—and has an engagement rate of around 31%, which is astronomical on Twitter. (A good engagement rate, for example, is typically 1-5%.)

What is the secret to making Twitter work for your brand?
  • Being relatable
  • Using humor
  • Focusing on images and branding, versus links and driving traffic to your website

As brands begin to incorporate what is considered “Twitter humor” into their branding on Twitter, you might wonder: is Twitter the right place for every brand? That’s a good question!


Is Twitter Right for Your Brand?


With the two examples I shared, you might be getting nervous: is Twitter really the best place for your brand, then? The answer is, of course, it really depends.

Twitter is a great platform for larger brands that operate primarily B2C and want to increase their engagement, not necessarily get clicks to their website. For small, or medium-sized, brands, it’s kind of a toss up: are you B2C? Are you willing to adjust your branding to fit the climate of Twitter? How much time do you have to dedicate to writing and creating content?

Not every brand will feel as comfortable as Wendy’s or Moon Pie adjusting their brand messaging to fit Twitter’s wacky, funny mindset. And, as well, not every brand has the time, or budget, to spend time brainstorming, writing, and creating content like this:



However, the numbers really do speak for themselves. If you have a brand that you feel could transition well, and you have staff that is willing and able to dedicate time to writing funny, absurd content, you can make it work. If not, it’s ok to dedicate your time to other platforms, like Facebook or Instagram.


Getting Started


If you’re already on Twitter, then you’ve got a head start. At this point in the digital marketing game, nearly everyone has already created a Twitter account with a handle that matches their business. Those are important first steps.

Once that’s out of the way, that’s when branding begins. No matter what, you’ll want to use your logo as your profile photo; this is the easiest way to ensure brand recognition and keep things simple.

Where you can start to have fun, of course, is in your cover image. Let’s look at a few examples from our favorites.



Wendy’s has gone classic: the setup of their burger broken down into ingredients. It’s graphic, fun, and instantly recognizable thanks to that square-shaped patty.



Conversely, Moon Pie has gone retro, featuring a box of their classic chocolate Moon Pies in a TRON-like world, featuring the analog PLAY in the corner. It’s colorful, unique, and indicative of the content they create.

We encourage you to get creative with your cover image. The dimensions are roughly 1500px by 500px, with a few areas that you need to watch for (like the top and bottom 150 pixels are hidden in certain views, and taking into account your profile image). But other than that, get creative! Use the cover image as an opportunity to grab interest.

Once you’ve got your cover image, it’s time to fill in the details of your profile.



Moon Pie is a great example of a bio that works. It’s straightforward, short, and a little funny without being over-the-top. It’s deadpan. When writing your bio, keep that in mind: keep it short, keep it direct, and keep it from being too salesy. Then just remember to add your location and your website.

Once you’re set up, it’s time to get started on the hard part: content.


What Tools To Use


There are lots of tools out there for scheduling social media. We have a few suggestions.

  • For scheduling, we like Buffer. It’s easy to use and relatively free. (You can schedule 10 posts at a time with the free version.) Many industry leaders used to use Hootsuite, but because Hootsuite doesn’t pull link previews for Twitter, it has fallen out of favor.


Best Practices for Content


When it comes to writing content, it’s time to really get creative. If you want to adjust your brand to include content like we’ve shown as examples here, that means dedicating time to really spend time on it, from writing to photography to designing graphics. And that needs a strategy. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Strategy requires a goal. When it comes to using Twitter, what is your goal? To increase engagement? To get clicks to your website? Once you have that idea in mind, you can better create a strategy.
  • Good content requires time and expertise. When it comes to creating content that suits your goal and strategy, you need the right people.
  • It won’t happen overnight. Even if you’re creating good content, you’re not going to start getting 30% engagement overnight. That’s just the truth! Be patient; run reports; and keep an eye on how things are doing.
  • Build your following, engage with your followers (yes, that means monitoring at least 2-3 hours a day), and be authentic.

For information on the best times and how often to post, we recommend this blog post from CoSchedule. Looking at those numbers can feel intimidating, but we recommend writing content on a weekly basis. Yep, that’s right, writing and scheduling in advance so more time can be spent monitoring on a daily basis. As well, content can go through an editing process and you can budget time for creating graphics or taking photos.

Here are a few more content tips:

  • Keep written content short. Sure, Twitter now allows 280 characters—but that doesn’t mean you should use that much! The average message is still quite short: fitting a funny quip in a short amount of space gets you the most bang for your buck.
  • Keep images relevant. Images are a great medium on Twitter, but they have to be relevant to your content, first of all, as well as your brand.
  • Use gifs. This goes without saying: gifs and reaction images reign king on Twitter. Make sure you keep your eye on meme trends.
  • Use hashtags very, very sparingly.
  • Keep an eye on your goals for Twitter—and readjust when necessary.
  • Engage. Notice a larger brand (that isn’t a competitor) is running a competition or tweeting about something relevant to your brand? Jump in!
  • Monitor mentions. When you’re mentioned by Twitter users, it’s an opportunity to 1) make a situation right and 2) tell a joke.
  • Use threads and Moments. Want to write a mini blog post that you think will appeal to Twitter users? A great example would be a funny story about your brand or an adventure you went on, using gifs and reaction images throughout; then create into a Moment for your followers to be able to easily see.


Conclusion


We know that’s a lot! When it comes to any social media platform these days, the effort needed can seem extreme. And as we said, not every social media platform is going to work for every brand! But if Twitter seems like a platform that would work for you, but you’re unsure of how to go about it, we can help. Just click here to send us a note and we’ll help you get started!
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