Just like all other social media platforms, engaging with your followers is crucial. There are various ways you can do this on Twitter, like liking and retweeting mentions from followers, replying to direct messages, posting brand-relevant UGC, or asking followers to respond to Twitter polls. If you’ve created accurate, relevant social media personas, the way you interact with your followers will likely entice them to continue following and engaging with your account.
How To Use Twitter for Beginners
Twitter, launched in 2006, is a microblogging social media site where users create short-form content, known as tweets, to share with others. Users who have an account can post their own tweets and interact with others.
Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter is often where breaking news is shared by individual users, rather than notable businesses. Users take to their personal accounts and tweet about their experiences, like when a 5.9 earthquake struck Virginia in 2011. It was first reported by individuals on Twitter who sent out 40,000 tweets related to the incident, all in less than a minute.
He didn’t meet their 18 million retweet requirement, but they granted his request after achieving 3 million. Wilkerson has since used his Twitter experiment as an example of social sharing engagement for his marketing course. Others have since used this format, like this user, who asked The New York Mets to let her take prom photos on their baseball field if she reached 500,000 retweets.
Considering that Twitter has significant power in influencing trends and generating engagement, some brands have taken to the platform as a means of social media marketing. If you’re just starting on Twitter, this post will outline how to use its essential features and go over best-practices for marketers using the app.
Twitter Tips for Beginners
All social media platforms have site-specific etiquette and best practices that marketers should know. Let’s look at eight tips for Twitter beginners to use when adopting the platform into their marketing strategy.
Understand Twitter Language
Featured Resource: How to Use Twitter for Business
Hashtags, written as a pound symbol (#) followed by a specific word or phrase, are keywords on Twitter that are used to incite discussion. #food is an example of a hashtag that is commonly used on Twitter, and all tweets that use the #food hashtags are aggregated together. Hashtags can often go viral, and users around the world put them within their own tweets to add their opinions into discussions and engage with topics that they care about.
They are also a valuable marketing tool for generating exposure, as any Twitter user who views and searches through a hashtag may come across the tweets you’ve made. Tweets with hashtags also get 100% more engagement. Hashtags can be added to tweets with videos, photos, gifs, and links.
A Twitter handle is not to be confused with your Twitter profile name, which is the name of your Twitter account. For example, if you’re using Twitter for a personal account, your name is Sam Cruz, your profile name could be Sam Cruz while your handle might be @redtomato. Twitter handles can be unique, whereas everyone in the world named Sam Cruz can set that as their profile name.
Handles are essential for marketing, as they aid in brand recognition when they’re related to your business. For instance, say you run the Twitter profile for a pants business called Reds. If your Twitter handle is @pantsbusiness, nobody will be able to pick you out from the crowd of other pants businesses on the platform.
Retweet, sometimes written as RT, is how people share content on Twitter. If someone tweets something you like, you’d click the retweet button (shown below) to share the Tweet onto your own Twitter feed. The content you RT is visible to your followers and also displayed in your Twitter profile.
When you generate a following on Twitter, using the RT button to share tweets where your followers mention you and how much they love your business is a valuable strategy for building brand authority, as social media users value user-generated content (UGC). In fact, consumers trust UGC 9.8x more than influencer content or paid advertisements.
You’ll get a notification every time someone mentions you, and these tweets are displayed in the Notifications tab on the Twitter website and mobile app. You can navigate to your mentions by clicking the bell icon.
Mentions are beneficial to marketing as they make it easier to find and interact with followers who have specifically used your handle in their tweets. You can also mention other users within your own Tweets, which helps in generating engagement.
Create a Twitter Marketing Strategy
Like every social media platform, you need to create a site-specific marketing strategy. It doesn’t have to be too different from your overall business marketing strategy, as you’ll carry over elements like your buyer personas. These are the representations of your target audience that you’ll translate into social media target audiences, which will help you identify the customers most likely to interact with you on the platform.
Plan Out Your Twitter Strategy with HubSpot’s Free Social Media Content Calendar
Decide What You’ll Tweet
After you’ve created your marketing strategy, you’ll need to decide how you’ll execute that plan with your tweets. Other businesses on Twitter use their accounts to incite brand discussions, create advertisements, or as a means of customer support.
The image below depicts a Twitter customer support interaction between Comcast, an internet and cable service provider, and an interested customer. Around 59% of global social media users have a of brands that respond to customer service questions on social media, so it is a valuable Twitter strategy to consider.
The social media target audiences you’ve outlined within your marketing strategy will help you identify how you should use your Twitter account. When you understand your followers, you’ll know what type of content they prefer and what you should be tweeting.
For example, if you’re a clothing company, maybe you’re famous for launching exclusive products that your customers need to wait in line for. You know they’re likely excited by this exclusivity, so you can use your account to announce product release dates to get them excited. Here’s an example of Adidas, a design company, using their account to promote a highly anticipated brand collaboration on their Twitter account.
How to write a Twitter thread like a pro (Advice from marketers)
Threads have become popular in recent years as they allow people to tell complete stories, share tips, or offer advice outside the limitations of a single Tweet. These types of posts can get such great engagement, which is why Twitter acquired Threader, a once-popular bot account that combined threads into single articles for users to read. Threader now powers Twitter Blue’s native thread-reading feature, which users can pay for.
If you’re trying to grow your Twitter following or get more engagement on your profile, threads can be an attractive option—especially for people in digital careers such as marketing, content creation, social media, or SEO. That said, putting together a series of Tweets and deciding how you want to structure your thread can be challenging.
What do you even write about? Which Tweet comes next? How do you decide when to end your thread? To answer these questions, we sought advice from a few marketing pros that are known for writing awesome threads. Let’s dive in.
Twitter is a vast landscape with tons of small communities having conversations, debates, hosting Twitter Spaces, and other types of interactions. Breaking into these communities and being seen as credible can be difficult if you’re just starting out. Before even writing threads, you’ll need to decide which topics interest you the most and what you feel most comfortable publicly Tweeting about.
“Get very clear on your singular goal. Ask yourself honestly and specifically: What does success look like for you? Then build a content strategy to support that goal and a set of tactics to support that strategy. Chances are this will mean you’ll need to home in on a niche, stick with 1-2 topics, and write threads that reflect your expertise or growing knowledge.”
Jeremy Moser, Co-founder and CEO of uSERP, agrees with this advice and says that the more you home in on your topics, the more likely Twitter will propagate your content to users in target communities via its algorithm. Now this isn’t to say that you should only Tweet about things in your niche, but establishing your topic expertise and writing about it consistently on Twitter is one of the best ways to amplify your reach.
While a niche helps you build your expertise and find like-minded users on Twitter, you’ll need to actually follow, reply, comment, DM, and use other types of engagement to start building your community. Jeremy says:
“Work on building a smaller audience first. Spend time building a genuine community of like-minded people in your niche. In that community, engage with each other, find new creators, and work on building a following of at least 1,000 people. Why? Before this, the majority of your content will flop, and chances are you haven’t figured out your own voice or style yet.”
Follow creators you admire and engage with their communities. Add value to conversations instead of cookie-cutter responses. Send personalized DMs to creators if you found what they Tweeted about insightful. Be authentic when engaging with others and you’ll find your follower count start to grow.
You have your niche and have found success building a small but engaged community, so now it’s time to find inspiration for thread content. A good place to start is by sourcing ideas from your followers. Amanda says:
If you’re in a digital career, thread ideas that are sure to get some engagement are to post about tips and processes you’ve used that have helped you launch a product, write a book, hit your revenue goals, and other professional milestones your followers could resonate with. Jeremy says:
“I love writing threads about stuff that I’ve genuinely done that has been impactful for me. I don’t write threads that often, maybe 1-2 times a month, and my focus is entirely on what works. Draw from your own experience and ask yourself: what lessons, tactics, strategies, ideas did I learn from this experience that can help others improve on X, Y, Z.”
And your threads don’t always have to be a highlight reel. You can share lessons you learned in times of failure or struggle. This level of candidness shows your followers that you’re human, you make mistakes, and you learn from them.
“When writing threads, open a blank page and spend 20-30 minutes just writing about a topic. Find common themes you can pull together to focus on that topic. For example, rather than just ‘here’s how to do marketing,’ you might talk about copywriting for a website to improve conversions.”