For some of us, twitter may feel like this weird, off-the-wall place where millennials hang out and make Target cashiers ‘boy band famous’ in under 140 characters. It’s true, twitter is likely one of the more ‘social’ social platforms, where users engage in conversations that range from Scandal spoilers to mean tweets directed at celebrities (who later read them on Jimmy Kimmel). But there are over a billion tweets sent every other day – that’s too much chatter to discount as merely social. A whopping 75% of buyers are influenced by social media. Moreover, before a buyer reaches out to a company, they’ve already make it through 57% of their decision making process. Don’t underestimate the power of those 140 characters.
Social media expert, author, and self-proclaimed LinkedIn Queen Eve Mayer suggests that brands follow the below equation when engaging on twitter:
- 20% Information – what is new with your company? Any changes made that customers or prospects need to know about?
- 20% Entertainment – anything fun your company can share? Great blogs that will resonate with your audience?
- 40% Interaction – super important. We’ll go into detail about why this matters – keep reading.
- 20% Asking for what you want. These are your business conversions. What are your CTAs (calls to action)? Want them to click a promo? Sign up for a newsletter?
Twitter representative (yes, Twitter!) Robin Wheeler says that tweets should fall into one of 4 categories: Everyday, Campaigns, Reactive and Live.
These categories will help you organize and better understand the content you are sharing with your audience.
- “Everyday” tweets are the scheduled posts your company sends out consistently. They can be updates about your company, links to articles you wrote, or any other information your brand wants to share with your audience. Either of these could be informational, entertainment or CTAs.
- “Campaigns” are messages sent out that coincide with a specific event that you were previously aware of. Is there a major sale going on you’d like to promote? How about a giveaway your company is doing? These are often your CTA tweets.
- “Reactive” is your company responding to engagement. Did a current customer or prospect tweet you with a question or concern? Eve Mayer suggests being incredibly transparent within these tweets. If your ecommerce business made a mistake, address it, apologize and own it. Or, maybe a fan touts you on twitter. Respond! Thank them for reaching out, and let them know you appreciate their loyalty. Try to engage with as many of these tweets as possible. Remember, 40% of your tweets should fall under the interactive umbrella.
- “Live” tweets can be tricky to master. You have to be engaged with what is happening in pop culture, and ready to respond at a moments notice. It’s important that you only tweet if you are contributing something to the conversation surrounding whatever is trending. Your company doesn’t have to be directly related to the topic, but you must add something to the dialogue, whether it’s humor, a witty observation, or otherwise. Most often these are entertainment tweets, but can be interactive or even CTAs, depending on how you frame it.
Here’s a look at some tweets that fall in to each of these categories.
The “everyday” example is one of ecomdash’s own tweets. It’s informational, in that it directs followers to a blog explaining updates to our in-house listing software. These aren’t the most fun tweets, but they’re an essential part of your brand’s twitter strategy.
“Campaign” tweets, like the above example from the RED Organization, are for a specific event that your ecommerce business established, or willingly participated in. In this instance, RED runs frequent campaigns, and garners a lot of momentum from social media to help support their cause to create an AIDS free generation. For your social channels, be sure to include a CTA. What do you want them to do next?
“Reactive” tweets, as mentioned before, are so important to ensuring the loyalty of your audience, and encouraging purchases. A reported 86% of consumers feel more positive toward a brand after engagement, and as we’ve discussed in past blogs, brands that can establish that loyalty can effectively charge 200% more than competitors. Taco Bell is fantastic at responding to tweets that encourage engagement and further the brand persona. You don’t always have to wait for someone to tweet at you though. At a recent digital marketing conference, Robin pointed out that Purina did something really cool. They sought out tweets with photos that anyone – not just their followers – posted of their dog. Here’s one they found:
And here’s the attached photo of her dog:
Purina saw this, and even though there was no mention of their brand, this is how they responded:
Awesome, right? Look at how the original tweeter replied:
Her dog, which had no brand affiliation moments before, is now her #PurinaDog. To get a potential consumer to align themselves with your brand without your provocation is golden.
“Live” tweets are how Arby’s basically won the Grammy’s. Their tweet about Pharrell’s obscure hat is a perfect example of a “live” tweet that contributes to a conversation. Is Arby’s usually invited to the Grammy’s? Um, no. But they manged to tie in pop culture, real-time events and humor into one tweet. Do you see how many Retweets they earned with that tweet? 77,951. That’s a lot of buzz for a brand chiming in on an event they weren’t a part of. Another great example of a successful “live” tweet came from Oreo. Oreo was on it’s A game after the 2013 Superbowl that shut down the lights, and was the first brand to send out a tweet that commented on the blackout in a way that drove traffic back to their business. Oreo hasn’t lost its charisma, and was able to pull off this cheeky tweet a couple days after “The Dress” debate surfaced:
It’s clever, contributes to the conversation, and slips in the brand products in a way that doesn’t feel sales-y or promotional. As far as “live” tweets go, it’s perfect.
Now that you have the equation and detailed explanations of each twitter category, go forth and conquer the twittersphere. Need help with your other social media platforms? Read this post on mastering social banter on all your channels.