5 Twitter Tips & Tricks for Merchants
Weighing in at over 346 million monthly active users, Twitter is no small-fry on the social media scene and, if used properly, can be a powerful marketing tool for merchants. Setting up a Twitter account is easy. What is less simple is growing a following and using it as a tool to generate leads and build a brand, and then engaging with a target audience and interacting with them.
What sets Twitter apart from other social media networks is the ability to share information and content, drive engagement for promotional activities, interact with consumers, and use the platform for networking, branding, and reputation management, all in the blink of an eye and solely with short-form content. Twitter’s primary use is interaction as opposed to casting a wide net and broadcasting content.
The big question surrounding Twitter for years has been how to get more followers, when it should be how to get more active Twitter followers. These five tips should help.
Tip #1: Keep It Simple
Twitter is the epitome of the human attention span deficit. Everything about the platform encourages short, sweet and to the point encounters, starting with your merchant’s Twitter handle and ending with the 280-character limit.
Your merchant’s Twitter handle should be recognizable (no random numbers or punctuation marks), relevant, easy to remember, and short enough for users to tag them. If people need to type more than a few characters to find merchants, they’re likely to give up trying. Long handles are also less likely to be tagged due to character count limits. It’s also important to maintain consistency with brand name across all social media platforms.
A clean, simple profile picture is also beneficial and makes your merchant’s brand easy to distinguish. Using their company logo is a great option, and the cleaner and simpler the logo, the better.
Bonus Tip: Employees with personal accounts who are trying to promote their services on Twitter (i.e. hair stylists) should use a professional headshot against a solid, neutral-toned background as their profile image.
Your merchant’s Twitter bio should follow these same guidelines. Neil Patel, entrepreneur and marketing maven, offers these helpful hints for merchants to consider when crafting their Twitter bio:
- Tell people exactly who your brand is and what it represents.
- Don’t be afraid to infuse some personality or humor.
- It’s okay to brag a little. Talk about any accomplishments or unique characteristics that set you apart.
- Write with your target audience in mind.
- Include relevant hashtags.
- Tag other brands you may be affiliated with.
Tip #2: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
We all know the adage. Organization is key when planning any social media activity, but it is especially true for this fast-paced platform. Sprout Social recommends coming up with campaigns two to three weeks in advance.
Along the same vein, merchants should have a posting schedule that details what and when they plan on Tweeting. Including as much detail as possible (links to new posts and other updates, etc.).
Bonus Tip: Sending out links to content only once is one of the biggest mistakes brands make on social media, especially Twitter. Tweeting links once almost ensure that most users won’t see that content, so it’s important to send out links multiple times and ensure that they are spaced out so as many people as possible will see it.
In planning when they should Tweet, merchants should consider that there are certain days of the week and times of day when users are more active on the platform and, therefore, more likely to see and engage with their content. While these days and times may vary based on time zone and target demographic, in general, Buffer estimates that Tweets posted Friday through Sunday have higher click-through rates than those posted Monday through Thursday. However, some studies show the complete opposite. Some studies show that peak hours to post Tweets are around lunchtime and evening commutes. Neil Patel suggests posting every hour seven days a week at a minimum. If that seems a little overwhelming, it’s best to start small and build from there. What that means is that merchants will have to do some testing of their own to find out what days and times work out best for their brand.
Whether merchants are posting three times a day or 40 times a day, it’s always recommended to use a scheduling tool for most Tweets. This allows merchants to plan well in advance.
Tip #3: Utilize the Optimal Number of #Hashtags
Tweets that contain hashtags receive twice as much engagement as those that don’t, but only to a point. Any more that two hashtags and engagement drops by 17%. The optimal number of hashtags on Twitter is 1-2.
If merchants are only getting a maximum of two hashtags before they become irrelevant, then they’ll want to make sure they’re using the best possible hashtags for their post. Using the appropriate number of hashtags isn’t enough. Merchants must also use the right hashtags to attract followers.
Hashtags should add context to Tweets and there are a couple of tools merchants can use to suggest what those might be. Merchants can then assess the effectiveness of the hashtags they choose by utilizing Twitter Analytics to see how well their chosen
Tip #4: Visuals Outperform Every Time
Posts with a multimedia component drive engagement.
Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets than those without.
Video outperforms every other kind of content on every social media platform. On Twitter, videos receive 10 times more engagement and are 6 times more likely to be retweeted than Tweets that do not contain video.
Users want more visual content, so why not give it to them?
Tip #5: Twitter Chats = Active Followers
Twitter chats are basically public conversations on Twitter surrounding a unique hashtag. They are usually recurring and revolve around specific topics aimed at connecting people with the same interests. Twitter chats can be difficult to run, especially for beginners, but running and/or participating in industry-related Twitter chats can be a great way for merchants to promote their brand and engage in the larger community at an accelerated pace.
The people that participate in Twitter chats are the ones that are actively engaging on the network. These are the people who are using Twitter for its intended purpose: to interact. These are also the people who are more likely to reply to your merchant’s Tweets, retweet their content and amplify their message.
Twitter is lightning fast. Those 346 million users generate nearly 8,500 new tweets posted every second, which makes the average lifespan of one tweet less than 18 minutes. It’s easy to get lost in the void.
That means that not only do merchants need to keep their Twitter account updated and ensure they are posting often; they need to post content that packs a punch and catches users’ attention.