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Twitter is one of those rare services that actually changes the world. More than half a billion people are on the service, and more than 50 million tweets are being sent every single day of the year. Sometimes people on social media approach marketers with a bit of suspicion – but those businesses and marketers that use Twitter well can sometimes become social media rock stars.
Here are a few Twitter marketing trends that will set you right for 2013 and beyond.
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A lot of marketers like to put a “follow us on Twitter” button somewhere on their website. That’s all fine and well for people visiting your website, but what about those who have never heard of you? This is where hashtags comes in. I’m not talking about boring marketing messages, but dynamic, engaging and relevant tags that Twitter users will willingly use in their own tweets.
There are a couple of ways to do it. The first is to have more of a “standard” hashtag, for example something like #iphone5sale. Use it in your tweets, and cross your fingers it goes viral. The second and perhaps more useful method is to pose a question, or reference a current event. For example #iphonefeaturesiwant. Oreo did well during the Super Bowl Blackout with their tweet about still “dunking in the dark”. It got ten thousand retweets.
A lot of Twitter marketers made the mistake of thinking that social media is a one-way monologue – it’s not. You have your Twitter feed, and people are going to sign up to it and just follow your Tweets. That may well happen, but what do you want, ten thousand passive followers, or a thousand engaged users?
There are several ways you can do this. A popular trend at the moment is to offer an entry into a draw if they use a particular hashtag, or retweet a particular tweet. Obviously, you will need some way of monitoring this, and there is software available to keep track of what your followers are doing.
When people ask you questions on Twitter, don’t just let them drift into the ether! Answer, engage, respond. The companies that do this are the ones getting social media success, regardless of the size of the business.
Think about why Twitter users are following you, and why they’d want to follow you. Are you just sending out promotional materials? Let me be clear that there’s nothing wrong with that. A pure piece of promotion is not wrong, provided you don’t do it all the time.
Let’s use the example of a ferry company that I follow. They have an excellent social media strategy. Yes, they send out promotional tweets about discounts and updates about their service. However, not all the tweets are about that – a good chunk are related, but not promotional. For example, some are customer photos of their ships, and the views from the deck. Others are amusing incidents that have happened to their service. Every now and then, there’s an odd fact about their ships or their service.
This leads to a much higher brand engagement than if they were just to send out promos all the time.
You can do the same with your Twitter marketing. Perhaps you could try sending out questions, such as “my favorite brand of laptop is ________”. Add a hashtag and get more people involved!
One of the more interesting Twitter trends I came across was about inspirational and motivational tweeting. Apparently, nothing builds a Twitter following faster than sending out tweets that make your followers feel good about themselves.
Quotes, inspirational messages, links to online articles all build Twitter followings. Even little messages that wishes the reader a happy or productive day can be a great way to make your followers feel good about you and link positive feelings with your brand. There’s no need to go overboard – but try to integrate some form of feel good into your marketing and watch the results.
You’ll notice that there’s a common theme among these marketing trends – customer engagement. Advertisers have tried to approach social media as if they would print advertising for some time now. Thankfully, the trend is now moving towards something that’s more interesting, engaging, and relevant for everyone involved.
If you can integrate these four Twitter marketing trends into your plan, all the more power to you.
William A. Petrucci has interests that includes high tech gadgets and social media marketing. He blogs about it and admits to buy Twitter followers as his major strategy for success.