Building a Solid Social Media Strategy: A Deep-Dive In Twitter

social media strategy twitter

This is the third post in our social media series. For the introduction, go here.

Twitter has a solid base of loyal users, but isn’t growing as rapidly as other social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. But don't let its lack of rapid growth fool you. Twitter is a great place to post brand announcements, create dialogues with followers and establish thought leadership because of its ease of discovery.

The Pros and Cons of Twitter

Pros

  • Timing of posts in relation doesn't matter too much. Because of Twitter's constant flow of new information, there's always an audience for your content. You also don't need to worry about flooding your users with too much information. 
  • Loyal users are very active on the platform and can amplify your message through retweets.
  • Posts are short and easy to create.
  • Hashtags are very useful to have a greater reach. This may be the most compelling feature of twitter. Discovery is so easy on this platform that there's an audience for almost every topic.
  • Twitter has a great following for real-time news, which makes it a great platform to publicize your news and announcements.

Cons

  • Twitter is a very time intensive platform. Even though each tweet is relatively easy to create, you must post very frequently. Ideally, you should post at least 3 times per week maintain a following and ideally multiple times per day to grow a following.
  • Twitter best for use with millennial and not as popular with other generations.
  • Twitter's posts have a short lifespan. Users rarely scroll too deeply through a feed, so you only reach a fraction of your following with each tweet.
The pros and cons of creating a branded Twitter account. [Click here to tweet]

Paid Twitter Advertisements

Twitter offers three main types of ads: tweet engagements, follower building and website clicks (or app install). These typically cost slightly more than Facebook ads. You can expect to pay between $0.50-$5.00 per engagement.

Optimal Frequency of Twitter Posts

High. Because of the short life of a Twitter post (users typically don't scroll too far down through their feeds), Twitter has one of the highest frequency requirements of all social media.

Lowest Frequency of Posts

Post at least 5 times per week. This will keep your account active and healthy, but won't necessarily grow your account quickly. Five times per week is 

Highest Frequency of Posts

The sky's the limit on Twitter. Because the feed is so dynamic, it's fine to post as frequently as you want. In fact, it's common for users to have conversations on Twitter, posting multiple tweets in a row. This is fine, and can be a great way to engage your audience!

Twitter Pro Tips

  • Use a link shortener like Bitly to clean up your posts so your URLs look clean in your tweet. 
  • Use a post manager like Hootsuite to schedule your posts to auto-publish at optimal times and plan your tweets for the week all at once. This makes Twitter's high frequency of posts requirement much more manageable! Set aside one block of time per week to write out your tweets and schedule them in one sitting.  (CAUTION: Twitter is commonly used as a first source of news during tragic events. If you have posts scheduled that post during a newsworthy tragedy, your brand can seem disconnected and callous. If you have scheduled tweets, be sure to pause them during tragedies).
  • Always include an image when possible!
  • Tag people, publications or other brands you’re mentioning in the tweet to potentially get more retweets.
  • To get a higher frequency of tweets with less effort, rewrite your each tweet your planning in 3 different ways. For example, if you’re tweeting an article use the headline as one tweet, ask a question about the article in another, and add commentary with a third tweet. This means you don’t have to search for and/or create as much content to tweet. This way, you can also get a better understanding for which tweets perform best with your audience.
  • Research hashtags before publishing your tweets to ensure your tweet is seen by the appropriate audience. Hashtags are an amazing discovery tool on twitter. Most people discover new users to follow by following certain hashtags.
  • Arrange a Twitter chat around a specific topic. This is very time-intensive to set up, but can be a great way to engage your community. 

Effectiveness of Video

Not as effective on Twitter as other social platforms, as Twitter is text and image based. This is not to say that you shouldn't tweet your videos if you have them! It just usually doesn't make sense to go out of your way to create a video for Twitter.

Twitter Time Commitment

3 hours per week to plan tweets and interact with the community (hashtag research, liking/retweeting community tweets, planning ~10 posts per week)

Page Setup

Minimal. A profile picture, short bio and background image are required.

Good for Contests

Yes. It's easy to set up a unique hashtag for a giveaway. Ask your users to 1. follow your account and 2. Tweet a response to your contest using the hashtag. It's easy to scale this engagement and grow your following.

Twitter Tools

  • Sproutsocial or Hootsuite for page management. I personally use Sproutsocial, but have used both Hootsuite and Sproutsocial in the past with good results.
  • Bitly for shortening links

Conclusion

Twitter is a great place for brands to grow their followings, but it requires a significant time investment to grow a healthy following. Consider the time you're willing to invest before making the jump to set up an account.