There seems to be fairly compelling evidence that Twitter is in decline. Its share of the US mobile advertising market is falling for the first time, and it recently ranked ninth in a global table of active social network users. Its growth has flatlined at a time when competitors are expanding rapidly, and arch-rival Facebook outperforms it in almost every measure of engagement.
Nonetheless, Twitter remains more popular than supposedly zeitgeist platforms like Snapchat and Viber, with three times as many active users as LinkedIn. Pinterest and Instagram have surpassed its market share in America recently, but there remain many reasons why implementing a Twitter marketing strategy for your small business is still valuable and important.
Why Is Twitter Marketing so Important?
Twitter remains the best platform for sharing information in real time, with Facebook lacking its immediacy and Instagram lacking the ability to repost favored content. There are good reasons why Twitter has become the go-to platform for celebrities, since it offers instant and direct access to audiences. That’s also great for communicating with customers, with 19 per cent of users seeking customer support through Twitter marketing channels. Even a critical customer tweet can be turned into a positive, with swift and satisfactory responses remaining publicly visible for years. Similarly, compliments effectively become miniature testimonials.
Twitter is also excellent for driving traffic elsewhere. That’s bad for Twitter’s own retention statistics, but great from a third-party perspective. Links now automatically occupy 23 characters, or less if you use abbreviating platforms like bit.ly. That leaves 117 characters free for a sales message or call to arms, though tweets between 80 and 110 characters appear to achieve optimal engagement. And this is something that can be exploited for those sponsored and promoted tweets that appear high up in your timeline…
Twitter pioneered native advertising back in 2010, bypassing the jarring ads of other platforms in favor of content almost unrecognizable from in-line updates. As with Facebook and Google, Twitter’s in-house analytics software can provide easily quantifiable and measurable statistics on each advertising campaign’s performance. Interestingly, tweets posted on weekday afternoons consistently outperform those sent at other times of day, while sending more than three tweets per day seems to decrease engagement levels.
Another useful Twitter marketing tip involves sharing content from other people. By mixing original posts with selected third-party retweets, it’s possible to cultivate a knowledgeable aura that reassures potential clients about your expertise while encouraging them to follow you. Finding relevant content is easy thanks to those pioneering hashtags, and commenting on trending topics will quickly expose your brand to a large and active audience.
Finally, while rivals like Facebook use algorithms to curate content, Twitter simply publishes its posts in reverse chronological order. As a consequence, multiple tweets on a single subject can reach a wider audience than one-time posts, with one study suggesting follow-up tweets often perform better than the first communique on a particular topic. Photo or video tweets attract far more engagement than text-only posts, while competitions can also achieve high levels of engagement, making them another effective platform on which to construct a Twitter marketing campaign.