4 November 2015

Today, more than half a billion tweets have already been uploaded, shared, liked, mocked and analysed.  Hundreds of millions of people have spent countless hours on utterances of 140 characters.  Any way you want to slice it, that’s a huge audience that you could be tapping into.  The problem is that while everyone thinks running a Twitter account is no sweat, making Twitter really work for your business can be harder than running the London marathon backwards.  

So how can you topple the Twits?

Rule number 1: know your audience

First of all, it’s crucial to remember that ‘spray-and-pray’ almost never works. Twitter is powerful not just because you can talk to a lot of people, but because you can speak to the right ones too.  The first step is to analyse your audience.  Ask yourself who you’re trying to reach and why, because when you know who you’re trying to build a relationship with, that’s when you can craft relevant content that will have them clicking through to every link and retweeting every post.  

Rule number 2: there’s no such thing as too much information

Audience analysis has another (all too often overlooked) advantage: you can monitor audience behaviours.  For example, if you’re trying to reach that vital teenage market, there’s no point in posting between 8am and 2pm since they’d all be in school anyway.  If you scheduled your tweets to be the first one after the final bell then you keep that coveted top-of-mind sweet spot.

Rule number 3: a picture is worth a thousand words – if it accompanies good text (and you’re only allowed 140 in a tweet anyway).

Once you’re done analysing your audience, you need to seriously investigate your competition.  Forget stalking your ex’s accounts; start obsessing over your competition’s feed instead.  Work out their strategy and work out who their followers are.  Then, craft your attack accordingly.  Don’t be afraid to have a cheeky indirect response to their tweets that puts the limelight on your brand.

One sure fire way to do that is to also include images or videos with your tweet.  From grumpy cats to inspirational quotes to carefully lit products, there’s no shortage of ways to add a little visual interest to your feed; and your extra effort will be rewarded.  According to Twitter’s own research (based on a study of over 2 million tweets), including a photo can boost retweets by up to 35% and adding a video can give you a 28% boost.

It’s the look that counts

Of course, if your account looks like a pre-schooler’s first go on a PC, none of this is going to be all that useful.  You profile is your calling card so you need to make sure that it’s absolutely perfect.  That means crafting a handle that’s in line with your brand and setting up an eye-catching banner that instantly transmits your tone.

It’s really not hard to get a decent Twitter account right and with a few simple tricks and a stack of sharp replies, you can take your feed from good to fabulous.  When you have the kind of feed people want to read, you’ll have the type of profile that gets results.

Topple the twits with the #DS.comTribe, or let me know how you plan to go about it by getting in touch with us on Facebook and Instagram @DanzShapiro.  Always keen to hear what others are up to.