Twitter has been one of those social networks that you either love or hate. There seems to be very little grey area when it comes to sending messages with a 140 character limit. When Twitter was first introduced, users balked at the character limit thinking that the platform was too limiting and that it would not succeed. Since then Twitter has amassed a user base of 1.3 billion people, according to DMR.
Twitter has gained so much popularity that traditional media has started to use comments from Twitter in their broadcasts and articles, we’ve seen politicians take to social media as a fast and viral way to spread their message, and users seek out “Breaking News” as it happens. Since it’s inception the platform has gone through a lot of changes, but most notably, the latest changes will likely make the biggest impact. In recent news, Twitter will not count the characters of a URL or uploaded media piece against the 140 characters. Additionally, there are rumors that user handles (ex. @sweb) will also not count against the character limit.
A Whole New Twitter Experience
So how can you take advantage of these new updates and make the most of Twitter engagement so that you are not only growing a stronger community, but also establishing a strong voice for your brand? After years of using Twitter both personally and professionally, there are some notable things that you can do to ensure that your efforts made on Twitter are providing the best return.
1. Tweet outside the 9-5 mentality – Tweeting during the day makes sense, if your business is open, engage with people during the workday. Too often, though, businesses turn off after 5 p.m. and on weekends. These are vital times when you likely have an entirely new audience ready to engage with your content. Give it a try for a few weeks, track your efforts, and then measure your overall success. You may need to try different times, different content, and adjust accordingly.
2. Join larger conversations with hashtags – It’s vital to monitor trending topics and hashtags. Joining the conversation using these hashtags includes your Tweets into the overall conversation and makes your Tweets searchable when other users are looking for all things mentioned regarding the topic related to the hashtag.
3. Identify influencers in your industry – Out of all the Twitter users that exist, how do you find the influencers on topics that relate to what your do? Twitter search is a great place to start, using advanced functions you can search out people on Twitter that have used specific keywords. There are also tools like Alltop, Buzzsumo, LittleBird, and FollowerWonk from the awesome folks at Moz. Find them, engage with them (talk to them, share their content, tag them where necessary).
4. Join Twitter chats – A great way to get engagement is to join a Twitter chat related to your industry. There are so many Twitter chats happening throughout the week, including weekends, on topics like technology, education, business, blogging, marketing, social media, parenting, etc. Just being a part of one forces you to respond to people, people in turn will respond to you and there is a very high likelihood that you will gain followers at the end of each chat because people liked what you had to share. Twitter chats are usually on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, so there’s always time to join one.
These are just some of the more successful avenues we’ve seen work on Twitter. Ultimately you are creating value for your audience, while establishing authority through your content. Engage before selling, and the sale will come naturally as you grow your presence. Before long, your profile might just be considered one of the authorities on a particular topic and someone else will start this process again looking at you as a shining brand example.
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