How to use twitter

How to create a Twitter marketing strategy

A well-crafted strategy is the foundation for success—and it’s what separates the most effective brands on Twitter from the also-rans. Without a clear plan, you will waste time and money tweeting without a clear understanding of how your activities are helping your organization meet its goals. And when it comes time to review your performance, you’ll struggle to prove what you’ve achieved. And that will make it hard to make the case for increasing your team size or budget.

Every hour you spend on research and strategy will pay off tenfold. We promise. Here’s what you need to do:

Define success and set goals

Okay, so you’ve got a good answer ready when your boss asks, “Why are we on Twitter?” Then come the two follow-up punches: “Are we on track to meet our goals? And… what are they again?”

Answering these questions isn’t hard if you do your homework. Start with a list of your organization’s current high-level business objectives, such as:

  • Generate leads and sales
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Build brand and product awareness
  • Decrease customer support costs

From these objectives, craft specific and measurable goals. This will make it easy for you to evaluate progress and prove success. For example, if your objective is to provide your sales team with high-quality leads through social, your goal might be “use Twitter to drive 30 email sign-ups per month.”

With objectives and goals in place, remember to take time to benchmark the current state of your team’s performance. This will help you measure your progress toward your goals, proving that your strategy is producing real, measurable results for your business.

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Defining and measuring success on social media can be challenging, so taking the time to do this right will really set you apart. Our guide to the ROI of social media breaks down the process for you.

Research the competition

Gathering information about your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses on social is critical. Not sure where to start? Read our quick guide, and then use this competitive analysis template to design a social marketing strategy that will leave your competitors in the dust.

Identify your target audience

Your brand can’t be all things to all people on Twitter—nor should you want it to be. Know who you’re targeting and craft a strategy that focuses on delivering real value to them. This will encourage them to engage with your brand and eventually become customers and advocates. While you’re at it, check out our guide on how to attract and engage more Twitter followers.

Audit and take charge of your Twitter accounts

Depending on the size of your company and your goals, you may want to use a single Twitter account or multiple accounts for different departments or functions. If multiple people in your organization are already using Twitter, auditing and consolidating existing accounts is key.

How important is this? When the Vancouver Canucks hockey team deleted rogue accounts and launched official social media channels as part of their social strategy, they were able to strategically grow their Twitter fan base by 800 percent.

Integrate Twitter with overall social strategy

Teams working in large (or growing) organizations can find themselves working in silos. If you find this happening to your social marketing team, make sure you keep tearing down those silos and stay connected to other teams. Their work can be a rich source of information and assets to share with your followers. And they may be gathering insights that can open up new opportunities for your Twitter strategy.

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Keep your Twitter presence unique

While it’s possible—and easy—to post the same content to multiple social networks, cross-posting isn’t an approach we recommend. Each network has its own unique characteristics and user base, so while applying the same strategy to multiple networks might seem like a shortcut, it might cost you more in engagement and authenticity than it saves you in time and effort. Nail your strategy on one network at a time, keeping it unique and fresh.

For a head start charting your strategy, download our social media templates that cover everything from social media strategy and audits to content calendars and bulk message uploading for Hootsuite.

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