With 152 million daily active users and 500 million tweets sent per day, Twitter remains one of the most popular and most well-known social networking platforms, featuring everything from political debates and headline news stories to celebrity gossip and nonsensical memes. Due to its character limit and the short life span of tweets, it’s the perfect space to share quick thoughts and small bursts of information. But did you know it’s an essential tool for businesses too? Whether your brand is looking to boost its marketing reach or expand its level of customer service, effectively using Twitter can help.
Not only can it drive traffic to your website, allow you to network with others and enable you to post key content, it’s also a great place to gather feedback from your customers and fans and build up your brand image.
Twitter is known for its global appeal, letting your brand reach a diverse, varied and worldwide fanbase with its content. What better way to get your business name out there than by having people discuss and support it from multiple countries?
This huge user count means that Twitter is a very diverse environment, comprising many different cultures, ethnicities, genders, races, and ages - so, whoever your brand's target audience is, a large segment of them will most definitely use the platform. Whether you're aiming for a demographic of young, old, local or international customers, you can take advantage of the sheer number of daily Twitter visitors to successfully market your product or service.
To further this reach level even more, Twitter's retweet feature makes it extremely quick and easy for users to share and redistribute content. A fan of your brand with a large following of their own, for example, might retweet your post onto their feed, allowing it to then be seen by a wider secondary audience who may do the same. This kick starts a chain of reposting, interacting and increasing visibility, boosting your brand awareness more and more with each click.
Social Listening refers to the process of monitoring, analysing and engaging with conversations taking place about your brand or industry on social media. Twitter is an ideal device with which to achieve this - both directly and indirectly - through the observation of specific keywords, hashtags and mentions.
Tuning in to these discussions helps you gauge where your brand sits amongst not only its customers, but also its competitors. Are users talking about your business positively? Negatively? Are they confused about how a certain feature of your product works, or happy about a recent advertising campaign you ran? Social Listening lets you keep an eye on factors such as these and apply context to them, so that you can understand which parts of your brand are performing well and which parts need improvement.
Furthermore, it can lead you to discover previously untapped audiences for your brand. You may have been focussing your efforts on just one or two particular demographics in the past, only to find, through implementing a Social Listening strategy, that members of an entirely different community are also conversing about trends that relate to your business on Twitter - providing you with expansion opportunities going forward. After all, 68% of consumers like when brands join in with conversations online.
As with any social network, Twitter is an excellent location for building a fanbase around your brand. The tone of voice and personality you employ in your tweets plays a big role in attracting followers to your content and page, so be sure to represent your business in a way that aligns with the wants, needs and values of your target audience. Simple aspects such as the formality level of your language and even the use of emojis can impact which kinds of users your posts will appeal to.
Liking, retweeting and responding to your followers' comments is another way to boost the sense of community surrounding your brand, and will ensure that your customers feel acknowledged and appreciated rather than ignored. Small gestures go a long way on social media and can help reduce barriers between businesses and their fans.
Tweeting about key issues and topics that matter to you, or retweeting existing posts, also builds brand love and reduces the amount of purely sales-based content on your page. Your followers will enjoy seeing that your business is conscious of what's going on in the world - ice cream company Ben & Jerry's, for example, is especially renowned for using Twitter to talk about important social movements and to help those in need.
Your brand can use Twitter to provide exceptional customer service and support - data from Sprout Social shows that 21% of consumers actually prefer it over traditional customer service channels. The short, straight-to-the-point nature of tweets, enforced by Twitter’s character limit, enables you to gather key information from your customers and offer swift solutions to their concerns. Plus, its DM feature allows you to take any serious complaints out of the public domain and into a more private setting to be discussed further.
Research carried out by Twitter’s own team found that 60% of consumers expect brands to respond to their customer service requests within an hour, meaning it’s important to monitor your mentions and messages regularly throughout the day so that people aren’t left hanging. Plus, replying quickly is likely to improve your brand image, as newcomers may otherwise be put off upon discovering masses of unanswered queries with your business name tagged.