The 10-step guide to building your brand on Twitter
Have you ever wanted to improve brand awareness for your business in 280 characters or less? With Twitter, it’s possible!
The 328 million strong social media platform is a prime opportunity for your social media marketing. In Australia alone, there are over 3 million monthly users who are actively building relationships, making connections, and growing brands. But many business owners join the Twitter community simply because they think they should be there, without first arming themselves with a focused strategy.
Whilst we can’t all hope to gain 100.71 million followers (looking at you, @katyperry), you can certainly use Twitter to build a memorable and consistent brand — and earn your own troupe of followers in the process.
1. Brand your account
This may seem obvious, but it is a crucial first step. We sometimes see companies using cutesy Twitter names that aren’t related to their brand name. But keep it simple — use your company name as your Twitter name.
Depending on availability, you may need to slightly alter your Twitter handle. That’s ok! Here at núcleo, our Twitter name is @nucleo_studio. It’s simple, relevant, and branded.
Similarly, we’ve used our logo as the Twitter picture, and a highly branded picture (featuring our tagline and colours) for the header image. Again, simple steps, but crucial for your business Twitter account.
2. Create a Twitter persona
Creating a brand personality is important for all aspects of your company’s marketing and brand development. Your ‘brand personality’ is essentially a group of human characteristics that you apply to your brand to help customers relate to it on a more personal level.
Excitement, sincerity, sophistication, ruggedness — the traits your brand expresses should be true to your business and consistently represented through your Twitter voice.
This can be tricky if multiple people in your business contribute to the Twitter account. It will be useful to identify and define the personality of your brand, and to ensure all your employees and stakeholders are aware of your company values. (núcleo can help you to establish these values as part of our brand development services.)
3. Tweet frequently
This may also seem obvious but is worth saying: make your brand an active presence on Twitter! Many professionals will advise that you tweet at least once a day; others say you should be tweeting 5-20 times a day to keep your name in the Twitter stream (including retweets and interactions with other users).
Consistency is important here. If you establish a daily schedule, you need to continue posting actively. Dropping off the radar, especially after you’ve established consistent and frequent activity, can cause you to lose followers.
4. Send tweets about new happenings
Do you have a new product, service, special offer, event, or blog post? Tell your tweeps about it! Use high quality imagery or videos, and link to your website where relevant. Not only will this help to raise brand awareness, it can also increase your web traffic.
You can even send tweets about older blog posts or videos, if they are still relevant. This is a useful way to fill in any gaps in your Tweeting schedule.
5. Add value to your tweets
The best way to earn likes, retweets and new followers on Twitter is to ensure you’re writing 280-ish characters of interesting, useful and relevant content.
Whilst there may be some variation based on your business, industry and followers, writing valuable Tweets will typically mean sharing your knowledge, adding links to information on your website, retweeting important content, writing personal content, sharing images or videos, and so on.
It is important that you learn about your followers so you can accurately provide the content they want to see. Be sure to use Twitter’s free analytics on your account. This will show you the number of impressions, favourites, retweets, and replies; it will also provide information about your followers (gender, interests, etc), and show you how many people have followed/unfollowed your brand.
If you’d like to gain a deeper understanding about your audience, ask us about our market research surveys.
6. Vary your content
Tweeting about your products, services and knowledge is certainly important. But you could also try shaking up your Twitter stream with other types of content, including images, GIFs, videos, or the occasional personal tweet (such as a photo of the company Christmas party or a look behind-the-scenes of your business).
Let’s use QANTAS as an example. At the time this blog post was written, QANTAS was the number one Australian brand on Twitter, with over 439,000 followers. Scrolling through their tweets shows a video, a link to their News Room web page, a retweet, a video, a video and a link to their website, a special offer, a tweet tagging another high-profile Twitter user, an image from Instagram, a retweet, a video… You get the idea. A lot of tweets — and a lot of different content.
Remember that your followers are humans — and most of them will enjoy seeing a mix of visual and memorable tweets amongst the hard content. But again: know your brand, and know your audience! Varying your content is a great way to add interest, but what works for a café won’t necessarily work for a financial institution.
7. Tweet about trends
Twitter provides you with a list of current trending topics and hashtags. Keep an eye out for trends that are relevant to your industry and include them in your tweets.
Using Twitter trends is a great way to improve your visibility and get your brand in front of new potential followers.
Additionally, you can tailor your tweet trends to your exact needs. Simply locate the ‘Trends for you’ box on Twitter and select the ‘Change’ option. From here, you will be guided through a process to customise the trends according to your location and follow list. This will highlight the topics best suited for your business.
8. Use hashtags
Trending topics aren’t the only hashtags you can use in your tweets. When done correctly, #hashtagmarketing can expand your reach and improve your visibility.
There are many types of hashtags you could use. ‘National Day’ hashtags can be a fun option; these are non-official holidays or events that pop up across social media. Days like ‘National Donut Day’ and ‘National Cat Day’ can be great photo opportunities, and are highly explored by Twitter users.
Joining Twitter Chats is another good way to engage with your fellow Tweeps. Several good options are #mediachat, #twittersmarter and #bufferchat.
A further idea is to use custom hashtags. As the name suggests, these are ones that you create for yourself and for your followers. Keep them general, fun and relatable to encourage more people to use the hashtag in their own tweets. Here’s an example of a high profile Twitter user expanding visibility by using another brand’s custom hashtag:
9. Follow leaders and influencers
Sometimes it’s not about what you know, but rather who you know. Using Twitter means following people and being followed in return. Actively following people on Twitter will help to align your brand with the right niche and keep your activity level up.
But who should you follow?
Follow the big names on Twitter that are relevant to your industry. Retweet them, respond to their questions, and have a conversation with them. Connecting to industry leaders may bring you into contact with other experts in the field, and possibly put you in front of other prospective followers.
Another idea is to keep an eye on the ‘Who To Follow’ tab. Twitter will provide you with a list of people you may be interested in following. Simply refresh the tab to see more suggestions.
You could also follow the people whom the industry leaders follow — go to their profile and click on ‘Following’.
And if you gain a new follower (particularly when you’re just starting out), you should consider following them back. That’s just Twitter courtesy.
Be careful not to follow too many people. You might look desperate if you follow a large number of people but have only a small number of followers yourself. Generally, if you’re just starting out, your ‘Following’ and ‘Followers’ numbers should be fairly close. As you grow, your number of followers should exceed the number of people you follow.
10. Outsource strategically
We mentioned previously that care must be paid to maintaining your brand personality. Too many chefs in the kitchen can cause your brand voice to become inconsistent and unauthentic, so it may be better to assign the important task of Twittering to one person or a small team.
A single person may be able to sufficiently create an active Twitter presence, particularly when first starting out. It might become necessary to outsource to other employees in the future, especially if you want to bolster your Twitter activities to a more frequent schedule. Make sure everyone has a clear handle on the values and characteristics of your brand!
Alternatively, you can contact a marketing agency like núcleo to discuss our range of social media and digital marketing services. We have the experience and know-how to dig deep into your brand, identify your brand personality, and produce social media content that helps you reach your goals.