As social media becomes more and more ingrained in our daily lives, it’s easy to relate each platform to our physical environments. LinkedIn, for example, is the office: a professional landscape we use for networking, sharing news, and connecting with coworkers. Facebook is your living room, where you catch up with friends (but still guard your privacy).
And Twitter? Well, Twitter is the bar scene, where people let loose and talk to strangers, drop one-liners (or pick-up lines), and engage with personalities from all walks of life.
It is this bar-like atmosphere that makes Twitter the ultimate platform for customer engagement, and for the same reason why Twitter is the ideal social network for marketers:
Twitter is the only social network where brands and consumers have an even playing field and unrestricted lines of clear, concise communication. (highlight to tweet)
What else makes Twitter the best platform for engagement? Let’s start with audience diversity. Compared to, let’s say, Pinterest—an image-driven outlet that skews female—Twitter not only attracts a unique audience, but it makes your desired audience easy to pinpoint. Characteristics and interests are easy to discern not only through profiles, but through tweets, retweets, hashtags, etc. that the individual shares. As we all know, in order to engage with someone, you have to be engaging—to be relevant—and Twitter helps us identify who we should engage with.
Twitter also thrives on several factors that support and affect engagement. According to Twitter, the following elements are what fuels engagement on their platform:
- Numerals (i.e., tweets containing a sports score or an official stat)
Twitter’s data scientist Douglas Mason analyzed the content of over 2 million tweets sent by thousands of verified users across different fields over the course of a month and found that adding video, links, and photos all result in an impressive boost in the number of retweets. To learn more about Twitter’s engagement analysis, read the full article here.
Finally, Twitter provides a user-friendly interface that’s primed for engagement and 1:1 communication. BrightEdge CEO and founder Jim Yu puts it like this:
“The micro-blogging site [Twitter] is excellent for real-time engagement with consumers. On Twitter, marketers can share the latest news in a quick snapshot message, allowing information to be shared instantly while offering fodder for thought-provoking conversations. When it comes to mobile, Twitter’s simple interface is ideal for engagement on the go that can reach hundreds of thousands of followers immediately.”
Leveraging the Twittersphere
Based on these findings, how can marketers leverage the power of Twitter’s bar-like atmosphere?
For starters, try implementing software that hones in on and allows you to take advantage of the platform’s diverse audience. The Twittersphere is huge, and sorting through profiles can be a daunting (and time-consuming) task. Insightpool, for example, automates this process and not only pinpoints the right people for your brand to connect with, but also predicts which of those people are most likely to take action. Also, using free tools like Google Alerts and TweetDeck make it easy to monitor social activity.
Strategize ways to incorporate hashtags, photos, and links into your posts tactfully in order to boost engagement. For example, Quick Sprout suggests creating new hashtags that are concise, conversational, and unique—since tweets with hashtags double the engagement rate. Other ideas for adding these engagement-boosting elements include posting in-stream photos of infographs, behind-the-scenes shots or industry events, and adding relevant links.
Finally, start communicating one on one. After you’ve identified your target audience and key influencers, begin the conversation with @mentions, retweets, and possibly direct messages. While true 1:1 engagement is an ongoing process that takes time, it is also a great way to utilize Twitter’s conversational tone to build and maintain brand relationships.
Ultimately, Twitter is a network with unique capabilities that, unlike other social media platforms, allows both consumers and brands to let loose, build relationships, and optimize engagement.
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