Twitter works and requires work. Yes, Twitter is more than the POTUS or a Pop star tweeting. Twitter is an equalizer. It makes conversations possible regardless of economic or geographical boundaries. It allows people to express themselves and find others that think the same. It allows us to widen our circle as well — learning from the perspective of others and exercising empathy.
Sure it takes time (work) to participate on Twitter. Almost everyone who does, sends me a tweet about how well it works. Like any relationship, you have to put in time. It’s a long game not something you can hack.
Okay my rant is over. Now, what made me write this article is a response to an article by Neil Patel.
Twitter is the Best B2B Marketing Platform
Anyone who follows me knows how much I believe in Twitter as a B2B relationship marketing platform. An article by Neil Patel “12 Powerful Twitter Marketing Tips [That Actually Work]” came across my way via Robert Nissenbaum.
Instead of commenting on his blog, it was suggested that I write my own post. So, here it is.
Set Up Twitter Right – The First Time
“Your Twitter handle has to be recognizable, easy-to-remember, and short enough for people to easily tag you.” Neil Patel
I totally agree with Neil. You need to set up Twitter right the first time. Don’t follow anyone until this is done. And make your bio something that makes sense. If your grandma doesn’t know what your Twitter bio means, then rewrite it. Think of a city sign or slogan that makes sense.
Well, if you didn’t do it right the first time, there’s no reason why you can’t fix it now. Think generic keywords. A bio is how you are found.
“Incorporate some personality or humor. Don’t be afraid to tell a few jokes or say something original.” Neil Patel
Neil recommends using humor but if it’s too inside baseball, people won’t engage. Show personality, but be careful that you’re speaking to your audience.
Here is my post on how to set up Twitter.
When do you Tweet?
So, Neil recommends tweeting during peak hours. Yet, that is a lot of volume to compete with. That said, people usually check Twitter during the times they take breaks. Think about before work (7:30 a.m.), during lunch (noon), and when they’re sick of sitting at their desk (4:30 p.m.).
“Your peak posting times will depend on your specific audience, so test how your content performs at different times and days to find out what works best for your brand.” Neil Patel
Tweet when you want. But be responsive when you do. There’s nothing worse than scheduling tweets when you’re away from the keyboard, so to speak. It’s better to not tweet than to tweet and not respond. An audience is a responsibility. It’s your responsibility.If you're going to schedule tweets, then make sure you're available to respond. Your audience is your responsibility. Click To Tweet
Hashtag Use on Twitter
A hashtag is a word or combination of words preceded by a pound sign. They become clickable and act as a filter. You will see tweets with that hashtag from anyone, not just people you follow.
On this I completely agree with Neil:
“It’s important to use the right kind of hashtags without overusing them. Only include hashtags that add some context to your tweets.” Neil Patel
Use words that make sense. Think about the yellow pages, keywords, generic terms. Don’t hashtag your business name. That makes zero sense. No one knows you so they’re not going to use that hashtag or see it to click on it.
Using Twitter’s Advanced Search
“Advanced searches put new leads right in front of you. Reach out to those people and tell them how you can fix their problem or help them out.” Neil Patel
This is a great idea and I know my friend Carol Stephen talks about how to use Advance Search often.
You can do this. Or you can use Twitter Lists, read the tweets from your demographics and know exactly how they speak. Whatever works for you, the point is to understand the language your audience uses, not you.We are not our audience. Use terms they use, not your industry jargon. Click To Tweet
When to Use Images or Video In Tweets
It’s true that images increase the likelihood that your tweet will be seen. But using an image, for the sake of using an image, isn’t effective. It should be an image that supports the tweet.
“When you add images to your tweets, you’ll get more shares and clicks than the tweets without images.” Neil Patel
I use images when it’s a selfie or group photo. Remember, we relate to other humans. We are social animals. It’s wired in our DNA to appreciate faces.
Contributor Day Support for the Marketing Team @WordCampBKK
— Bridget Willard (@BridgetMWillard) February 17, 2018
Secondly, use featured images and a plugin like Yoast SEO that integrates Open Graph data. Then, when you share your blog post on Twitter, better yet if one of your audience members does, it has the image and metadata — because it uses Twitter cards.
Do what you know. Do what you can do well, efficiently, and make a profit. https://t.co/tUWV7DN7dZ
— Bridget Willard (@BridgetMWillard) March 9, 2018
So about video. Let’s talk. Yeah. Twitter video is neat. I’ve used Periscope. A better suggestion is recording on YouTube and sharing that link. Twitter supports live preview of Twitter videos. It’s fine to use Twitter’s native video, but know that it isn’t as an effective in the long term.
Always tweet what is natural. Anything that feels forced doesn't work -- ever. Be the best version of yourself online and off. Click To Tweet
“Twitter video allows Twitter users to record a new video from a device or upload an existing video.” Neil Patel
What about Twitter Polls?
“One of the easiest ways to create more activity on your Twitter page is to create a Twitter poll.” Neil Patel
Yeah. You can. People like choosing. But then what? Doing something just because you can makes no sense. But you can create a poll and then use those results for action — say, choosing which charity to donate to, choosing an image for the next blog post, voting on a product to launch. Then it makes sense.
Then, follow up. Embed the tweet and the results in a blog post. Use it in a Presentation. My friend Glenn Zucman did this before his Women Who WP presentation.
Asking a dumb question just to ask is annoying — at best.
More Advice from Neil
Call To Actions, AB Testing Headlines, Influencer Reach, and Twitter Ads
A call to action (CTA) is an ask. Mix them up. Try different things. Every tweet shouldn’t have one. But for sure if you are linking to your web property, you should have an ask. The CTA should also be in your meta description if you’re sharing a blog post.
“You’re probably already using CTAs asking users to share your posts, which is great. But this isn’t the only CTA that you should be using on your Twitter profile.” Neil Patel
AB Testing is always a good idea. You can use a plugin to do that, or you can write a few varieties of tweets. It’s up to you. But make sure the headline isn’t too spammy. Write for your audience.
“Testing headlines on Twitter is a great idea because the visual elements aren’t as prominent on as they are with a platform like Facebook.” Neil Patel
I’m more dubious about influencer marketing. But that’s me. My philosophy has been to build your own tribe of people. Create affinity which leads to loyalty which leads to sales. Make your influencers.
“It’s now easier than ever to pitch your ideas to someone with a large following. If they like what you bring to the table, they can change your brand’s world with one simple post.” Neil Patel
Twitter is a great place to advertise, especially if you geolocate and use hashtags. Jason Knill over at GiveWP did a great job with this for WordCamp-specific ads. We actually found these ads to be much less expensive than Facebook, Google Display Network, or LinkedIn.
“Twitter Ads can be a bit more expensive than Facebook Ads, but they will boost engagement when you need it most. Promoted tweets are the best option for this purpose.” Neil Patel
But Wait: There’s More — Using Twitter’s Analytics
So, I’m a tiny bit surprised this wasn’t included in his post. Twitter has powerful analytics. I have a whole post on this but this is the main thing I pay attention to. Are you ready? Tweets to Profile Visit ratio. I like that to be .20.
I make a Google Sheet and enter the numbers every month for clients. Profile visits mean they are interested in you, they’re reading your bio, and likely clicking on your website link.
- Have fun.
- It’s your business. No one knows it better than you.
- Outsource social media if it’s overwhelming to you.
- Always ask questions.
- Social media is always about being social but the platforms change a bit.
- Twitter is a long game. First-click leads almost never happen. Give it at least six months to see some results.