How to Master Twitter to Market to a B2C Audience

Twitter as a company may be facing rough times, but the social media site’s appeal is just as strong as ever. In the final few months of the past year, Twitter seemed to be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. It speaks volumes to just how relevant Twitter can be as a social platform as well as a marketing channel. People are still on Twitter, obsessively sending tweets and constantly monitoring tweets others post. Twitter is still a lucrative advertising platform for B2C marketers.

The Current Twitter Environment

As conventional social networking wisdom goes, B2C companies should advertise on as many social networks as possible. While this is not a sound strategy financially speaking, it’s still a good tactic to follow with a handful of important social media sites. Most companies are now veering towards Facebook and Instagram as the best channels to advertise. But don’t follow this trend. Evaluate whether sites like Twitter can be used as an advertising channel for your company with solid ROI. For most companies it is. But, there are a number of companies staying away from Twitter these days due to political controversy. However, don’t underestimate the power of Twitter.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Whatever Twitter is going through as a company (it’s so bad some journalists are even predicting apocalypse for the company), it’s important to note that Twitter still has the most powerful real-time feed. Even the Facebook Newsfeed does not have the appeal in terms of real-time coverage that the Twitter feed has. Let’s consider this: Which feed goes on the giant monitors during presidential debates. It’s certainly not Facebook.

Twitter users are always plugged in, and they do look at what others say even if they don’t post anything themselves. This is why Twitter is still an advertising channel B2C marketers cannot afford to overlook.

The thing about tweeting is that it’s like an art that has to be mastered. An ill-timed or misinformed tweet can end even the most vibrant Twitter campaigns (example: DiGiorno Pizza using a trending hashtag reserved for domestic violence to post a really insensitive tweet). On the other hand, a tweet posted at just the right time with just the right hashtag can reap enormous benefits for companies, especially the small ones. So, the point is, don’t ignore Twitter just because the company is facing some criticism. Instead, learn to use it to reach consumers in the right manner.

The Key to Twitter Mastery

There are a number of tools and tactics that a company can use to advertise and promote on Twitter. But there’s only one key to actually reaching consumers, and that is positive interaction. Companies that start tweeting and then go AWOL can never gain a following on Twitter. Interaction is what really keeps social media sites like Twitter relevant and interesting.

When it comes to interaction on Twitter, companies must always focus on positive interaction. Twitter is full of trolls. Even regular people are more likely to be blunt on Twitter without a care for how they sound. Company Twitter feeds, however, do not have this luxury. A bad tweet can get reposted by thousands of people, or worse, get reported in the media. So, while you focus your attention on Twitter interaction, also think about clever ways to ignore trolls, bad comments and engage with customers in a pleasant and constructive manner.

Easy Tips for Marketing on Twitter

Marketing on Twitter is not the same now as it was three or four years ago, when Twitter was new and quite hip. Twitter is more established now, and the nice sheen it once had is gone. So, B2C companies should be innovative and highly informed when it comes to marketing on Twitter. Here are several best practices tips for promoting B2C material on Twitter:

– Understand the Twitter Demographic:  Not everyone uses Twitter, unlike Facebook, where everyone from your friend’s grandma to your dog has a profile. Recent data indicates that the majority of Twitter users are young millennials. These millennials also tend to be educated, highly tech literate and wealthier within their age group. This is the idea customer base for consumer goods, especially consumer electronics. On the other hand, if your company sells retirement homes, Twitter may not be the place to be.

Businesses that want to run successful campaigns on Twitter should focus on this young demographic. It’s not hard to do so as long as you understand your target audience on the social network. Consider, Poo-Pourri for example. This toilet spray company reached a $73,000 sales target by influencing customers on Twitter. They managed to do that by understanding the core Twitter demographic as well as their own target audience.

– Proceed with Goals in Mind: Success on Twitter cannot be achieved carelessly. Your company must formulate an effective campaign with clear goals in mind in order to succeed. Always ask yourself “why am I tweeting” before you actually launch a campaign. The reasons may matter a lot more than you think. For example, your company’s reason for engaging on twitter could be to create brand awareness or generate leads. Your tweets will have to be tailored to achieve these goals. Haphazard tweeting will not achieve much. Think before you tweet, so to speak.

– Know the Best Times for Tweeting: Remember it was mentioned above that power of Twitter lies in its real-time feed? Unlike on Facebook, users rarely get to glance at old tweets. The feed is constantly updated and new and interesting things keep appearing to grab the attention of users. So, it’s extremely important to tweet in a timely manner to capture attention on Twitter.

You can find data on when to best post on twitter online. Data shows that people are most active on Twitter during weekends and Wednesdays for some reason. Twitter engagement for B2C brands are 17 percent higher during weekends, according to the statistician Dan Zarrella. Best time to post is between noon and 3 p.m. Retweets spike around 5 p.m. on average days. Twitter users are also very likely use the social network as they are commuting or during work hours. You should schedule your tweets based on this data for the best effect.

– Tweet Regularly: Once you have established the best time to tweet, your team must tweet regularly. Do not go AWOL on Twitter. Your brand will risk mass follower abandonment. Even a simple Twitter feed with easy-to-follow tweets will be sufficient than not tweeting anything at all. Do not wait to tweet until you have really great posts. Tweet something relevant during dry days to keep your followers engaged in some manner.

– Follow the Influencers in Your Industry: Don’t forget to monitor the influencers driving the Twitter feeds for your respective industry. You shouldn’t copy what they post, but looking at the successful feeds will give your company good ideas about what works and what doesn’t. Use influencers for inspiration to improve your own feed.

How NOT to Use Twitter

It’s important to know how NOT to use Twitter as much as how to use Twitter. While you implement the above mentioned tactics, keep in mind to never do the following:

Spambots—Just say no to spambots. Do not rent out your Twitter feed to spambots who annoy everyone on the platform. No one finds success on Twitter by repetition. Brands that are the most successful are the ones that are most engaged. Spambot users usually get banned.

Don’t Broadcast Your Message—Twitter is not the radio. The usual broadcasting message that works with advertisements does not work that well on the platform. Instead of posting advertising slogans, engage in conversations on Twitter. Tweet things that contribute to the ongoing conversation for the hashtags you are using.

Ghosting—Ghosting usually refers to when a former friend or a muse suddenly stops responding to your calls, emails, texts, social media messages and so on. On Twitter, not posting anything for a while or not responding to an inquiring tweet is akin to ghosting. Don’t do this using business accounts. No one likes it when an account is solely used for promotional material, but is blank for everything else. Always have someone on your team tweeting to avoid alienating followers.

Engage with Trolls—Trolls are sometimes unavoidable on Twitter. Business accounts usually tend to attract one or two. Mostly, trolls simply post one or two nasty tweets about you and go away. You can report to Twitter if the behavior becomes repetitive and escalates into harassment. However, do not try to engage with a troll. There’s no reasoning with Twitter abusers and only your brand will come out of the interaction tainted. There are clever ways to respond to allegations made by trolls than to confront them, or worse, beg them to stop.

Twitter will not disappear soon as a relevant social network. Your company can definitely use this platform wisely to promote your brand and boost sales, especially among the young and educated crowd. Learn to do the right things and avoid the ones mentioned above to get the best results.

Bio: Global Resources helps small and medium-size businesses maintain positive cash flow, control costs and accelerate profitable growth, allowing entrepreneurs and managers to make the most of their work and their lives.