Twitter is a place that anyone can talk about, where anything can happen.

Everything on the web is public, so brands are theoretically able to reach out to anyone. It is possible to do this if they send the right message to the right people at the right time and in the right way.

Unfortunately, most marketers think that the social network has become a bit of a paradox.

For the longest time, Twitter was experiencing exponential growth of users, year after year.

Now, in the last few years, everybody has been saying that it’s going down, and yet, most marketers say you should use it to increase your brand’s online awareness.

So should marketers still focus on acquiring that information?

Well, with 320M+ monthly active users (MAU), Twitter is one of the most interesting social media platforms to be active on for businesses.

Guide-Twitter-Marketing-monthly-active-users-2019

Source: The Best Social Media Platforms for 2019, 2019.

Twitter is also a place where fans, users, and clients get to talk about your brand, also publicly. A great opportunity for brands to knit strong relationships with their audience.

It is possible to make innocuous drinks. And it is also good at that.

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On the other hand, the Twittersphere is also where a lot of rants about brands, products, and services happen.

Therefore, it is easy to put your brands on the spot, especially if you use the right hashtags.

By doing this, anyone can publicly share information about your company, and it will be a great disgraceful thing to do to you.

But brands can not afford to have other voices speaking for them in the public space. For that reason, brands not only need to be on Twitter, but they also need to master the platform.

This guide will teach you how to set your branding tone, how to use Twitter to achieve your marketing objectives, and how to protect your company’s credibility. This guide will help you with everything that you need to market your business on the social network.

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How do I get my brand up on Twitter?

Before you set up your account and tweet up a storm, you need to step back and ask yourself: ‘What are you trying to achieve on Twitter?

Chances are that this channel will not become your primary revenue source. But it can become a strong source of awareness for company news, your latest offers and/or pieces of content.

If you want to accomplish any marketing goal, you first need to have a completed profile.

Completing your Twitter profile is essential.

In order to build a powerful twitter marketing strategy, first you must have a perfect profile.
It is not a challenge and yet, it is essential to make your brand look professional and, therefore, more appealing to your clients and prospective clients.

Those are the three main recommendations that you should follow.

  • Pick a @Handle (16 characters max): the best handle is your brand’s name. Similarly, if the idea is already taken, you can always play by adding the underscores “_” or add more relevant words. As an example, the online bank Revolut added the word “app” to its Twitter handle.
Guide-Twitter-Marketing-Revolutapp

Now, unless it’s part of your brand’s name — like @n26 —, never add numbers to your twitter handle if it’s not available anymore.

@Revolut034, @Apple845 or @Innocent09, …. adding numbers can affect the credibility of your brand on a social platform.

  • State your brand’s Name (50 characters max): simply write your brand’s name (Twitter allows name duplicates, so you won’t be bothered here). It is necessary to make the text shorter than 50 characters.
  • Write a powerful Bio (160 characters max): other users will see your bio if they visit your profile, or hover your @handle if it appears on their feed. Use this to explain to people clearly and concisely what the purpose of your brand is. We also advise that you insert relevant #hashtags in your bio so that you can be found more easily when users look for it using the search bar.
  • Select a Location (30 characters max): The Moon, Mars, the Grand Canyon or somewhere in the middle of the Pacific, … this can be anything. It’s enjoyable to dream, but it is also more important to tell people where your offices are.
  • Insert a URL (100 characters max): insert your website’s URL.
  • Mention the date that your brand will be launched.

Now, while appearances are not as important on Twitter than on a social platform like Instagram, a strong profile will only stand out if it also looks good.

Use right-sized images.

You know the old adage, “a picture speaks a thousand words”?

Well, a beautiful picture certainly speaks even a couple more words.

On social media, the images that you share must be perfectly sized, because otherwise, you will show people that you do not know how to be better, and worse, that you don’t care about your visitors’ visual comfort.

That is the information you need to understand about the sizes that you should keep in mind when sharing content on Twitter.

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  • The recommended size for your profile picture or logo: 400x400px— displays at 400x400px on click— displays at 135x135px on your profile page— displays at 50x50px on your feed— displays at 40x40px in the recommendation feed(right side of your screen).
  • The recommended size for your header picture: 1080x360px— displays as screen capacity on click— displays at 540x180px on your profile page
  • The recommended size for feed images: 510x290px— displays as screen capacity on click— displays at 510x290px on your feed
  • The recommended size for your links: 540x180px — displays at 510x290px on your feed

Why it matters: While colors are very subjective and should be subject to A/B testing, pixelated and wrongly sized visuals have a high potential to lower your engagement rates.

How can I design the best visuals for twitter?

So, you do not need to be a designer to create high-quality visuals for Twitter.

In the visuals that we share, we use the following tools: One, we use the other, and every time you use the other.

If advanced tools are not your cup of tea, a tool like Canva is ideal for you. Canva is an easy-to-use web tool that lets you work with a lot of different templates and formats.

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Now if you want to create more advanced visuals, you can use a tool like Adobe Photoshop.

About that, you can download our Twitter Images template for free right here.

I am the only one who uses Photoshop most of the time. It is not necessarily better, but it is a matter of habit. When you think about it, the best tools for you are the ones that you feel the most comfortable with.

What is the best rate of engagement on Twitter?

The engagement rate is a key metric to monitor. It shows how your audience has responded to your content, and it will also tell you whether they share your content or not.
Some marketers consider high engagement rates to be valuable assets, and they always work very hard to improve even small improvements.

Now, the median rate across all industries is 0,048% — according to the Rival IQ. So, do not expect that most of your followers will click, like, retweet and/or comment on your tweets. What this means is that it is very difficult to generate leads on Twitter.

However, as far as engagement, everyone in every industry does not see the same amount of engagement.

You can calculate your engagement rate by dividing the number of interactions that you have with your tweets (clicks, likes, retweets, and comments) by your total amount of followers.

Nowadays, Twitter is vastly used as a customer service platform. The majority of brands don’t want to increase customer engagement. Instead, they try to assist and satisfy their prospects and customers.  

140 280 characters. What is the ideal length for tweeting?

Now, on December 11, 2017, Twitter users are allowed to write tweets containing up to 280 characters. That’s twice as many as the previous rule, which was 140 characters.

So does this mean that you should only write long tweets in order to receive more engagement from your audience?

No, not necessarily.

In fact, it appears that tweets with 71 and 100 characters have the most engagement on Twitter. Now, if you include a link in your tweets — as you should if you want to drive traffic to your website —, the sweet spot is in fact between 94 and 123 characters.

Guide-Twitter-Marketing-retweet-lenght-tweet

Source: Track Social.

This does not mean that you shouldn’t write tweets over 100 characters.

You should go there, especially if you have a good story to tell.

Here, what the data really shows is that you shouldn’t write tweets under 20 characters as it seems that they trigger very little engagement.

The bottom line is, there are not long tweets, only boring and long stories.

Do you think that you should use hashtags on Twitter? If that is true, if so, how is that possible?

While it’s now very common to see Hashtags on social networks likes Instagram, Facebook and even LinkedIn, it all started with Twitter.

Their purpose is to group together people to help them find more relevant information about the topics that matter to them.

They certainly caught on, and they are here and they are staying.

  • Is it really useful for Twitter marketers to have these accounts?
  • Are they really contributing to increasing the number of people who are on Twitter nowadays?

They certainly do that, to some extent.

How should I use hashtags?

By grouping conversations that have the same topics, your posts become easier to find for Twitter users. And the easier they are to find, the more likely it is that people will engage with them.

Right?

However, that is not necessarily the case.

According to our latest Twitter Engagement Report, using hashtags does not appear to increase Twitter engagement.

Listed here is the result of the 2000 tweets that we sent.

Guide-Twitter-Marketing-engagement-hashtags

Source of the content: mention.

The average level of engagement falls when the number of hashtags used goes up.

Let’s take an example to illustrate “why” this happens.

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Would you engage with me by sharing this tweet? I know that I wouldn’t.

It’s messy and I don’t understand what I should be doing.

So, instead of using a ton of hashtags to put your tweets on the map, use relevant hashtags that your target audience is following.

Here’s an example from a retirement house in the UK, announcing that they knitted 5,400 hats for Innocent Drinks’ #BigKnitevent.

Guide-Twitter-Marketing-bigknit

For this group, they don’t have a large number of followers (420), but because they’ve generated 3 retweets and 12 likes, they’ve achieved a 3.57% engagement rate.

Something that you can also do to put your brand on the map is to create your own hashtags.

Create your own hashtags if that is relevant.

What you are promoting is important only if you have something that your audience would like to hear.

So, when you are planning to organize a conference, a twitterchat, a webinar, or when you are launching a new product or service, for example, we definitely recommend that you — at least — create your own hashtags.

Whenever that happens, @tag users whose usernames are relevant.

What you read above about hashtags also applies to tagging users.

The more users your @tag, the less engagement you’ll generate.

What you need to do, however, is to tag other accounts when the content that you share involves them in some way.

guide-twitter-marketing-mutual-help

By doing that, you will increase the probability that they will engage with your content and, thus, increase the likelihood that they will become part of your audience.

When you tweet, be sure to include the 240 characters limit, and also include tag up to 10 accounts on your photos. 

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I’ve provided a couple of examples that you can use when it comes to tagging other accounts on Twitter.

@NintendoAmerica has some fun with @xbox.

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Source

… or @AvosFromMexico using the Super Bowl 2019 to catch up with @BublyWater.

This type of interaction showcases the fun and conversational side of your brand to your audience. Besides, not only it contributes to increasing engagement with your brand on social media, but it also opens the door to brand new audiences who may have not heard about you yet. A win-win.

So let’s get started and see what type of content you should post on Twitter.

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Insert these links in your tweets to boost traffic.

Don’t feel obligated to insert links in each and every tweet you post.

If your objective is to generate awareness, likes, and retweets, it is okay to not include any links in your tweets.

If you just wrote a new blog post or have some other exclusive offer that you are going to put forward, you must absolutely include links in all of your tweets.

With that said, I analyzed our performance @Mention over the last 3 years on Twitter, and the odds are clearly playing in favor of not adding links in your tweets if you want to generate more engagement.

Guide-Twitter-Marketing-engagement-links

Source of the content: mention.

You should post your videos on Twitter.

Video is definitely one of the best tools to drive engagement, irrespective of the social platform on which it is being used.

Then there was the performance that we saw on Twitter over the last two years.

Guide-Twitter-Marketing-engagement-tweet-image-video

With that said, Twitter is not the best platform to consume video content. The focus of the platform on snacking content was and is still the basis of the types of videos that you can post.

It is not the best platform to post videos.

Here are some rules you need to keep in mind when producing videos for Twitter.

  • You must keep the video up to two minutes and 20 seconds max.
  • Maximum resolutions of 1920 x 1200 and 1200 x 1900(no 4K here)
  • A maximum frame rate of 40 frames per second (FPS)

Try not to post anything below 30fps, because the quality of the upload will immediately drop.

If you’re having trouble picturing what a video at 30fps looks like, here’s a solution to help you.

Always add captions to your pictures.

You should also consider that all your viewers will not be in perfect conditions to watch and enjoy your video content.

Some people will be at work, and they will not be able to use earphones. Others will be sitting on a bench next to loud construction work. And some viewers may have hearing difficulties, making it harder to view the video content.

There are two ways of doing that.

  1. Via Twitter Media Studio

The Twitter Media Studio is a control center that is hidden behind your Twitter account.

There, you’ll find information on your videos, photos, and scheduled tweets, as well as useful Twitter analytics of your account.

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To add subtitles to a video, head to your Library.

  • Select the video you wish to send.
  • Click on the subtitles to see them.
  • Add your file to the list.
guide-twitter-marketing-add-captions-video

In fact, this is a very practical thing to do. It also means that you have already put together a caption file (or SRT).

That is one of the social media examiners who did a great tutorial on that. Find it here.

  1. Use Submaker Software, such as Kapwing.

If, just like me, you don’t know how to create a file.srt, you can use a tool like Kapwing.

I’ve just seen a video from Buzzfeed. I added the subtitles using Kapwing.

It took me about 5 minutes to understand how the platform works and add 20 seconds worth of subtitles. So yes, it does take time, but the comfort that it brings to your users is very valuable.

Do note that you can create videos without a watermark if you create a free account for that purpose, which I did not do here. We’re aware of the typo 😅

When it comes to creating video content, it can be a difficult task. Because of your current resources and your set of skills, you can use gifs to create your content.

Create animated gifs for Twitter.

I don’t think that GIFs (pronounced JIF, for Pete’s sake) need any introduction, but just to be sure, here’s a quick definition: GIFs are very short clips made of a series of images.

Here is one.

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Gifs are the best way to grab the attention of a person’s audience on social media.

  • They’re animated: our eyes love movement.
  • They’re not as heavy as a video: therefore, they will load fast on mobile devices, even on a low signal.

What’s more, I find that it is very useful to create short tutorials. I personally use them a lot when sharing “How-To” content.

One easy – and free – way to create gifs is via Giphy Capture.

Guide-Twitter-Marketing-giphy-gifmaker

If you know your way around Adobe Photoshop, you can also create your GIFs using the Timeline tool.

Guide-Twitter-Marketing-Photoshop-gifmaker

The maximum size that you can upload for a gif on Twitter is 15MB. It is important that you keep your gif files as small as possible, and also short. You should not use more than 640 x 400.

On Twitter, you are also able to post animated gifs directly from the platform.

When tweeting, simply click on ‘gif’. Type the keyword(s) that you’re looking for, and select the gif you want.

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Now that you have a good idea of what to post, let’s discuss timing.

When should you post something to Twitter?

The right answer is: when is your audience engaging with your content.
In fact, there is no magical formula that will give you the best time to post for your business and market.

It is best to experiment to find out when the best time to post something is. Schedule posts at different times and benchmark their performance.

A quick analysis of the universal times that people post on social media, comparing it with studies from Coschedule and Hubspot, in order to make sure that our data pool was actually representative:

Guide-Twitter-Marketing-best-time-to-post

Once you’ve identified the best performing times for you to post on Twitter, your best chance not to miss the sweet spot is to schedule your tweets.

How many times do you need to tweet in one day?

A tweet is good for around 20 to 25 minutes. Or, if that campaign does not generate much engagement, it will surely disappear in Twitter’s abyss before you know it.

We found that @mention suggests that it is always best to post 5 to 7 tweets a day, so that your audience is engaged with your content at strategic times during the day.

This is something you can do using Mention.

Besides, the more you plan your social media posts, the more you have time to deal with more important things, such as jumping on live conversations as they happen.

Follow the trends in your field.

By clicking on a hashtag or manually searching for one, you’ll be taken to a page containing the top results that Twitter’s algorithm picked.

See for yourself, but the best chance you have to appear in the top results is to combine text, visual (either image, gif or a video) and a trending hashtag.

Of course, you can rely on Twitter’s Trending Topics(TT)to find trending hashtags. TTS gives you the opportunity to jump on trends and events as they happen.

That is what millions of other people do.

Some of the most frequently discussed topics are irrelevant to your business or your audience, or they are connected to political scandals or, worse, to tragic events.

We find that the best way for brands to identify trends that are relevant to them is to use a social listening tool.

Social listening will show you what’s being said on social media, without you having to go looking for it.

Try to experiment with Twitter chats.

We all try to increase the number of people on our social media channels. The way that people should approach this challenge is not to increase the quantity of the work, but to improve the quality of the work. The question you should be asking yourself instead is: “how to get more engaged followers?

One of the ways to accomplish that is clearly through providing engaging content.

Over the past couple of years, something we have found very efficient is using Twitter chats. While we don’t host one at the moment, we love the format, and we know our core audience does too.

Twitter chats are a great way to have your community together and discuss the topics that are important to you and to them.

Here’s a format that is interesting to follow.

Weekly 30-40 minutes Twitter ChatPick a hashtag – could be #[YourBrand]TWChat and use it for each tweet you post.

  • Introduction (5min): Introduce the topic of the day(we recommend that you stick to one central topic for each occurrence of the Twitter Chat) and say hello to those interacting with you. You must remind the attendees that they must use your hashtag #[yourbrand]twchat to join the conversation.
  • Ask 1 question every 5 minutes: This should leave you time to discuss answers with the audience – and it leaves time for the audience to post interesting comments and comebacks! So that your followers will receive the best results, you should plan and prepare your tweets ahead of time.
  • Conclude the chat, announcing the topic for the next one(if you have one):  At this stage, you must get back to all those who joined your event. Doing that will increase the likelihood that they will return next time.

Download our [Free] Twitter Chat Cheatsheet.

Join some of the following twitter chats.

You should try out the Twitter chat format. Participate in a couple of them, and learn how they are handled.

You might learn a lot, network, and have fun.

Use bookmarks on Twitter.

A list of Twitter bookmarks can be very useful when you are trying to save content for future reference.
It is something I personally use a lot to stay in the knowledge market. When I am surfing Twitter while I am commuting, for example.

So if I find a tweet that is interesting, and I want to quote it in one of my future pieces of content, I automatically add it to my bookmarks.

Here is how to do it.

Click the Share Icon under a post, click Add Tweet to Bookmarks, and that’s it!

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Use Twitter lists to share your messages.

Twitter lists are convenient, because they filter out all the noise, and they help you find the important conversations for you and your brand.

To create a list, click on Lists on your menu, then click on the icon in the top-right corner of your screen.

After you have created the list, you can add any Twitter user to it, right from their profile.

Here’s how to add them.

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In my opinion, I do not use lists, because I find that mention does a much better job of identifying the best content that I can use as a content marketer and for mention’s brand.

Create tweet ads.

If your resources and budget allow you, you may also promote your tweets to ensure that more people see your tweets.

The interface for Twitter ads is very user-friendly.

When you’re creating content for a new ad, someone will ask you — in a very clear manner — what you’re trying to accomplish.

Guide-Twitter-Marketing-twitter-ads

You can find out what Twitter users are interested in by analyzing their age, gender, location, their device, OS version, and their interests.

Note that, from what I have seen, Twitter is not the best place to receive large numbers of engagements, but you will definitely get lots of eyeballs on the content that you create.

Make use of Twitter’s Direct Messages

One last thing that we decided to highlight in this guide is Twitter’s direct messages.

Dms are very helpful for brands.

They can help you reach out to brands and influencers you want to work with. On the other hand, it is a channel for you to communicate privately with your audience.

Some brands also encourage their users to use dms when they have a complaint to make. So it is a win-win situation.

  • A client is able to talk to the brand without having to share any information.
  • We want Brands to take heated conversations off the public radar as soon as possible, with the result that there are no risks of potential backfires.

Here’s an example of two brands — USPS and Target — trying to get a conversation off the world’s feed.

Guide-Twitter-Marketing-twitter-USPS-Target
So, what’s a good ratio between people who follow you and people who are followers?

No equation that is perfect is possible.

As you try to make your account as good as possible, you should always try to make sure that your followers count more than your followers.

Neal Schaffer wrote an interesting piece on the matter, saying the ideal ratio is the one that’s as far as possible from 1:1.

Is it necessary to use tools in order to gain followers?

There are lots of tools that you can use to increase your Twitter following. It is possible that your following will increase, but your engagement rates will drop.

It is useless to have many followers if they don’t engage with what you write. It is best for people to grow their following by sharing content that resonates with their audience.

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It is now time to increase the level of your Twitter game.

That is it, folks!

If you follow all the tips that I have provided, you will see that your audience and your engagement rate increase significantly over time.