How Your Brand Can Utilize Twitter to Increase Engagement & Drive Consumer Behavior
Twitter is one of the most widely used social media platforms today. With over 284 million monthly active users and more than 500 million tweets sent daily, it has become a hub for the gathering and sharing of information. By composing a tweet of 140 characters or less, users can instantly broadcast their thoughts and other bite-sized revelations to friends, family, and associates.
Twitter has evolved into a community that can be very vocal about major events, social issues, brands and companies, as well as celebrities and entertainment. Indeed, browsing through a Twitter timeline often feels like a real-time, never-ending conversation about everything of consequence that is taking place in the world.
Hence, brands and companies that engage with Twitter users and pay attention to what is being said on the social network can gain valuable insight into how they’re perceived by consumers, and can more clearly understand the impact of their products and services.
It’s no surprise that today’s biggest brands and companies are increasingly turning to Twitter to reach out to more potential customers, grow their customer base, and drive conversions.
Twitter and the World’s Leading Brands
A study by Simply Measured, entitled “How Top Marketers Use Twitter,” found that 98% of the world’s top brands (the Interbrand 2014 Top 100 Brands) own a Twitter account, which they use to sustain their online marketing goals. [See Figure 1] The study also suggests these brands utilize Twitter more than any other social network. Simply Measured claims that Twitter’s 98% adoption rate has been consistent since they first analyzed brand usage on the social network in 2012.
In addition, engagement with brand tweets grew by 83% over Q4 2013, which clearly demonstrates that Twitter users are more willing to engage with, and endorse, branded content. Simply Measured’s study also revealed that there has been a significant increase in retweets of brand content.
Kevin Shively, Senior Content Strategist at Simply Measured, acknowledged this by saying, “The increase in engagement and the 98 percent adoption rate of Twitter among big brands signals that the network is an essential part of social strategy.” He also stated that brands are becoming more and more “sophisticated” as they are now learning how to integrate new platforms into their marketing mix instead of abandoning one network for another. “Each platform provides a unique audience and a unique opportunity — there is no longer a one-size-fits-all-model and brands are adjusting accordingly,” he said.
Among brands driving the most engagement on Twitter, media brands topped the list. In Q3 2014, media brands were responsible for over 8 million engagements, followed by retail, restaurant, technological, and automotive brands. [See Figure 2]
How Brands Are Using Twitter Elements
Of the 98% of Interbrand 2014 Top 100 Brands using Twitter to execute their social marketing campaigns, 70% have over 100,000 followers, up from 58% last year. Additionally, the number of brands tweeting once a day grew from 92% in 2013 to 94% in 2014, indicating that brands are using Twitter to expand their market reach.
While Twitter is undoubtedly an effective platform for online marketers, the question remains: How exactly do brands integrate Twitter elements into their social marketing campaigns?
- Brands know that to be effective, they need to have a standardized strategy. Almost half of brands on Twitter (49%) tweet 1 to 5 times a day (including their replies and retweets). This indicates that many companies have identified the approach that works, and being aware of the dangers of over-saturation, have adjusted their strategies accordingly. However, the number of brands that tweet more than 25 times a day has increased since last year, showing that some companies may be using the platform as a customer service tool. [See Figure 3]
- Brands are reaching out to users. Brands are interacting more and more with Twitter users. According to the Simply Measured study, brand tweets are more focused on replies and retweets, accounting for 70% of all brand tweets.
- Photos generate the highest share of engagement for brands. Tweets containing photos were the most commonly shared on Twitter, thus creating the highest share of engagements. In fact, 45% of all sent tweets are made up of photos, generating 51% of total engagement. Photos drive more engagement than any other content on tweets, and leading brands are making the most out of this.
- Links to visual content contributes to the success of brands. Nearly 60% of all tweets sent by brands include links to native photos and videos, with pic.twitter.com links being the most used, followed by bit.ly. [See Figure 4]
- Brands are making use of hashtags to drive engagement. Hashtags are very much used by brands when composing tweets. More than 95,000 brand tweets included hashtags in Q3 2014, averaging 243 replies and retweets each, compared to only 196 per tweet without hashtags.
The Impact of Brand Tweets on Consumer Behavior
A study by Twitter called “Discovering the Value of Earned Audiences – How Twitter Expressions Activate Consumers” found that people on Twitter talk a lot about brands. Of those surveyed, 80% mentioned a brand in their Tweets within the six-month measurement period.
“Twitter offers brands not only an owned and paid channel to spread their messages at scale but also serves as a powerful platform for earned media,” stated Twitter’s Anjali Midha. Additionally, more than half (54%) of users said that they have taken action, both on and beyond Twitter, after being exposed to brand-related tweets. In fact, after seeing tweets mentioning brands, 23% visited a brand’s website, while 20% visited the brand’s Twitter profile. [See Figure 5]
The study also suggests that brand-related tweets sent by brands (45%) and non-brand sources (63%) successfully drive engagement and action among consumers. Moreover, combining the two sources leaves a “more powerful” impact, as 79% of those who’ve seen tweets from both the brand and Twitter users mentioning the brand have taken some action, online or offline.
Quick Twitter Tips for Your Local Brand
Twitter has become a key channel for marketers to reach out to their target audience, particularly for today’s big brands. Your local brand can emulate top brands when it comes to maximizing “the power of Twitter”.
Here’s how you can leverage your Twitter campaign to good effect:
- Regular tweeting and consumer interaction. Regular interaction with your Twitter audience can drive engagement. Brands should tweet at least once or twice a day, but should also be mindful of over-saturation. It would be good to address your audience directly by mentioning their handle instead of just retweeting them.
- Add good visuals. Make sure that you share valuable and interesting visual content to your audience. When sharing content, imagine yourself as the audience and think, “If I am a regular Twitter user, would I retweet this? Would I interact with the brand upon seeing this tweet?”
- Integrate elements such as hashtags and links. Twitter likes hashtags and links. Incorporate these elements into your tweets to drive more engagement with your campaign. Additionally, when adding links, it would be more useful if you used shortened ones (like bit.ly links), instead of full URLs.
What other techniques can you suggest to marketers who want to use Twitter to increase engagement and drive consumer behavior? Share your insights in the Comments below.
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