For brands seeking to market on Twitter, understanding emerging trends and then capitalizing on them is the name of the game. Industry news and national events like the Super Bowl or political debates stir endless chatter across the Internet but often marketers try to ride these waves rather than creating the wave.
In Part 4 of our ongoing series “Picking the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Brand,” we’ll review Twitter’s ins and outs and how tweets should fit into brands’ digital marketing strategies.
Breaking news source, Hashtag campaigns, Easy access to celebrity and influencer updates
Millennials ages 18-29, Male majority
Twitter influencers gain clout by tapping into cultural movements (however fleeting they might be) and making insightful, click-worthy posts, often accompanied by links. These musings are a maximum of 140-character messages dubbed “tweets.” Anything that’s “trending” will often come in the form of a hashtag such as #GameOfThrones or #SuperBowl. With little space to type, brevity is key.
Where do all the hashtags go? All tweets with an identical hashtag are automatically sorted into a single page where the trend can gain traction. Though Twitter is the birthplace of the hashtag, other platforms like Facebook and Instagram have also adopted it.
So what are the #winning signs of a top Twitter influencer? A large, engaged following, for starters. What we mean by engaged is that other users are retweeting, sharing or commenting on posts. While a million followers would certainly have the potential to boost one’s reach, they mean little if no one is interacting with the posts.
To promote brand awareness and spur engagement rates, companies working with influencers should be sure to retweet their content and mention them in their posts. If there’s extra room, don’t forget to incorporate a call to action, which can be as simple as asking followers to “click this link for a special 40% off discount at checkout.”
Designing a Trending Hashtag
If you want to start a trending hashtag, you’ll have to mobilize your community by finding a proper motive. Think incentivizing, catchy or creative. The chance to win a new car, for instance, has proven a rather effective impetus. In one of the all-time great Twitter campaigns, Audi introduced #WantAnR8 where users could enter for an opportunity to take home an R8 simply by posting a tweet using that hashtag. (Note: In the hashtag there are no spaces between words and the first letter of each word is capitalized; this is the right formula to follow.)
Free stuff is always appealing, but it’s not the only way to jumpstart a campaign. Creative hashtags may also do the trick. Red Bull had a momentum-changing #PutACanOnIt campaign, asking people around the globe to submit their own photos of the energy drink in a unique position. Popular photos included a can laying on the ground next to a person’s shadow pretending to drink it. Users didn’t win anything from Red Bull, except maybe some brief Internet glory.
Because of Twitter’s instantaneity, news will often break on Twitter before the story hits the press. Even the Associated Press will tweet headlines before the full story is published. With its lead-generating utility, Twitter undoubtedly earns an edge over other platforms. A good way to keep your brand up to date on Twitter is to follow and interact with leaders in your industry, news sources, as well as relevant influencers.
Level Playing Field
In addition, many users favor Twitter because it — more than any other social media outlet — dissolves the barrier between celebrity and nonentity. Stephen Curry tweeted about his record-setting year. Adele shares videos from up-and-coming musicians. Everyone from professional athletes to actors to activists to bloggers harness the app to tweet personal updates and reactions in real time, and since posts surface immediately in response to live trends, messages tend to be less filtered.
As a result, users feel like they wield insider access. Brands with an eye for customer relations emulate this model to update their audience about events, promotions and new products.
Still curious about Twitter’s role in your social media campaigns? Click here to contact Trending Family!