Written by Jennifer Dunphy Tuesday, October 16 2012
Twitter, the world’s second largest social network, boasts the strongest growth rate of 2012 among all other social media networks. Closing in on nearly a half billion users, Twitter is a force to be reckoned with. It has actually been deemed the conversational search engine of our time. Interacting on Twitter is often compared to being a part of the largest online cocktail party without needing an invitation.
So, how do you effectively participate in the conversation and maximize Twitter for your business? The answer is simple, create a campaign that is truly unique and actively engages your followers. Keep it clear, simple and concise. Twitter’s popularity rose out of its simplicity. It’s notoriously the first platform to break news, share news and indexes faster than Google. In the age of hyper connectivity, being simple and being first is key to influence and engagement. Today, consumers are the most detrimental members of your marketing department. However, they don’t spend any time analyzing and constructing well-crafted messages that best represent your brand, they simply share and publish their raw emotion and opinion of your brand to billions of people.
Master Twitter Engagement
To become a master of Twitter engagement, you first need to be aware of the “rules of engagement.“
- Saturday and Sunday tweets have a 17 percent increased engagement rate as compared to Monday-Friday tweets. Wednesday and Thursday were the days with the lowest engagement levels from brands’ followers. Don’t forget to schedule weekend tweets while you are away from work, otherwise you are missing out on potential brand engagement.
- Tweets published between 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. see a 30 percent increase in follower engagement versus tweets from other times of the day.
- Tweets that are less than 100 characters achieve an additional 17 percent of follower engagement than longer tweets. It can be hard to create a value-packed tweet in less than 100 characters, but it will force you to be creative and to the point.
- 44 percent of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures over any other type of media. Use pics – visual marketing has become the 2012 breakout marketing trend for social media from Facebook, Pinterest and Google+, to Instagram and Twitter. Content is still king, but we all know that a picture speaks a thousand word. What are your images saying about your business?
- Tweets utilizing #hashtags experience double the engagement as tweets without #hashtags. This is an underutilized strategy by most brands considering that only 24 percent of all tweets contain a #hashtag. On the flip side, don’t get carried away with the #hashtags. Tweets using more than two #hashtags actually experience a 17 percent decline in follower engagement.
- Ask and you shall receive – this is Advertising 101 in full effect. Don’t forget to include a solid call to action in those 140 characters to amplify your tweet. A tweet's retweet rate increases 12 times when the tweet specifically asks their follower to retweet the post. And a measly 1 percent of brands actually request their followers tor retweet their posts.
- The bulk of tweeters are between the ages of 24-54, with more women than men tweeting. Make sure that you are crafting a message that is age and gender appropriate for your target market.
Campaigns That Got It Right
Brands have been embracing Twitter for years now, but the size and scope of the campaigns are changing. Brands are taking their Twitterverse by storm. Whether through contests, promoted tweets, #hashtag campaigns, celebrity endorsements or totally innovative new strategies, they are being heard loud and clear. Here are a few Twitter campaigns that really impressed me by implementing truly unique and ingenious strategies. I hope they are able to give you some inspiration for your own Twitter campaigns.
When the website for the movie, “The Dark Knight Rises” hit the web, Batman fans were in for a surprise. When they landed on the site, it was nothing more than a black screen accompanied by eerie chanting. One zealous fan pulled some James Bond style maneuvers and used an audio program to discover that the spectrum in the audio spelled out “#thefirerises.”
That #hashtag led the fan to the Twitter account @TheFireRises, which featured several tweets linking to another site, featuring an image of actor Tom Hardy as super villain Bane.
When you look closely at the picture of Bane you notice that it’s composed of Twitter or Facebook profile photos of fans and followers that chose to share the site on those social networks by clicking “Add Me” in the upper-left-hand corner.
What a brilliant and exciting way to engage their followers and create a phenomenal viral campaign that created even more buzz about the movie. Now, this did take some die-hard fans with some extra time on their hands to crack the code, but the viral spread, and publicity achieved was well worth the effort.
Another Twitter campaign that was immensely successful was one launched by The White House. Yes, the White House tweets! The White House’s #40Dollars campaign was an Obama administration post-election social media marketing success regarding the payroll tax debate. The $40 figure stood for the average amount that American workers save under the current payroll tax cut in two weeks, which the White House wanted to see extended.
In less than 24 hours, the campaign achieved over 17,000 responses to the question “What does #40dollars mean to you?” The GOP backed off on the issue within a day or so. The White House’s followers were more than happy to share what the extra $40 would mean to them personally. Now that’s some real engagement. The #40dollars campaign was so successful because it humanized the tweet to demonstrate the payroll tax cut's real-world impact on middle-class families.
South African brand Bos Ice Tea decided to take free samples and viral potential to the next level with a Twitter-powered vending machine. The idea was creativity at its best. It was simple for consumers to engage the brand, causing the campaign to be a hit. All consumers had to do was send a tweet to the vending machine's account @bos using the #hashtag #bostweet4t, and the vending machine would dispense a delicious free sample of BOS Ice Tea. Now that is a phenomenal way to incentivize people to promote your brand and create a grand viral campaign. Everyone loves something for free.
Next week in this two-part series I’ll take a look at Twitter campaigns that missed the ball, quality versus quantity and some final take-aways. #staytuned
More from Jennifer Dunphy:
LinkedIn, "the Facebook for professionals," can be a huge asset to networking and your reputation as a business person. Dunphy provides easy-to-implement strategies, so you can present your best self online.
Worried about your SEO score? Dunphy warns not to discount the effect Google+ can have on your company's visibility. Luckily, she also explains how to maximize your Google+ page's impact.
A self-described "white collar vagabond," Dunphy successfully serves as the vice president of sales and marketing for Vayu Media, the SEO company she founded, while traveling across the world.
Jennifer Dunphy, an accomplished sales and marketing executive, is currently the vice president of sales and marketing at Vayu Media. You can connect with Dunphy on the Vayu Media Blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube.