In order to run a successful Twitter campaign, we need to initially review a few things. So, how’s about a recap of why we tweet and why Twitter even matters?
Wait, what’s a hashtag again?
A hashtag in case you’re not sure looks like a number sign (#) followed by some sort of text (no special characters). For example, right now while I’m writing this article, these are the worldwide trending hashtags and the number of people tweeting about each:
As you can see there’s quite a range — from #savejustinbieber to #IAmAFeminist — you never know what you’re gonna get from Twitter’s 140-character count platform.
Twitter is especially useful when being used to track live events. In the recent United States Presidential Nominations the hashtags #DEMSinPhilly and #RNCinCLE were respectively used to track live sentiment from the Democratic and Republican parties. In essence, Twitter is a scroll of colorful commentary (GIFs, vids, and images) that can sometimes accompany major live events, political or otherwise.
Why would business owners use Twitter?
As a business owner, you may want to search hashtags like #plumbing or #contentmarketing or #goodeats to find out what people are talking about in your industry. This way you can find potential customers, sales opportunities, and influencers who may help in spreading the word about your awesome product or service. Plus every time you post content with a hashtag others searching for that hashtag will more easily be able to find you and your product.
What’s the point of having a Twitter campaign?
Here’s the deal, the more people who engage with your brand’s Twitter account and hashtag(s), the more people know about your business, the more people who buy your stuff! With more than 305 million monthly active users, Twitter campaigns are a great way to boost visibility.
Here’s what we suggest:
1. Choose a (really good) hashtag.
Once you think you have the perfect hashtag for your campaign, please, please, PLEASE test it out! Make sure no one else is using it, or things will get super confusing. Being unique is key.
2. Create a schedule of tweets.
Don’t wing it. The beauty of digital marketing is that it’s measurable. Tools like Buffer and MySocialSuite can help you determine what time of day and on which days your specific audience is most engaged.
3. Discover what works.
Twitter has their own analytics tab where you can monitor which of your recent posts received the most engagement. Learn from this and mimic your campaign around what your audience already digs.
Here’s a look at HostGator’s own Twitter analytics dashboard. (You can follow us here.)
4. Make (and proof) your content ahead of time.
Yes, there’s a time and a place for real time tweeting, but when you’re organizing an event, it’s good to have a set schedule of everything you and your team will need to make this work. Set out your steps in advance and know exactly what days you’re posting what and how long your campaign will be.
Pro tip: Canva is a free image-making resource that enables you to create marketing content that’s the right size for each social platform. For more tips, check out our article on 4 free tools for making infographics.
5. Use the tools Twitter gives you!
Twitter now has GIFs built directly into its platform. Use these to show (and not just tell) your audience what’s up with your campaign. Choose from a variety of inspirational and topical moods like YOLO (You Only Live Once) and SMH (Shaking My Head).
You can also set up quick Twitter poll soliciting feedback from your audience. Then you can repurpose the results as additional engaging content.
Now that you have the tools in place for what you need, all that’s left is for you to determine the type of contest or campaign you’d like to run. We suggest having a clear goal in mind. Do you want more followers, more sales? Every action you take from hashtag choice to image colors should point backwards to this final objective.
Finally, here’s the fine print on running promotions directly from Twitter.
Have you ever run a Twitter campaign? Are you thinking about it? Tell us in the comments!
Henry Green is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas who helps small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their online presence through marketing, social media, and website optimization.