How to Use Twitter for Beginners

Launched in 2006, Twitter is a microblogging social media site where users create short-form content called tweets to share with others. Users with an account can post their own tweets and interact with others.

Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter often shares breaking news from individual users rather than reputable companies. Users access their personal accounts and tweet about their experiences, such as when a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck Virginia in 2011. It was first reported on Twitter by people who sent 40,000 tweets related to the incident in less than a minute.

Twitter is also known for being home to tons of viral memes, like one from Carter Wilkerson in 2017. He asked Wendy’s, a fast food chain, how he could use the power of Twitter to deliver free nuggets for a year receive.

He didn’t meet their 18 million retweet requirement, but they granted his request to reach 3 million. Wilkerson has since used his Twitter experiment as an example of social sharing engagement for his marketing course. Others have since used this format, like this user who asked The New York Mets to have them take prom photos on their baseball field when they hit 500,000 retweets.

Given that Twitter is instrumental in influencing trends and generating engagement, some brands have used the platform as a means of social media marketing. If you’re just starting out on Twitter, this post will walk you through how to take advantage of its essential features and outline best practices for marketers using the app.

Twitter tips for beginners

  1. Understand Twitter language
  2. Create a Twitter Marketing Strategy
  3. Decide what to tweet
  4. Tweet often
  5. Use data to make decisions
  6. Automate if necessary
  7. Engage with your followers
  8. Pay attention to internet permanence

All social media platforms have a location-specific etiquette and best practices that marketers should be aware of. Let’s check out eight tips for newbies to Twitter to use as they incorporate the platform into their marketing strategy.

Selected resource: How to use Twitter for business

Understand Twitter language

In order to use Twitter, you need to understand some of the terms commonly used in the app.

Hashtags

Hashtags, written as the pound symbol (#) followed by a specific word or phrase, are keywords used on Twitter to encourage discussion. #food is an example of a hashtag commonly used on Twitter, and all tweets that use the hashtags #food are grouped together. Hashtags can go viral frequently, and users around the world add them to their own tweets to add their opinions to discussions and address topics that are important to them.

They are also a valuable marketing tool for generating awareness as any Twitter user who views and browses a hashtag may come across the tweets you created. Tweets with hashtags also get 100% more engagement. Hashtags can be added to tweets with videos, photos, gifs, and links.

Handle

A handle on Twitter is your username. It will appear at the end of your account url and will only apply to the brand or company that your Twitter account is for. For example, HubSpot’s Twitter handle is @HubSpot.

A Twitter handle should not be confused with your Twitter profile name, which is the name of your Twitter account. For example, if you use Twitter for a personal account, your name is Sam Cruz. Your profile name could be Sam Cruz while your handle could be @redtomato. Twitter handles can be unique, while anyone in the world named Sam Cruz can set this as their profile name.

Grips are vital in marketing as they aid brand awareness when related to your business. For example, let’s say you run the Twitter profile for a pants store called Reds. If your Twitter handle is @pantsbusiness, no one will be able to choose you from the crowd of other pants companies on the platform.

However, if you make your handle business specific, such as B. @redspants, customers who come across your Tweets will recognize that your profile belongs to the company selling their favorite pants.

Retweets

Retweet, sometimes written as RT, is the way people share content on Twitter. When someone tweets something you like, click the Retweet button (shown below) to share the tweet on your own Twitter feed. The content you RT will be visible to your followers and will also show up on your Twitter profile.

Twitter retweet icon

Retweets can also be quote tweets or QTs, which add additional comments to the original tweet. Here is an example of a QT.

If you like what you’ve seen so far with HubSpot reports, just wait until you see what the team is up to. I’m biased, but it’s great! https://t.co/xw3k5HArwi

– Dharmesh (@dharmesh) November 2, 2020

If you’re generating a fan base on Twitter, using the RT button to share tweets where your followers mention you and how much they love your business is a valuable strategy for building brand authority as social media users are users. Appreciate generated content (UGC). In fact, consumers trust UGC 9.8x more than influencer content or paid advertising.

Mentions

On Twitter, a mention means someone used your handle and tagged you in a tweet. Typically, users are mentioned when composing their tweets or when replying to tweet threads.

You’ll get a notification every time someone mentions you. These tweets will appear on the Notifications tab on the Twitter website and mobile app. You can navigate to your mentions by clicking the bell icon.

Twitter Notifications tab on the desktop site

Mentions are beneficial for marketing as they make it easier to find and interact with followers who specifically used your handle in their tweets. You can also mention other users in your own tweets, which will help generate engagement.

Create a Twitter Marketing Strategy

As with any social media platform, you need to create a location-specific marketing strategy. It doesn’t have to be too different from your overall business marketing strategy as you adopt elements like your buyer personalities. These are the representations of your target audience that you translate into social media audiences. This will help you identify the customers who are most likely to interact with you on the platform.

It’s important to note that your Twitter strategy needs to be aligned with Twitter-specific elements like live videos and hashtags.

Decide what to tweet

Now that you’ve established your marketing strategy, you need to decide how to carry out this plan with your Tweets. Other companies on Twitter use their accounts to stimulate brand discussions, create promotions, or to support customers.

The following image shows a Twitter customer support interaction between Comcast, an Internet and cable service provider, and an interested customer. Around 59% of global social media users have brands that respond to customer service questions on social media. Hence, this is a valuable Twitter strategy.

Use social media for customer service on Twitter demo

The social media audiences you’ve identified in your marketing strategy can help you determine how you should use your Twitter account. When you understand your followers, you’ll know what type of content they prefer and what to tweet.

For example, if you’re a clothing company, you might be known for creating exclusive products that your customers will have to wait for. They know that they are probably excited about this exclusivity. So you can use your account to post product release dates to keep them excited. Here is an example of Adidas, a design company, using their account to promote a highly anticipated brand collaboration on their Twitter account.

Tweet often

As with other social media channels, maintaining your Twitter account and keeping your followers on the platform requires consistent tweeting. Research shows that top brands on Twitter send an average of three tweets a day.

Twitter feeds aren’t automatically chronological, so your followers in different time zones will see your tweets no matter what. However, it’s also important to be aware of one additional factor that affects the frequency with which you tweet: when your followers are most active.

You will always see your tweets in their feed, but tweeting when they are most active gets the most engagement. It also ensures that you can respond to confidential support questions in a timely manner. This is why it is important to use analytics data to perfect your tweet schedule.

Use data to make decisions

After you’ve been on Twitter for at least a month, be sure to use Twitter analytics data to help guide the decisions you make on the app. Twitter has its own analytics platform that shows 28-day summaries of account impressions, profile visits, and best performing tweets. This analytical insight into your followers can help you further perfect your marketing strategy for success on the platform.

Some of the metrics to keep track of are impressions, engagement rates, and reach. Each of these factors explains how Twitter users interact with your account and the tweets you create. You get a sense of how interested your audience is in your content, how relevant your content is, and how much social authority your brand has on Twitter. High numbers in each category indicate that you are doing well, and lower numbers help you identify elements of your strategy that need work.

Automate if necessary

Once you’ve got a picture of your Twitter engagement analytics, you’ll know the best time to tweet, how often to tweet, and what steps to take to maximize platform engagement. Since you probably manage multiple social media channels, it makes sense to join the top 10% of tweeters using automation tools to schedule tweets in advance.

For example, HubSpot’s Marketing Hub can be integrated with Twitter Analytics to create an automated publishing schedule that is optimized for your engagement metrics. The following image is an example of Marketing Hub’s automated social media calendar.

Marketing Hub Twitter Analytics Integration Social Media Posting Calendar Demo

You can also use the integration to view analytics data for all of your social media accounts at once, helping you understand the platforms that will bring your business the greatest success.

Demo of Hubspot Marketing Hub Tracking Social Media Anayltics Data

Engage with your followers

As with all other social media platforms, how you interact with your followers is vital. There are a few different ways you can do this on Twitter, such as: B. Like and retweet mentions from followers, replying to direct messages, posting branded UGC, or asking followers to respond to Twitter polls. Once you’ve created accurate, relevant social media personas, the way you interact with your followers is likely to lead them to keep following and engaging with your account.

You can use social media management platforms like Oktapost to catalog interactions between you and your Twitter followers. The picture below shows a contact record between Liad Guez and Oktopost on Twitter. We can see that they exchanged a direct message with the Twitter account and that data can be cataloged and tracked. If you find that you have Twitter followers who are constantly interacting with you, then you can allow extra time to cultivate your relationship with them and entice them into becoming paying customers.

oktopost is following the demo on customer interaction on social media

Pay attention to internet permanence

As with all other aspects of the internet, anything you tweet is permanent. Be Thoughtful With The Content You Post On Twitter And]err on the side of caution. Suppose someone is always taking a screenshot of your Tweets and others are seeing inappropriate interactions with customers (even if you delete them).

Retweets are an important part of marketing on Twitter, but remember what you are doing RT and QT, and make sure you give credit where credit is due. You don’t want to be called out for content theft if you accidentally forget to mention someone, especially on a public forum. Twitter users are known to hold others accountable for misdirection, and they likely won’t hesitate to do the same if they discover that you’ve used content that isn’t your own.

With this in mind, you can assume that people with public accounts will consent to their Tweets being shared via RTs. However, permission is always a good strategy if you are reposting the content yourself.

How to post on Twitter

Once you’ve figured out your Twitter marketing strategy and learned best practices for beginners, you’re ready to start posting on Twitter.

Twitter supports four different tweets on its platform: text tweets, photo tweets, gifs, and videos. You can also include links and hashtags in all of these tweets. You can also use links and hashtags in all of these tweets.

If you’re posting a plain text tweet on the Twitter website, you’ll need to click and click the box in your home feed that says “Tweet”. In the box that says What happens? You can compose your tweet (up to 280 characters) and click Tweet to view it on your profile. The picture below shows the process.

Demo showing how to send a plain text tweet from the Twitter desktop

The steps are similar on mobile devices. Launch the app and click the Write button at the bottom right of the screen.

Use the Composer Button to Send a Tweet from the Twitter Mobile Demo

Compose your tweet and click the Tweet button to go live.

Demo of the final step on how to post a plain text tweet on the Twitter mobile app

How to post videos on Twitter

32% of people say they use Twitter to watch videos. With that in mind, using Twitter to post branded videos is a valuable strategy. There are three ways to post videos to Twitter: import videos from your mobile device, upload videos from your computer to Twitter’s desktop site, and go live in the Twitter app.

Import videos on mobile devices

To import videos from your mobile device to Twitter, first follow the same steps that you would follow to create a plain text tweet. Once the Tweet window opens, the app will display a carousel of the latest photos on your device. If the video is there, you can select it, add your text and click Tweet.

Demo showing how to choose a video from the mobile photo gallery to post on Twitter

If the video isn’t there, you can click the camera photo icon and browse your photo gallery to select the correct video.

Upload videos to the desktop

To upload a video to the Twitter desktop site, open the Tweet Composer to write a plain text tweet and click the image button.

Upload a video to the Twitter desktop demo.

When you click the button, you will be prompted to choose the video you want from your computer files. Once you’ve selected it, click on “Tweet”.

Videos on Twitter cannot be larger than 512MB and the maximum video length is 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Videos in your Tweets do not count towards the 280 character limit. So, you can add as much text as you want to your video tweets for further explanation of the videos.

Live on Twitter

Going live on Twitter is a great way to connect with your audience. You can watch as you talk about your brand in real time and ask questions. Currently, the live function on Twitter is only supported within the mobile application.

To go live, select the photo icon from the tweet composer.

Use the icon to go live on Twitter. mobile demo

The camera function opens where you select the Live option. Once you go live, users who follow you will see your live stream on their feed.

Live on Twitter Mobile Demo

How to post photos and gifs on Twitter

Social media users like to deal with visual content. In fact, tweets with gifs get 55% more engagement than those that don’t. With that in mind, the benefits of using photos and gifs in your tweets are high. Let’s see how to upload images and gifs to your tweets on Twitter.

Post photos and gifs on Twitter

To post a photo on Twitter, follow the first step in posting a tweet on Twitter. Click the photo icon and choose an image or GIF from your carousel or photo library. You can also click the GIF button and choose a GIF from the Twitter GIF library.

Post a GIF on Twitter Desktop Demo

You can select up to four photos to tweet at a time, but only one GIF is allowed per tweet and they cannot be included in photo sets. The same steps should be followed to post gifs on Twitter using the mobile app.

Post a gif on Twitter for the mobile demo

Just like with videos, photos don’t affect the number of tweet characters. So you can add text or links to your photo tweets.

How many people are using Twitter?

To fully understand the benefits of using Twitter in your marketing strategy, let’s take a look at some of the app’s key stats and what they mean to marketers who use Twitter.

Twitter statistics

Benefits to Marketers

By May 2020, Twitter has around 340 million users. These 340 million users send roughly 500 million tweets a day.

With such a large user base, marketers who develop a successful Twitter marketing strategy can expand their follower base.

More than 80% of Twitter’s Monetizable Daily Active Users (mDAUs) live outside the United States.

Companies on Twitter can reach audiences from all over the world. You are no longer limited to people in your home country or geographic region.

More than 80% of the world’s population on Twitter is under 50, and 44% of adults in the United States ages 18 to 24 use Twitter. About six in ten Twitter users worldwide are between 35 and 65 years old.

Brands can use Twitter to market themselves and reach new audiences as the app represents a wide variety of age groups.

Twitter users are 38% more likely to post reviews of brands and products than other social media site users.

Aside from your own marketing efforts, your followers will be talking about you in their own tweets. This makes it easy to get in touch with those you mention and stand out as a brand that cares about their customers.

93% of those who follow Small and Medium Business (SMB) on Twitter plan to buy from the companies they follow, and 69% of those companies have already bought from an SMB because they saw something on the platform.

This means that gaining followers is synonymous with generating income, as new followers are likely planning to shop with your business if they haven’t already.

Consider using Twitter for business

With so many users on Twitter, getting your company out there on the platform can be a valuable growth strategy.

If you spend time engaging with those who follow your account and creating content they like, they will reward you by getting involved in your Twitter profile and becoming loyal followers.

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