7 Powerful Ways to Use Twitter for Marketing

This is a guest post by Pankaj Narang. He’s the Co-Founder of Socialert, a hassle-free way to track Twitter hashtags and keywords.

Do you know 64 percent of twitter marketers generate leads using the platform with 20 percent conversion rate.

Brands use Twitter to promote their events, content, to generate leads and engage with prospects and existing customers. Additionally, they use Twitter to offer customer support.

So how can you take advantage of Twitter, which has over 316 million active monthly users to grow your business?

In this article you’ll learn about the 7 powerful and actionable ways brands market themselves on Twitter.

#1. Run a hashtag marketing campaign to increase brand awareness and engagement

A hashtag campaign incentives the brands to organize tweets by users, using a particular hashtag.

Audi’s #WantanR8, Oreo’s #OreoHorrorStories, Coca Cola’s #ShareACoke have helped these brands create their unique space on Twitter.

To rise above the clutter, brands are infusing their campaigns with interactive elements such as custom-made emoji’s. Taco Bell created #TacoEmojiEngine – you could tweet @TacoBell the taco emoji and any other emoji of your choice and receive a response from one of their 600 unique taco inspired phots, gif’s or sounds.

Tools such as SociAlert, Hashtagify.me and RiteTag will help you research and analyze hashtag campaign.

Coca-Cola USA partnered with Musical.ly for their “Share a Coke and a Song” campaign. Instead of the Coca-Cola name on the coke package, they feature lyrics of songs which reflect their brand values of optimism and refreshment. They designed a Coca-Cola emoji for the campaign.

The results of this campaign were:

  • 900,000 music.ly videos
  • 134 million views
  • #ShareaCoke hashtag was trending on Twitter

#2. Use Photos, videos and GIF’s make your tweets visually appealing

Visuals such as photos, videos and GIF’s offer a compelling way for your Twitter followers to learn more about your brand and its message.

Taco Bell taps into the millennial audience on Twitter using funny quotes with relevant pictures.

What’s more? Twitter’s data team dug out the following statistics (from thousands of verified users and by studying 2 million tweets) to confirm the power of visuals:

  • Photos average a 35% boost in Retweets
  • Videos get a 28% boost
  • Quotes get a 19% boost in Retweets

Starbucks Coffee uses Twitter to engage with their followers – to introduce a new flavor, respond to disgruntled customers and entertain their audience. Their branding focuses on people and their lifestyle and not the product itself.

Netflix uses a combination of images, videos and GIF’s about their existing and new shows to keep their audience engaged. (They get 170 retweets on an average for each of the photo and video they post.)

#3. Conduct contests and giveaways to increase engagement

Use Twitter contests and giveaways to boost engagement, increase followers, reach and visibility and to promote your business in a positive way.

The different types of Twitter contests you can run are:

  • Photo contests – the participants take a picture (often with your product) and share it on Twitter.

Airbnb created #LiveInTheMovies campaign during the 2016 Oscars wherein they asked people on Twitter on what movies they wanted to live in. They suggested listings which matched the movie locations.

The result? A staggering 63 million impressions.

  • Retweet contests – they are the easiest to participate in as the user has to simply retweet to participate. Use tools like Hootsuite to monitor and collect tweets mentioning relevant hashtag.

  • Caption contests – These contests are fun as they allow users to show their creativity and sense of humor. A brand posts an image on Twitter with the contest information and the participants reply to the tweet with a caption as their entry.

  • Sweepstakes – Use third party apps like Wishpond to create landing pages which you can safely post to Twitter.  Participants enter their information in these forms.

The best practices to look into while running a Twitter contest are – use a customized hashtag, have an impending deadline, use Twitter ads to promote the contest and continuously tweet about it.

Dell India has recently come up with an interesting contest regarding Mother’s Day. Nevertheless, they managed to keep the theme relevant to their brand.

#4. Use Influencer marketing to reach out to a newer and relevant audience

An influencer marketing campaign is designed to tap into an existing community of loyal and engaged followers. An influencer is a specialist in a particular niche and has managed to establish high trust and a two-way communication with her/his followers.

Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer.”

Some of the examples of brands running influencer marketing campaigns are:

  • Recently, Oreo collaborated with plenty of influencers (including Neymar Jr, Christina Aguilera and Shaquille O’Neal) for their #OREODunkSweepstakes
  • India’s Madhya Pradesh Tourism partnered with Holiday IQ for their #ChaloMPWithHolidayIQ campaign. They took 10 travel bloggers on an all-expense paid trip to Madhya Pradesh.

These travel influencers helped the brand generated more pictures, reviews and blogs about the lesser known places in MP.

#5. Paid promotions to generate leads, build an audience and amplify the reach of your content

The benefits of paid promotions on Twitter are:

  • To get more attention for your best piece of content
  • The filtering tools offered by Twitter help you target your message to the most likely leads
  • Local promotion of tweets helps locals discover your business and increases your following

The four types of paid Twitter promotions commonly used by brands are:

  • Promoted tweets – for content which has organically performed well
  • Promoted accounts – to increase your social proof and credibility
  • Website cards – according to Twitter, tweets with website cards drive 43 percent more clicks
  • Lead generation cards – to accelerate your newsletter sign-ins. Since it captures a person’s email address, give them an incentive to subscribe to your newsletter.

Before running a promotional campaign, make sure that the tweet makes sense even to users not familiar with your brand. Users not acquainted with your brand shouldn’t need a strong context of who these tweets came from.

When LG wanted to promote a new phone in UK, they ran a marketing campaign which included a Promoted Tweet (#LGTicketHunter).

The result?

Image courtesy Jeff Bullas

#6. Host Twitter chats to generate leads and build brand awareness

Twitter chats help you expand your social network, get connected to like-minded people, generate leads and create brand awareness – all simultaneously.

During a Twitter chat, participants communicate with each other using a common hashtag. As the participants are related to your domain, it becomes easier for you to get in touch with industry leaders.

The popular Twitter chats for digital marketers, entrepreneurs and content marketers are:

  • #TwitterSmarter by Madalyn Sklar
  • #Bufferchat by Buffer App
  • #InboundHour by Inbound
  • #Cochat by CoSchedule
  • #CMWorld by Content Marketing World
  • #SEMrushchat by SEMrush

#Bufferchat is conducted by the Buffer team every Wednesday. Improve your brand’s visibility by adding as much value as you can to the chat. This also helps you get noticed by the industry leaders and prospect participants in the chat.

#7. Use social listening to measure your results and re-strategize your efforts

500 million tweets go out every day. A whopping 30 percent mentioning your company don’t include your Twitter handle. This means there are more conversations happening about your brand than with your brand.

Simultaneously, social media listening tracks sentiments, draws patterns and derives conclusions to help you measure and strategize your efforts.

With a social media listening tool, you are notified of your brand’s mention even when the user fails to mention the brand’s twitter handle.

The benefits of social media listening are:

  • Measure the overall reach of your campaigns
  • Get in touch with your audience instantly
  • Perform brand monitoring
  • Keep an eye on your competitors
  • Get to know about leading influencers
  • Perform real-time hashtag tracking and keyword analysis

Zappos was able to have a conversation with a user, who didn’t mention their handle. Without performing social listening, they could have missed the tweet.


Twitter is an invaluable tool for businesses using Twitter to increase their brand awareness, generate leads and customer support. While it limits the users to 140 characters, businesses can use those characters to pack a punch.

The most common question brands and marketers ask is – “How can we use Twitter effectively for our business?”

Read through the 7 strategies mentioned here are use the 2 or 3 which suit your business the most.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when so many companies are successfully using Twitter for their business. Learn from their success.

About Pankaj Narang
A social media marketing enthusiast, Pankaj is determined to shape his ideas into perfect products. CoFounder of Socialert, he believes in coming up with engaging tools to redefine the face of digital marketing. Know more about him at his blog blog.socialert.net