Using Twitter to Grow Your Brand’s Influence

Using Twitter to Grow Your Brand's Influence - #TwitterSmarter chat with Dhariana Lozano - December 26, 2019

Twitter is such a versatile social media platform. Through the years, it’s constantly evolved, so much so that it’s now obvious that Twitter’s not fading away anytime soon. If anything, all those rumors about Twitter shutting down and being sold came to a screeching halt this year.

The reason?

Millions of people use Twitter as the face of their brand online. With Twitter chats, threaded conversations, influencer engagements, community building, and so many new features, 2019 has been a strong year for every business on Twitter.

That’s why for the final #TwitterSmarter chat of the decade, we decided to revisit some golden practices of using Twitter to grow your brand.

We invited social media consultant Dhariana Lozano to share her insights about Twitter. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Topic: Using Twitter to Grow Your Brand’s Influence
Guest: Dhariana Lozano
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: How can participating in Twitter chats help grow your influence?

A Twitter chat is a breeding ground for conversations among like-minded people. For a complete hour, people from all over the world engage in discussions, debates, and share their leanings through a common hashtag.

Like our friends from Joinative said, Twitter chats are an excellent way to get brand exposure.

What’s more, you can also gauge what your target audience is interested in. The more information you share about a specific topic, the more credible you become in your industry, attracting relevant people.

Q2: When should you think about starting your own Twitter chat?

Running and maintaining a Twitter chat over years is a tough job. You need to make sure you have a proper support group in place to help you work out the details for every chat.

That said, in some cases, you should definitely consider starting a chat when you know it’ll increase your influence. For instance, if there are no existing chats to discuss your industry or niche, or if you have a growing audience whose attention you’d like to leverage. Or better yet, if you conduct a regular event around which you want people to rally and converse, you should think about starting a chat for yourself.

 

Joana made some excellent points about how to go about starting a chat. The most important question you should ask and answer yourself satisfactorily is whether you have the time and people to continue the chat over a long period. You can’t start a chat today only to close down a few months later. The biggest of Twitter chats, that have accumulated a vast community of knowledgeable and influential uses, have been running for years.

Once you know you can sustain your chat, think about frequency. Most chats run weekly, but there’re also successful chats that meet every fortnight or only monthly. Find a timeline that you’re most comfortable with.

Q3: What are some ways to use Twitter lists?

Lists are a feature that lets you compile Twitter accounts as categories. You could have both private and public lists. If you add someone to a public list, they’ll get a notification. Anyone can subscribe to your public lists too. Creating a list is like an alternate Twitter feed. This means that the list will only feature tweets and replies from accounts added to that list. Your actual feed will feature tweets from everyone you follow and Twitter’s own suggestions.

This makes private lists on Twitter an ideal way to keep an eye on your competitors without following them. Or perhaps to follow industry leaders and influencers.

Dhariana shared a few other ways to use lists too. For instance, you can create a list of all the speakers for an event you’re attending. That way, you can keep a closer eye on any event-related discussions. Another idea is to make a public list and thank all of the well wishers in your audience who engage most with your content.

Mostly, one of the best aspects or lists that we can all relate to, is that it helps slow Twitter long enough for us to grasp content related a specific keyword, interest, or trend. As our friends from Twenty Two Kittens reminded us, Twitter can be quite fast.

Q4: Share some common hashtag mistakes.

How many times have we come across a tweet that just has so many hashtags that it’s annoying? Or when people hashtag every other word in a vain attempt to increase impressions, but only decreasing their popularity?

Aside from using too any, using irrelevant hashtags riding on trends, not using any hashtags at all, and ignoring hyper-relevant hashtags are all common mistakes.

And if you’re wondering how to get the sweet spot, Twitter recommends no more than 2 hashtags for a tweet.

As vital as it is to get the right hashtags, it’s also important that your hashtags are legible. As Jim pointed out, the easier it is for your readers to comprehend your hashtags, the better their engagement. For lengthier, phrase-like, keywords in particular, us camel back format (also called camelcase). This will help your readers distinguish your words clearly.

Oh, and remember, typos on hashtags are a big no no.

Q5: What types of videos work well on Twitter?

For a long time, we’ve had the misconception that Twitter has only one type of video: the regular one. However, Madalyn has proved many times that videos can be more than basic promotional. She started video replies, in which you respond to a person’s tweet with a video of yourself, saying what you intended to type out as a tweet. This way, you show your personality and yourself far more effectively than just sending out a text tweet.

Our guest pointed out a few other ways to use video as well. For example, you can create animated image and text videos for sharing tips. You can also go live and answer questions impromptu. Share behind the scenes videos at events and conferences, compile photos into summary videos, and if you’re feeling fancy, you can even create custom GIFs.

If you’ve participated in Twitter chats, you’ve probably seen some folks reply to questions using videos. If, like Jennifer, you’ve felt that video replies are a little much on chats, it’s because not everyone knows how to pull it off well.

Of course, video replies can be lengthy and explanatory, but they’re also fun and engaging—if you know your limits. Having a prepared speech in video reply form can be annoying. More so during a chat.

The key is to hit the perfect balance between informing and droning on. One of our regulars, Dan, often responds with short, less than a 20-second, videos that you can watch and grasp even during a relatively busy chat.

Dhariana even clarified that the ideal duration is between 5 and 10 seconds.

 

Q6: How can you make sure your visuals appear properly on your tweets?

Don’t just schedule and forget. That’s a classic example of being unaware of things going wrong. With social media’s ever-changing guidelines, it’s important that you’re always on top of the various size specifications.

Dhariana also suggested visiting your profile quite often to make sure everything is as it should be.

Hannah, another regular on our chat, recommended using tools like Canva and Adobe Spark. With these tools that are designed specifically for social media images, you don’t have to worry about resizing the image yourself. You can, for example, choose a size template on Canva based on the social media platform you’re posting to.

In any case, it’s still quite useful to be aware of changed requirements on Twitter. Here’s an article that Madalyn shared, and it’s always updated with the latest specifications.

Q7: What are some effective ways to use the Pin Tweet feature?

A pinned tweet is a highlighted tweet on your profile. You can pin any of your tweets and retweets. It’ll be the first piece of content people see on your profile after your header, profile picture, and bio.

That’s why it’s necessary to pin your most important content. What’s important to you is subjective—for some it’s a link to their website while for some others, like our guest, it’s a link to membership or subscription details.

Pinned tweets can also be seasonal, like a tweet promoting a campaign you’re currently running, a message about your upcoming course or webinar, an event you’re hosting, or like Elena said, a job requirement you’re looking to fill for your team or business.

If nothing else, you can just pin an older, well-performing tweet, that perhaps links to an evergreen article. That’ll help you get renewed attention on that tweet and your link.

Q8: How often should you audit your account, and how?

Auditing refers to checking your profile, seeing it as an outsider would, and identifying elements you can improve on. That’s why it’s crucial to audit your account at least every month. Like our guest, you could have a reminder, so that you don’t forget to look through your account, check your analytics, measure your engagement rates, and improve your social media strategy accordingly.

When you’re analyzing, as Dakota pointed out, be sure to include as much as quantitative data as quantitative. The number of retweets and likes can show interest, but click through rates, tweet expansions, and profile visits can give you a more complete view of your social media activities.

If you’re not sure how to get started, modify the easy aspects first: change your header image to reflect your latest offering, update your profile picture to a recent photo, experiment with a new colour theme for your tweets. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to experiment.

Well, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading, and for more information about our chat, check out this Twitter Moment our team member Joana put together. And if you’ve got some time to spare Thursday, join us at 1pm ET for our next #TwitterSmarter chat.

Happy New Year, folks!


About me, Narmadhaa:

I’m a writer of all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

Say hello: Personal blog | LinkedIn | Twitter

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