Twitter is a social media giant, with about 330 million active users every month. It’s also been around long enough to establish its own distinct audience and culture. Therefore, instead of approaching it like any other social media platform, you’ll want to develop a dedicated Twitter marketing strategy.

Fortunately, doing this isn’t hard if you understand who the average Twitter user is and what they’re looking for. Armed with that knowledge, you can tailor your approach and message for maximum effect. This means focusing on popular forms of Twitter interaction, staying on top of current events, and even investing in direct advertising.

In this guide, we’ll talk a little about Twitter’s makeup and what types of content perform well on the platform. Then we’ll explore three tips that will help you develop a strong Twitter marketing strategy.

Who your Twitter audience is (and what they want)

To develop an effective Twitter marketing strategy, you’ll need to understand two key pieces of information. First, you’ll want to be clear about who is actually using the platform. Second, you need to know what they’re looking for.

We’ve covered Twitter’s demographics in-depth previously. Therefore, we’ll simply summarize our findings here. Twitter serves a wide range of users. Men and woman use the platform at roughly the same rate, as do urban, suburban, and rural dwellers. The average Twitter user is likely to have a college degree and an income on the higher end of the scale. They are also likely to be between 18 and 29 years old.

As you can see, if you’re looking to target a young, middle-to-upper class audience, the Twittersphere should not be overlooked. Even if your focus is on a wider range of potential customers or clients, you’ll still want to direct your Twitter marketing strategy to this particular demographic.

It’s also crucial to know what is likely to catch your Twitter audience’s attention. This will help you predict what kinds of marketing will and will not work on the platform. The average Twitter user is looking for:

  • Connections to news, current events, and other hot topics. 74% of Twitter users report getting news regularly on the platform.
  • Brand new information and products. According to Twitter’s own data, the primary reason most users visit the site is to “discover something new and interesting”.
  • Visual content of all types. Tweets with images or GIFs are more likely to be retweeted than text-only tweets. Those with videos are shared even more frequently – at a rate of six times more than messages with photos. Even live-streaming is becoming rapidly more popular.

Most importantly, Twitter users are very open to following brands and communicating with businesses. They are even responsive to direct advertisement. 78.5% of Twitter users have tweeted at a small-to-medium sized company. Plus, a large majority see relevant ads as informative and welcome, even when they are placed prominently. What’s more, 66% of users report that they’ve discovered a new business on Twitter.

This means there’s a huge audience on Twitter ready to be engaged by your marketing campaign. All you need to do is figure out how to capture their attention.

How to create a Twitter marketing strategy (3 key steps)

Developing an effective Twitter strategy isn’t a linear process. You’ll get the best results from experimentation. By this, we mean trying out different techniques and finding out what works best for your business.

To get you started, what follows are three approaches that will serve you well on the platform. You may choose to base your strategy around just one of these tips. However, you’re likely to get the best results by combining all three. As with most social media channels, the more effort you put into your Twitter campaign, the more you’re likely to get out of it.

1. Interact with your audience and start conversations

Social media’s primary selling point is right there in the name – it’s social. Users of these platforms are looking for direct interaction, even with brands and businesses. Nowhere is this truer than on Twitter, which is all about conversations:

Twitter Marketing Strategy: An example of a brand conversation on Twitter.

People expect you to respond to their tweets on Twitter, and they want those responses quickly. 84% want a reply from their tweet to a company within 24 hours, and many are looking for an even quicker turnaround. In addition, Twitter users respond better to conversational tweets than to messages that don’t ask for a response.

This means it’s vital to both encourage conversation through your own messages, and keep a close eye out for interactions pointed in your direction. You’ll want to:

  • Use your tweets to ask questions, solicit opinions, and prompt feedback from your audience.
  • Check your company account regularly – at least once a day – and respond quickly to any tweets directed your way.
  • Frequently reply to other users, popular influencers, and brands. You should make an effort to become part of existing conversations.

Responsiveness is the number-one brand action that prompts Twitter users to make a purchase. So you’ll go far if you use the platform to create connections, and focus on being friendly and sociable.

2. Connect your messaging to current events and trends

As we mentioned earlier, Twitter is a platform that’s very much focused on the ‘now’. People use it to get news, learn about current trends, and make discoveries. Therefore, if you want to get noticed on Twitter, you’ll want to tap into those needs:

A tweet addressing a current event.

For the most part, you can accomplish this by conducting thorough research. It also helps to be aware of what’s happening in the wider world. In particular, you should consider:

  • Connecting your brand, message, and products to current events and news whenever possible. However, you shouldn’t force a connection where there simply isn’t one.
  • Commenting on and encouraging conversation about the latest happenings in your specific field or niche. This should be done even if they aren’t directly relevant to what you’re offering.
  • Focus on what your business is doing or offering that is new and innovative.
  • Use research tools to find out what Twitter hashtags are currently popular. Then, use them in your tweets and replies.
  • Keep an eye on upcoming holidays – especially the non-serious ones, like National Pie Day – and incorporate them into your messages.

Above all, you’ll want to communicate to your Twitter audience that you’re a brand in tune with both the online and offline worlds. Otherwise, you risk becoming old news yourself.

3. Promote your content directly with Twitter Ads

It’s tricky to determine what style of Twitter marketing strategy gains the most traction with users. On one hand, as we’ve already discussed, casual conversations and interactions are the keys to building a strong audience. On the other hand, more traditional advertising is also surprisingly effective.

If you’re not aware, Twitter has an advertising program called (appropriately enough) Twitter Ads:

The homepage for the Twitter Ads program.

It enables you to create and present tailored messages to your audience. On the whole, these are likely to be well received. 85% of Twitter users believe that Promoted Accounts (a type of Twitter Ad) are helpful for discovering new businesses. Plus, 68% have followed a business after noticing this type of advertisement.

There are three primary types of Twitter Ads to choose from. Promoted Accounts will suggest your account to users who aren’t currently following your brand, but who are likely to find it interesting based on their activity and history. Promoted Tweets, on the other hand, will be placed at the top of relevant search results pages and in timelines for relevant users. Finally, the Promoted Trends feature places trends chosen by an advertiser at the top of the site’s Trending Topics list, and sometimes within user timelines.

That third option is prohibitively expensive and impractical for all but the largest businesses. The first two are far more affordable options. You can read up on the eligibility requirements for the Twitter Ad program on the platform’s website, and find information on how to get started. While you don’t need direct advertising to build a strong following on Twitter, it does help to accelerate the process.

Conclusion

No matter how many social media platforms you’re marketing on, it’s best to approach each one with a targeted set of strategies. What works well for your brand on Facebook or Snapchat isn’t likely to have the same effect on Twitter. That’s why it’s so important to do your research, and understand what really works on this massively popular platform.

To start developing your own Twitter marketing strategy, you’ll want to consider the following techniques:

  1. Interact with your audience and start conversations.
  2. Connect your messaging to current events and trends.
  3. Promote your content with Twitter Ads.

You should also take note of recent changes to Twitter’s policies to ensure that your strategies fall within their new guidelines.

Do you have any questions about how to make the most out of your business’ Twitter account? We’d love to hear them in the comments section below!