A few weeks ago Twitter made its largest update since removing images and URLs from the character count in May 2016. The newest update allows users to blast past the 140-character count limit that has defined the platform since its launch, and to now tweet up to 280 characters.
This change is great news for the 87% of B2B marketers who use the platform, according to the Content Marketing Institute. That said, 280 characters doesn’t mean that all of your original Twitter best practices go out the window. In fact, those best practices are more important than ever in this newly expanded tweet world.
To ensure you’re on the right track, we’ve outlined a few of our must-do Twitter best practices:
Keep Tweets Focused and Clean
Just because the character limit has been increased, doesn’t mean you should use them all. Keep your Tweets focused and concise for best engagement. The key is not to speak for the sake of speaking but to have a purpose behind every piece of content you put out there.
For example, let’s say you’re tweeting about a newsworthy article that promotes your business as a thought leader. If you can explain the article and why it’s important in a short sentence, then that is still best practice.
That being said, now that you have more characters, you can use that extra space to provide more explanation and to use appropriate grammar. In the past, it was accepted that poor grammar and punctuation was allowed on Twitter because of the limited space. Now, with 280 characters, there’s no excuse not to write in complete sentences. It’s about keeping it clean, readable, and still on point.
Add Visual Element
Tweets that include an image get more engagement. In fact, they receive 18% more click throughs, 89% more likes, and 150% more retweets, according to Brandwatch.
There are few options when adding a visual element to your tweets:
Your first option is to simply add a photo to your Tweet as a visual aid to provide further insight into what you’re publishing.
Second, you can add a linked photo. This is when you create a link Tweet and add a photo to the link, making the photo clickable. By doing so, it’ll be easier to drive traffic to your website.
Finally, you can add a video to your post. This is a great way to share more information without using more characters in your Tweet. It still adds a visual element but also lets you share more details on the topic.
Call to Action
For example, if you ask a question on Twitter, don’t just leave it up to your audience to decide how to respond. Instead, ask them to reTweet if they agree or to comment on what they believe.
The key is to make your CTA compelling. Don’t ask generic questions. Instead, try to use CTAs to find out what your followers want from you or what they think is working. This will not only help you gain useful insights, but will also spark new engagement and conversations online. For example, asking for a follow increases follows by 258%, and asking for a download increases downloads by 13%.
Use Relevant Hashtags
Now that you have 280 characters, you can use even more hashtags in each tweet to reach a wider audience. But, beware not to overdo it. According to Buddy Media, adding just two hashtags can make a big difference. If you use over two hashtags, your engagement can actually drop by 17%. In contrast, with one to two hashtags you’ll notice 21% higher engagement
The best use of hashtags is to take advantage of trending events or topics. Log into Twitter and look for the “Trends for You” section on the right-hand side of the page. Look for any events or popular hashtags that are relevant to your brand and try to join the conversation.
For example, for #MondayMotivation you could share a tweet that motivates your audience to be more successful in their B2B technology space.
Strategically Interact with Influencers
There are thousands of influencers on Twitter that can be utilized to help your business grow and reach new customers. That is, if you know where to look and how to use them.
Start by making a list of influential people in your industry and prioritizing your interactions with them on Twitter. Monitor their activity and chime in when you have the opportunity, by favoriting their tweet, mentioning them in your own tweet, retweeting their content, etc.
For example, in this tweet KeyScouts shared an article from the influential Articulate Marketing, making sure to tag them in the post and give them credit.
Just as important is the idea that you have to tweet what an influencer is interested in if you want reciprocal tweeting. Based on a 2015 study titled, Twitter B2B Behavioral Impact, there are four main use types for business decision makers:
- 43% use Twitter to discover new products and solutions.
- 34% use Twitter to research for an IT initiative.
- 31% use Twitter to get support post-purchase.
- 29% use Twitter when making a purchase decision.
If you can tweet in one of the above categories, you’ll have a better chance of interacting positively with your influencers.
Live Tweet Industry Events
Twitter is a great social media platform to spark conversation about the happenings of your industry, so why not take advantage of that? Even if you can’t make every industry event, you can tweet participants who were there and ask them about how it was. Then you can start discussions on industry topics that are relevant to the event and your business.
For example for CES 2017, whether you were there or not, everyone was talking about the technology event.
To learn more about how to use Twitter for your business, contact KeyScouts today!