• Gerri Knilans of Trade Press Services

Guest Blog: How to Use Twitter to Increase Customer Engagement

The use of social media to enhance customer engagement can provide a competitive advantage. One social media platform readily used by companies is Twitter, which is used for marketing by 67.2% of companies with 100+ employees. Recently, it was estimated that there are 330 million active Twitter users. Approximately 6,000 tweets (Twitter posts) are sent via Twitter every second. Companies who ignore the reach of Twitter are doing a disservice to their businesses. Twitter provides marketers with another tool to promote their brands, expand their outreach and grow potential clients. Recently, Trade Press Services spoke with Clarene Mitchell, co-owner of TCMCommunications, about strategies companies can use to increase their Twitter reach and engagement.

Trade Press Services (TPS): There are a variety of social media platforms for companies to use. What is the appeal to using Twitter?

Clarene Mitchell (CM): One advantage is the real-time engagement offered by this platform. You can be in the moment engaging with followers and non-followers from all over the country and world about a hot topic. It’s similar to having a party online when you think about what occurs on Twitter during major awards shows and other events. It’s not as stagnant as some of the other platforms.

TPS: What do you mean by engagement?

CM: Engagement is the interaction you have with the public on the platform. There are three levels of engagement on Twitter posts. People can like the post, they can retweet the post and they can make a comment on the post. When people engage with your posts, it reaches a broader audience. The idea is to push your engagement as high as possible and keep it consistent.

TPS: How do you know if you have high Twitter engagement?

CM: I conduct an analysis of Twitter for my clients to assess their engagement. I examine who’s viewing and commenting on their posts. Also, I look at their Twitter analytics to see how many retweets and likes they have. Engagement is really about how people are interacting with your Twitter posts. It’s great to have solid, good content to promote via Twitter, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. You want people to see and interact with your content.

Increasing Twitter Engagement

TPS: So how do you increase engagement on Twitter?

CM: Success comes from personal involvement. When you’re hands on with the platform, then you’re able to understand your audience. This allows you to really see what your audience likes and what resonates with them and be able to maximize on that. You don’t want to just post something and walk away.

I have a couple of suggestions for increasing engagement. First, use relevant hashtags in your posts. Have a cheat sheet or some sort of a ready reference of relevant hashtags that pertains to what you are posting. Intermix these hashtags in your posts as they boost engagement and traffic, which means more people will see your posts. Next, use graphics in your posts. These can be photos, GIFs or videos. [TPS Note: According to Buffer, tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than those without images.] Another suggestion is to follow the 80/20 rule with your posts. Make sure that at least 80% of your posts are not self-promotional. If every post is about you or your business, you won’t get much engagement. Instead, intermingle other content into your posts by sharing or retweeting other companies’ content. You also can post about general information that those in your network will find helpful and relevant. The purpose behind social media isn’t just to sell services and products or gain new clients, but to build relationships and set yourself up as a subject matter expert.

Consistency Matters

TPS: These are great suggestions. What additional tips do you have for companies trying to increase their Twitter engagement?

CM: Work to grow your audience. Follow people who follow you. Follow the influencers in your field and look at their followers. There may be individuals there that you’d like to engage with. The larger your audience and network are, the greater the opportunity is to have more engagement. It’s important to cast that net as wide as possible.

It’s also about consistency. Engage with people you follow by sharing their posts and tagging them on posts. It’s a relationship thing – when people see that you’re engaging with them, then they tend to engage with you as well. You can’t be passive with any social media, especially Twitter. You will not see the growth and you will not see the engagement if you’re passive with it. Social media is social; social and passive do not go together. You have to engage, you have to interact, you have to get involved and that means consistency. This takes time, effort and dedication.

In addition, you need to be consistent in posting on Twitter. What works for me is using a calendar for certain days where I post specific content. On Mondays it’s branding motivation, such as a branding quote or image. On Wednesdays it’s midweek motivation, where I post something encouraging and inspirational. And on Fridays it’s what I call branding fun where I post more comical memes about branding. Creating a specific calendar of content holds you accountable to be consistent with the content you’re posting. Your followers will begin to look forward to seeing specific information from you on specific days.

Building Relationships

TPS: Do you have any final thoughts or advice for our readers?

CM: Social media in general, and especially Twitter, are ways to promote your brand boldly on a consistent basis. The key is engagement. When you focus on engaging with others and building relationships, you’ll stand out as the one to contact when someone needs the services or products you provide.

We’d like to thank Clarene for sharing her insights and tips for increasing Twitter engagement. Clarene can be reached on Twitter at @TCMComms or @MrsCMitch. Follow Trade Press Services on Twitter at @tradepresssvcs.

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