I hope I got your attention Napoleoooon! Twitter is still a great form of marketing, but you need to optimize Twitter campaigns to have any chance of success.
5 years ago, marketers could create a tweet about their products, services or events and let it fly. People would follow, click to pages, like and retweet it. Today with 1 billion+ registered users and over 100 million DAILY ACTIVE users, you have to create something worth reading if you want to see results.
So let’s talk about how we can optimize Twitter campaigns, kick some ass and sell the crap out of our products and services on by giving followers something they haven’t seen before.
First Step to Optimize Twitter: Quality Ad Copy
You have 140 characters to convince someone to take the next step. There are an endless amount of articles on the web that talk about ad copy and ad strategy. Don’t get in a hurry. Do some research and start writing.
Also, note that research suggests shorter tweets are more effective! Tweets less than 100 characters get a 17% better engagement! You don’t necessarily have to use up every available character.
“Vote For Pedro”
Its simple, it’s interesting, but for selling purposes it isn’t exactly relevant. I used the Napolean Dynamite reference to make a point. You can be brief and still get users curious enough to click the link.
Write out 5-6 different sets of ad copy ideas. Don’t worry about the length. Focus on the idea. Then work on shortening the message. Taking the minimalist approach is often more effective, but I still try to work in a few longer messages.
Drawing a Blank? Sometimes when I’m stuck I hop on Fiverr or eLance (or Upwork as I just figured out last month). I hire someone to give me 3-5 pieces of ad copy. Sometimes I get a gem. Sometimes I get jack but the copy can get the creative juices flowing.
Link to your Lead, Contact, Product, Service Page
The ultimate goal of a marketing tweet is to send people to a web page with a clear call to action. Buy, Join, Send Info or Contact pages are the first step. Even a page with content should have a call to action.
A big giant button never hurts. Multiple calls to action aren’t bad if you don’t get too spammy with it.
Track the Page and Conversions.
Use bitly links or other link shortening service to track how often someone clicks a link to your marketing campaign in Twitter. This will certainly help you figure out if your campaign is effective.
If you have access to more advanced analytics, put tracking code in the links so you can track conversions. It’s not always easy to do and you may have get your IT guru to help. Here are some good ideas for tracking ROI.
If you can’t create tracking pixels or other tracking links then don’t worry. We’ve worked with musicians that promote their smaller local shows with no way to purchase tickets online. We make a coupon image and stick it the top of the their twitter timeline and tell followers to show the man at the door for a $5 discount. The door man just tracks how many people use it.
Creating a unique electronic coupon for a product or service works well for when you sell something online. For an email lead, use a unique lead page or lead capture form to track performance.
Good Images are Critical to Optimize Twitter
Brighter colors help get clicks. Professional quality, non blurry images are a must. I usually use stock images and modify them slightly in Photoshop. Add some saturation and lighten it up if needed. With Twitter, adding text to images is usually better.
(The reason I don’t always put text in post images depends on whether I plan to promote a post in Facebook. If you run promoted posts in Facebook, you have a 20% limit on text in the image.
To optimize Twitter posts, make the image 1024 x 512. If you decide to put text in the image, try to keep to under 50 characters and give it plenty of padding in the top and bottom. If someone shares the post to another social platform, the text can get cut off.
More than one image is ideal!
Twitter Testing and More Testing
I can’t tell you how many times I had great ad copy and thought it was a sure winner. Then I see the results and find out my ad copy was terrible.
The truth is that I’m wrong about my predictions more than I’m right. But it doesn’t matter because I test everything.
I have no ego about it either. I might hire someone on Fiverr, get copy from Dave, maybe ask my wife for ideas. Whatever gets the most engagement is what we use.
Also, don’t be afraid to use something off the wall even if you think it might suck.
(interesting story… I was a doing a Facebook like campaign for my wife’s vintage store. I tried a bunch of different pieces of ad copy that were only OK. I tried one with her quirky tagline that said “My soul smells like peanut butter.” Totally meaningless phrase and it performed like a champ. We got double the likes and ended up costing 20% of all the other ad copy. People thought it was funny and wanted to check out her shop.
Keep Mobile in Mind
Twitter has always been a huge part of the mobile movement. Mobile use is constantly growing.
Twitter knows this and has recently made a few changes to help improve the experience that its mobile users have. For example, now you will see a change in the way pictures are displayed on mobile devices versus on desktops. While you may see a smaller, thumbnail type picture on your desktop, you will have the privilege of seeing a larger image on your smartphone.
To optimize Twitter on mobile, you really need to check out the page on the most common mobile displays. It’s a mistake I’ve made in the past since I build most of my campaigns on desktop. Look at your feed in Twitter and make sure it looks good. I use BrowserStack.com to double check but there are other sites with mobile browser views.
Pay Attention to the Twitter Timeline
Twitter is changing its timeline. They will be providing more relevant tweets at the top.
For now, you have to opt in to this feature, but I would suggest you do this as soon as possible. Twitter plans to eventually shift this to the default design on timelines and then give users a chance to opt out. By watching now, you can get a better idea of how items will display. You might pick up a few ideas.
To Turn it on, go to Settings (find it by clicking on your twitter avatar). Then in the account screen towards the bottom. Check mark “show me the best tweets first”
Nothing is better than being on top of changes like this so you can take advantage before you competitors. Keep watching out for this as we’ll certainly develop some strategies to take advantage of this feature!
The Last Touch – Mixing in Your Campaign
The last step to optimize Twitter is to improve the time and frequency of your campaign. Twitter is still mostly reverse chronological. News feeds run fast. You will only reach a small section of your audience with each tweet. So you can and should send the same tweet out multiple times.
You can’t send the exact same tweet more than once in 24 hours but you can send one ad copy in the morning and a different one at night and mix them up throughout the week.
IMPORTANT! You need to be mixing in other USEFUL tweets between your marketing tweets. If someone looks at your timeline and sees buy this, buy this, buy this, buy this they will think spammer and there goes your brand rep.
Make sure you are tweeting about your day, posting videos, posting images, posting other good links, retweets.
Hope these tips help so I’ll leave you with this big fat call to action. If you need help on Twitter, its what we do. We can help you build followers and run campaigns. Just get in touch!