Twitter is a social media that was launched in 2006 and quickly became one of the most important and popular sites on the web. With 330 million active monthly users worldwide, you probably already know that Twitter is a good way to reach out to potential customers and build an engaging brand presence.
But did you know that Twitter is also one of the best ways to manipulate your search results and maintain better control over the content that clients see when they search for your business? SearchEngineLand reports
that obtaining a Twitter search carousel takes up a massive amount of vertical space.
If you have negative reviews or contributor’s pages jockeying for space on your search result, you know the value of gaining control over what displays on search pages for your brand or business. But are there other ways to use Twitter to increase the reach of your small business?
Twitter Marketing Campaigns Versus Twitter Brand Building
Twitter, like many other social media, have options for the aspiring online entrepreneur to take out pay-per-click or pay-per-impression targeted ads. Twitter collects a great variety of data about its users and produces sophisticated psychosocial profiles of Tweeters.
Where Twitter really shines for many businesses, however, is for the brand’s Twitter account to serve as their official spokesperson. Twitter’s focus on humour and spontaneity means that brands have the freedom to experiment with their social media presence, with brands that focus on memes and jokes being big winners on Twitter while still maintaining their professionalism in ‘real life’.
Arby’s: From Fast Food Joke to Millennial Mainstay on Twitter
Being adventurous with your Twitter presence is a good way to earn fans. Just look at the case of Arby’s, who managed to revive a dying franchise empire into a meaty brand with 50% of its consumers under the age of 35. Their secret? Embracing their negative press in a humorous and metatextual way and demonstrating their sense of humour.
This strategy put Arby’s on another plane when it comes to targeted marketing to millennials, who love to buck tradition. Other brands have followed their lead, with not-so-serious campaigns popping up in every sector, but especially in youth-oriented markets like fast food or clothing.
Can My Business Benefit From Twitter Outreach?
Not all businesses are made equal, and not all of them stand to benefit in an equal way from using Twitter to the fullest.
First of all, it’s our belief that every business should do whatever they can to maximize their online presence. But when it comes down to brass tacks, Twitter might be an expendable strategy depending on the goals for your brand and your small business.
However, here’s a quick list of industries that are well-poised to use Twitter and other social media to establish a foothold in the market:
- Business-to-business (B2B) businesses absolutely need social media presence. Twitter is a great way to link to longform content pieces and white papers that can be key in generating sales of your service.
- Retail operations: retail and ecommerce especially need social media. Shoppers like being able to reach out directly with customer service issues with the impression that talking to someone on social media provides faster resolutions.
- ‘Experience’ locations like spas and beauty salons can use the power of visual social media to craft compelling narratives for their businesses.
Do-It-Yourself Twitter Management?
If you want to manage your social media marketing for yourself, you need a cohesive strategy, a plan on how to spend your money effectively, and a concrete goal to ensure you’re obtaining your return-on-investment. Twitter may be free to use, but that doesn’t mean you can fire off one tweet a month and call it marketing.
Building and sustaining an active Twitter community around your business or product is hard work. You don’t need to make tweeting your full-time job, but you do need to be posting multiple times per day every single day.
If you work alone, say, as an electrical contractor, odds are you’re going to be too busy fixing fuseboxes all day to devote the time required to build an excellent Twitter brand. Consider outsourcing your social media work to someone who is experienced and capable for the demands of the position. Play to your strengths and let others do the same – that’s a winning recipe for success in life and in business.
Not to mention is that there are many different types of Twitter strategies. If your company specializes in B2B solutions, an irreverent tone maybe isn’t for you. Positioning yourself as a fountain of knowledge who is willing to engage with fellow colleagues in a professional manner will go far in making your business seem reliable to potential clients.
Next Steps: The Twitter Search Carousel and Negative Reviews
After you’ve established a positive and interactive face for your brand using Twitter, what’s the next step? By maintaining a consistent Tweet record, Google might ‘award’ you a Search Carousel featuring your tweets.
Go ahead and search Arby’s. On my screen, the search results come back in this order:
- Arby’s official website. (No surprises here.)
- Arby’s Twitter.
- Arby’s Wikipedia page.
- Don’t expect success overnight. Building an authentic Twitter presence for any brand can take time – a long time. Unless you buy followers (which is cheesy and easy to spot), getting even a few hundred followers can take dedication and patience. However, unless you’re operating a startup venture, you already have a built-in group you know to be interested in your product or service – your past clients! Ask them if they’re on Twitter.
- Keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Twitter has a lot of sophisticated analysis tools so you can keep track of your engagements in real-time. Noticing that your followers go wild for links to white papers but when you post Minion memes you get crickets? Focus on what is best for your business and what gets results. Time is money.
- Don’t be needy – be a team player. Self-promotion on Twitter is fine. Constant self-promotion on Twitter or other social media is not. Your followers notice if you’re not engaging with the world around you but only focusing on your own stuff. Retweet, have conversations, and keep the self-promo to 20% or less of your overall content.
- Tweet. A Lot. If you’re not Tweeting at least once daily (but preferably multiple times per day), you might as well not have Twitter at all. The medium is designed to produce a neverending stream of content. As a result, Twitter users view a lot of material each and every single day. Think of each Tweet as a little advertisement for your business. You’re creating a small impression every time your name pops up in the feed. The more you tweet, the better the odds your clients will see your name multiple times per day
(Listings 4-9 are variations of these three, with some question-and-answers).
The final listing on the page? TripAdvisor. The only site on the first page of search results that allows for user reviews is pushed to the bottom of the results page.
A big part of this is the Twitter search carousel. It takes up a massive amount of screen space, roughly the size of two regular search results.
If your business has received negative reviews from disgruntled ex-employees or from customers you didn’t see eye-to-eye with, getting yourself a Tweet search carousel is an awesome way to take back control of your company’s narrative.
The Future of Twitter
Twitter has had a rocky road in monetizing their platform, but things are much better now than they were in 2011, for example.
Twitter’s market penetration has increased from 27% to 34% from 2014 to 2018, and it’s estimated that by 2022, over 35% of the U.S. market will be using Twitter. That’s a lot of active users. Many of them could be your customers.
It’s hard to predict whether any future technological changes will disrupt Twitter’s current market share. If “users and advertisers start abandoning Facebook due to the Cambridge Analytica scam” , we might see a mass emigration to Twitter instead.
But long-term longevity of new platforms is hard to predict. Just ask MySpace.
A Delicate Balance – Four Tips for Upstart Social Media Managers
For many people, social media is a hobby – a tool they use to unwind after work. But this casual approach won’t work when you’re trying to obtain that vaunted Search Carousel. Keep these pointers in mind when building your social empire and you’ll be a maven in no time.
Here Be Dragons - The Dark Side of Social
It isn’t all fun and games though. We bet without straining you can think of a few names of persons or brands who have gained infamy by stepping on the wrong side of public opinion in public.
Social media is generally a low-risk strategy. But if you’re not consulting with the right people on issues of sensitivity, you can tread a fine line between topical and tacky. And that’s not something you want for your business.
Just ask Justine Sacco, the public relations employee whose life was destroyed over a (thoughtless) tweet.
In this instance, she didn’t have a lot of brand equity to displace, but she did lose her job over the duration of a plane ride. Her joke was crass and insensitive, but she arguably did not deserve the punishment she received en masse from the Internet.
Trying to be funny doesn’t always pay off. When you’re tweeting on behalf of a business, you need to think beyond just your own perceptions. You need to think about the way your tweets position your business in a larger cultural landscape.
Are there sensitivities about race, religion, class, gender or sexuality with regards to the topic you’re discussing? Best save it for the drafts folder or have a trusted friend or colleague look it over. The best internet humour transcends these categories, and as a guaranteed bonus, will not risk offending your audience or blowing up into a public relations nightmare.
Let’s look at Arby’s again. When Arby’s social media team do wade into current events, it’s usually about less ‘serious’ subject. You won’t see the Arby’s Twitter account talk about foreign policy, but you will see them interact with celebrities during cultural events.
Obviously, Arby’s has access to a greater cultural status than the average small business owner does. Pharrell isn’t likely to respond to your tweets about pest control. But the principles are the same: keep it light!
Struggling? Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate
So, you’ve been at it for months. You’ve followed every one of these tips and avoided getting your brand into hot water. But no one is biting! It’s not that there isn’t a community for tile flooring on Twitter – there’s a community for everything on Twitter – but you just haven’t found the right people yet.
If you have other things to do than Tweet all day, we can’t say we blame you. But you should hire an experienced marketing company to manage your online presence. LinkNow Media does everything for our clients from logo and website design to social media management. We’re the best in the game at search engine optimization for a reasonable price. And this is just the beginning of the sophisticated tips and tricks we’ve got up our sleeves.
In fact, we have over 9000 clients, and that number grows every single day. With no restrictive contracts, any of those clients are free to leave at any time – but they don’t, because we put in the work that shows when it comes to search rankings.
If you need a helping hand to bring your business into the 21st century, give us a call. We can’t wait to show you how working in tandem with LinkNow Media can get your search results soaring and your phone ringing off the hook.