Businesses of all sizes have been slow in realizing the potential of social media marketing. And those who do, fail to understand the reason and benefits of marketing on Twitter. The thing about Twitter is that it is not the average social media site where people sign-up to hang out with friends. Twitter is also about information.
You may not realize this, but many people turn to Twitter for information, so there can be no better place on social media for getting your brand message across. In fact, many potential customers may already be searching Twitter to find you. Do you have something for them?
There are as many as 2 billion searches on Twitter every day, and around 645,750,000 active users. Fortune 500 companies and small businesses have accounts on Twitter to interact with their target audience. Along with this marketing potential, Twitter has introduced many features over the years that can be used by online marketers to boost their brand image.
Marketing in 140 characters?
This is the character limit of a tweet; 140 characters has, in essence, become a term of its own and it was a challenge for marketers to get their point across in the shortest amount of words. In all fairness, they managed to do just that, using relevant keywords, Hashtags, links, and tweeting at the best time as revealed by research. However, now you have more enhanced features that will not only help you cross this character limit but also enable you to incorporate various media elements as well.
Best Twitter Marketing Features:
Twitter cards allow you to attach media expressions to Tweets that direct readers to your content. All you need to do is add a few lines of HTML to your website. As a result, every time someone Tweets a link to your content, a card will be added to it that can be viewed by user’s followers. So even if you post a link to your Flickr photo in a Tweet, a card will be created. You can choose between a Summary Card, Photo Card, Gallery Card, App Card, Player Card, and Product Card. Be it price, benefits, or description, everything you need to post about your content can be done using a Twitter card. You can also promote your products using the gallery view and 2 “customizable fields” where further information about the product can be added. Recently, the social network made one more step toward enhanced promoted tweet campaigns by introducing conversion tracking and tailored audiences options.
In the example above, you can see how East India Tea Company successfully promotes a new post on its blog with the help of Twitter cards. Though the message occupies more space, it also gets more engagement, as it is reflected on number of retweets and favorites.
A custom timeline is much like a Twitter list, but here you can choose which Tweets to include in the list. These timelines can be embedded into websites as well. There is a title on top, followed by a 160-character description. New tweets that are added appear at the top of the list. Note that you can only use custom timelines with the TweetDeck app. Once you download the app, you can use timelines to promote your business in several ways. For example, you can have a list of the oldest to the newest products, so that potential customers will be aware of your latest offerings. Secondly, if you use hashtags with your products, you can make a timeline of the best tweets from your customers. The same goes for customer reviews, testimonials, and answers to FAQs. The information will not only be streamlined, but the presentation will be user-friendly as well.
Many users are already aware of this feature where one can download all tweets since day 1 and turn them into an archive. You can use this feature to observe your earlier tweets as well as to see if any improvements need to be made or if some successful formula was used before that you may have forgotten about.
See below how the archive of your tweets will look like if you request it via the Setting tab of your Twitter account.
As mentioned at the outset, Twitter is all about sharing information, and nothing exemplifies this more than the Trending Topics feature. This feature has been constantly updated, and now there are hundreds of cities around the world on the list to help you discover at a glance what’s trending across the globe. You can also receive more specific trends after you select the country or city you are interested in. If you are also using the Twitter features discussed so far, then you have access to comprehensive market research about almost any target audience in the world.
You do not have to be a social media marketing expert to realize the compelling and engaging benefits that photo sharing offers. To further augment visual content shared on the website, Twitter teamed up with Aviary to provide iPhone and Android users with special filters and effects. These range from black & white to vintage, which means there are multiple options to choose from. Hence, you can always find filters and effects that help you tweak your pictures in line with your brand image.
As you can see, the feature looks pretty much like the one on Instagram, so the process of enhancing the photos is going to easy and enjoyable.
Negative Keyword Targeting
Keywords, when used properly, can do wonders for your business’s online visibility. When misused, they can repulse both your customers and search engines. So your aim should be to appear in relevant search results instead of spamming users with hashtags that they were not looking for. This is where the Negative Keyword Targeting for Promoted Tweets comes into play. This feature ensures that the search terms you use do not appear in tweets and conversations not related directly to the product itself. For instance, if your product name is PurePassion, you can ensure that the product doesn’t turn up in search results for either ‘pure’ or ‘passion’ keywords.
Note that there is a bulk importing tool on Twitter as well, where you can highlight words that you want to match with your keywords. This tool provides you with three different matching options when entering keywords, which are exact match, phrase match, and basic keyword match.
These are some of the best features on Twitter that empower marketers to create a unique selling point on social media. Use a combination of these tools, and engage with the huge audience of Twitter users.
In our last blog post, we discussed optimization strategies for your video content. By providing visitors with compelling titles, descriptions, and tags, you are providing YouTube’s search engines with the triggers to support your optimization efforts. Like the content triggers discussed earlier, there are several engagement factors that are influential in getting your videos to the top of YouTube.
Much attention has been paid to Google’s ranking factors and algorithm and how they impact your positioning on Google. By becoming aware of YouTube’s ranking factors, you could improve your video’s rankings on both YouTube and Google. Here are some critical engagement factors that influence your video’s YouTube ranking:
1. Trust and authority of your YouTube channel
YouTube prefers video producers that routinely produce quality video content. Thus, it looks not only at engagement of individual videos but also at engagement of your video channel overall. Factors such as number of subscribers, number of channel views, and the overall age of your video channel are important in ensuring consistently high ranking videos.
2. Engagement of your videos
While the overall number of views is surely an important factor in a high-ranking video, it is more important for your video to be interesting to those who choose to view it. How long do your videos keep your viewer’s attention? Generally speaking, videos that capture 40% of the viewer’s attention (i.e., over two minutes of a five minute video) will help your video rank higher. YouTube looks at two audience factors – absolute (what percentage of your video is watched) and relative (how does this compare to other videos of similar length?).
3. Social signals
As with traditional SEO, social media links appear to be an increasingly important factor in the overall strength of your content. Factors that indicate video social sharing include embeds, external links, and the strength of the sites the video is being shared on. Particularly strong social sharing sites include Digg, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ so be sure to prompt sharing to these and other sites when posting your video.
4. Comments, responses, and reactions
YouTube wants to gauge how much dialogue your video generates. The numbers of comments, likes, and responses are important factors in determining your video’s ranking. Note: video responses in particular are hugely important. After all, YouTube is a video sharing site. If your video is responsible for creating additional video content for YouTube, you’ve hit an SEO home run.
Likes and shares are also factors that determine level of interest in your video. YouTube gives significant weight to the number of shares.
YouTube has determined that engagement is a better measurement of quality and satisfaction than simple views. As Google has given greater importance to Quality Score, YouTube has given greater importance to engagement. In both, the common threads are quality and relevance. If you create quality and relevant content for your readers and viewers, you stand a much better chance of getting to the top of every search engine.
Congratulations – you won the business. You worked hard to earn your clients by conveying your expertise and proving to them that the work you do will help them solve their problems and deliver a positive return on investment. Now, how you manage the relationship will go a long way toward ensuring you retain your client long after the initial project is completed.
Regardless of whether you are working on an initial SEO audit, or a robust social media engagement campaign, you must manage client expectations and communicate effectively with your client. You have a responsibility to your client to develop a plan that ensures there are no surprises that will prevent you from retaining the client moving forward.
Some steps to follow:
1. Build a team. Your team of experts should all be accessible and available to answer any questions as you collaborate on solutions. Each team member’s role must be effectively communicated to the client so the client knows who to go to when questions arise. You must effectively demonstrate how each team member contributes to the overall goal of efficiently solving the client’s problems. These roles include, but are not limited to:
a. Account Manager
b. Technical SEO Analyst
c. Content Curator
d. Link Building/Relationship Manager
2. Define your process. Define your process and effectively communicate to the client that deviating from this process will hinder your chances for success. Your process, which includes your firm’s unique value proposition, is your differentiator, and is likely the reason why your firm was selected in the first place. This is an important step as it enables you to retain control over the engagement and the dialogue. As you establish the rules of engagement, remember, your number one objective is to solve a problem that the client could not solve on his own. This is your opportunity to reaffirm to the client that you are not only valuable, but invaluable.
3. Diagnose the problem. Many firms like to pitch solutions before they have accurately and effectively diagnosed a problem. It is up to you, as the expert, to evaluate and assess before you prescribe a solution. As part of this diagnosis, once again reaffirm your unique value proposition. Reaffirming helps those clients who may be suffering from “buyer’s remorse,” or who may otherwise have doubts about your ability to help. This reaffirmation will go a long way toward creating an ongoing partnership with the client, and will help you retain the client moving forward.
4. Propose a solution. After you have diagnosed your client’s issues, your proposed solution should include goals and KPIs that reasonably establish your client’s expectations. Make sure to educate your client on the KPIs so that there is 100% buy-in on the goals. Setting proper expectations is vital to having both short-and long-term client satisfaction.
5. Apply your solution. As you apply your solution, the tactical work necessary to reach your goals, you must not make excuses if roadblocks prevent you from following your process. If part of your proposed solution includes having them update blog content, the client must have the resources and wherewithal to make the necessary update. If they cannot, this should have been identified during the diagnosis and proposed solution phases. It is important that both agency and client collaborate effectively in order for your projects to be completed according to the expectations set forth earlier.
6. Measure and reassess regularly. An important step in the project management process is analyzing and reporting on results. When you measure, make sure to report on progress made on the KPIs toward goals agreed upon earlier in the process. Communication is key, regardless of the success of the engagement. An important factor to preserving the trust of the client is to proactively take corrective action in the event that progress hasn’t been made toward achieving your goals. If you have followed your process, agreed to earlier in your engagement, and if you set proper expectations based on your past experience, the client will not be surprised by slow, yet steady progress.
If you effectively manage the relationship from pitch to close, you’ll be retaining more and more clients. You’ll spend more time improving your clients’ business, and less time proving your worth during another pitch.
SEMPO’s State of Search Report has been an industry stalwart for eight years running providing valuable data and insights regarding search strategy and tactics. In order to gain as much participation as possible and thereby provide more actionable data, we are extending our 9th Annual Survey period through November 23.
For those who have not yet taken the survey, we’re excited to announce some new features/topics that have been added while we have retained some of the aspects that have provided unique perspective over the years. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve kept and what’s new:
- We’ve kept the core strategic questions around channel specific budget increases/decreases, objectives, and metrics so we can compare/contrast with the results from previous studies. That’s one of the advantages of having established benchmarks over the years.
- We’ve also kept the key survey structure that has similar but separate tracks of questions for advertisers and for agencies. This is a unique feature of the SEMPO Survey that has consistently generated interesting take-aways and discussion when we analyze and report the survey results.
- We added Social Media to the survey several years ago as it was becoming clear that social activity was being incorporated into search engine ranking algorithms. This year we’ve added Mobile and Email Marketing questions to further gauge the expanding integration and evolving role of search with other digital content marketing channels.
- And we’ve added questions around some of the major developments recently announced (Hummingbird, keywords not provided, etc.) along with our now standard questions to help identify and prioritize other emerging trends and industry challenges.
The 2013 State of Search survey is open to SEMPO members and non-SEMPO members alike and it’s time for your voices to be heard. Please take the 10 minutes or so to participate by clicking here. By participating in the survey, you will receive a complimentary copy of the report as well as a chance to win an iPad 3. Please also help us spread the word. The more participation we get, the better the data is for all of us.
A key finding from SEMPO’s 2012 State of Search Report was that advertisers and agencies had a very different perspective on the need to integrate search and social media activities.
With hundreds of thousands of new accounts created each day, Twitter is arguably one of the most powerful tools for increasing brand awareness. As the second-largest social network, it reaches millions of people every second with 400 million tweets a day.
To increase brand awareness and promote your brand on this platform, consider these simple approaches to monitoring and managing your account:`
1. Stay In Touch With Hashtags
Have you ever considered the impact of a hashtag on your company’s brand buzz? In a survey conducted by RadiumOne, an online advertising firm, 71% of the respondents used hashtags on a regular basis and 34% of them used hashtags to search for and follow brands they are interested in. With the help of hashtags, Twitter allows companies to easily track how active they are in the Twitter community. Be sure to consistently monitor Twitter for mentions of your company. Hashtags have become so popular that American Express announced a new program, Amex Sync, that will allow cardholders make purchased by using hashstags.
2. Reach Out And Engage – Being mentioned is one thing, but responding to those who are talking about your brand is another. Research indicates 56% of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. This is a missed opportunity. It is important to ask questions, answers questions, and acknowledge tweets regarding your company. By building a presence on Twitter, your customers will make a personal connection with your brand; this will lend to your business’s credibility and trustworthiness. One company that has mastered customer service on Twitter is JetBlue. We all know how frustrating flight delays and cancellations can be, so JetBlue acknowledged this and made it a priority not only engage with happy customers but to respond to and help frustrated customers as quickly as possible.
3. Quality Over Quantity – Use Twitter to give instant updates and insights regarding your brand, but be sure not to flood your followers with the same tedious messages. It is important to mix things up. There must be a real etiquette to your approach. Take a look at Nike for example. Nike engages its followers with interesting tweets and retweets. It pulls in its audience with messages directly related to its product but also counter-balances with tweets unrelated with its sales efforts. Nike also does a great job of showcasing future products and retweets their followers’ opinions on them. The company also has individual accounts for its subsidiary brands, including golf, running, football, and basketball. This is used to keep the messages tailored to each individual audience.
4. Incorporate Twitter into Promotions – Just like with Facebook, you can run promotions on Twitter and increase awareness using Promoted Trends and Promoted Tweets. For example, Ciroc Ultra-Premium wanted to engaged Twitter users over the age of 21 to build its brand awareness and did so by creating a New Year’s Eve campaign that combined Twitter’s age screening technology with a Promoted Trend and Promoted Tweets to connect with their targeted audience. By incorporating the hashtag #CirocTheNewYear, the company launched the campaign that had the highest Promoted Trend engagement in 2012 by an alcohol brand and a 369% increase in positive brand mentions. Promoted Trends and Tweets are a great way to increase brand awareness because they will be placed where your audience can easily see them and can be targeted by keywords, interest, gender, and location.
5. Promote a Twitter Chat – Twitter chats are an excellent way to establish your company as an influencer on a given industry. They allow you to establish rapport with your audience and offer you valuable opinions. TipIt, an app that organizes your travel plans in one place, holds a monthly chat on Twitter where it discusses new topics and gives away prizes to participants. Creating a Twitter chat isn’t hard. You simply decide on a relevant Twitter hashtag and tweet about the topic at a set time and date. The key is to encourage other people to join the conversation and allow them to offer input. Post the Twitter chat on each of your social platforms and your website. You can find daily Twitter chats on different topics by visiting TweetReports.com.
What other ways have you used Twitter to promote your client or business? Tell us about your successes in the comments below.