Identifying overlooked features on Twitter.
Marketing Social Media

Is Your Twitter Marketing Strategy Stuck in 2015? Here Are 5 Features You Might Be Missing

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In spite of its unique format and linguistic innovations, Twitter isn’t that hard to figure out. Once you have a basic understanding of the platform, using it becomes fairly intuitive.

That’s important, because accessibility is critical to any social platform. Make it too hard, and users won’t give it a chance. And if using Twitter is so simple, Twitter marketing should be a breeze, right?

Wrong.

Unfortunately, effectively marketing on Twitter isn’t as easy as you’d think. The platform is designed to be straightforward and easy for the average user, but it’s littered with wrinkles and hidden tricks—including new features rolling out on the regular—that are advantageous for savvy social media marketers.

Don’t get me wrong: anyone can get on Twitter and start using it to market their company or brand. But if you want to maximize your results, you need to understand the subtle tips and tricks brands use to squeeze the value out of each individual Tweet.

It’s a more time-consuming process, but it promises a much better ROI in the end. Here are five underutilized Twitter features that you need to start using today.

1. Optimize Around Images

Most people would rightly assume that adding a photo to a Tweet increases its engagement rate almost every time. Fewer people may know that Twitter recently excluded images from its 140-character limit, meaning these photos no longer take away from the text-based message you’re pairing with it. Tweet

But you should also know that Twitter offers a tagging option for images that gives you great flexibility in reaching a larger audience, connecting with influencers, and increasing engagement. Twitter will let you tag up to 10 different user accounts in the image, and without taking a single character away from your message.

From there, simply tag accounts that are relevant to your Tweet and/or likely to share. They don’t have to be explicitly featured in the image: Consider individuals or brands mentioned in the Tweet, or in an article linked to through the Tweet, as well as anyone highly relevant to its content. They’ll be notified of the Tweet when it’s published, raising the ceiling for exposure.

2. Retweet That Retweet

You’re familiar with Retweeting—it doesn’t get any more basic than that. But a high-performing Retweet doesn’t start and end as a one-off action.

There’s a strategic move you can use here—Retweet something you’ve already Retweeted. It’s easy: A few hours after you’ve Retweeted something that received strong engagement, undo that action and remove it from your feed. Then, Retweet it again: it will reappear at the top of everyone’s news feed, giving it a fresh shot at another round of engagements.

This can be a particularly great tool when you’re doing cross-promotion, working with influencers, or simply enlisting employees to advocate for your brand. Teach them this trick and you can increase impressions and engagements without almost no added time investment.

3. Pin Your Tweet

It might seem like a small marketing trick, but pinned Tweets should not be dismissed.

Pinned Tweets should not be dismissed.
This is the Twitter equivalent of putting your best foot forward: When users come to your profile page, it makes sense to present them with the most dynamic, engaging content possible. A pinned Tweet will appear first in your own personal feed, even if it is weeks or months old.

Pin

Sometimes, that means pinning a funny Tweet that showcases your brand’s unique voice. Other times, you’ll want a Tweet that promotes a current campaign and/or refers them to a page on your website. Whatever you choose, it needs to be a Tweet that has already generated strong engagement organically. Otherwise, you’re wasting the opportunity provided by this space.

4. Build a Tweet Thread

When you have related content in your Twitter feed—such as Tweets promoting a series of content, or Tweets related to a specific campaign—you can extend the life and impression potential of these Tweets by connecting them in a Tweet thread. This threading is done by composing a Tweet as a reply to a past Tweet, and doesn’t require you to include your own Twitter handle in the reply to link it to the original Tweet.

So assume, for example, that you published a Tweet three hours ago—Tweet A—that you wanted to use as the start of a thread of Tweets related to the same content series. When you compose Tweet B, you would do so by finding Tweet A in your Twitter feed, then deleting your Twitter handle, which auto-appears at the start of the next Tweet. Then write Tweet B and publish, and voila! You’ve created a thread that users can click on to see all related Tweets.

You can continue doing this as much as you would like, and the threading of these Tweets will create new impression potential each time you add to the thread. It’s an easy way to get related content more views without adding any extra work for your social marketers. And on Twitter, where a Tweet’s value diminishes greatly after the first few minutes, those extra impressions make a big difference.

5. Create Twitter-Specific Video

Twitter is working hard to build itself as a video platform, and marketers would be wise to start creating this content now. Aside from the high engagement rates video generates, this content form also lets you completely circumvent the character restraints that limit the length of your Tweets. Even a video of a few seconds can relay more information, and do so in a more dynamic way.

And as Social Media Today pointed out, these videos can also take a more personal approach, responding to individual users or providing interesting behind-the-scenes glimpses that humanize a brand and deliver a rewarding experience. Play around with these video options now, both in terms of live-streaming options and video uploads.

Effective social media marketing takes time to master and execute correctly, but some of the savviest marketing tricks manage to increase ROI without further sapping your resources. Take advantage of these expert insights and you can improve your Twitter marketing overnight.

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Jonathan has worked as a journalist for the past 8 years. His journalism credits include employment at the Omaha World-Herald, Willamette Week, and NFL.com, with projects appearing in New York Newsday, WRITERS' Journal, and others. Other writing has regularly appeared on LiveSTRONG.com, Reputation.com and FindLaw.com, among others. He is the recipient of a First Place award in Sports Feature from the Society of Professional Journalists Northwest Region. He lives in Portland, Oregon and works as a marketing writer and a freelance editor.

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