Optimizing Twitter for Social Content Distribution
Marketing Social Media

Optimizing Twitter for Social Content Distribution

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Nearly all the world’s top brands use Twitter as part of a social content distribution plan. And, according to a study from Simply Measured, those 140-character tweets are paying off.

Simply Measured found that the top 100 brands posted nearly 137,000 tweets in the third quarter of 2014, a jump of 22 percent from one year ago. About eight in 10 browsed the social media network on mobile.

As brands get savvier with Twitter, they appear to be standardizing their approaches to content. Nearly half of brands (49 percent) tweet an average of one to five times per day, up from 45 percent a year ago. Brands are also shifting how they tweet: In the third quarter of 2014, @replies accounted for 70 percent of brand tweets, up from 61 percent a year ago. Daily tweet frequency of interbrand 100

That adjustment shows brands are more aware of how to interact with individual users and avoid oversaturation. “Brands recognize what’s working and have adjusted tactics accordingly,” the report states (see screenshot at right).

Users are also eager to engage with branded Twitter content, the study found. Engagement with top brands’ tweets jumped 83 percent from one year ago. Retweets of branded content is up 89 percent, even while the number of brand followers increased by just 27 percent. Favorites are now a key part of interaction with a brand, accounting for 59 percent of engagement.

The study also noted several factors that drive engagement:

  • Native photos and videos that automatically embed in tweets accounted for the lion’s share of content posted by brands and garnered some of the highest engagement.
  • Among the top 100 brands, tweets with hashtags averaged 243 retweets—47 more than tweets without a hashtag.
  • Photos are the most common branded tweets, sparking the highest amount of engagement.

Simply Measured’s report suggests brands have a golden opportunity to engage with Twitter users who are eager to consume branded content. But not everyone is bullish on Twitter’s effectiveness. It can be challenging for brands to create content that cuts through the tweeting noise. On its own, Twitter may not be enough to move the needle on consumer purchasing, writes Tom Doctoroff in Fortune.

“Too many businesses lunge toward the latest app or social media stunt without considering their identity as a brand, and how their media strategy works,” he says.

According to Doctoroff, Twitter does its best work as a complementary player to more “traditional media” like television ads: Consumer brand preference is shaped by traditional media, but social content distribution on Twitter and other digital media plays an important role in influencing brand loyalty.

No matter the traditional/digital split, effective brand content projects a consistent idea that fosters a long-term relationship with consumers. A content marketing strategy can help brands develop their voices across a variety of channels.

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