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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore the latest way Instagram is connecting brands with influencers on the platform and upcoming Instagram Stories features […]
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As a social media consultant, I help entrepreneurs and businesses unlock the power of social media marketing.
With over eight years experience spanning across both B2B and B2C industries, I’m passionate about everything involving social media — especially Twitter.
Twitter is exceptionally exciting to me because it’s a fantastic tool for building a brand and brand influence. It’s easy to find and take part in conversations, stay on top of news (stories usually break on Twitter before anywhere else), find content, connect with people, and actually be social on social media.
Additionally, it’s a fast-paced network, which allows you to continuously drive traffic and share information without the content fatigue you find on other social media networks.
Here, let’s explore the nine strategies I’ve used to help myself, and my clients, build brand influence on the platform.
9 Effective Strategies to Build Brand Influence on Twitter
1. Optimize your profile.
The first thing you can do to start building brand influence on Twitter is to fill in your biography, choose a profile image, and create a header image for your profile.
Building influence begins with the basics of your profile because that’s what your potential followers will look at (aside from your content) to decide if they want to follow you. Your profile will also help you come up in searches, so it’s important to have it be optimized for your success.
Be sure to make your profile more searchable by using keywords in your biography and use the link in your bio to promote specific posts or landing pages.
Twitter gives you one link space and you can always sneak one more link into your bio, so use these to your advantage! When you have a new product, blog post, or landing page to promote, pop your link in your bio with a call-to-action. If you have folks clicking around your profile, this can be a great way to generate a little more traffic.
2. Tweet consistently.
Tweeting and showing up consistently is essential in building a following on Twitter. Ultimately, social media marketing is a commitment. Post consistently to stay in front of your audience’s eyes and keep growth going.
Try starting at three tweets per day and go up from there. There are so many subjects you can tweet about, including quotes or industry statistics, quick tips related to your industry, or new blog posts you’ve published.
Here are a few additional ideas to get you started:
- Ask questions
- Run Twitter Polls (with the built-in Twitter Polls tool)
- Tweet a series of blog posts as a list
- Use GIFS
- Try Live Videos
- Use Twitter Moments to recap an event or compile a few tweets around tips or tools
- Use Twitter Events in the analytics dashboard to know what events are coming up that may be relevant for your brand to tweet about
Remember that not all your tweets need to be original. Include shares from other sources and retweet others, as well. I love using the “Retweet with comment” feature to add my own ideas to a re-tweet.
Lastly, it’s important to note — there are so many ways to tweet with 280 characters. You can create multi-link posts like lists or mini round-ups, have fun with emojis, and much more.
Twitter really lets you get creative with how you tweet.
3. Engage with others.
The most effective way to build a following on Twitter (and on every social network) is to engage with others.
There are many opportunities for engagement on Twitter — for instance, you might consider joining a Twitter chat, looking up and following event hashtags, or keeping an eye out for trending topics related to your brand.
Interact with other’s tweets by liking, retweeting and responding to posts.
4. Pin posts to your profile.
Pinning posts to the top of your profile is an effective strategy for getting more eyes on your content.
You can create a newsletter sign-up, a tweet linking to your new blog post, or any piece of content that could be compelling to your Twitter followers. Pinned tweets remain at the top of your profile until you take them down. Try pinning tweets to your latest download, newsletter, or company website.
5. Participate in Twitter chats.
Participating in Twitter chats is an effective strategy that helps you engage with your target audience and build brand influence on Twitter.
There are Twitter chats for just about everything (and if there isn’t one in your niche, why not try starting one?). Get to know your audience, and figure out which chats they might be hanging out in, then go ahead and participate in the chat.
Don’t sell or push your links using the chat hashtag, however, since that can come across as insincere. Instead, actually take the time to be part of the conversation and focus on adding value.
6. Use Twitter lists.
Twitter lists are used for grouping Twitter users. They are a simple way to “curate your own timelines”, cutting through general timeline chatter. Twitter lists can help you organize the people you follow, and are a great tool to build your Twitter following and social media relationships, as well.
You can create private or public Twitter lists based on whatever topic you want, add people or brands (even ones that you don’t follow), and look at only the tweets from users you have added to your list. You also have the ability to subscribe to other users’ lists, and others can subscribe to yours.
Besides helping you keep you up-to-date with tweets from your favorite accounts, there are many benefits for growing your following, building relationships, and creating more value for your followers.
Here are a few Twitter list methods to build your following:
- Curate lists by topic: Create lists of employees, event attendees, etc. They will get a notification that they’ve been added to your list, which informs them of your brand while making them feel special. You can add someone to your list without actually following them, which is ideal if you’re concerned with your following-to-follower ratio.
- Never miss a tweet: Because Twitter lists only show you the tweets from the members you’ve added to it, it’s easier to find content in your feed that you care about, making it easier to share high-quality and relevant content with your network.
- Create resource lists: Have a favorite brand-related blog, or influencers you admire? Resource lists can help you provide your followers with more value, while also enabling you to capture the attention of influencers if you include them in your list.
- Thank you lists: Yet another way to engage with customers — if someone mentions you, checks into your restaurant or event, or shares your content, you can add them to a list and let them know you appreciate them.
Each Twitter list has a unique link — which gives you some versatility when it comes to sharing the list with others. Again, lists are all about adding value.
7. Use visuals.
Visual content is important on Twitter. Be sure your images are sized correctly and create a signature look and feel for your account. This is great for engagement and attracting eyes to your posts in a cluttered feed.
Additionally, decide how you want your account to come across visually. This means choosing the right colors, specific filters, and giving photos a consistent look.
8. Use relevant hashtags.
Hashtags are such a major part of Twitter — in fact, they were even invented on this network.
Hashtags are used for searching, which means an opportunity to get in front of new eyes. When you choose hashtags for your next post, think about how people are searching for your content topic.
You’ll also want to consider how saturated a hashtag might be — targeting is the name of the game. The Twitter rule of thumb is to use no more than two hashtags per tweet, so using them strategically for growth is essential.
9. Leverage videos and live videos.
Videos have such amazing reach on social media, and the same goes for Twitter. Link your YouTube videos and create shorter videos specifically for Twitter.
I also suggest sharing Twitter videos in the same way you’d share Instagram Stories — go behind the scenes, share different parts of your day, etc.
10. Analyze your account.
My last tip, and one I feel is incredibly critical to your success on Twitter, is staying on top of your Twitter analytics. Keep track of followers, engagement rates, retweets, and more with Twitter’s very own analytics dashboards.
Keeping up with your analytics will help you build your audience by repeating what’s working and getting rid of what isn’t.
Twitter offers deep analytics via analytics.twitter.com. The Twitter analytics home page gives you a nice overall snapshot of your account, including your top tweets, mentions, tweet impressions, and profile visits in one-month increments.
The dashboard also lets you know if activity is up or down for a 28 day period. You can click on “view tweet activity” to dive further into analytics for individual tweets.
Make it a habit to check your analytics on a regular basis to see what days you garnered the most impressions and what you tweeted, so you can repeat the magic.
Ultimately, there is really no “hack” to building influence and growing your followers on Twitter.
Using a combination of the things we covered in this post, you will see growth and increased engagement on your Twitter account. My goal for 2020 is to leverage Twitter Videos more often — so I’ll hopefully be seeing more of you by going live from my Twitter account, as well.
Thank you for reading.
This may be of some interest.
Do you want to build a personal brand? Wondering how to create a viable business around your personal brand? To explore what marketers need to know about building a personal brand, I interview Rory Vaden on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Rory co-founded the Brand Builders Group and is the host of the Influential Personal Brand […]
The post Personal Branding: How to Successfully Build Your Brand appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
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This may be of some interest.
Earlier this year, Salesforce made waves by announcing a policy that compelled retailers to either stop selling military-style rifles and certain accessories, or stop using its popular e-commerce software.
For a massive brand like this to take such an emphatic stand on a divisive social issue would’ve been unthinkable not so long ago. But in today’s world at large, and consequently in the business and marketing environments, it’s becoming more common. This owes to a variety of factors, ranging from generational changes among consumers to a growing need to differentiate.
But, like so many other trends and strategies we see emerging in digital marketing, I think it mostly comes back to one overarching thing: the trust factor.
In this installment of our Trust Factors series, we’ll explore why and how brands and corporations can take a stand on important issues, building trust and rapport with customers and potential buyers in the process.
The Business Case for Bold Stances
Executives from Salesforce might suggest that it made such a bold and provocative move simply because they felt it was the right thing to do. (CEO Marc Benioff, for instance, has been outspoken about gun control and specifically his opposition to the AR-15 rifle.) But of course, one of the 10 largest software companies in the world isn’t making these kinds of decisions without a considerable business case behind them.
Like many other modern companies, Salesforce is taking the lead in a movement that feels inevitable. As millennials come to account for an increasingly large portion of the customer population, corporate social responsibility weighs more and more heavily on marketing strategies everywhere.
A few data points to think about:
- Research last year by FleishmanHillard found that 61% of survey respondents believe it’s important for companies to express their views, whether or not the person agrees with them.
- Per the same study, 66% say they have stopped using the products and services of a company because the company’s response to an issue does not support their personal view.
- The latest global Earned Brand Report from Edelman found that 64% of people are now “belief-driven buyers,” meaning they will choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues.
- MWWPR categorizes 35% of the adult population in the U.S. as “corpsumers,” up by two percentage points from the prior year. The term describes “a brand activist who considers a company’s values, actions and reputation to be just as important as their product or service.”
- Corpsumers say they’re 90% more likely to patronize companies that take a stand on social and public policy matters, and 80% say they’ll even pay more for products from such brands.
What Does It Mean to Take a Stand as a Brand?
Admittedly, the phrase is somewhat ambiguous. So let’s clear something up right now: taking a stand doesn’t necessarily mean your company needs to speak out on touchy political issues.
When Dave Gerhart, Vice President of Marketing for Drift, gave a talk at B2BSMX last month outlining his 10 commandments for modern marketing, taking a stand was among the directives he implored. Gerhart pointed to Salesforce’s gun gambit as one precedent, but also called out a less controversial example: his own company’s crusade against the lead form.
I think this serves as a great case in point. Lead forms aren’t a hot-button societal issue that’s going to rile people up, necessarily, but they’ve been a subject of annoyance on the consumer side for years. Drift’s decision to do away with them completely did entail some risk (to back up their stance, they had to commit to not using this proven, mainstream method for generating actionable leads) but made a big impression within their industry. Now, it’s a rallying cry for their brand.
From my view, these are the trust-building ingredients, which both the Salesforce and Drift examples cover:
- It has to matter to your customers
- It has to be relevant to your industry or niche
- It has to entail some sort of risk or chance-taking on behalf of the brand
Weighing that final item is the main sticking point for companies as they contemplate action on this front.
Mitigating the Risks of Taking a Stand
The potential downside of taking a controversial stand is obvious enough: “What if we piss off a bunch of our customers and our bottom line takes a hit?” Repelling certain customers is inherent to any bold stance, but obviously you’ll want the upside (i.e., affinity and loyalty built with current customers, plus positive attention drawing in new customers) to strongly outdistance the downside (i.e., existing or potential customers defecting because they disagree).
Here are some things to think about on this front.
Know Your Audience and Employees
It’s always vital for marketers to have a deep understanding of the people they serve, and in this case it’s especially key. You’ll want to have a comprehensive grasp of the priorities and attitudes of people in your target audience to ensure that a majority will agree with — or at least tolerate — your positioning. Region, age, and other demographic factors can help you reach corollary conclusions.
For example, our clients at Antea Group are adamant about the dangers of climate change. In certain circumstances this could (sadly) be a provocative and alienating message, but Antea Group serves leaders and companies focusing on sustainability, who widely recognize the reality and urgency of climate change.
Not only that, but Antea Group also employs people who align with this vision, so embracing its importance both externally and internally leads to heightened engagement and award-winning culture.
As another example, retailer Patagonia shook things up in late 2017 when it proclaimed on social media “The President Stole Your Land” after the Trump administration moved to reduce a pair of national monuments. In a way, this is potentially off-putting for the sizable chunk of its customer base that supports Trump, but given that Patagonia serves (and employs) an outdoorsy audience, the sentiment resonated and the company is thriving.
Know Your Industry and Competition
On the surface, Salesforce taking a public stand on gun control seems quite audacious. The Washington Post notes that retailers like Camping World, which figured to be affected by the new policy, are major customers for the platform. What if this drives them elsewhere?
However, peer companies like Amazon and Shopify have their own gun restriction policies in place, so the move from Salesforce isn’t as “out there” as one might think. When you see your industry as a whole moving in a certain direction, it’s beneficial to get out front and position yourself as a leader rather than a follower.
Actions Speak Louder
Empty words are destined to backfire. Taking a stand is meaningless if you can’t back it up. Analysts warn that “goodwashing” is the new form of “greenwashing,” a term that refers to companies talking a big game on eco-friendly initiatives but failing to follow up with meaningful actions.
According to MWWPR’s chief strategy officer Careen Winters (via AdWeek): “Companies that attempt to take a stand on issues but don’t really put their money where their mouth is, or what they are doing is not aligned with their track record and core values, will find themselves in a position where the corpsumers don’t believe them. Fifty-nine percent of corpsumers say they are skeptical about a brand’s motives for taking a stand on policy issues.”
Be Transparent and Authentic
One interesting aspect of the aforementioned FleishmanHillard study: 66% of respondents say they’ve stopped using the products and services of a company because the company’s response to an issue did not support their personal views; however another 43% say that if company explains WHY they have taken a position on an issue, the customer is extremely likely to keep supporting them.
In other words, transparency is essential. If you fully explain the “why” behind a particular brand stance, you can score trust-building benefits with both those who do and do not agree.
Where We Stand at TopRank
At TopRank Marketing, we have a few stances that we openly advocate.
One is gender equality; our CEO Lee Odden noticed many “top marketers” lists and editorial collaborations were crowded with men, so he (and we) have made it a point to highlight many of the women leading the way in our industry, both through our content projects and Lee’s annual Women Who Rock Digital Marketing lists (10 years running!).
Another is our commitment to serving a deeper purpose as a business. Of course we want to help our clients reach their business goals, but we also love working with virtuous brands that are improving the communities around them. We strive to also do so ourselves through frequent volunteering, donations to causes, and charitable team outings. These include packing food for the hungry, renovating yards for the homeless, and our upcoming Walk for Alzheimer’s participation.
The Worst Stand You Can Take is Standing Still
Trust in marketing is growing more vital each day. It’s not enough to offer a great product or excellent customer service. Increasingly, customers want to do business with companies they like, trust, and align with. Those brands that sit on the sidelines regarding important issues are coming under greater scrutiny. Meanwhile, those with the guile to take bold but strategically sound stands are being rewarded.
To learn more about navigating these waters without diminishing trust or eroding your brand’s credibility, take a look at our post on avoiding trust fractures through authenticity, purpose-driven decision-making, and a big-picture mindset. Or check out these other entries in our “Trust Factors” series:
- The B2B Marketing Funnel is Dead: Say Hello to the Trust Funnel
- Trust Factors: The (In)Credible Impact of B2B Influencer Marketing
- Trust Factors: How Best Answer Content Fuels Brand Credibility
- Tip of the Iceberg: A Story of Trust in Marketing as Told by Statistics
- Be Like Honest Abe: How Content Marketers Can Build Trust Through Storytelling
The post Trust Factors: Why Your Brand Should Take a Stand with Its Marketing Strategy appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.
Thank you for reading.