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Ten Top Tips for Twitter

Gone are the days of questioning whether your business should be on Twitter or not, as the platform has fast become many places’ go to channel for communicating with their audience.

However, being set up on Twitter and knowing what to do are completely different things.

There is no obvious science to “doing Twitter” and what works for some might not work for others, but what I’ve tried to do below is highlight some of the techniques and ideas that work best for us. Hopefully this might give you some inspiration of different ways in which you can approach your Twitter content. I’ve tried to bring a different example to each point to showcase what I mean.

Join the conversation

I remember being sent on a social media workshop course in my old job back in 2010 and one of the first things the trainer said was “you wouldn’t walk up to someone you’d never met before and instantly start selling to them” and it’s 100% true, you wouldn’t. The same principle applies on Twitter. It’s called social media, it’s about being social and having a conversation – not just trying to sell your products and services.

Follow people you know, follow people you have similar interests to, follow accounts that post content that interests or amuses you. Once you’ve done that, engage with these accounts. If they send something you love, let them know. If they ask a question and you know the answer, help them out. The magic of Twitter isn’t always in the original post. It’s in the reply to it. And then the reply to that. It’s the debate and banter that differentiates Twitter from every other platform.

Below is an example of how the team at Screen Yorkshire joined the #YorkshireDaysIn conversation and brought their expertise and knowledge of Yorkshire TV shows and films to the party.

Develop a tone or personality

You have a chance to completely separate yourself from your competitors by developing a unique and inimitable tone. Give your account a personality.

That doesn’t mean you have to joke around all the time, but if you enjoy a good laugh then show that through your content. If you want to be a thought leader, then impart your expertise and knowledge or share articles that you think might be useful or helpful for your followers.

Life is so serious sometimes and social media can be the light at the end of the tunnel for some people.

See the brilliant content that our friends at Leeds Museums and & Galleries put out to bring a little bit of humour to peoples’ day below.

It’s light-hearted, engaging and approachable, but most importantly it gives them a bit of personality!

Keep with the trend

Stuck for things to say? Don’t worry about that as there are always Twitter trends to help you get the ball rolling.

Whether it’s things like #MondayMotivation or #Caturday for the cat lovers, there’s always different things trending which you can intrinsically link to your business. We’re currently using #YorkshireDaysIn and #YorkshireTogether during this COVID-19 pandemic to share ideas of things that people can do at home in Yorkshire and to showcase ways in which Yorkshire is working together during these times of crisis.

Here’s Newby Hall using #YorkshireTogether to share a fun little video from back in the day on their social feed:

Develop a campaign or theme

This might sound complex, but it isn’t really and can actually be really simple.

Your campaign could be based around your history or your staff. It could be based around your surrounding area and the businesses that you work in partnership with. It could be image based or it could link to articles that you might have developed on your website or blog.

You can aggregate all this conversation together using a simple hashtag that relates to your business, so that your followers can click on this hashtag and see other pieces of content that you have created around this.

A cool example of this would be #flashficfri that Grimm & Co have been running recently where they encourage their followers to write super short stories (no more than 60 words!) and then share them on social media using the #flashficfri. A really engaging and fun way to get consumers engaged with your hashtag.

Be visual

People are not allowed to venture much further than their house currently due to the necessary lockdown measures put in place by the government. Therefore, bring a slice of what makes your business unique to your follower’s door. If you’re in the heart of beautiful countryside, showcase it. If you’ve got some amazing photography of your product, share it.

Not only does it make for nice content, but it also helps to make your posts stand out in peoples’ timelines as they flick through the day’s news. If you give it a good go and you can’t capture something perfectly, then consider investing some money with a local photographer to help you out – it will not be money wasted and you might find you can use these professional images for years to come.

A great example of someone who use photography brilliantly on Twitter is Amanda Owen, the Yorkshire Shepherdess. Amanda continues to keep her followers up to date with her surroundings through a variety of beautiful & eye-catching images and short films.  

Lights, Camera, Action!

On the subject of films, if you’re feeling brave why not create some nice videos from your business too… We’ve written a more detailed article on this subject which can be read here but the key thing is that there is no longer a need for loads of fancy equipment or technology, you can do it all on a smartphone. It is a brilliant way to bring your business to life and show character.

Here’s Wensleydale Creamery bringing a little bit of the local scenery to your newsfeeds with a simple smartphone video:

It doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to be super polished, it’s just another way in which you can showcase what you have to offer.

GIFS and Memes

When all else fails, just use a GIF or a meme and the world will be alright again.

Search for a GIF using the GIF library and you’ll soon find the perfect one for any occasion. Why GIFs work is that their movement makes them eye catching, they’re easy to find and they can be VERY amusing which makes them instantly shareable. Twitter statistics show that posts with GIFs on get a whopping 167% more clicks than tweets with static images on.

Whereas the right meme posted at the perfect time can surprise and delight your followers, drive engagement, and broaden your overall brand appeal.

Both options are useful additions to your overall content strategy and an example of a business that use these tools well would be The Deep, who make sure their fish-tastic puns are put to good use in GIF form – especially when welcoming new followers!

Don’t go overboard

I’m a firm believer in less is more when it comes to Twitter. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when you have lots of interesting and exciting content to share and that is completely ok, however, make sure you don’t go overboard. Put yourself in your follower’s position before you post and question whether it adds value to continue sending posts after you have already put a few out or if it could be borderline annoying.

You’ve spent all this hard work growing your audience and engagement that it would be a shame to lose them due to oversharing. We touch on monitoring your Twitter statistics in the next bullet point but it might be worth noting that if you increase your tweet frequency and notice your engagement starts to drop, it could be a sign that you’re annoying your followers and could maybe pare it back a bit.

We won't put any examples in here - but I bet you can all think of a couple of places! We'll just leave you with the old fail whale.

Monitor what works

Onto the boring bit… Well, I say boring. As a certified stats nerd I love this part.

Try to set some time aside to monitor what is working for you from your Twitter account. There are many different apps and programmes out there that can help you do this, but perhaps the easiest place to start is with Twitter’s very own analytics website. This homepage gives you a nice “top line” overview of how your posts are performing so you can see if things are trending in the right direction. If you’ve got lots of green up arrows, that’s a great starting point!

Click on “Tweets” at the top and this will give you a more detailed breakdown of all your posts too. You can define the dates that you’re looking at so can analyse on a month by month or week by week basis to see what is performing well.

What does good look like? For me, it’s all about engagement. Using the statistics provided, work out what sort of content generates you the most engagement and then try and develop more content like this as it is clearly what your audience likes to see.

Using our own example below, we can see that our Twitter for March peaked on 27th March, so we can go back, see what posts were sent that day and devise a plan around similar content to that for the future.  

Have fun

It might sound condescending, but it really isn’t meant to.

Twitter should be something that you enjoy doing and that adds value to your business. It’s a way of connecting with your customers; past, present and future as well as talking with likeminded businesses and individuals within your sector.

Stay positive with your content, post regularly and ALWAYS be kind. Remember to treat others the way that you would like to be treated yourself.

We recently ran a #WorldCupofYorkshire Iconic Buildings competition and York Minster and Fountains Abbey bought right into the spirit of things with humorous and engaging content back and forth throughout the competition – this was picked up by lots of people and they both gained themselves new fans off the back of it.

It pays to have fun.

This article was written by Welcome to Yorkshire’s Digital Marketing Manager, Tom Ashurst. If you want to ask him any questions, then drop him a tweet on @tom_ashurst or @welcome2yorks.

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