As the title suggest, this article is all about utilizing Twitter for your business in 2017. Whether you have a Twitter account and don’t really use it, or if your are just getting started on Twitter this Social Sprout discussion will help get you started on the right foot. The fact is like any social network Twitter is constantly evolving and with it how people use and engage with the platform as well. That being said, what worked for businesses on Twitter a couple years ago may not work today which is why reading this article can help your 2017 Twitter campaigns dramatically.
Does Twitter still work for small businesses? How can you get your Tweets seen? Should you invest time into it? These are some of the most common questions we’ve seen about Twitter for small business in 2016. The common theme is businesses are struggling to make Twitter work as effectively as it used to.
As Twitter grew and more brands jumped on board, competition became more fierce. The upside is it gives you a larger audience to reach. The downside is Twitter feeds fill up faster than the gym in January, so it’s harder to get your Tweets seen. But don’t worry, Twitter is far from dead.
Unfortunately a lot of the old advice you’ve read before like “Tweet great content” or “fill out your Twitter profile” isn’t enough anymore. If you want to be successful with Twitter for small business in 2017 and beyond, you can’t treat it like it’s still 2012.
Follow these tips to get more from Twitter:
Scale the Unscalable
The reason people don’t engage with your content isn’t always because they don’t like what you’re Tweeting. It could just be they didn’t see it. Luckily this is an easy fix.
One of the original draws of Twitter was the ability to reach the masses with a single Tweet. Now that a majority of your followers no longer see your Tweets, you don’t have that same luxury. Even top brands and celebrities with millions of followers aren’t seeing the level of engagement they did five years ago. Here’s how to combat it.
Instead of looking at Twitter as a bullhorn, think of it more like a phone. While you have the ability to communicate with all your contacts at once, you can also have individual conversations as well.
Use Twitter to reach out to people directly, rather than only as a platform to broadcast your message to everyone.
The reason most brands don’t take this approach is because they think it’s difficult to scale. On the surface, it seems that way. But the reality is for many brands it’s a lot more effective than sending a regular Tweet that gets completely overlooked.
At its core, Twitter has always been a network for conversation. But over time, marketers lost that connection and began using it as a mass messaging channel. Take it back to the essence and focus on creating personalized experiences and engage in conversations with your followers.
Use tools like Sprout to manage and facilitate these conversations. Sprout even allows you to track your conversation history to create context around your relationships with any followers you’ve communicated with in the past.
Work With Twitter’s Algorithm
When Twitter switched the way it displays the feed from reverse chronological order to showing users the Tweets they’re more likely to care about, some marketers were upset. However, the shift was actually a gift in disguise.
Twitter’s algorithm essentially rewards brands that share content their audience actually want to see and get engagement. If followers are consistently engaging with your Tweets, you’re more likely to show up in their feed when they first open the app.
And guess what? When you focus on creating the one-to-one conversations we mentioned in the first tip, you’ll have a much easier time getting Twitter engagement.
As your followers start to engage with your Tweets more often, Twitter will pick up on the pattern and be more likely to prioritize your Tweets for those users.
Use Twitter Video
Vine might be gone, but Twitter’s native video system is alive and well. Social media video marketing has been a highlight of 2016 and you can expect it to continue to explode in 2017. In addition to Snapchat, Instagram Video and YouTube, don’t underestimate the power of Twitter Video.
Twitter users love video. A whopping 82% of Twitter users watch video on the app.
What’s even more interesting is unlike YouTube where people use it more as a search engine, Twitter users rely on Twitter for video discovery. So even if you don’t have a ton of followers or notoriety, your videos still have a chance of being seen on Twitter.
Best of all, native videos on Twitter receive more engagement than third-party video players.
So what type of videos work best?
Twitter Videos have a maximum length of 140 seconds, which is more than enough time to capture the attention of your viewers. One of the best uses of Twitter Video we’ve seen involves one-to-one conversations again. Noticing a trend? Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk uses Twitter Video to record short responses to follower that Mention him or ask questions.
Or you can go the route of Trulia and use Twitter Video to promote other pieces of content.
Video can be one of the most effective ways to be successful with Twitter for small businesses. If you’ve never given it a try, hopefully this will give you the push you need to take action.
Stop This Habit
A common bad habit small businesses on Twitter have is to Tweet a link to their latest blog post once and never again. As we mentioned, Tweets don’t have the same organic reach as they used to. So it pays to Tweet your content multiple times throughout the week or month to get more eyes on it.
You can use Sprout to schedule your Tweets ahead of time.
Make sure you test different headlines and copy for your Tweets. It stops your feed from looking stale and repetitive, plus gives you the ability to see what works best with your audience.
This post The Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Small Business in 2017 originally appeared on Sprout Social.