Twitter’s Growth Strategy and Why You Need to Pay Attention

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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It wasn’t that long ago that the term “tweet” was known primarily as the chirping sound that you might hear from a bird.

These days though a tweet refers to a 140-character or less message transmitted over the well-known social media network Twitter. By user size, Twitter is the third-most popular social network, with over a quarter of a billion active monthly users and over a billion users altogether.

Australia already has nearly 3 million Twitter users, but the network has shown tremendous growth: between 2013 and 2014, the number of Australian Twitter users increased by 15%.

Because of some strategic business decisions by the San Francisco-based American social media company, there’s a good chance that Twitter will gain an even larger share of the international market soon.

Twitter’s Strategy for Growth in 2015 and Beyond

Although Twitter has shown substantial growth since its inception in 2006, one of the big gripes that marketers have with the network is that it doesn’t have a strong enough impact on the people who aren’t on it. In the United States, for example, while 87% of people have heard of the network, only 7% of the population is using it.

Twitter recently made two very strategic business manoeuvres that should help rectify that problem. First, in February of 2015 Twitter and Google agreed to terms for a deal to provide Google’s crawlers access to Twitter’s firehose, or stream of data. The implications of this are huge for both search and Twitter marketers: last year, for example, Twitter revised its algorithm in a way that allowed its top 50,000 pages to be indexed by Google, which resulted in a flood of new visitors to the social network.

In the same vein, Twitter also announced that they would begin a new syndicated advertising program to allow Twitter ads to be displayed in places besides the network itself. The first two partners to the program are Yahoo! Japan and Flipboard, but there is serious potential for more advertisers to sign on as the off-network reach of this agreement grows.

As these changes are implemented throughout 2015, online marketers will undoubtedly begin to approach Twitter much more seriously. Indeed, many are still confident in Twitter’s future: it was recently announced that the company’s revenues grew over 100% year-over-year, surpassing its own projection.

While this information is great to know for those who are already on Twitter, marketers who aren’t as familiar with the network may still be wondering how they can get started or grow their Twitter efforts into a successful campaign.

Best Practices for Twitter Marketing in Australia

With this in mind, here are a few bits of wisdom for marketers looking to start or accelerate their Twitter campaigns:

  • Look at what’s trending and associate your brand with those. Trending topics are the subjects that the most Twitter users are talking about. For example, during the popular U.S. Grammy Awards ceremony, which aired on February 8, more than 1.5 billion views of tweets about the event were recorded. Trending topics are a great way to make your brand known, but don’t force it: if you can’t tie your company to any current trending topics, you’d be best served waiting for a relevant one. Trending topics change often, meaning you should have plenty of opportunities to capitalise on one that can improve your brand.
  • Interact with your current and prospective customers. By its very nature, Twitter is a platform that is designed for interaction. Engage with people who show an interest in your brand by retweeting interesting or insightful things that they say. If you receive a compliment, be sure to retweet it, thank the user, and start following them with your account. Better engagement will lead to more attention to your brand.
  • Vary up your media. Twitter also supports the posting of links to external sites, videos, and images. This variance also provides a great opportunity for cross-platform engagement: if you post a great picture on Facebook, for example, why not also tweet it out to your followers?
  • Tread carefully with jokes and more casual tweets. Sense of humour is a highly subjective thing, and what one person thinks is hilarious may be offensive to someone else. Additionally, when you are planning on tweeting about current events and trending topics, be sure that you actually understand what the topic is about. You don’t want to end up like popular American frozen pizza brand DiGiorno: in response to a domestic abuse awareness campaign using the hashtag #WhyIStayed, DiGiorno’s corporate account tweeted out “You had pizza.” The light-hearted nature of the tweet in the context of a serious issue like domestic abuse drew widespread criticism, and the company has apologised time and time again to outraged users on Twitter.

Many brands are already harnessing the power of Twitter as a way to engage with customers and help convince prospects of the value that they offer. When it is used properly, Twitter can be an extremely effective channel for marketers, one that is poised to become even more integral to inbound marketing in the very near future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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