The news director of a popular television station once said to me, “If you can get your articles on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, you can get your story on the air.” He was right. The Wall Street Journal is arguably the most prestigious newspaper in the world. Its editorial board members include some of the greatest journalists of all time, like Bob Woodward, Jack New, Henry Goldman, Marie Brenner, Ira Flatow, Peter W. Robinson, and even Tom Friedman. The paper’s website is also well-respected, having won a Polk award for digital journalism. So when I heard that, I knew my chances of getting an article on the front page of the paper were pretty good.
Marketing on Twitter is no different. The most followed newspaper on the platform is the New York Times, with over 310 million followers. That’s almost as many followers as there are people in the United States. The most followed TV news channel is also the New York Times, with over 75 million followers. So if you can get your tweets in front of those audiences, you’ll be able to get your marketing message out there and potentially reach your target audience.
Even if you don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers, you can use Twitter’s advanced search to find the right audience for your message. When you search for a hashtag (like #iwantachance), you’ll see all the tweets that are using that hashtag. If you want to target people interested in your product or service, you can use the search operator (e.g., #iwantachance + travel) to find people tweeting about their travel experiences. This is why hashtags and keywords are so important: they help people find your content and engage with it, as well as allow you to find new followers and potential customers in line with your message.
Let’s look at each step of the way to effectively market on Twitter.
Get A Twitter Account
If you want to use Twitter for marketing, the first thing you’ll need to do is to set up an account. Just remember: you can only have one account per person, so make sure you’re the person behind the account or you’ll risk having your account disabled. You can get a free account from Twitter if you meet their requirements (which you can find on their website).
Once you have your account, you can click on the Settings icon in the top right-hand corner. This will bring up your account page, where you can edit your settings and connect your account with other accounts. You can also switch to the mobile app for a better experience. (If you have a smart phone, you can download the Twitter app from the App Store or Google Play.)
One of the main reasons why the New York Times is so popular on Twitter is because it always uses hashtags. When a story is published with the hashtag #NYTlive, the New York Times will usually try to live tweet the event. They’ll also use the hashtag #RacesToTheFinish to refer to the annual college football national championship games. When they use these hashtags, their tweets will appear in an @reply box at the top of everyone’s Twitter feeds, like this:
If you want to market on Twitter, you’ll need to learn how to use hashtags. When you use hashtags in your tweets, you’ll connect your content to related content that’s already been published on the platform. When your content appears in someone’s Twitter feed, they’ll see your hashtag and be able to click on it, bringing them to your content. This is all automatic, so you don’t have to manually tag your content—hashtags do all the work for you.
Create Interesting Content
If you want to attract readers to your content, you need to produce interesting, well-written content that will keep them coming back for more. One strategy is to ask thought-provoking questions and provide interesting answers. For example, if you’re a fashion brand and you want to promote a new line of luxury lingerie, you could ask something like, “What is your opinion on women in lingerie?”
If you can get a regular column in a major newspaper, you can use that as leverage to get your foot in the door with magazine editors. If you can’t get a column, you can try getting invited to contribute to a magazine’s blog. But either way, you need to provide valuable content that will establish you as a thought leader in your space.
There are a variety of communities on Twitter. Some are made up of people in your niche, like the #iwantachance community, which is for people traveling to Cuba. You can also find communities dedicated to sharing incredible content, like the #inspire community, which is for photographers. You can find and participate in these communities to find like-minded people who are interested in your topic or niche.
Look for communities that align with your target audience. If you’re trying to sell luxury goods online, you might want to join the #luxuryichannel community, which is full of people interested in high-end brands. By participating in these communities, you’ll be able to find people interested in what you have to say and connect with them on a more personal level.
If you want to become a go-to source for information on your niche, you can also try creating or joining a Twitter group focused on your niche. You can find groups made up of journalists, for example, or people interested in fashion. These groups will usually discuss breaking news stories and major events related to your niche.
Find Trends And Hashtags
If you want to get the most from your Twitter account, you’ll need to learn how to use tools that can help you discover and track trends and hashtags. You can use specific keywords in your search queries to find trends and hashtags, or you can look at the most popular topics or conversations on the platform to find trending topics and hashtags.
For example, say you’re an outdoor gear company and you want to promote your new hiking boots. You can use the hashtag #hikingboots to find relevant content, or you can look through the #mountainbike, #running, or #fitness hashtags to see what’s going on.
Measure The Success Of Your Campaign
To measure the success of your marketing campaign on Twitter, you’ll need to keep track of the number of times your tweets are mentioned, along with the value those tweets provide. You can use free tools like Google Analytics to track all these metrics specific to your Twitter account. (You can also use Hootsuite to track your mentions and determine the strength of your network.) You can also use tools like Klout to get a general sense of how influential you are on the network. (You can also use Buzzsumo to track your most effective content and determine the strength of your online presence.)
With these tools, you’ll be able to track the effectiveness of your campaigns and determine what’s working and what needs to be changed. You can also use this data to determine the size of your audience.
Keep Up With The Latest Trends
The news director of a television station told me that the most effective way to get your content out there is to become a trusted source of information in your niche. The most prestigious publications in the world have been using this strategy for years, so it’s proven itself over and over again. Just remember: quality is much more important than quantity when it comes to maintaining your reputation as an authoritative source in your space. With that in mind, make sure you only share valuable content.