Become a Twitter Sensation – Tips from Top Brands
Two recent large-scale studies following the Twitter habits of the world’s top brands reveal how companies can best use Twitter to enhance their business and customer loyalty. Below are the most important findings of these two studies with tips for any company wishing to become a Twitter sensation to up their engagement.
Findings from the 2013 BrandWatch.com Twitter usage report:
- The Twitter usage of 253 of the top brands from the United States and the United Kingdom was carefully monitored. More than 97 percent of these brands tweeted during 2013.
- More than half of the top brands tweeted 30 times a week or more.
- Twenty-five percent of the top brands used Twitter for broadcast purposes only, i.e. one-way communication, not engaging their customers.
- Sixty-nine percent of the top brands used Twitter for both broadcasting messages and for actively engaging customers in some form of two-way communication. Customer service was the most common method of engagement.
- The majority of the top brands had more than one Twitter account, with Dell Computer having 44 accounts. Having multiple Twitter accounts instead of trying to do everything under one Twitter account is so effective, the number of brands using multiple Twitter accounts has climbed from only seven percent three years ago to 63 percent in 2013.
- Dell Computer had forty-four Twitter accounts – more than any other brand – including one for each department. Smaller businesses can follow this example, but scaled down. (e.g. If your product or service is sold both online and offline, you could have the following three channels: news, online sales and retail sales.)
- Most top brands have discovered it’s most effective to have separate Twitter accounts for broadcasting news and engaging with customers.
- It’s easier for customers to find a brand’s Twitter account if the name of the account matches the brand name. Since Twitter specifies that names are allotted on a first come first serve basis, it’s important to reserve a name as soon as possible, even if you haven’t officially rolled out the brand yet.
- The weekends were the best time to engage customers for most of the top brands. However, different times might work better for your particular brand. For example, a brand targeting homeschooling parents might do better during the week.
- Tweets including links to photos or video had three-to-four times more engagement than tweets without these multimedia aids. Waitrose, an online grocery store that provides home delivery in England, sends out mouth-watering images of food to entice customers to shop and request information.And UNICEF uses Twitter’s image capability to more clearly show the need to help children in impoverished countries and disaster areas.
- The most popular platform on which to send out tweets was the official Twitter web interface. This was followed by HootSuite. In fact, one-fifth of the top 100 brands use HootSuite. This software can be used by a company of any size and makes managing social media campaigns much easier. You can easily track your brand mentions in the Twitter universe, manage multiple accounts, analyze Twitter traffic and schedule tweets.
- Of the top 100 most followed brands on Twitter, the most engaged brands were not the ones who tweeted the most. Likewise, the most engaged brands within the top 100 brands were not the ones with the most followers. Simply broadcasting a lot of tweets does not necessarily translate into cultivating an interactive relationship with customers and fans.
- The most engaged brands were ESPN (@ESPN), PlayStation (@PlayStation), Notebook of Love (@Notebook) and Disneywords (@disneywords). Other top contenders were Disney (@Disney), the Chelsea Football Club (@Chelseafc), BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) and NASA (@NASA). Studying these Twitter feeds could help you discover how to be more engaged with your own customers.
- Tweets sent between 2 and 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time had the most interaction on average.
So, to wrap it up:
- Don’t worry so much about the number of followers you have or how many tweets a week you send out – it’s much more important to engage your customers interactively on Twitter.
- Be sure to register your brand’s Twitter account as soon as possible so you can lock in your brand name or something very close to it. This way, your customers will be able to find your Twitter account and remember your Twitter handle more easily.
- If the scope of your business allows, use multiple Twitter accounts for different purposes.
- Link to interesting photos and videos to engage more with your customers.
- Test sending out tweets at different times of the day and on different days to determine when your followers will be most interactive.
- Consider using social management software like HootSuite, which can make it easier to to manage multiple Twitter accounts.
- Following the Twitter feeds of the most engaging brands and studying their methods is an excellent source of ideas on how best to engage your own customers.