When Twitter first came on the scene, I don’t think anyone could have predicted the way it would change the business landscape. Back then it was like a simple, short messaging service, and reducing your story to 140 characters became an art form and a fan favorite. Gradually, Twitter grew from posts about people’s daily lives into a full on news medium and, today, an important social media platform for interacting with your customers and building your brand from the ground up.
Twitter is a space for you to get to know your customers—to greet them, to entertain them, to research them and to play with them. For brands, Twitter is the perfect balance of observation and participation.
Recently the network gave its users the chance to add visuals to their posts without taking a big bite out of their 140-character limits. Twitter has now become a visual timeline of sorts. It’s your chance to tell your message with an image, make a statement, and announce a call to action in a provocative and immediate way.
What’s Twitter’s biggest pull? It’s rapid pace. It’s also what makes it so fun. With Twitter, brands can be sassy and spontaneous. Think of the way users of the platform jumped on the Suarez Bite-Gate during the World Cup. Major brands like Snickers got in on the action posting its image of a half-eaten Snickers bar bearing the phrase, “More satisfying than Italian” followed by the hashtag #LuisSuarez. Its post received more then 45,000 retweets. Imagine getting that kind of interaction with something your company publishes.
But you don’t have to capitalize on news or cultural events to capture your audience’s attention as a brand. For example, Smart cars responded to a hater on Twitter who said that a pigeon pooping on a Smart car would total it with a handy and hysterical infographic outlining the actual number of “craps” it would take to total a Smart car. (4,500,000 from a pigeon, if you’re curious.) The brand also asks people to send in selfies and then photoshops their cars into the same ensemble, posing the question, “Who wore it better?”
You may be asking yourself why a brand would ever post an infographic about bird poop or a photo of a car wearing clothing, to which Twitter would respond, “Why not?” By the very nature of its rapid timeline, you’re fighting for people’s attention. On Twitter, you almost have to get a little weird to stand out against all that noise.
How To Get Famous on Twitter:
- As a brand, be aware of what’s going on in the world and use the trending hashtags on Twitter to your advantage.
- But know their context before you use them! You’d hate to accidentally create a nightmare for your PR department like DiGiorno did when the brand didn’t realize the hashtag “#whyIstayed” was actually a reference to domestic violence and tweeted “You had pizza.” #Brandfail
- Call out other big-name brands on Twitter and engage in a gentle, low stakes “feud” with your competitors. Your audience will most likely find it compelling and amusing.
- Take notice of your haters and respond to them in conscious ways.
- But spend more time responding to your customers. Let them know that you’re listening to them and you appreciate their business.
Remember that as a social media network, Twitter is like the digital streets of the whole wide world. It’s your chance to meet people, interact with them, and observe what’s happening around you.