With more than 300 million active monthly users Twitter has become a powerhouse and terrific medium for creating and reinforcing a brand image. Most marketers would probably agree that it’s transformed a great deal from the original intent of the social platform.
Today, it’s an amazing tool for reaching fans and prospects who can become leads that ultimately turn into sales.
Of course, just knowing that there’s money to be made with Twitter isn’t enough. If you don’t approach it right you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. In fact fewer than 40% of marketers are properly using Twitter to generate leads.
For those who aren’t successfully generating leads and conversions, it’s not really a matter of “doing Twitter wrong.” Instead, what’s needed are small but important changes that have a dramatic impact on conversions and engagement.
Every business is different, so you absolutely should test what works best for you. However, these are the best 6 tips I’ve got in my playbook to help you get more conversions out of your tweets.
1. Strengthen Your Copy
Given the wee size of Twitter posts, the well-known 140-character limit, the best way to get more conversions is to put your copywriter hat on and take a few cues from direct response marketers.
Why? Because promotional Twitter posts are a lot like the lovechild of a sexy, viral headline and a confident call to action. What you put into your Tweets needs to be actionable — to have a direct impact on conversions.
In other words: More (and better) verbs and fewer (but more sizzling hot) nouns.
Twitter even backs this up with their own hard data on what increases clicks and retweets. Here are two great examples:
Ask for a download – according to Twitter this will increase clicks by an average of 13%
The Walgreens Mobile App allows you to print photos directly from your phone to any Walgreens. Click here to download! http://t.co/7F1swTmw
— Walgreens (@Walgreens) August 29, 2012
Ask for a retweet – asking for a retweet can increase retweets by as much as 300% or more
— Cadbury UK (@CadburyUK) August 12, 2012
What really stands out about those examples is they are clearly stated offers. They’re not ambiguous. Clearly stated offers receive 18% more clicks and 30% more retweets than the tweets with more ambiguous copy.
When you think about writing tweets from the perspective of a copywriter there are three key things to keep in mind to make them clear and actionable.
A. Chop The Clutter To Make The Call To Action Stand Out
You have to find a delicate balance between tags and hashtags when you’re creating promotional content intended to generate leads. They increase reach, I get that.
But if overused, hashtags and mentions can clutter your tweet and can distract from your call to action.
Strike a happy medium, and you’ll get more conversions.
B. Don’t Be Afraid To Make An Offer
A Twitter study on promoted tweets found that download offers were the most productive call to action. According to Twitter – “Promoted Tweets in timelines that explicitly ask people to download accompanied by a link increase URL clicks by an average of 13%. Promoted tweets in search featuring this same call to action also increase clicks by an average of 11%.”
It’s important to provide value rather than self-promote on Twitter, but don’t be afraid to make offers to transform your followers into leads.
Remember, if they’re following you they are already interested. If it’s a valuable offer then there is a percentage of your audience that will want it.
C. Tell Them What To Do, And Don’t Mince Words
If you want conversions, the call to action is important.
State your case clearly with zero-tolerance for ambiguity. Make it absolutely clear what they’re about to get. Leave no room for doubt.
Here’s an example from HubSpot.
2. Use Images
Images are a critical part of making your marketing stand out and it has been that way for a long time.
Some of the most minimalist marketing pieces in the history of advertising used some kind of imagery, often cleverly framed by an abundance of white space.
It’s because images work to improve engagement and conversions.
Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. That’s a lot more eyes coming to a stop on your post in a Twitter feed full of distractions.
Buffer even reports that among its user base, Tweets with images received 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
Visual content is so powerful that 55% of marketers plan to create more visual content in 2016.
Visual content wasn’t always possible with Twitter. When Twitter finally began to allow for inline image display, Hubspot experimented with publishing more image-rich tweets and immediately saw a difference. Through A/B testing Hubspot found that tweets with images netted 55% more leads from their campaigns.
3. Timing Is Everything
When you want your audience to sit up, pay attention and click through your tweets then you’ll need to get it in front of them when they’re actively looking at their feed and most likely to be caught by a push notification.
There’s plenty of research that tells us when we should be tweeting. Dan Zarella and HubSpot shared some great data that gives us insight into the best times to try to engage our audience.
- Nearly 50% of the U.S. population is in the Eastern time zone
- The Eastern and Central Time Zones combined represent nearly 80% of the U.S. population
- About 6% of all tweets, the highest percentage per hour, take place around 5-6 pm
- Clickthrough rate is generally highest midweek and during the weekend
- The best times to tweet are around noon (lunch time) and leading up to 6 pm (home from work)
Conversely, research from Sysomos suggests that it’s best to avoid the dead zone between 3 and 7 am.
The simplest way to get your tweets out at all the right times is to use a scheduling app like Buffer or Hootsuite. This way you can schedule curated content as well as your own organic content to hit that targeted number of tweets per hour to maximize visibility during peak times.
Just remember it’s not a one-way street, you don’t want to just push content.
Which brings me to the next point.
4. Listening And Direct Engagement
Posting relevant content for your audience is important, but regular tweets shouldn’t be your focus. If you’re tweeting heavily but you’re not engaging your audience it’s like walking through a cocktail party with a bullhorn.
Try to balance it so you’re engaging more and pushing less.
A quick and easy way to audit what type of content you’re creating is to look at the proportion of your tweets, retweets and @replies. Like this example from the global QSR brand, McDonald’s:
Granted you shouldn’t just do what another brand is doing. Engagement is different for every industry and every organization. There’s no magic formula.
You do need to make sure that you’re proactively and reactively engaging with your audience more than you’re pushing content.
Besides, your audience includes people who aren’t following you yet. This is where listening becomes so critical.
With so many customers doing research before making a buying decision there’s a strong argument for listening and tailoring your engagement to answering questions and providing solutions online. It’s an extremely effective method to turn attention toward your brand, tweets and promotional offers.
Another study from Sysomos showed us that phrases most used in a 6-month period around product recommendations:
By the numbers there’s a pretty good opportunity here for you to step up your replies and direct consumer engagement with the top 3 questions being
- Who makes the best…
- Does anyone know…
- I’m looking for…
Helping those prospects can also lead to word of mouth referrals when they not only talk about how you helped them, but how your product/service also provided the perfect solution.
5. Use Hashtags
People use hashtags every day in posts across various social channels, especially Twitter. They expand your post reach beyond your immediate followers so your content lands in front of new audiences. They also help you create discussions, chats and trends that can be used in a variety of ways.
Using just 1 or 2 hashtags within your Tweets can significantly increase the effectiveness of your social content.
- Tweets with hashtags see as much as a 21% increase in engagement
- Increasing the number of hashtags beyond 2 actually decreases engagement by an average of 17%
- Nearly 40% of Tweets with hashtags get retweeted
If you’re not sure which hashtags to use, start tapping into influencers within your industry. Scan their posts to determine which hashtags they’re using and which ones seem to get the most engagement.
6. Use The Right Words
I already talked about using actionable words by taking cues from direct response copywriting, but there are also trigger words that capture the attention of followers.
Just a few simple words sprinkled into your tweets can dramatically affect how people interact with your posts
For example, words like “when,” “tell us, “submit,” “deals,” and “discounts,” can net you more shares and direct to site clicks on Facebook while words like “contest,” “promotion,” or “coupon,” actually get fewer shares and traffic.
Here’s a segment from an infographic I created on Quicksprout that shows the best words to share on Twitter for snagging retweets and engagement.
A conversion is a lot of things to a lot of different people. When you can visually attract your audience, and use the most persuasive words, then you’ll hold tremendous power of your followers and prospects in social media.
Whatever your campaign goal, you can pull from the suggestions in this piece to compel your followers to action and drive those conversions well beyond your goals.
What’s been your most effective method for increasing conversions on Twitter? Share in the comments below:
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