When it comes to social media marketing, it is important to not only pick your platform of choice carefully, but to also make sure that you use the platform wisely and provide updates which will engage the intended audience.

Unfortunately, a recent study which was carried out by a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Georgia Tech and the University of Southampton suggests that Twitter may not be the right place to begin social media marketing.

The researchers looked at the opinions of 1,443 Twitter users who visited “Who Gives a Tweet” over nineteen days during December and January.

The visitors rated 43,738 tweets posted by around 2,014 users; and the study found that twenty-five percent of the updates posted within Twitter each day aren’t worth reading; whilst only thirty-nine percent were rated as “neutral” and thirty-six were rated as “liked”.

If this theory was to be carried throughout all the updates shared via Twitter, from individuals to businesses using the platform, you would be forgiven for being concerned about how much influence your tweets are having on your target audience.

However, here at JE Consulting, we’d like to play devils advocate – and for a number of reasons.

1) We believe Twitter is a powerful tool to have within your social media marketing toolbox

2) We believe businesses can gain an edge by regularly using Twitter

3) There are a number of steps which any business can take to increase the chance of their updates via Twitter being well received by their target audience.

It is the last point which we’re going to concentrate on within this post, offering some tips and advice on how to increase the likelihood of your followers giving a tweet about your updates by following a few simple steps.

Step 1: Carefully Select Your Followers:

Many select those they follow on Twitter based on the industry the user is in or the updates they provide. However, at JE Consulting, we also believe it is important to carefully select those that follow you.

Whilst many will undoubtedly block those accounts which are deemed spam, there are other groups which you should look out for within your “Followers” list and consider removing:

1) Those Who Don’t Update Regularly – The idea of Twitter is to share relevant information and news, in a micro-blogging fashion. Yet there are those accounts who although start promisingly soon drift off and don’t update for months.

These accounts should be unfollowed as they offer nothing to your campaign – not only are they not reading your updates, but they aren’t sharing them either

2) Users Who Are Interested in Location – Have you noticed that when you’ve including a hash-tag and location (i.e. #Birmingham) you’ve all of a sudden received an increase in followers?

The likely reason is that other users who are interested in the area in question have followed you without reading the rest of the update you’ve shared – and they’re unlikely to read following updates either.

If you want to make sure that your followers give a tweet about what you’re saying, regularly check who is following you – report and spam and block the accounts, block anyone who hasn’t updated for months and those who aren’t beneficial for your account.

For every two accounts that you block, it is always worth attempting to follow one new user who is relevant to your industry, as they are likely to be interested in what you’re saying and will therefore follow you back. Who knows, not only will they become interested in what you say but it may also result in a business lead.

Step 2: Consider Your Followers:

As tempting as it may be to only post updates which relate specifically to your business, consider your followers. Are they really going to want to only read about the services your business offers or what your staff have achieved?

Make your tweets more interesting and varied by sharing industry tips, advice and guidance. If you work within the accountancy sector why not share a link to breaking news involving changes to tax?

A good way to gauge whether your audience will be interested in what you’re sharing via Twitter is to think like a client / customer – would you be interested in or find useful what you’re sharing? If the answer is no, re-word it to make it interesting or don’t share it.

Step 3: Vary Your Tweets:

One hundred and forty characters may not seem like a lot, especially if you’re looking to break exciting news, share advice or market your business. But, through careful consideration and by taking advantage of the options available, it is possible to share more than the 140 character limit and vary your tweets to make them interesting.

Twitter enables users to share links – which are conveniently shortened to save space – so if you have a blog you want to promote, a piece of industry news from an external site or business news from your site, you can do by including links.

Do you have a video on your business’ Youtube channel which best shows a product you provide? Why not share a link to it with an engaging piece of text – avoid the popular “Check this video out” tweet!

Along with links to various pages and videos, Twitter also enables pictures to be embedded into tweets, without users having to open another tab or webpage, giving tweets an extra dimension.

Step 4: Tweet After Business Hours:

Our final step for helping to ensure your followers give a tweet about what you’re sharing within your social media marketing campaign, is to tweet outside normal business hours.

It’s possible to tweet any time and any day, whether you’re near a computer / laptop or not; so why not take advantage of it?

By tweeting via SMS or via a Smartphone you’re still able to benefit from the tools and tricks that Twitter offers, whilst also standing a chance of reaching those audience members who aren’t accessible during the day.

If you want to find the best time to tweet for your business, ensuring you reach as wide an audience as possible, why not take advantage of some of the tools mentioned within our “Twitter Tools To Help You Build Your Presence” post?

So whilst research may suggest that a quarter of tweets shared within Twitter aren’t worth reading; it is possible to take steps within your social media marketing campaign to make sure that yours don’t fall into this percentage!

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