Twitter may not be the flashiest or trendiest social network the past few years.
It’s not as sexy as Snapchat, doesn’t change as quickly as Instagram, and isn’t in the news as often as Facebook.
There’s significantly less “keeping up” to do with Twitter than with its alternatives.
While that should be a good thing, it also means we don’t need to talk about it as much. Because of that, it can easily be overlooked or forgotten about as the powerful marketing tool that it is.
And yes, Twitter is still powerful for brands.
With 46 percent of its American users accessing the app daily and 74 percent of them using the app to get news and information, it remains one of the quickest ways to reach and engage your target audience in real time.
So how can you keep your Twitter marketing strategy interesting these days?
Pull some inspiration from the following brands that are really nailing it.
1. Netflix’s Culture-Making Content
Netflix is in a fairly unique position as a brand when it comes to content. They’re estimated to have budgeted up to $13 billion on original content this year, for example.
Their business model relies on content more than most, but you don’t need to have Netflix’s brand or budget to learn from aspects of their marketing strategy.
Netflix uses its Twitter account to create original moments and commentary within pop culture.
Aside from relevant news and retweeting customers, which are still presented in an on-brand way, the account almost exclusively shares memes and other trends in internet culture.
How can they get away with so many memes without feeling redundant?
By creating their own moments instead of just following already popular trends and memes.
What can you learn from this?
Never underestimate the power of entertainment.
Netflix is definitely at a unique advantage in terms of entertainment content, but an important takeaway is how they’ve leveraged it.
What they did was find an element of their business that best fit the “culture” of Twitter – an often lighthearted, pop culture-focused platform where short and witty copy thrives.
Then they made their Twitter marketing strategy almost entirely about that.
Dig into your own brand and social media audiences and see what parallels you can find.
2. Merriam-Webster’s Newsjacking Mastery
Merriam-Webster’s social media team has become infamous over the past several years for its scathingly amusing subtweeting and trolling.
The brand’s content strategy has even attracted attention from mainstream publications like TIME, Vice, and The Shorty Awards.
Again, it’s entertainment at its finest, although for a much less obvious brand.
The account’s aim is to make a dry topic, spelling, and grammar, interesting and fun for anyone by tying it to other topics.
In this, they’ve become a master of newsjacking and using proprietary data to do so.
For example, they regularly share the top searches and lookups influenced by current events and other trending topics.
Take their reaction to the Yanny/Laurel debate earlier this year.
This brand voice and attitude also contribute to why Merriam-Webster’s followers find it so endearing.
It’s friendly, but with a strong opinion and a touch of snark. Especially since so much of their content relates to politics and world news, maintaining that respectful tone is key.
Information is largely presented without comment, for you to add your own inflection and opinions into – which also makes it great material for retweets and quote tweets.
How can you tie your own brand to current events or use proprietary data like research or statistics to guide your content?
These are fantastic ways to put a unique spin on a dry topic.
3. Oberlo’s Inspirational Empathy
Even though the above ideas can influence any type of business, the brands behind them admittedly have big budgets and lots of content to work with, and not all of us do.
Most of us have simply our blogs, marketing properties, and social media channels to use in our content marketing, as opposed to endless TV shows or dictionary definitions.
In that case, you can look to brands like dropshipping platform Oberlo.
A B2B company targeting new entrepreneurs and small businesses, their content is a healthy mix of education and motivation.
It makes sense that these would be two key elements that a struggling solopreneur is after.
So while they do have a fair amount of what you’d expect from B2B content, like sharing blog posts, ebooks, and other lead magnets, they also tap into more personal inspiration you might expect on a health or personal development account.
Their Twitter content is truly meant to serve all of the topics and frustrations their audience is struggling with – not just those that directly relate to their product.
4. Greenhouse’s Ad Targeting
While engaging your audience and growing a following is important on social media, never forget the end goals it needs to accomplish.
You want that audience to eventually engage with you further, but so many of us put insufficient effort into moving social followers further into the buyer’s journey.
Greenhouse keeps advertising costs down by focusing paid social campaigns on retargeting people who have already engaged in them on social or expressed interest in their business.
Since their audience is so warm, more than half of those who viewed one recently promoted landing page opted into the newsletter and entered further into the brand’s sales funnel.
Whether you’re using paid social or strictly organic shares, make sure you’re giving your existing social audience opportunities to engage further with you.
An engaged audience is full of warm, interested prospective customers who can be easy to convert, but so many social media managers are too afraid of direct promotion to make that next step well-seen.
5. ShineText’s Content Repurposing
A 2018 content strategy usually includes plans for growing presences on multiple social networks, a blog, maybe email marketing, and the list goes on.
Feeding the publishing machine for all of these channels with purely original content is unsustainable for most brands. Instead, the smart ones reuse and repurpose content to use in multiple ways and places.
ShineText is a motivational app and daily messaging service, so the product itself requires creating a lot of content around mindset, motivation, and mental health.
But with so many daily messages to write, you can be sure they pop up elsewhere too.
They alternate between sharing previews as a way to promote that day’s message and recycling larger portions of old content for new use on social media.
This type of tweeting can help prevent a profile dominated by link shares, while still taking advantage of content you already have.
6. Close.io’s Place as the Cool Teacher
Finally, we have Close.io, a sales CRM for startups and small businesses.
A B2B company that mostly sticks to serious content topics, they stand out by pairing their smart industry education with a fun voice that startup salespeople can relate to.
This twist starts as soon as you land on their profile: the big, bold header image is a simple mockup animation of their product, but with the fictional Bluth Company from cult TV hit “Arrested Development” as the company using their tool.
It continues as you scroll. While they’re talking about dry business and sales, they do so with an ultra-casual and startup-friendly voice topped with gifs and emojis.
They promote their product with the same tone, usually choosing to retweet fun, playful praise over sharing product updates or positive but dry reviews.
Any brand can easily do this without creating lots of content, running a big campaign, or bringing in topics parallel to your niche.
It’s simply talking about what any basic content strategy would dictate, just in a voice that maximizes differentiation.
Plan Your Next 280 Characters
From original content empires to repurposing pros, and neutral-looking subtweets to voices full of sass, any type of marketing and voice can work on Twitter when combined with the right ingredients for the right target.
The best Twitter strategies play to your brand’s strengths and talk to their audience naturally.
Is your own Twitter plan this thought-out? If not, now you have ideas to revisit it with.
More Twitter Marketing Resources:
All screenshots taken by author, October 2018
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