Who knew Twitter could be so complicated? – If you haven’t taken a spin around the world’s chattiest social media platform in a while, you’re liable to be surprised by its newfound versatility. Among other recent changes, Twitter now support tweets that are:
- 280-character tweets
- Seamless tweet threads using the “Add Another Tweet” button
- Editable image tweets
- Live streams
And that’s just the start. Let’s take a closer look at 10 different types of tweets that might be useful for your business’s marketing endeavors, branding efforts, or both.
1. Product Or Service Plugs
Most brands go heavy on the overt plugs, alienating marketing-sensitive prospects in the process. Sure, you have to pay the bills, but not at the expense of your audience’s attention span. (The dreaded Mute button is a powerful deterrent.) Bonus points for creative plugs that toe the line between self-awareness and earnestness.
2. Lighthearted Banter
Leave room for a well-timed joke or two. Vermont-based collegiate jeweler Bixler University has this tactic down pat: its Twitter feed is a mix of earnest product plugs, company news and announcements (see below), third-party shares (see below), and all-in-fun tweets about tailgating and college life.
3. Company News And Announcements
Product and service plugs aren’t the only ways to successfully toot your company’s horn. When you have legitimate news to announce, bring it to Twitter. Just know when to hold your fire: no one wants to hear about the longtime employee you just promoted from senior account manager to director of business development, no matter how well-liked they are internally.
4. Relevant Third-Party News
Your company’s news isn’t the only late-breaking content worth sharing with your followers. When you see an interesting story about an industry trend, local event (if your audience is geographically concentrated), or competitor, tweet it out. Just be prepared to explain why you’re sharing this content, particularly if it portrays a competitor or peer business in an unflattering light.
5. Live Streams
Calling live streams “tweets” might be stretching the definition a bit, but let’s not get bogged down in academic discourse here. We’ve got leads to nurture. If you’re hosting an event with decent acoustics and legible visuals, throw on a live stream and invite followers to join. Be sure to turn on the real-time view counter; shy viewers are more likely to come on board when they know others are engaged. When it’s all over, post a link to the cached version.
6. Original Photos
Thanks to the increasingly high-powered cameraphones most of us carry around everywhere we go, capturing lightning in a bottle (hopefully not literally) has never been easier. Even if it has little to do with your brand, don’t hold back from posting serendipitous landscape shots, funny signs, weird street scenes — anything you’d post about from your personal account, provided it meets basic standards of decency and brand appropriateness.
Or, if you have a healthy marketing budget, post professional-grade photos to your heart’s content. One glance at its pie-laden feed confirms that pizza giant Domino’s has this down to a science.
7. Screenshots With Commentary
When an old-fashioned copy-paste quote won’t do, screenshot it for posterity. Just be sure to add your two cents, as social fortunes can turn on a misinterpreted screengrab.
8. Quote Tweets
If someone already screenshotted it for you, or you just really need to share what this or that follower said about your company or your product or something you did the other day, don’t hesitate to quote tweet it.
Quote tweeting has a mixed reputation; since it exposes the original poster’s content to a much wider audience than a simple reply, some Twitter purists see it as obnoxious or even mean-spirited. As a general rule, you shouldn’t quote tweet non-followers, unless they’re household name brands like Pepsi. It’s also best to apply retweet-level quality and appropriateness standards: that is, disclaim quote tweets as endorsements and shy away from quote tweeting potentially objectionable or off-brand material.
One final tip: consider “naked” quote tweets, or quote tweets without any added commentary, for image-rich original tweets that you do want to endorse. Your name and handle will appear above any “naked” quote tweets, closely associating your brand with the content and its creator.
9. Manual Retweets
Too lazy to add your two cents to a quote tweet? Simply hit “retweet” and move on with your life. Again, it’s a best practice to add a “retweets are not endorsements” disclaimer to your company profile, and to be very careful about retweeting anything that could be construed as remotely controversial. When in doubt, keep it to yourself.
10. Direct Messages
Whether the direct message or DM counts as a proper tweet is a matter of some debate. (Though it’s surely a better fit than the live stream.
While it’s not our place to pass final judgment on that question, we can’t ignore the humble DM’s prevalence. Nor can we argue against the incorporation of DMs into a holistic social media marketing plan.
Sending a quick, polite DM is a great way to broach private or sensitive topics with followers and friendly non-followers with open DMs. Said topics may well have commercial import — if not now, then down the line.
Building A Better Twitter Repertoire
Let’s face it: your company won’t sink or swim on the basis of its Twitter usage alone. If you’re great at leveraging your 280-character allotment (or the various multimedia capabilities Twitter has accrued over the years) in furtherance of your business endeavors, more power to you. If not, perhaps your Facebook marketing game can pick up the slack.
No matter how your Twitter feed unfolds, you’ll do yourself and your followers a big favor by striving to improve each and every day. Aspire not to be boring, and let the chips fall where they may.
If you are interested in even more social media-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.