Twitter posted a new report which considers how brands can maximize their success on the platform, based on evolving consumer trends and in-app expectations.
Titled #RealTalk, the guide is the result of an analysis of decades of brand tweets and user tweets, along with numerous consumer surveys, to get a real insight into what works in modern Twitter marketing and what Twitter users respond and expect.
There are a bunch to consider – you can download the full 50 page guide here, but in this post we will look at some of the most important things.
First, Twitter notes that brand talk is on the rise on Twitter, with more people wanting to engage with in-app brands.
This represents a significant opportunity for awareness raising and networking, and the platform has become an even more important means of networking in the midst of a pandemic. This underscores the need for brands to get the right messages, and as times and issues change, so do consumer expectations about the brand’s presence on Twitter.
Consumers want brands to communicate authentically and honestly, in order to provide valuable real-time updates via tweets. But a key issue highlighted in the report is that years of guides and best practice advice have now led to a new problem – all Twitter brand profiles are starting to sound the same.
This is not overly surprising – every time a viral tweet sensation or a resonant event occurs, the Twitter brand goes crazy in its praise, while the analysis of top tweet trends, which seeks to summarize best practice guides into applicable tips – ie. the amount of hashtags to include, the ideal character length or tweets – discard uniqueness and variation in favor of broad analysis. Which may provide some valuable guides, but the side effect is that when everyone follows the same book, everything starts to look similar.
Based on this, Twitter advises that brands should evolve their messages and ensure that they connect with their audience based on time and what is happening in the world.
More specifically, Twitter also lists the types of events that people want to see how brands tweet or not, helping to direct your approach to each of them.
Basically, no one cares about the business opinion of the latest episode of The Mandalorian, no matter how much it is about the brand.
Of course, as with the general tips above, this is based on a broad analysis of tweets, and within that the nuance can be missed, and there could be a brand that ignores all these guides and does the exact opposite, and yet sees success. The key lies in knowing your target audience and what they expect. And indeed, this is the key message of Twitter’s overall guide, that while general tips can be helpful, you need to stick to your brand messages and voice, to truly win.
Which reminds me of the ‘Five Why’ theory, which aims to help brands identify their purpose, to then better define their messages, encouraging them to dig into the root purpose of what they do.
As stated the Harvard Business Review ‘Five Why’ are the answers to the question posed to your business. You start with a statement – or ‘We make X products‘or’We provide services X‘- then you ask’Why is this important?‘and to each subsequent answer you give five consecutive answers. As you go through these answers, you will eventually come closer to a true understanding of the real purpose of your business, which you can then narrow down to a single statement, allowing you to unify your company’s activities to work toward that goal.
From the HBR report:
“Five reasons why I can help companies in any industry frame their work in a more meaningful way. A company that produces asphalt and gravel could start by saying: We produce products from gravel and asphalt. For several reasons, it could be concluded that the production of asphalt and gravel is important because the quality of infrastructure plays a vital role in people’s safety and experience; because driving on the road from the pit is boring and dangerous; because 747 cannot land safely on a runway with poor workmanship or poor concrete; because substandard buildings weaken over time and collapse in earthquakes. From such introspection, the following purpose can emerge: to improve people’s lives by improving the quality of man-made buildings. ”
It’s similar to the approach to Twitter’s brand notes above, deeper not only in how you communicate, but also why, and what you want to share with your audience with each tweet. Establishing these key elements can go a long way in defining your brand voice and differentiating your business from any other – which, as Twitter notes, is increasingly important based on user feedback.
It’s a good guide – not too in-depth about every step, but it provides relevant, effective guidelines for the right brand via tweet and connecting with customers based on your key areas of focus.
Because while a lot of followers may look good, and may feel important, having fewer followers who are likely to buy from your business is potentially much more valuable. And you do that by establishing the voice of the brand, the purpose of the brand and the way you connect with your target market.
It is worth considering your approach.
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