What is the key to being an engaging influencer on Twitter?
How do you get your business to have more followers, more retweets, and more @mentions?
Simple, right? But what is great content? And how do you make it?
Getting Started and Definitions
Goals, Target Markets, and Content Themes
Types of Content
Tweeting Content about your Company (and how not to)
Promoted Tweets, Accounts and Trends
Creating a Schedule for your Tweets
KPI’s and ROI’s for Twitter
Sources and Resources
Table of Contents
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What is the key to being an engaging influencer on Twitter?
How do you get your business to have more followers, more retweets, and more @mentions?
Simple, right? But what is great content? And how do you make it?
Great content is what connects you with your target market. It is about relating your consumer’s interests and lifestyles to
your brand. It creates an emotional bond. It solves problems, creates a community and tells stories. With great content, your
business Twitter timeline can be the place to be for your target market to socialize with like-minded people online. And it
can generate sales for your bottom line.
In this guide we’ll show you how to create great content by:
• Defining your target market and topics
• Tweeting various types of content about your company
• Creating themed content schedules
• Using analytics to continuously improve your engagement
And much more...
and 10 Must-
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 6
This chapter details the basics of Twitter. If you are well-versed in Twitter, please skip this section and start reading at
Chapter 2. For those beginning on Twitter, this chapter will give you the basics to setting up a Twitter handle, and 10
definitions you need to know.
Setting up a Twitter account:
To set up a Twitter account, sign in at www.twitter.com, and proceed through the steps.
• create your @handle name
• upload your profile photo
• fill in your company bio
• upload background images
Tip: When you are setting up your Twitter platform, keep your handle, profile photo, background image and bio consistent
with your company brand, and social media marketing strategy.
Tip: In your bio, be sure to include your company’s website, so it is easy for your followers to click to your site.
10 basic Twitter definitions you need to know:
@connect: The @connect button shows your interactions and mentions. You can send someone a tweet by using their
handle and they will see this in their @connect feed.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 7
DM: Direct Message. You can send reciprocated followers a direct message. It is a private message.
Feed: Your Twitter feed (also called a timeline) is your list of updates from users you are following. It is also where your
tweets appear to your followers. Your list is constantly being updated, in real time.
Follower: A follower is a Twitter user who has clicked on your “follow” button and is subscribed to your tweets. Generally,
the more followers you have, the wider reach you have on Twitter.
Handle: Your Twitter handle is your username. For example @wishpond means you can find us at www.twitter.com/
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 8
#’s: Hashtags. Hashtags are a word or word phrases after the number sign (#). Hashtags can contribute to making your
tweets go viral, and creating and connecting with communities on Twitter. They are a way to organize topics around the
world on Twitter. You can make your own #, such as to promote a particular product or contest. You can join popular #’s to
get your message heard further and increase brand awareness.
Lists: Twitter lets you categorize users that you follow. This is a great way to follow certain groups of customers or
information sources, particularly when you are starting out, or when you follow many fellow twitterers.
RT: Retweet. A Retweet is when your tweet gets shared. Twitter is all about sharing things that your followers might find
interesting, useful, or entertaining. When you use Twitter well, your Tweets will get retweeted. This expands your reach
exponentially, as your tweet is seen in the retweeter’s feed to their followers, and so on.
Trending: When a hashtag or topic is the most popular on Twitter, it becomes trending. Your Twitter homepage has a list of
the top ten Trends on the left hand side. These are constantly being updated, and they are tailored towards you and who
you are following. You can change the Trend from worldwide to more localized Trends.
Tweet: The most basic of definitions your need to know. A tweet is a message posted via Twitter containing 140 characters
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 10
Content marketing is the new marketing.
Content marketing is about “pulling in” your customer as opposed to the old school marketing of “pushing out” to your
To be successful in content marketing, you need to understand your marketing and business goals. Then you need to be
strategic in creating content. Your content needs to serve your business goals and objectives, and it needs to connect with
your target market.
5 business goals of content marketing on Twitter:
• build trust with your consumer
• develop passionate, loyal customers
• show thought leadership
• nurture lead generation
• gain more sales
Once you know your business goals, and have narrowed those into SMART objectives, you need to know your target
With a clearly defined target market, your content marketing becomes much more successful.
5 ways to determine your target market:
• check your current customer base
• research your competition
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 11
• analyze your product(s) or service
• define your market segments
• list out demographics and psychographics of your target
A great example of targeted content marketing is the London Drugs Twitter feed. London Drugs is a Western Canadian
Retailer, selling a variety of household products, including beauty products, groceries, computer ware, cameras, and
pharmaceuticals. They connect with their audience who have become passionate about learning of new household tips
and community related issues.
To become relevant to your target market, and obtain your
goals, you need to become the go-to source. To become the
hub, or the thought leader, you need to write on a number of
themes, and make them relevant to your product and to your
Tip: 4 content themes that can connect with your market:
• common problems
• relevant news updates
• ways to make life better
• points of interest
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 13
There are different types of content that can be posted on a Twitter feed.
Twitter is known as a short text social platform. You can embed much more including:
• news summaries
Text in a Tweet is short. They are best kept under the maximum 140 characters - to accommodate sharing through RT’s, @
replies and @mentions.
92% of retweets happen on Twitter because of interesting content. The more notable text RT’s occur with:
• interesting facts
• lifestyle tips
• inspiring quotes
• asks for RT’s
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 14
Here are a few examples of interesting facts, and lifestyle tips from @BestBuy and @LondonDrugs:
Even with Twitter’s 140 character count, pictures are worth a
Photos create a visual connection between your product and
It is easy to insert a photo into your tweet. Simply click on the
camera button on your new tweet, and upload a photo.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 15
Tweets with uploads such as photos generally do not appear as a visual on your follower’s Twitter feed. The “view photo”
must be clicked on to be seen.
Grab your audience’s attention by using simple images with clear white space as background. Images with highly saturated
colors also help the creative stand out against a white background, such as this tweet from @Coach:
Additionally, to maximize your image posts, include relevant text to help tell a quick story, and make it readable about what
you are promoting.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 16
Videos play well on Twitter, when done correctly.
Twitter is a quick social site. When posting a video be sure to:
• keep it short
• keep it simple
Exclusive behind the scenes videos do well, as do short
but informative pieces, such as how-to’s and videos
related to current events. But keep it short! 1-2 minutes
maximum is all you need.
This video from @BenHogan ties together both a current
event, and a how-to video. By tweeting about the freak
snowstorm during the PGA tour, using the #MatchPlay
hashtag, and including a golf swing tip video by a legend
of golf, the newly set up Twitter account of Ben Hogan
Performance is reaching their target market effectively.
Funny videos are great for any social platform, but keep
your target market in mind, as well as your brand when
delving into the controversial world of humour.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 17
Slideshares can provide valuable information to your followers, particularly if you are a B2B company. You are adding value
to your client, and showing your company as a thought leader. This also develops the trust your customer has with your
business, knowing that you are willing to share information for free.
Last year, Twitter launched expanded tweets with various news organizations, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New
York Times, Forbes, and blogs such as BuzzFeed and TMZ.
This is a great feature, as breaking news is frequently provided through Twitter.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 18
Twitter feeds are filled with links. It provides users with a great way to learn about any particular topic they choose.
When posting links follow these best practices:
• keep it short
• use relevant hashtags
• make the call-to-action clear
Check out this example from @BestBuy:
Retailers and business can use this feature to promote their own
stories, if they are featured, as @steals is in this example:
You can also use this feature to share breaking news that
pertains to your business, not just directly related stories. This
provides added value to your followers and customers.
(and how not to)
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 20
Success on Twitter is not the result of diluting your feed with praise about yourself and your company.
Success on Twitter is a matter of using content to influence and connect with your target market.
Over 500 million people worldwide use Twitter. Anyone can connect with you, if they are motivated to do so.
Some basic Twitter know-how goes a long way for successfully tweeting about your company:
• Keep the content about you and your products to a minimum, and focus on engaging your customer
• Create interesting, witty content
• Use pertinent #’s (hashtags)
• Take part in # community dialogues
• Use @mentions and RT’s to interact with your market and thought leaders
• Respond to your @connects
• Use contests and coupons
Keep the content about you and your products to a minimum, and focus on engaging your
While this may seem counterintuitive to traditional marketers, social media is about interacting, sharing, and creating a
bond with your consumer.
Generally speaking, your customer doesn’t really care about you or your products, unless you can connect with them
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 21
In harsher terms:
Nobody cares about you, we only care about ourselves. And we like to talk about ourselves too.
If you can create content that engages, peaks the interest of, and emotionally connects with your consumer, you will
become a more important part of their world. You/ your product/ your brand will more likely to be shared with others who
share the same worldview.
Understand your product, understand your customer, and speak to them on Twitter. Associate your products with feelings,
thought provoking information, and lifestyles.
Add your products in some of your tweets, but don’t shout about them.
Create interesting, witty content
Great content gets shared. Shared content means more brand exposure, which means more leads, which means more
Write tweets that are of interest to your market. And try to be witty (but not necessarily humourous).
Think of the text of tweets as headlines or ad copy. The more attention grabbing they are, the more likely they will be read.
The more they are read, the more likely they will be retweeted and shared.
And it always helps to ask your followers to retweet your tweet! In fact, there is data that suggests asking for a RT results in
4 times more retweets! (source: Hubspot )
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 22
Use pertinent #’s (hashtags)
Including hashtags in your tweets makes them reach a larger audience. Your tweet not only goes out to all of your
followers, but also to everyone who follows, or searches for a particular hashtag.
Remember, hashtags are a way to organize topics.
You can create your own hashtags. You can make funny or obscure hashtags that specifically relate to your market and/ or
product and brand.
Some brilliant uses of hashtags include @MapleLeafFoods use of #bacon:
Take part in # community dialogues
Being active on hashtag topics and engaging with other users of related hashtags is like an online form of the old fashioned
face-to-face networking. And you can reach customers from around the globe, in your niche, that want to interact with you
Search out #’s that are related to your brand, service or product. And then use the #’s, and interact with other influencers
dominating the topic. Associate your tweets with thought leaders of your relevant topics.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 23
For example, if you are in the eBook publishing world, you could engage in hashtags such as #ebook, #ebooks, #read and
#booklovers - or #mystery and #suspense such as in the example from @nookBN:
Respond to your @connects
Check your @connects frequently. Twitter is about conversing with your customer. Many of your customers these days use
Twitter more than email as a way to connect with companies.
A response on Twitter is expected fast.
If a customer is mentioning you in a tweet, you need to pay attention and take action - even if that action is a simple thank
Use Twitter as a customer service tool, to respond quickly, and well, to your customers’ needs. This can go along way to
build trust, develop loyalty, and generate more leads and sales.
Use @mentions and RT’s to interact with your market and thought leaders
Twitter lets you communicate with your market very easily. It’s also a great way to get in touch with thought leaders,
celebrities and newsmakers in your industry.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 24
If you have a great customer who follows you on Twitter, for example, mention them. Send them an @handle tweet to thank
them, retweet a tweet, or mention them in a #ff.
(#ff stands for FollowFriday. This weekly shoutout has been a tradition on Twitter, and still has some merit. It gives you the
chance to acknowledge your valuable and worthy followers, and suggest that others follow them as well.)
Because Twitter is such an open forum, you can easily get in touch with thought leaders, other businesses, celebrities
and more. You can use this to develop new business leads, get RT’s from industry leaders to gain further reach, and open
dialogue to associate your company with others.
For example, if you have written a blog post about a related company, you can send them the link through a mention on
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 25
Use contests and coupons
Ok, this is where I disclose my biase. Wishpond makes social contests, coupons and sweepstakes apps (which work on
Social promotions do go a long way in developing emotional bonds with your consumer, as well as getting lots of retweets.
Contests are a fun way to engage your audience and generate buzz about your product. Who doesn’t like to win? And who
doesn’t like to share when they’ve won?
Contests can create user-generated content for you too. And
UGC is some of the most shared content. People like to share
what they’ve created.
Coupons generate a lot of excitement for your products too.
And they are retweeted often to followers and friends.
Check out, for example, how @LookoutBlizzard has used our
Sweepstakes to generate buzz on Twitter for their new game:
Try out these Twitter tips.
You really don’t have anything to lose, and you may just gain
more engaged Twitter followers by doing so.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 27
To give your content and Twitter account an added boost, Twitter Advertising is a great product. But keep one thing in
mind: Just because you promote yourself, don’t think that it will make your feed or tweet go viral.
For a tweet to actually become popular and drive a large amount of engagement, the content itself has to make a deep
connection with your audience.
New: Launched in January of this year (2013), you can now manage ad campaigns through API’s such as Adobe, HootSuite,
Salesforce, SHIFT and TBG Digital.
There are three options to promote your company on Twitter:
• Promoted Tweets
• Promoted Accounts
• Promoted Trends
Promoted Tweets can be used to amplify your message to targeted groups and geographic locations. They let you extend
the reach of your best tweets to the right person, in the right place, at the right time. Since Twitter is easily accessible on
mobile, the geographic location feature works particularly well so you have a physical location for your business.
Promoted Tweets can be used in search. So, when a user is searching for your particular keywords, your tweet will show up
in their search results.
Promoted Tweets can be used in timelines. So, your tweet will show up in followers’ feeds at or near the top when they
refresh their timeline. Your tweet also extends to users similar to your followers, generating more interest in your company.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 28
Here is an example of a promoted tweet, from @VirginAmercia:
Promoted Accounts let you quickly be seen and followed by
influencers and advocates of your brand. They are a great way to
expand or build your follower base.
Promoted Accounts are shown in the Twitter section of “Who To
Follow”, located on the left hand side of your Twitter feed. The “Who
To Follow” section is Twitter’s recommendation engine that identifies
accounts similar to the user, and helps followers discover new
businesses, people and content.
With a Promoted Account, you will show up in users “Who To Follow”
list who have been identified as having most similar interests to your
company. These campaigns can be geo-targeted by country.
Here is an example from the Twitter Promoted Accounts page:
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 29
Promoted Trends can build mass awareness to your brand or product. They are great to use for a product launch or event,
and to build brand by association.
A Promoted Trend shows up in the Trends section, on the left hand side of a user’s feed. Trends show what topics are
currently trending this moment. They can be changed by geographic location, and are based on the users’ interests.
By creating a Promoted Trend, your brand is exposed to your consumer in a mass way, and can successfully drive interest
to your product, service or event.
Here is an example of a Promoted Trend for #SmallBizSat by @AmericanExpress:
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 31
As a manager of social media, you need to keep up with your Twitter engagement.
You also likely have blog posts, Facebook updates, newsletters, regular emails, inbound marketing, SEO analysis, and other
social media channels through which you interact and develop relations with customers, to generate new and better leads
for your company. These tasks need to be kept up daily, weekly and monthly - all likely in the form of nice looking reports.
To manage your busy days, you need to create a schedule.
This includes a schedule for your Tweets.
Let’s first take a look at the average lifespan of a tweet.
According to recent studies, such as by seomoz.org, the average lifespan of a tweet is 18 minutes. If your tweet is
retweeted, that lifespan is a little longer. Most RT’s happen in the first 7 minutes.
So, how often should you tweet?
This varies. You need to assess your goals, and the purposes of your tweets. You need to take a look at what you are
tweeting, how you are engaging your market, and how successful you are at reaching the masses of your niche.
You will likely be posting a tweet more than 6 times in a day. Likely more if you are reaching a global market, with varying
Making a schedule for when you tweet and what you will tweet will make your life easier. Having a plan will also make you a
better tweeter - as you can develop themes and keep consistency with your messaging. You can be more precise with A/B
testing too, based on what gets retweeted and when.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 32
You can make your own scheduling system, such as through a spreadsheet.
Or... use an API to schedule your tweets to make your social media marketing life a little easier. Yes, there are those out
there gritting their teeth at this suggestion, but scheduling your tweets can make your crazy days as a social marketer a
little more manageable. Just make sure you are still regularly checking your Twitter timeline, and if current events impact
what you’ve scheduled to tweet - change them!
Here is a short list of great tools through which you can schedule your Tweets:
• Buffer (now integrated into Twitter)
• 14 blocks
Additionally, most of these tools have analytics to
help to determine when, how often and what to
tweet about. Hootsuite, for example, can analyze
your tweets and schedule your posts at the
highest traffic times.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 34
While some businesses are skyrocketing in success through measuring their Twitter Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and
adjusting their tactics accordingly, many companies are still struggling with this.
Achieving a good ROI is important to any marketing plan. Set your ROI benchmarks based on your company goals and
Remember, even though this social media stuff may be new and fun, and you think you need to be on this just because
everyone else is - you are using it as a business tool, and you need to set business goals and objectives. It’s vital to be
clear about what you are achieving, and how you are measuring success on these tools.
5 ROI’s you can achieve by marketing on Twitter:
• reach new customers
• increase engagement through content
• promote your products and business
• develop longer lasting relationships with your customers
• ultimately, generate more leads and sales
To achieve your successes, you need to be measuring Key Performance Indicators, to continually improve your marketing
7 KPI’s to track when Marketing on Twitter:
• number of followers
• follower/ following ratio
• @connects: both @replies and @mentions
• brand mentions
• URL mentions
• click through rates
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 35
If you are not using a third-party platform, or KPI software, you can easily make a simple spreadsheet to track your KPI’s on
a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.
Note: Twitter does not have an internal analytics system, which generally means using third-party tools - we will discuss
third-party analytics tools in the next chapter.
1. Number of followers: This is easy to track. This is the unique number of Twitter users who are following your account. You
can track this for you, and for your competitors.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 36
2. Follower/ following ratio: This is a short bit of math, to track how many followers you have over the number you are
following. Again, this is easy to track for your business as well as your competitors.
3. Retweets: This is measured on a post by post basis. The more one of your posts is retweeted, the better. If you are
noticing a particular type of post or certain content themes that get retweeted more, adjust your strategy to increase those
types of tweets.
4. @connects: Count and track both @replies and @mentions.
5. Brand mentions: Keep track of how often your business or product is mentioned on Twitter. To make your life easier,
use a third-party platform such as Social Mention. In this example of brand mentions from socialmention, Walmart’s
microblogging mentions are analyzed.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 37
6. URL mentions: Like brand or product mentions, track how often your URL is mentioned. Again, use a third-party platform.
7. Click through rates: use tracking codes such as through bit.ly to track, measure and analyze the click through rates of
your links, and the link to your website through your Twitter bio.
Always keep in mind that Twitter success is more than just the number of followers you have. It is about engagement,
customer interaction, and creating emotional bonds with your clients and products. And ultimately, it is about more
customers and more sales.
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 39
To measure your KPI’s and ROI’s to make sure your Twitter marketing is working - and where it needs tweaking - you need
Unlike some social platforms, Twitter does not have built-in analytics. Luckily, there are an exponential number of third-party
tools out there that you can use.
Here are 10 Twitter analytics tools to get you started:
twitalyzer - provides over 50 metrics for Twitter, and you can check out competitors data too
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 40
klout - measures social influence for all your social media, and you can check out competitors or even prospective
HootSuite - provides way to schedule your tweets, as well as get analytics and reports
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 41
buffer - newly integrated into Twitter, like Hootsuite, this lets you schedule your tweets, and provides basic analytics
socialmention - lets you track your brand and product names. It’s a bit like a “Google Alert”, only from social media
sources, such as Twitter
SocialBro - in-depth analytics for targeting, engagement and management of your Tweets
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 42
tweetreach - determines the reach of your Tweets
socialbakers - provides proplan for monitoring and analytics of Twitter and Facebook
Twitter Content Marketing for Business I 43
bit.ly - a link shortner, which also tracks click throughs, and can be shared
TweetStats - tracks the number of tweets/ day, your @replies and RT’s