When it comes to Twitter, many people are starting to seriously wonder why it’s so important to keep this platform in their social media strategy. Sure, some people say that the platform is dying, but I tend to agree with Madalyn Sklar when she says that it most certainly is not!
There are some super cool features that Twitter has to offer that none of the other channels truly do, and today I’m going to take this opportunity to refresh your memory on what those features are.
But first, let’s review what the platform was originally used for in the very beginning. Don’t you recall the awe that ensued when you could directly reach out to your favorite celeb simply by the push of a button? (“Tweet!”)
And what about when something absolutely crazy is happening on the news? What’s the fastest way to get up-to-speed? Well, it’s certainly not by waiting for CNN to finally tell you! Nope, the fastest way to get up-to-speed on what’s going on in the world is to check a hashtag (or simply use a search term, usually geo-based) on Twitter!
Twitter is a great place for getting the most current news in your industry, or any given topic, really. This is when the power of the hashtag comes into play! All too often the hashtag gets misused on other social media channels. But the Twittersphere, by nature, has it all figured out!
Note: Hashtags are meant to pose as search terms on social media channels. Many times, people include hashtags as one-liners to be funny on a post, but that isn’t the actual purpose of a hashtag. The true purpose of a hashtag is to be able to easily search the latest news/conversation on a certain topic.
So what truly makes Twitter stand out from the rest of the social media channels? Let me break it all down for you in four simple points:
1. Direct access to influencers: Sure, this was one of the initial draws to the platform itself, but the direct access to celebs, brands and influencers continues to be a big piece to why Twitter totally rocks. (Surely you’re familiar with how active our PRESIDENT is on Twitter!)
Why are so many brands, celebs and influencers on Twitter? The answer is pretty cut and dry: it’s because it’s SO EASY to have a conversation with fans! This is an EXCELLENT listening platform for any brand who takes the initiative to develop their own hashtag. It’s the ideal place to have a public, in-real-time conversation with an influencer.
Think about this…when something goes wrong on an airline, where is the FIRST place an angry passenger typically goes? TWITTER! You know why? The answer is because it’s so easy to get your point across and it’s so public.
Where is the first place people go when they’re having a beautiful experience with a brand? Well, probably Instagram. (wink)
2. Ability to instantly retweet: Retweeting is the biggest endorsement you can make on social media, hands down. (well, if your account isn’t set to private. If your account is set to private, hashtags will never work for you and the visibility of your tweets is insanely truncated)
Have you ever come across one of Jimmy Fallon’s hilarious tweets and just needed, in that very moment, to share it with the whole world? (This happens to me often) That’s awesome! And you know how easy it is to share these funny things with your entire world? You simply hit the “retweet” button. And if you want to add even more context to the tweet to give yourself some ownership in the experience, you will “quote tweet” that stuff and add in your hilarious insight!
Sure, sharing things on Facebook is generally this easy. But on Twitter, when you retweet something, the original tweeter gets this magical thing called a notification. This notification puts you in direct contact with the creator of the hilarious content themselves. DIRECT CONTACT. On Facebook, the likelihood of this happening is quite slim as many people have admins running their Facebook page. But generally speaking, most people actually do run their own Twitter accounts., (again, the PRESIDENT…by the way, it’s not cool to “overshare”)
3. The Twitter chat: This is when some true marketing can come into play!
Twitter chats are conversations that are scheduled, generally at a regular weekly time, around a specific topic within a somewhat-established Twitter community. One truly wonderful example of a Twitter chat would be #TwitterSmarter on Thursdays at 12pm CT with Madalyn Sklar.
Typically Twitter chats are promoted several weeks before they actually launch, Often times, guests are brought in to encourage followers from each community to participate, increasing potential participation and reach for the planned discussion.
Twitter chats usually include a Q/A format, including about 6-8 questions which are already planned out by the Twitter chat host ahead of time. Many times graphics to go along with the questions are also developed ahead of time to keep the Twitter chat more or less “branded.”
Twitter chats typically last about an hour, but often times the community gets so involved in the content and conversation that the hashtag continues to be active during the week, between chats. (this is a good sign that you’re building the right audience!)
4. Video reply tweets: Are you aware that you can utilize video tweets on Twitter to respond to people? How much more REAL can you get?!
This is truly one of the coolest features that Twitter has to offer. (there are many awesome Twitter features that aren’t mentioned in this blog post… BABY STEPS.)
To successfully execute the video reply, all you have to do when someone tweets something that you’d like to respond to is simply hit the little cloud symbol under their tweet (this is the reply button) then hit “tweet your reply,” After this, you’ll want to be sure to hit the little icon that looks like a picture, which will take you to a screen that will give you option to take a picture (camera icon,) record a video (video camera icon,) or choose an image from your library. Tap the video camera icon and record away! (then don’t forget to hit send after you record!)
Despite what many people out there say, Twitter is still a wonderful way to get in touch with your customers and fan base. From real-time conversation to the ability to instantly share information, this platform still has a lot of magic to it.
Do you have additional comments or thoughts? Feel free to put them in the comment section below! And as always, thanks for reading! -Jen
Also, feel free to review our Midweek (ish) Talk with Madalyn Sklar, where we take a deep dive into several of the above-mentioned Twitter features, plus a few more: