Twitter is somewhat of an anomaly as a social network. Nearly all of the content paced on there is topical and reactive, responding to current events. This can make it a tricky channel to use for marketing campaigns yet, it is partly due to its volatility that Twitter is a brilliant marketing tool as you can create content to resonate in the here and now. On top of this, it has an average monthly usership of 335 million people. An audience of this size cannot be ignored. This step-by-step guide will take you through the most important factors to consider when setting up a Twitter campaign.

  1. Know your audience

With other social channels, it is quite simple to identify the people you want to target. You will know your target consumer and will be able to target them. Simple. With Twitter, however, you not only have to know your target audience but also have to know how they use Twitter. It may be that your target audience mostly use Twitter for topical discussions. If this is the case, you will have to tailor your content so that it too it topical therefore likely to come up on their feed. The same would be true if your audience used it for locations or news. For your campaign to have the maximum effect possible, you cannot just target your audience, you have to target the way in which your audience use the platform.

  1. Optimise your channel

This is a simple element but it can often be overlooked. It is essential to make sure that your profile on Twitter is looking as good as you can possibly make it. Something as easy as putting up a profile picture will instantly make your account more attractive to users. Add a header image, bio, link to your website and get your colour scheme looking on point and your account will be where it needs to be to form the base of a successful Twitter campaign. If your business’s account is eligible for a hallowed blue tick, get one. Being verified by Twitter will instantly let people know that it is your account they are interacting with and not a fake one.

  1. Know what role you want Twitter to play in your marketing strategy

One of the best things about Twitter as a platform is that it can be used in many different ways, allowing you to mould it to fit in with your overall marketing strategy. For example, many companies use it for customer service. Customers can tweet their comments and questions to that Twitter account and they will receive a reply answering them. Amazon, Xbox and UPS are example of brands that run this type of service.

Twitter can also be used to monitor the perception of your brand as the people on it are disposed to being honest and confident in their opinions, allowing you to gather an idea of how you are perceived.

It can also be used more traditionally as a channel on which to push your content to let people know about your business’s products or services.

  1. Create a content plan

Creating a content plan ensure that your social feed will never dry up. Due to the up-to-date nature of Twitter, it is almost impossible to plan ahead effectively, meaning that some posts will have to be ad-libbed. A content calendar, however, is still an important asset to create. It allows you to keep your channel active by padding out your feed with strong content that you have had time to prepare in advance. Interesting facts, funny jokes, questions/polls and links to your blog content are all good example of posts that, if they are well executed, are likely to be retweeted.

  1. Engage with other accounts

You have to engage with you followers on Twitter. If your account regularly interacts with your consumers and other businesses, it will make it seem more human. Conversing with your followers is key. Reply to people’s comments on your posts and, if they tag you in a Tweet, make sure that you respond to it. This can be a lot of work but, if you put in the effort, you will be sure to reap the rewards.

Engage with other brands, preferably those that are larger than your own. If they respond, the activity may appear on the feeds of their followers, meaning that your account will be shared with many more people. If the brand is in the same sector as yours, it will have the added benefit of spreading your account to people who are interested in what your business does.

Luckily, Twitter is aware that it will be used for marketing and, as such, has developed a powerful analytics tools so you can track how your account is performing. While Twitter is arguably the most difficult social platform to use effectively due to how quickly it moves, the size of its user base means that it is one that cannot be ignored. If you follow these five steps, you will be able to start and run a successful Twitter campaign.