Increasing numbers of businesses have begun to realise just how important social media is for their future success and it is predicted that up to three billion people across the world will be using social media in some form or another! If your brand isn’t using at least some of the major networks to effectively market itself, then it is already at a significant disadvantage. In the last decade Twitter has grown to become one of the most widely recognised social media networks and brands in the world.

While it hasn’t taken off  in quite the same way that Facebook has unlike how some people had predicted, and hasn’t had the same speed of growth as Instagram or Snapchat in recent years, it is still hugely important as a marketing tool for your brand. In the fourth quarter of 2016, Twitter averaged 319 million users worldwide and has the potential to expand to around 368 million users by 2020. Around 80% of Twitter’s users are from outside the US and over 80% are active users on mobile.

These statistics all point to the fact that Twitter is a tool that your brand can use to engage with potential guests on a global scale. Despite some predicting the demise of the company, it has also started to make serious progress with video and live video. This will definitely be a growth aspect for them in the coming years and a feature the company will be keen to focus on, especially with stats like this: “In the fourth quarter, ad engagement grew 151 percent year over year, which the company said was driven primarily by shifting to video ad impressions.”

It is all well and good having your brand on Twitter, but how can you actually start making it work for you? Here are 5 ways to easily start winning at Twitter:

1. Don’t just broadcast, create a conversation

The way social media works as a tool for advertising, is very different to that of traditional media such as TV, print and radio. Traditionally companies would broadcast their message and hope that this would encourage consumers to check out their product. While in the past this would have proven more effective, now people have more choice than ever in terms of entertainment. They are also increasingly sceptical about a brand’s message and are not interested in being sold to. To be effective on Twitter your marketing team must engage with your followers by creating a conversation, rather than just sending out boring Tweets constantly trying to sell, sell, sell.

Definitely avoid just sharing links to Facebook or Instagram as this displays laziness and will generally not interest people. If someone reaches out to your brand on Twitter make sure to reply to them. If they mention your company in an interesting Tweet like a great photo or video of your resort then like or retweet it and congratulate them. They will then be much more likely to do this in the future. Your brand followers can be your biggest advocates and fans so don’t neglect them! Ask questions, start a discussion and use Twitter polls. People enjoy giving their opinions on topics such as which is the best restaurant to visit in a certain area. This will set your brand apart from so many others that are just trying to force their products on people. Instead naturally draw users to your brand by being interesting, humorous and different.

2. Make your tweets useful, interesting and engaging

People want to follow the Twitter accounts of brands that create and post useful, interesting and engaging content. If your brand is being lazy on Twitter then people can definitely tell and will over time unfollow you or choose never to follow you in the first place. One of the major difficulties that marketers now face is that their audiences, especially younger audiences have ever decreasing attention spans. In part this is because of choice i.e. the huge choice of entertainment mediums available to them including different social media platforms. Creating great content for Twitter takes skill and should not be rushed or unplanned.

If your brand is being lazy on Twitter like reeling out the same hashtag each week such as #ThrowbackThursday with a boring, poorly taken photo then this reflects badly on you. It definitely won’t inspire people to share your content and will more than likely put them off taking a look at your brand. Contrast that with well thought out tweets with useful information about your travel destination or excellent photos and videos which can literally sell your resort to new customers. If someone likes what they see from your Tweets then they will more often than not take a look at your website. In fact in 2016 there were 1 Billion unique  monthly visits to sites with embedded Tweets!

3. Stay active and consistent, don’t expect overnight success

If you want to succeed with Twitter then you need to remain active and consistent. There are many brands, especially smaller companies that start off with the best intentions on Twitter as they see it as like ticking a box by having a presence on all the main social media platforms. They then start off following numerous accounts expecting them to follow back and broadcasting their message. This is completely the wrong approach and is often driven by unrealistic expectations. As mentioned earlier you cannot just broadcast your brand and expect sales, especially straight after you’ve setup your account. It is very important to build your brand on Twitter and create an engaged, active audience of followers. In order to gain this audience your team must follow the previously mentioned steps creating a conversation and posting interesting, engaging content otherwise no one is going to listen, especially if you are sending out a few tweets a week to a couple of hundred followers. Twitter takes time and energy to make it work and consistency is key.

Twitter definitely doesn’t have to take all day either as by using excellent tools such as Buffer you can schedule tweets to go out during the day. You can literally create a schedule of posts for the whole week. Buffer is a brilliant tool as it also allows you to measure the success of your tweets by analysing which have received the most likes, retweets and comments. You can then adapt your strategy accordingly to create more tweets that work and stop doing the things that aren’t. Buffer shouldn’t be seen as an excuse to be lazy but rather as a way of creating great content which can be scheduled, rather than needing to be actively monitoring and tweeting all day.

4. Twitter competitions are a win-win!

Another excellent way to increase engagement from your Twitter followers and gain a bunch of new followers, retweets and interest is to start a Twitter competition. This is also a great option if your brand is relatively new to Twitter, because it can significantly grow your following in a short space of time. The way Twitter competitions work generally is there will be a prize or prizes that only one person or a small number of people can win. The Tweet will then call on people to Retweet and Follow to be in with a chance of winning. The benefit for the company is that people love winning things, especially when all it costs them is a follow and retweet. This will both increase the number of followers of your account and spread the reach of the tweets as people share the tweet to try and win.

One example of this is from Brain Fud a new healthy energy drinks company which is launching this month. Even before being launched to market, the company has already been able to reach close to 4,000 followers on Twitter through creating interesting and engaging tweets, engaging with their audience and creating competitions like the one above. This competition is a relatively small one, but if your brand decided to create a competition to win a holiday at your resort or discounted room nights it could potentially gain thousands of new followers and retweets leading to a huge buzz around your brand on Twitter.

5. Now is the time to Go Live directly on Twitter

With video becoming increasingly important across social media, Twitter has been making a big push on this in recent years as it knows how important it is to remain relevant. Tweets with videos have been shown to have increased engagement with greater numbers of retweets for Tweets containing video as compared to those with just text or even with photos. People love to watch videos online and are consuming ever greater amounts of video content on Twitter. This means as well as text tweets and photos, your brand should definitely be sharing video content. This is an excellent way to grab user attention and encourage them to share your content. This doesn’t just have to be ordinary pre-recorded video though, now is the time to Go Live directly on Twitter.

Twitter purchased Periscope, the live video streaming app several years ago. At the time this was one of the fastest growing apps available as live streaming began to explode in popularity. Live video on Periscope could then be streamed directly to Twitter. Since then other competitors have emerged though such as Facebook and Instagram Live. Twitter was not about to give up so has very recently allowed users to Go Live directly from the Twitter app. This has seen huge engagement and is something your brand should definitely be doing. It is perfect for creating excitement around events, new product launches and to showcase excursions as this creates an amazing sense of immediacy!

“Twitter gives advertisers the ability to reach the most engaged audiences in the right context at the right time, and we’re focusing our investments on revenue products that strengthen our unique value proposition, especially in live and video,” according to Twitter COO Anthony Noto in a recent statement. “We’re hearing positive feedback from our ad partners about our continued acceleration in audience growth and engagement.”

Live video continues to grow in popularity and is becoming ever more interesting especially with new releases such as 360 cameras which can be attached to a smartphone and broadcast directly to social media channels such as Twitter.

This is just a selection of 5 ways your brand can increase its success on Twitter but there are many other things you can also start doing such as creating and measuring your own brand hashtag, starting lists, tagging other accounts in photos, adding emojis to Tweets and a whole host of other possibilities.

The amazing thing about social media is it is always evolving so it is important to continue adapting and learning if you want your brand to remain relevant on Twitter or any of the other platforms. It is a wonderful and let’s admit it fun challenge to try and increase the effectiveness of your brand Twitter account and the success of its Tweets. If you are enjoying the process then it’s likely that your audience will enjoy your Tweets. We’re looking forward to seeing you all start winning at Twitter. Good luck and happy Tweeting!