Published by Lewis Crutch on November 18, 2016
From self named Twitter marketing experts to well-known marketing tools, it doesn’t take much to find someone with a little authority lying about how you should go about marketing on Twitter. Often unintentional, marketers will misguide their followers, even using statistics and studies to prove their case.
More Followers Leads to More Engagement
Naturally, if you’ve got 100 followers then you’re probably going to see less than engagement than someone with 100,000 followers. But it’s not as straight-forward as assuming that every follower you gain will boost your engagement slightly.
Back in 2014, Twitter reported that around 23 million Twitter accounts were, in fact, bots. Do bots boost your engagement? And even if they do, is it the right type of engagement? If you want to know if you’re being followed by any spam or bot accounts then there are a few free services out there that will audit your Twitter account:
Twitter Audit (Free) – Simple to use, just connect your Twitter account and run audit. Within seconds you’ll get a result stating what % of your followers are actually real:
BotOrNot (Free) – Also very simple to use but a little slower than Twitter Audit at producing results.
These tools should always be used to provide guidance as they’re never going to be completely accurate but are nevertheless a great way to estimate how many of your followers are legitimate.
Remember, when it comes to growing your following, it should always be about quality over quantity.
Authenticity is Key
What does that even mean? Don’t lie? Be yourself? OK, when Twitter marketing experts say that you must be authentic they’re not strictly lying but they’re certainly not being helpful especially when you see so-called gurus claiming it to be a huge secret to marketing on Twitter.
When it comes to pushing your business on Twitter, you need to ensure it matches your brand’s voice and how your brand is portrayed on your website and across other social media platforms. Are you a brand not afraid to comment on current affairs and have a laugh (think Paddy Power) or is everything you tweet serious?
It’s So Easy
Yes, it’s easy to get 50,000 low-quality followers. After all, you could just jump onto Fiverr and purchase a few gigs and you’re suddenly popular. Yes, it’s easy to tweet once a day linking to your website’s homepage or latest ebook. No, it’s not easy to run a successful, long-term social media marketing strategy on Twitter.
And how about trying to get your Twitter followers to actually generate some revenue and ensure your twitter marketing campaign ROI is positive consistently? Ultimately, as a business, that’s the end goal and it’s certainly not as easy as it may sound.
“I Got 20 Retweets, I am One of those Twitter Marketing Experts”
Admittedly, getting your first retweets on social media (without paying for them through Twitter ads) is quite exciting and is also a little ego boost for both you and your brand but does it really mean anything?
What is your main goal from your Twitter (and social media) marketing efforts? Is it to drive traffic to your website? Is it to get leads on your lead capture page? Is it to increase your brand awareness? The reality is it should be none of these. These might be part of how you reach your goal, but when it comes to your marketing, there should be only one goal, revenue.Successful Twitter marketing isn't about RTs, leads or clicks. It's about one thing: Revenue!Click To Tweet
Otherwise, what’s the point?
If you’re generating clicks to your site from Twitter to then grab leads who you then promote your services to who may ultimately become buyers then your end goal is revenue. If you’re trying to improve your brand reach by running Twitter marketing campaigns then you’re doing so to increase the chances of someone buying from you in future to increase your revenue.
So you might be able to get 50 likes, 20 retweets or 10 people replying to every tweet you send but it’s all irrelevant if you’re not getting people to buy from Twitter.
Getting 20 retweets certainly doesn’t make you a social media don. Getting 20 sales might, though…
Live by the Stats, Die by the Stats
So Buffer said Twitter engagement is 17% higher at the weekend and Neil Patel said to tweet at 5pm to get the most retweets so presumably is I tweet at 5pm on a Saturday I’m going to smash it on Twitter, right?
I’m a huge fan of both Buffer and Neil Patel so don’t want to criticise their content because it’s bloody good, but I also hate these fact-filled ‘stats’ posts which try to cast a huge net over every business, brand and person who are trying to market on Twitter.
The thing to bear in mind is that every Twitter account is different.
Let’s take an article from Entrepreneur.com, a pretty reputable source when it comes to all things business. Apparently, to get the most engagement I need to tweet between 11pm and 5am with the most engagement seen between 2am and 3am. Hmm… So does this mean I should avoid tweeting during daylight hours? If this was 100% true then yes. But let’s prove otherwise:
If you’re a user of Buffer (which you should be), then you can browse to the schedule tab and then scroll to their Optimal Timing Tool. This will provide a custom schedule for your Twitter account based on when your account receives the most engagement. Here’s what happens when we look for the 5 best times to tweet for our @TweetPilotHQ account:
In short, Buffer are saying the opposite of Entrepreneur. The lighter red is when engagement should be higher and the darker red is when it’s supposed to be the best hour to tweet according to Entrepreneur. Instead, using actual data specific to our account, the complete opposite is true.
When it comes to deciding when to tweet, ignore stats, regardless of how reputable the source is and instead, use a tool that looks specifically at your account:
Buffer – Optimal Timing Tool (Free with a Buffer subscription)
Tweriod (From free)
Double Engagement with an Image
OK, this one is slightly closer to the truth than the timing of tweets, but it still should not be treated as the ‘be all and end all’. It doesn’t mean you need to attach an image to every tweet you send. Instead, you should only ever add an image that either supports or enhances your tweet.
How often do you see a tweet with a random stock photo attached that, in no way, improve the quality of that tweet?
Twitter is a Free Source of Traffic
I had to leave this one to last as it winds me up. Any guru who claims Twitter is free is lying to you and doesn’t understand how the running of a business really works. Yes, it’s easy to say blogging is free, Twitter is free, Facebook is free and Youtube is free because, yes, there is no immediate financial outlay.
The outlay, however, is your time (unless you’re willing to work for nothing?) and although it’s hard to put a value on it, your time is costing you. When you spend an hour replying to tweets and reaching out to influencers, you’re not spending that hour on another aspect of your business.
There are 6 lies some Twitter marketing experts and self-proclaimed social media gurus will tell you. What other hilarious ‘secrets’ have you heard from these so-called experts?