By now, most big brands recognise the need to be prominent on the major social networks. They’ll be dreaming up strategies for Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+; along with emerging sites like Pinterest. What’s more, they probably understand that the best route to success is offering up a range of content that meets the needs of consumers at each stage in the buying cycle. Simple, right? Well, there’s more to it…
Now, a brand’s success on social media can be impacted by little things – like the length of their tweets, the timing of their Facebook posts or the punctuation used in their Linkedin updates. For now, let’s focus on Twitter…
Keep it short and choose your words carefully
Recently, Dan Zerella (a social media specialist working with Hubspot) uncovered many ways in which brands can optimise their tweets – with the aim of achieving maximum click-through rates (CTR).
He found that by ensuring tweets don’t go over 130 characters, brands can improve their CTR. Using fewer nouns (words used to identify something) can have the same effect, as can using more verbs (doing words). What’s more, he discovered that tweets published later on in the day achieve a higher CTR. So do tweets that choose their words carefully, he found; specifically, using words like ‘RT’ (the abbreviation used to denote a re-tweet), ‘please’, ‘via’ and ‘check’ can boost the CTR.
How does this differ across audiences?
Like most branding activities, a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be taken to social media marketing. What works for the B2B audience won’t necessarily be right for the B2C market, so how can brands use Twitter to effectively target both?
Research from Compendium suggests that where B2C audiences respond best to a Twitter message comprising 1 – 5 words, the B2B market prefers messages containing 11 – 15 words. Also, tweets published on a Wednesday work best for the B2B audience; attracting more clicks than posts made on any other day. Monday is the best day for the B2C market (albeit taking joint-top place with Wednesday).
Exclamation marks: handle with care
The pair do have a couple of things in common though.
For example, content aimed at both the B2B and B2C audiences is read most when published on the hour and on the half hour. They might not be as inclined to read it if you’ve included an exclamation mark in your tweet, though. Compendium found that using exclamation marks in tweets can reduce clicks by the B2C audience by 8% and by 15% for the B2B market.
Although this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to optimising tweets, it demonstrates just how many factors can impact a brand’s success on Twitter. For brands, adapting to these Twitter trends will take time and effort – but it’s a short-term period of hard work for long-term reward, so listen to what your audience wants and take the plunge.