Facebook may be seen as the ruler of social media, especially after attaining their milestone of 1.11 billion active users this spring.  Many companies overlook the marketing potential of Twitter-social-media-marketingother social networks, including Twitter.  There are 500 million registered Twitter users and an average of 400 million tweets sent every day.  Because tweets are capped at 140 characters, Twitter users spend less time posting than they would for Facebook.  In order to reach a wide captive audience, you must serve as an informational industry resource, provide plenty of links to highly shareable content, and be strategic about your social media marketing.

10 Best Practices to Help You Tweet Strategically


1.  Keep Tweets Short and Sweet

Tweets, which are under 100 characters, generate 17% greater engagement than tweets with 100 characters or more.  To maximize your usable writing space, be sure to shrink all your URLs.  There are numerous websites that will shrink your links free of charge, including TinyURL and Ow.ly.

2.  Share Links

Since tweets that contain at least one link are retweeted 86% more than those without links, it is clear that link-sharing is required for marketing on Twitter.  The more your tweets are cycled through other users, your opportunity for attracting new followers and prospects increases.

3.  Incorporate Hashtags into Your Tweets

Tweets with hashtags achieve two times the engagement of those without hashtags. Hashtags expand the reach of your tweets beyond your own followers—to anyone who is following your chosen hashtag.  Hashtags.org allows you to search for a relevant hashtag, see the most influential people associated with it, and find the times of day and week that it is most popular.

4.  Do Not Overuse Hashtags

Tweets with only one or two hashtags generate 21% more engagement than tweets with three or more, so use hashtags sparingly.

5.  Share Relevant, Industry-Leading Content

Set aside enough time during your day to find relevant, fresh, thought-provoking data to share with your followers.  A sure way to attract attention is sharing content, which showcases industry thought leadership.  Use Klout to find the most influential thought leaders of your industry.  Any educational data from that level will be a big hit with your followers; educational data is typically highly shared.

6.  Ask Followers to Retweet

Tweets that ask followers to “retweet” are actually retweeted 10 times more than those that do not request it.  Curiously, only 1% of brands ask their followers to retweet.

7.  Do Not Abbreviate the Word, “Retweet”

The retweet rate is 23 times higher than average, when followers are asked to “retweet”—spelled out as a complete word.  Do not make the mistake of asking followers to retweet by writing “RT.”  When “reteweet” is abbreviated, the retweet rate is only 10 times higher than average.

8.  Monitor Your Followers

Use Twitter search methods; gain useful information from prospects and clients through their tweets about your company.  Twitter Search allows you to search for all the recent tweets that mentioned your company or the names of your executives.  Consider analyzing the Twitter activity of your top competitors so that you can fine-tune your social strategy.  Also, use Twitter Search to find phrases that are trending with your target audience, subscribe to those updates, and respond and follow accordingly.

9.  Get Involved in the Twitter Community

Subscribe by RSS to view new posts about your company; respond, when someone mentions your company.  Favorite tweets, when it is advantageous.  Post tweets that you believe will get good responses, and make sure you achieve authenticity within the Twitter community.  Always follow up on the comments of your followers, and engage in real two-way conversations.  Find out who else your followers follow on Twitter; they could become part of your network.

10.  Be Creative

Research shows that engagement rates are two times higher for tweets with image links than those without.  Videos are also very useful.  However, be sure to use the media services that are partnered with Twitter, so the multimedia will be easily viewed on additional social networks.

Unless otherwise linked to and noted, statistics were sourced here: By The Numbers: 16 Amazing Twitter Stats by Craig Smith.