5 ways to understand Twitter’s power as a marketing tool




By its very nature marketeers are naturally attracted to Twitter’s power as a marketing tool because they have long had to distil their key messages into short, punchy phrases. Adapting to make every one of their 140 words pull their weight therefore hasn’t been such a leap. Speaking recently at #SMWF, Twitter’s UK sales director Bruce Daisley said that Twitter differed from its rival social networks because of its directness, and that brands and businesses could benefit hugely from that. “We see Twitter as an information network, rather than a social network,” he said. He explained how brands can maximise its use as a marketing tool:

1)      Understand how it is being used

Daisley said the three most common uses were on the sofa, on the move and in the moment and that brands had to target their communications to those as applicable. On the sofa he said Twitter was hugely strong as a second screen social media tool, whilst in the UK he said 80% of users access Twitter on their phones compared to 60% globally. Globally Twitter has an audience of 200 million and 10 million across Europe, he said.

2)      It’s what you say not necessarily who’s saying it

There’s no doubt that the ‘who’ in Twitter is important. One of the great beauties of Twitter is how close we can get to the people we admire – be they celebrities or fellow business people—and hear directly what they are thinking. But Daisley also pointed out what he called the “Darwinian environment” of Twitter where the best content surfaces to the top very quickly, regardless of who has said it. As a sharing platform a good Tweet, like a good video, post or website, has the potential to go viral if it’s good enough.

3)      Work out the tone of voice that works best for you

Daisley said it’s easy to assume that the most effective tone of voice on Twitter was a wacky, frivolous one, but said the truth was this was far from the case. He cited research that suggested nearly a quarter of Twitter users thought the most impactful tweets were funny whilst nearly half thought the most impactful ones were those that had information. Companies have to decide whether to offer fun, give information or provide customer help. He said that amongst brands Samsung were good at using Twitter to provide information and help and Innocent Smoothies at providing information and fun.

4)      Engage on Twitter to drive brand sentiment

Although it shouldn’t be used as a sales tool using it to monitor and respond to brand sentiment is key, he said.  Daisley cited the example of the chief executive of 02 who personally monitors what people are saying about his brand on Twitter who found that the average consumer scores a consumer satisfaction rate of 68% compared to 74% for someone exposed to 02’s work on Twitter. “That’s the difference between someone lapsing and renewing their contract on 02. Being exposed to brand messages does have an impact,” said Daisley.

5)      Use hash tags to extend what people are saying about your brand

Daisley championed Adidas’ #takethestage campaign from last year. “One of the things Adidas had thought hard about was how they were capturing that excitement,” he said.  As a result the hash tag was used by customers throughout the Olympics driving stronger engagement with the brand as a result.

There are many ways that Twitter can be used as a marketing tool, as well as a sentiment barometer. The above are just a few. What would you add?