New to Twitter or thinking about joining? Twitter for beginners

We’re sure that you have a ton of questions going through your head.

Should my company be using Twitter? What should we be posting? When should we be posting? How can we increase our followers? What’s a hashtag and how can I effectively use one?

Starting a social media strategy from scratch can become overwhelming, especially when we’re learning with people who are 10 steps in front. That’s why we have created a social media for beginners webinar series.

On-demand “Twitter for beginners” webinar

Here you will find the on-demand “Twitter for beginners” webinar. During the webinar, Perri Robinson, Head of Marketing UK and Ireland at Meltwater guides you through the dos and don’ts of Twitter marketing, ensuring strong foundations have been laid and your social media strategy is set up for success from the get go!

During the on-demand webinar on Twitter for beginners you’ll learn:

• The importance of social media

•How to decide whether Twitter is right for you

• What to post and when to post it

• How to build a following on Twitter

• How to make the most of the relationships once we’ve established them

• Measuring Twitter ROI

Twitter for beginners

As expected we had a ton of questions asked during the webinar Q&A. Due to the number of curious live attendees wanting deeper insights into how to go about creating a Twitter strategy, Perri wasn’t able to answer all questions live. But fear not! This blog contains all of Perri’s responses to the questions asked that were not addressed during the Twitter for beginners webinar.

Is Twitter meant to encourage email marketing?

Twitter can certainly support email marketing efforts. Since one of the main characteristics of Twitter is sharing timely news (product updates, promotions, awards, etc.), there’s an overlap between the type of content shared on Twitter and through email campaigns. Growing email databases can be difficult, but considering 49% of monthly Twitter users follow companies to hear their latest news, it can’t hurt to encourage your Twitter audience to sign up to your mailing list to ensure they don’t miss content!

How do brands gain more followers?

Wow, my list could go on … and on … but here are a few tips.

  • Follow lots of people to start with! Look at who your competitors are following/who follows them to ensure you follow relevant people. It’s best to have more followers than people followed (but don’t worry too much about this during the early stages of building a community). Once you’ve seen an impact on follower numbers, you can use a social media engagement tool such as Meltwater to identify people that you’ve followed who don’t engage with you so that you can unfollow them.
  • Ask questions to get a response! If people reply to you, your profile is automatically exposed to their community.
  • Join industry Twitter chats – this is a great place to meet new people in your industry and share expertise/thought leadership/improve brand credibility. Twitter chats can also be used as lead gen! You could even start your own Twitter chat if you see a gap in the market!
  • Tweet often! I’d recommend scheduling a tweet at least once every hour (that your audience is awake, that is).
  • Be consistent with the type of themes tweeted to reduce the chances of people unfollowing.
  • Use a social media listening tool like Meltwater to understand what conversations are resonating on Twitter, and then feature the trending themes in your own communications.
  • Use industry-relevant hashtags to increase the chances of people stumbling across your Twitter profile. I’d recommend hashtagging the keywords in your tweet so it’s more organic.
  • Always use images.
  • @mention journalists/influencers when posting their content to encourage relationship building in hope of eventually piggybacking on their following. Note, flattering them with a nice comment about their content will likely earn you a retweet (RT) compared to simply copying and pasting their article.
  • Run Twitter competitions.
  • Write blogs about the top (blogs, influencers, campaigns) in your industry, and then tweet the blog to the people you’ve profiled – they’ll most likely retweet you.
  • Reply to people who @mention you/retweet your content – don’t simply say thanks for RTing; ask them a question to start a conversation.

Is there a tool that can be used to schedule tweets?

Yes, all good social media management tools should offer this feature – Meltwater is one of them 🙂 –

How do I find the best hashtag to use in my post?

Pop the hashtags you’ve come across into a social media listening tool and compare how many results each hashtag brings back. Use the most popular hashtag.

What is the name of the media engagement platform you mentioned, and can I use this freely to search my organisation?

Meltwater Engage. It’s a paid-for tool; there are free tools available out there, but they can be restricted in insights (meaning you won’t see the entire picture)/publishing capabilities.

How can we use the heat map metric?

Heat map is a metric provided by Meltwater’s media intelligence tool. It offers a breakdown of conversation by country. You can use insights found through the heat map to:
1. understand your current brand exposure in certain countries;
2. understand the return on investment of international expansion efforts;
3. and understand if there’s an opportunity to expand into new markets (for example, if your competitors are mentioned a lot in Australia, there may be a gap in your strategy to address and expand).

How do you pin a tweet?
First, post the tweet. Then go to your company page’s newsfeed and click the arrow.

twitter for beginners

This is what a pinned tweet looks like:

twitter for beginners

What are your thoughts about using Instagram to repost to Twitter?

It can’t hurt. This is a great way of notifying your Twitter audience that you’re also present on Instagram.

What about the use of emojis?

This really depends on your brand’s tone of voice. Emojis can help humanise our brand but should be used with caution. Take a look to see if your competitors are using them and if emoji posts are successful in engagement (see where to find engagement levels in post through the Twitter platform below; alternatively cut out the manual labour and use a social listening tool to identify your competitors’ top posts so you can replicate similar successful strategies). I’d personally advise keeping emojis to Instagram, since this is an image-based platform.

Twitter for beginners

What is the difference between using hashtag and @ before the word?

I’m not too sure what is meant by this question, so here are two ways of answering it

1. #marketing will show a curation of tweets containing this hashtag (this is the correct way to use hashtags); @marketing will show the Twitter account for the person/company who acquired this user name.

2. If you start a tweet using an @mention, the tweet will not appear on your company profile tweet newsfeed (the first page your audience sees when they click your account). Instead, it will appear under tweets and replies. As users aren’t automatically taken to the tweets and replies section of your profile, posts here are therefore a little less visible.

“Hi @mention, sorry to hear your parcel hasn’t arrived” … is not recommended for complaint as this will automatically be shown when a user clicks your account.

“@mention, sorry to hear xxxx …” is best practice for complaints as users have to switch to tweets and replies to see the comment. Please note that people do look at the tweets and replies section, but since they actively have to change the page to do so, it’s less likely.

Twitter for beginners

How do you acquire campaign #?

You can’t stop other people from using a hashtag, and sometimes people “brandjack/hijack” hashtags to increase their own visibility – for example, using L’Oréal’s tagline “#becauseimworthit” to caption a picture of a new gift purchased for you, from you. Sometimes users can brandjack a hashtag and use it in an innocent way; sometimes it can be malicious.

It’s good to monitor your hashtag to lessen the damage of the latter. Also, before creating a hashtag, it’s worth searching how people are currently using it. It may already be used by a competitor, or different organisation, and we may also uncover different interpretations of the hashtag. Burger King used #WTFF to promote their “What The French Fry” campaign, but #WTFF is also a more offensive acronym!

Do I need to set up new accounts for each new @ Twitter name?

It is not possible to associate the same email address with more than one Twitter account.

You suggested posting every hour – that sounds like a lot of content needed! What type of content should I post?

I’d recommend posting 50% of your own content (news, product updates, blogs, webinar invites, awards) and 50% third party – we don’t want our audience to get sick of always hearing about us. Don’t be afraid to repurpose evergreen content. It also can’t hurt to post the same content, with a different caption, a couple of times in one week. For third party content, consider RTing influencers, positive comments mentioning us, interesting industry facts, retweeting clients.

Have you tried sponsored content or any other form of paying Twitter for more exposure?

If so, is it something worth doing? Yes, we have used Twitter ads in the past. I personally think that for a B2B company LinkedIn has much better targeting capabilities, as does Facebook for B2C brands. I’d recommend starting with a $5 dollar a day limit on ads and using engagement metrics rather than impressions.

I read that tweeting is often done by junior marketing execs, but it should perhaps be done by the CEO as they represent the company better. What are your thoughts on who should tweet?

I see the logic in this, but chances are CEOs are too busy to manage social media. As long as the person managing Twitter fully understands the brand’s tone of voice, there should be no problems. Meltwater Engage has a built-in function whereby users can have scheduled posts approved by more senior members of the team for those concerned about this. Additionally, a go-to “response framework” to common inbound tweets can help – just be careful not to sound like a robot.

How do you get advocates on board?

A true advocate shouldn’t need persuading; they automatically spread brand love and recommend us to others. If you’re interested in increasing your number of brand advocates, our blog “10 ways to increase brand advocacy via social media” will help.

From the point of news breaking, i.e. first media release … how long do you typically have to tweet the news before it becomes too old?

Twitter is about real-time content. The reason why journalists make up 25% of verified accounts is because we’re seeing more and more news stories break on Twitter first. Once employees and journalists have been informed, Twitter would be the next channel I focus on. Chances are, if the press release is addressing a crisis, you’re likely to have a storm of Twitter comments demanding answers almost instantly. Treat Twitter like the customer service tool so many brands have adopted it to be

You mentioned verifying your account. Can you talk more about this, please?

Twitter’s support page offers a step-by-step guide to creating a verified account, check it out here.

Is it okay to post scheduled tweets?

Sure, our audience won’t know it has been scheduled.

What’s the best way of identifying journalists and other influencers when you start up?

Meltwater offers an influencer contact database that allows users to search for influencers (bloggers, social influencers, journalists) based on traditional “beats”, but arguably more importantly Natural Language Processing. Beats can sometimes be out of date; journalists move around and the topics they cover can change as a result. Natural Language Processing allows users to search for influencers based on topics they’ve recently written about, be it within editorial news, on social media or in a blog.

That’s it for our Twitter for beginners FAQ. If you have anymore questions feel free to drop us an email